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FAQs about the Diseases of Clownfishes 5

Related FAQs: Clownfish Disease 1, Clownfish Disease 2, Clownfish Disease 3, Clownfish Disease 4, 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

At right, an A. percula with "something" on the caudal peduncle.

my poor lil clown fish... too little reading  - 1/26/08 Ok crew you all are life savers. I chatted with you bout my lionfish a couple days ago, nothing has changed with my tank, but yesterday I noticed my black clownfish has a problem going on here. <I'll say!> I have searched your clownfish database, and couldn't figure out what is wrong with him. I am attaching a pic, if you could help me out id be very appreciative. I just did a water change on Sunday, and my test kit says everything is fine. Don't want to loose the little one. Help me please. <... it's likely dead by now... Looks like Brooklynellosis, but could well be another protozoan, a combination... You need to READ re... Bob Fenner>

Clownfish gaggle 9/21/03 Hello <howdy> I'd like to have a tank with group of clowns (ocellaris or maroon). By the group I mean 8 to 12. I have a 90g cube tank with 150WHQI. Is it possible to keep such a group of them. <it is possible with ocellaris... but nearly impossible with the severely aggressive maroon clowns.> I'd also want to have 1 anemone and no more corals as You suggested Which anemone should I choose (I know they are hard to maintain - but I do my best) < a common brown or green carpet anemone might be a good choice here><<No... not on a bet... Try a tank-made Entacmaea/BTA. RMF>> By the way can I add yellow tang to clowns an mandarin <I would not advise either... the tang would be too aggressive... and the mandarin would likely be stung and killed by the anemone in time (beyond issues of its challenging requirements)> Best regards, Darek <kindly, Anthony>

- Maroon with a Beard? - I have a 2" Maroon that has a white bump in his lower jaw that appears a bump on the outside and can also be seen inside the lower jaw as well.  He does eat, and this doesn't appear to be growing exponentially, but I feel at some point he may not be able to eat if this doesn't clear up.  Any ideas as to what this may be? <I think it could be one of two things: either Lymphocystis which will clear up on its own, or perhaps a parasitic isopod, which would have to be forcibly extracted with a pair of tweezers. I would keep a keen eye on this, perhaps try to get a magnifying glass up to the tank to get a better look. The most common isopods look a lot like pill-bugs, so you might be able to positively ID this thing, or not...> Also, his host is a bubble coral, if that means anything.  Thanks <Cheers, J -- >

- Green Fungus on Maroon Clownfish? - Hello WWM Crew, <Hello to you.> I have a question about a strange green "fungus" growing on the anal fin of a friends Maroon Clown.  It is only on his anal fin, but his pectoral fins seem to be "ripped" or separating in sections.  I am not sure if it is a fungus or bacteria of some kind.  It is not a big mass, more like a thin surface layer on the edges of the fin.  Any ideas? <Hmm... only thing that comes to mind is that there is some algae trapped in the mucus layer that all fish have - perhaps brushed up against something... how long has this problem persisted?> There are no other fish in this 50 gallon tank, setup for over a year. <So this fish has had this problem for a year?> The clown is hosted by a Long Tentacle Anemone that appears to be in good health.  I have no clue what it is, and sorry I have no pics, tried to get some but the camera wouldn't zoom in enough to even get a decent view of this green stuff. Thanks for your time, Chuck <A curious item... will do some research to see what I can find. In the mean time, if it's not too hard to catch this fish, I'd just try to wipe it off. Cheers, J -- >

Clownfish eye fungus? 09/04/03 <Hi Tony, PF with you tonight> I have e-mailed you many times in the past concerning appropriate measure to take in the expansion, and medication of my 30 gallon tank. Currently my setup includes: 20-25 lbs live rock Protein Skimmer 1 Power head Bio/Chemical Box Filter 2 mated maroon clowns 1 pygmy angel 1 red legged hermit 1 small sea cucumber Today I noticed (was out of town last night, and this was not there the night before) a growth on the female clown fishes eye.  Looks like a film, almost cauliflower-ish.  My question is that I have no idea how to proceed.  I do not have a quarantine tank nor access to one (on a tremendous budget), but have had this clown for 7 years and, other than a brief stint with some type of swim bladder troubles, the fish has been perfectly healthy.  I am desperate to save her life, and would appreciate any suggestions.  Thanks, Tony <Well Tony, check here, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/popeyefaqs.htm  does this look like your problem? Try here as well: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm > I know you're on a budget, but you can make a QT on the cheap. All you need is a sturdy plastic storage container, and sponge filter. If you look around, you can find sponge filters cheap, I found several at a discount place for only a $1. I have heard of people having success with Popeye, if that is the problem, using Epsom salt in the tank, it is a reef safe thing to add. Good luck, PF>

Black spot ich on clowns? Help! My 2 percula clowns have been in q-tank for about a week now. I noticed last night that one of them has several black spots on one side of his body but not the other. I also see a few on the other clown but none on the yellowtail damsel that is also in  there. I've looked on the site and see some mention of what some are calling black ick. <Yes, similar to ich, but is a worm and its proper name is Turbellaria.> Is that what this is? <Possible, yes.> I always thought ick was white only. <Again, is not exactly ich, but often called that because of the spots - different parasite all together.> If it is ick do I treat the same as white ick or is the treatment different? <Yes and no... keep the fish in quarantine and start with pH adjusted freshwater dips, and then move on to a formalin treatment if the dips are ineffective. Copper is the usual treatment for 'white' ich. More reading material for you here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm > Is black worse than white? <About the same potential for causing trouble.> Please help. Being the holiday, I can't get to the LFS for copper till Tuesday but I'd like to know what it is.  Carla <Cheers, J -- >

- Clowns with Black Spots - Follow-up - Hi all! I want to thank you SO MUCH for helping me to diagnose Turbellaria on my clowns. I treated them for 2 days with "Quick Cure" and did a freshwater dip on them. After the 48 hours of treatment, my yellowtail damsel wasn't looking too hot so I did a big water change and added the carbon back to my filter. For the last 2 days, everyone was looking real putrid, wore out, not swimming. When I came home today all 3 fish are swimming around having a good time. The clown that was standing on his head most of yesterday is no longer doing that. He was really freaking me out but I read on WWM that he was just being a clown. Anyway, point is that I think they clowns are close to healthy again. They are now black spot free.  The one that was infected badly now just has what looks like scar marks on his body where the spots were. I'm assuming that in time they will fade or go away.  Perhaps in time for the 3 to go the main tank at the end of the month.  Thanks again for your help. You all are great! <Glad to hear your clowns are on the mend.> Carla <Cheers, J -- > - Percula Problems... - Hello again! <Hellloooo, Kevin here> I just purchased yesterday a pair of true Percs. I now have them in a 20 gal qt tank. I have a powerhead, small heater and Mag 350 with carbon. <No bio-filter?> I have in the past lost 4 clowns. <Ouch> They never seemed to eat. So far with this new pair the smaller male is definitely eating but I am not sure about the female. The female also seems to be rapidly opening and closing her mouth. This is what happened before the other 4 passed. They also both seem very nervous. Any suggestions as far as what I can do to ensure they remain viable. <I'd be willing to bet that they're coming down with the "clownfish disease" called Brooklynella. The fish will develop a white patchy slime coating which rapidly enters the gills and suffocates the fish. I would seek out a better dealer of these clowns, which are likely wild caught (tank raised fare much better!) Check out http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm for more info and treatment. Good luck! -Kevin> 

On The Road To Recovery! (Clown Fish Returning To Health) Hey Scott, <Hi there! Sorry it took a few days to get back to you...Was out of town doing the "MACNA thing" in Louisville..> My female clown is eating again, with gusto! <Excellent! As I often like to say, "A fish that eats is a fish that lives!" An excellent sign!> She looks better, but "faded" in places where the parasites were/are. Would her scales have been damaged? <Well, it is possible, but many of the damaged areas will regenerate in most cases> How will I know when to put her back (into the main tank)? She has been in the hospital tank for six days. I got B. Fenner's book (finally), but am confused about how I'll know when she doesn't need the copper anymore, and then how much longer until she's ready to go back into the main tank (I've read, a month, but with copper the whole time?). <I'd follow the full recommended treatment course as prescribed by the manufacturer (usually like 2 weeks), and then give the fish another two weeks for some "R & R" without copper in the same tank before reintroducing it. This will give the fish time to regain all of its former health and provide a chance to watch out for secondary infections.> None of my other fish have shown any signs, but I imagine ich still lurks there... <It probably does, so keep a close eye on things....> By the way, the BTA is much happier without her constantly bothering it (she must have been trying to relieve her itching on it). I took your advice and feed it nearly every day. It is looking better than when we got it (never mind the whole ugly overflow-strainer incident). I am excited by its coloring (brown with green tips, but when stretched out there is a pinkish glow -- very attractive). <Cool! Sounds like you're doing a great job with it!> The scarlet cleaner shrimp is guarding, and cleaning it well. <Excellent...> I read somewhere that a yellowtail blue damsel is a male blue devil damsel. Is that right? <Some species are sexually dimorphic (different coloration in the males and females). I'd check the damselfish section on the WWM site to get a positive ID on your species, as several go by the "yellow tail" moniker...(ahh, the danger of using common names! LOL) I thought they were different, although my yellowtail is a bit "devilish". <No doubt!> The more I read, the less I know! Crystal <The more I answer, the more questions I ask! LOL...Take care, and good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

- Tomato Clownfish Illness - Hi, <Hello, JasonC here...> Hoping that someone at your site can help me here. Have attached photos of tomato clownfish that has been developing blotches and spots in the last 2 or 3 weeks.  <Sad to say those photos didn't make it through.>  Have checked your FAQ and have read disease sections of several books and am finding myself still at a loss. Seeing loss of coloration in several areas as well as small black dots on the fishes sides and fins.  <A possibly is Turbinella worms... most commonly shows up in Yellow Tangs.>  Except for the skin the fish seems to be doing well (no fast breathing, good appetite, etc) and the skin problems seem to be worse on the left side (although it seems to now be spreading to the right side). Water parameters seem to be fine - SG 1.025, 80deg, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite. Other livestock: 1 Scooter Blenny, Mushroom Coral, Xenia, Favia, Star Polyps, Yellow Polyps, Favia, and a nice large Plate Coral that the clownfish has taken to as an pseudo-anemone host. In addition, there are 3 or 4 hermit crabs, 20 or so turbo snails, plenty of worms and, recently discovered copepods (relieved to see them after seeing your postings on blenny starvation issues). The Plate Coral and Favia were added about a month ago - shortly before the clownfish skin problems occurred.  <It is [remotely] possible that the clown is scratching itself on the septa of the Favites... this is not uncommon to work in the other direction, where the clown's swimming in the adopted coral damages the coral by brushing the tentacles against the sharp divisions between the polyps.> Here are some pictures of the clownfish (wish I could have done better, but I'm new to this digital camera): Left-side: Right-side: Entire Tank: <No luck on the images.> Doesn't look anything like Marine Ich or Velvet not the Clownfish skin-sloughing disease from what I've read, nor the natural change in coloration that you've described.  Let me know if you have any ideas about what I should do. Bought copper treatment and have a quarantine tank ready to go, but don't want to go with 1 form of treatment when I should be using another.  <Perhaps as a first measure, I would try a pH-adjusted, freshwater dip to try and address those black spots, see if the fish make a positive response to the treatment. Keep under observation otherwise...> Thanks in advance for your help. Don't know where I'd be without you guys and the nice folks at Nippon Goldfish here in San Francisco... Eric Harvey <Cheers, J -- >

- Tomato Clownfish Illness, Follow-up - Hi Jason, <Hello.> Thanks for your help. Sending 1 photo again in the hope that it'll make it through - <Got it this time.> Let me know what you think. <It does indeed look like a scrape... not entirely convinced this is disease, but keep up the observation.> Eric Harvey
<Cheers, J -- >

- Tomato Clown Disease? - Hi Jason (or whomever is kindly helping me here), <It's Jason again...> Spots have now spread across both sides of body & fins and seem to be both black and white. Have attached 2 more photos (which I hope will go through).  <Got them... interesting.> Am not sure of a plan of action here and am simply trying to rule things out at this point so that I don't start a treatment plan that ends up being more harmful for the fish than the problem.  <Good tact...> Of the common diseases that I've read about I can't seem to identify this as being any one of them because of the following reasons: Amyloodinium - can't be this because the fish has had problem for a while (3 or so weeks) and has exhibited no signs of breathing difficulty. Seems like this disease doesn't show any skin symptoms (except for 2nd hand diseases).  <Ok.> Cryptocaryon (Ich) - thought it might be this, but the spots are hardly 'salt' like and the other fish in the tank (a scooter blenny) has not shown any symptoms at all.  <Hmmm... not uncommon for one individual's stress to be high enough to suffer from a parasitic problem like this before other fish in the tank.> Brooklynella - Local dealer told me that it was probably this after I described the symptoms (& sold me some Formalin to use in a 30min dip), but I really doubt it is this as it looks nothing like the pictures I've seen of it & furthermore, the fish again doesn't exhibit the 'gasping' & reduced appetite that I've read about. Finally, it is my understanding that Brooklynella (like Amyloodinium) would probably kill the fish rather quickly. As I've mentioned before, the fish seems to be otherwise doing fine... So, I have CopperSafe ready to go, Formalin ready to go & am ready to use these medicines either in a quarantine tank (Copper) or as a dip (Formalin), but as I don't really know what I'm supposed to be treating, I don't know what I should do. I looked for Methylene Blue at the store & wasn't able to find it (is it sold with a specific brand name?) but will use it in a buffered freshwater dip if you feel it would help.  <The dip is a good way to kick things off. Perhaps the isolation would also be helpful here.> Anyways - any identification you could give me? <Still not sure, and really looks to me like aggression, nipping... or scraping against something. Will do some more research.>   If not, any ideas on a plan of attack?  <I like the idea of a dip along with isolation in quarantine to await further action.> Hope these photos are helpful... <Yes.> Thanks again for the help in advance. Know you guys are busy... Eric Harvey <Cheers, J -- >


The Goofy Clownfish? HI! <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> We're new to the saltwater aquarium and have two questions, one pressing!  Our false percula just started swimming oddly last night - more up and down than forward, kinda moves with the current, occasionally hangs out at the top looking like it's struggling to keep from being there.  It appears to be breathing fine, and there's no outward signs of any parasites or disease...eyes look fine, no spots, etc.  Could this be swimbladder?  If so, how to treat?   <Well, just a bit of information right off the bat to comfort you: These fishes are not the greatest swimmers; they do tend to "bob" around a lot. However, if you notice that they are really having to work to get down, there is a possibility that something's wrong...> I've read for hours on your pages and found two different things and I'm confused - do we use Epsom salt or medicated food in a QT tank?  Oh, our water parameter are: 1.023 SG, 8.1 pH (had been consistently lower - 7.8 - we're in the process of raising it with Kent Marine Superbuffer-dKH, 74 F, nitrites 0, nitrates <5, and no ammonia.  Please help!  We don't want to lose our little clownfish! <Well, I think that my first step would be to observe the fish for a while longer before removing them for possible treatment. if he is eating, and otherwise appears healthy, he may simply have some sort of temporary difficulty that can be "managed" without having to resort to medication. Let me know how he progresses in the next couple of days> Now for the next question.  We have a 40 gallon tank, with some live rock (not a whole lot) and live sand.  We currently have 1 clown, 1 domino damsel, 1 yellowtail damsel, 2 red leg hermits, 2 blue leg hermits, and 1 horseshoe crab.  We'd like to add a cleaner shrimp, a neon goby, a starfish, a blue tang and a royal Gramma.  We know that the Tang will eventually outgrow this tank....but if we get it small (1 1/2 to 2 inches) how long will this take? <Sooner than you think! I don't win a lot of friends when I say this, but I strongly advise against even starting a tang in any tank less than 75 gallons...Even with the best of intentions, plans for larger tanks get delayed, the fish grows, and pretty soon, stress and disease can manifest themselves. Please do the right thing and avoid this "slippery slope" until you get a larger tank. There will always be Blue Tangs available from the LFS...The animals will appreciate your holding off- believe me!> And I guess there's really three questions...are we overstocking? <I think that you are just about right. The Gramma would be the last fish, if it were my tank, and even then- you might want to hold off, just adding the cleaner goby. I prefer "understocking" tanks. As indicated above- I think that the tang is a no-no! The damsels, while not large fishes, do tend to get more aggressive as they mature and settle in- so this may be the limiting factor in this tank. These little guys tend to regard the whole tank as theirs, and conflicts may arise...Do keep an eye on them, okay?> Thanks for your help.  Marianne <Any time, Marianne! Good luck with this tank! Regards, Scott F>

Adding To The Fray (Stocking Questions) I wrote you earlier asking about swim bladder.  My fish had been swimming funny for about 12 hours.  I guess the clown just had some gas or something....it seems to be swimming around normally now? <Could be...I've found over the years that, in the absence of other, more serious symptoms, these types of "situations" will usually go away without intervention> I also asked about stocking.  Have decided to forego the Blue Tang until such time as we can get a much larger tank. <Good for you! Excellent call. I commend you on your restraint!> Instead, I'm looking at a Flame Angel.  How does this substitution sound with the rest of the livestock? <A nice fish; one of the more sturdy dwarf angels. However, despite the fact that they remain fairly small, I still think that a larger tank would be better for this guy. I'm particularly concerned about the damsels and their potential for aggression in this tank. On the other hand, if you did not have the two damsels, I would be a bit more enthusiastic about this selection. I love Centropyge angelfish, but I think that their needs have to be met in order for them to thrive, and one of those needs is having a bit more "territory". I suppose you could look into a C. argi, which is really small, and quite feisty, but it does have an almost damsel-like appearance, which could incite more problems with your established damsels...I hate to sound negative, but I think that restraint is in order again! I'd just hate to see those $2.00 damsels beat the crap out of the $30.00 angelfish (or any fish, really- regardless of price). I am just a bit leery of adding certain fishes to moderate sized tanks with damsels..> Thanks for any and all help you can give!   Marianne <You're quite welcome, Marianne. keep in mind that my recommendations are based upon my experiences and observations, and that I tend to be conservative on stocking. In the end, your best judgment and common sense will have to guide your decision. I'm sure that you'll do what's best for your animals! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Sick clowns Hi, I hope you can help me diagnose a problem I am having with my fish. I bought a pair of false percula clowns about 2 months ago.  From day one they were very hardy eaters and very active in the tank.<good>  Three days ago they started staying on opposite sides of the tank most of the time (they used to always stay together)<hmm>  One is constantly hanging out by the heater.<I would check your water quality. especially if the fish isn't eating> They will not eat anything, just spit it out if they put it in their mouths at all.<doesn't sound good>  Their outward appearance seems good to me.<well I would put them both in a quarantine aquarium post haste and watch them very carefully. and the water should test nitrites and ammonia 0 and nitrates less than 40 ppm> Please help me if you can.  I had thought of treating with copper medication, but don't know if that is appropriate at this time.<Well since externally we don't know what's wrong all we can do now is qt them and watch them carefully and if they show signs of external parasites then you can treat the qt aquarium with copper-and if it turns out to be something else then we will find a method on how to treat the two clowns>  Thanks,<good luck, IanB> James

Clownfish learning >Hey fishy gurus! >>Greetings, Angel, Marina here. >I'm here again to beg for assistance.  Previously, my 29 display and 10 gallon QT both had velvet.  Or at least that was everybody's best guess.  My 2 fish died.  I did a 100% water change in the QT after the last fish died.  Based on advice here and elsewhere,  I left both tanks to sit fallow of fish (and the QT to finish its cycle) for a month.    >>Mmmm...I am of the opinion that a month is not long enough, but we shall see. >So, it's been a month.  Yesterday, I got 2 tank-raised Ocellaris clowns for the QT.  Params were SG 1.022, pH 8.2, temp 80, 0 Ammonia and Nitrite and 15 Nitrate.  I brought them home and acclimated them slowly in a 2 gallon Tupperware bowl (with an airstone) and then gave them a 3 minute FW bath in adjusted water w/ a little Methylene Blue.  I was really, really trying to do everything 'by the book'.    >>Sounds pretty good to me, you tested and matched parameters, yes? >On the way home the bigger clown seemed to be picking on the smaller clown.   >><BIG EYES> They bagged them TOGETHER????  Oy. >I was a little worried, but the drive was not that long.   >>Alright. >The smaller clown didn't seem to be perking up.  Oh boy.  After the FW dip, I put them both in the QT (lesson learned from last time). >>"By the book", as it were, so you're on the right track there. >The small clown immediately flopped on his side.  The big clown did the same, but would raise up more and sometimes swim around.   >>Uh oh...pH shock? >There was nothing visible wrong.  The small clown was breathing a little heavy, but the big girl wasn't.  I had no idea what to do at this point, so I turned the light off and hoped for the best.   >>Oh my. >This morning the big clown is dead and the little clown is following quickly.  What happened?  The little clown now has white fuzzy batches on its belly that weren't there.  Can it be the velvet again?   >>Doubtful, the fuzzy patches could be fungal infection, but that would really only gain a foothold with severely stressed or sickened fishes. >Clownfish disease? >>As in Brooklynella?  Let me do research, hopefully I'll have links further on. >We've pulled the little clown into a small Tupperware bowl with water from the big tank, but I'm not hopeful.  Could it be the water?  We haven't been using RO water, just treated tap water.   >>How does your tap test out?  That's the only way to really tell.  If its pH is unstable, this can quickly stress and kill. >The display tank, luckily, is doing *fine* with copepods and a few turbo snails left over - but we want fish! Do we desiccate the QT tank?   >>That, or bleach it, but if we have an issue of pH shock even desiccation wouldn't be an appropriate fix.  The only way to know for SURE is to test all water the animals are coming into contact with.  AND!  Test kit quality is a huge issue in itself.  Around here the tops faves are SeaChem, Salifert, and LaMotte, the last being both the most expensive and the most sensitive/reliable. >For now, we've taken all the water out.  I've read that can take months and I don't really feel like waiting 6 months to get fish.   I'm out of ideas.  Help! >>I'm really sorry you're experiencing this.  While I have a problem with the fact that the shop bagged these fish together, I don't feel it led to their demise (impending for the little guy). http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm >>You will find links within these links, please make best use of them as possible (I know, there is a LOT to read!), and hopefully, you'll find something pertinent in there that we may have missed here.  Hoping for the best, Marina

Question on tank raised yellow striped maroon clownfish >hello, I was wondering if you could help me with my poor fish I had gotten 5 yellow stripped maroon clownish and have been having problems with them they don't eat  and they seem to have trouble swimming they seem to be sitting on the floor of the tank if they try to swim it a struggle one seems to be fine its eating a little but the rest don't look good one has died and the other 3 still look bad any info you could give me would greatly be appreciated thanks Jon >>Hi Jon, please understand there is little I, or any of us, can do to help you without MUCH more information.  We need to know how long you've had them, did you quarantine, what your tank parameters are, and so on.  Also, PLEASE, please, please use proper capitalization and punctuation to save us a great deal of work.  If you can get me that information then I may be able to help you figure out what's wrong.  Marina

Sick Clowns 07/28/03 Hello Crew, <Hi Amanda> I have had two TR true Percs in QT for almost three weeks.  Yesterday I noticed the beginning of small bumps. It appears like ich but it is clear and very difficult to see. The spots are on the body below the front most dorsal, I cant see any spots on the fins. I started lowering sg today from 1.025 down to 1.022. Temp is at 80. I figure I will continue to lower the sg-but how low?  Could this be bacterial or fungal? I have yet to read anything stating that ich can be clear, so I am leery of treatment based on that presumption.  The fish are swimming and eating. Can you please advise appropriate treatment? Thank you for your help! Amanda <Ananda spotted this one in my box and has the following advice: "That sounds exactly like lymphocystis. QuickCure is supposed to help...according to the bottle. I started that treatment too late to save one of my fish, but if she gets to it early...." So, I would  follow her advice and begin treatment now. Here's more to read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/infectio.htm, and look for lymphocystis on the sites search engine, that'll bring up a lot more FAQs for you to read as well. Good luck, and our hopes are with you.>

Sick O. Clowns, Please Help! I have had my two o. clowns for about 4 weeks now. They had appeared to be doing very well until about the third week when I noticed something on the larger, more dominant fish. Seemed to be "caught" between the edge of the fish's gill and body. It had been described by members of my family as what appeared to be a piece of food caught in the gill. Yesterday I made a trip to Pet Supplies Plus as it is the only place around and they seem to have a knowledgeable staff. The girl there said it sounded like a gill fluke and said in freshwater fish they would usually pull them out with tweezers but that being marine, and clown I probably should not attempt this and recommended treatment, in quarantine with double dose, (2 drops per gallon) of Organi-cure, %1.25% copper and 17% formaldehyde in a tri-chelated liquid form. I took water from my main tank (30 gallons) to fill my ten gallon tank, I also measured water parameters at the time, as follows: NH3/NH+4 .25 mg/dl, NO .3mg/dl, PH 8.0, KH 17.5degrees/dh, CO2 8.0, sg 1.0225. <You might want to investigate that low pH...> I took a piece of live rock with nothing on it but algae and placed it in the tank with a cupful of gravel in the WT. Also a large airstone and I have rigged the ten gallon with a Fluval 104 canister filter rated for 25 gallons. When I pulled the clown from the display tank it was obvious this was not something I could "remove" with tweezers as it appears to be part of the fish! It almost appeared to be just a discoloration of the gill spikes... I finished up around 11:10 PM last night. This morning at 6:00 I turned the lights on. (four hours earlier than usual...) The smaller clown was up and moving very quickly but the other still lingered by th bottom for almost 45 minutes, and while he is moving a bit now, he still seems to be lethargic and staying near the bottom. Both fish now have small white spots. I have never experienced ick but this is what I suspect. Maybe the tank had bacteria in it? <Ich is not bacteria, and it's more likely that the fish already had it. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm > It was used for freshwater a few weeks back, but it has been sitting fry I my garage.... the spots are very small and almost appear to be o the surface of the body. <Freshwater ich and saltwater ich are two different problems, not at all the same protozoan.> I am now afraid my tank is dirty. Also, A fish (which no one can tell me what kind of it is, the front is purple the back is yellow and its long like a tube) <Sounds like a Royal Gramma or a Royal Dottyback - see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/grammas.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pseudoch.htm > in my display tank also has a few of the spots!! <Not at all a surprise...> Please Help, I'm very worried. My last two clowns were maroon, the dealer sold them to me by mistake and they killed each other. :-( Thanks SO Much. --Jim Smith -OH <Please read up here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm Cheers, J -- >

- Sick Clownfish, Update - The spots are now gone, only a few hours later, on all three fish... there are maybe 3 spots on each clown... that's all, there were at least 20 on each fish!!! <I would not be surprised at all if it came back.> I did add two drops more of Organi cure and I did forget to mention the addition of 3 drops of Organi cure to my main 30 gallon tank last night. <You really shouldn't treat your main tank, or any tank that has rock and substrate in it... the rock work and gravel will absorb the compounds necessary to treat the fish, and make the treatment ineffective.> thanks again --Jim <Cheers, J -- >

- Sick Ocellaris Clowns, Redux - Ok, no more white spots. Anywhere. I am gradually raising the PH, in both tanks and lowering salinity slightly in the QT, added 3ml hydrogen peroxide to the QT and 400mg erythromycin to the QT, 200mg DT. I contact the distributor and he said to put them back in the display tank but I still see some discoloration so I plan to leave them there and continue Maracyn treatment unless you would advise otherwise. Thanks so much for the quick response, I really am concerned I don't want anything to happen to these clowns... Thanks --Jim <Jim, I get the impression you didn't read any of those links I sent you. The white spots are caused by a parasite that will not be affected by antibiotics. These parasites are like fleas, they get on your dog, they lay eggs, and then your dog has more fleas and then they lay eggs, and then you have fleas. So... do expect to see these white spots again unless you take more evasive action. Please read those links I sent you, much information to be found there... Cheers, J -- >

- Sick Clowns, Update - Thank You, I understand your point and am investigating it further. <Ah good... many rewards to be found.> Meanwhile everything seems well quality wise, : ph 8.3 co2 2.4 specific gravity 1.0225 Salinity 31ppt 28C KH15 Nh^3Nh^+4 .25 mg/dl NO^-2 </3mg/l I will update you when I see a change. Thanks a gain for your time and wonderful service. Also, is there a place I could donate to WWM? Possibly through Paypal or something? <Very generous to offer, there is an Amazon link on the bottom of our many of our index pages or you can also use this hyperlink: http://s1.amazon.com/exec/varzea/pay/T3P5J4CVWEJER0 > Thanks --Jim <Cheers, J -- >

Black Spots on Clownfish Hi! Thanks for all the work the crew does. <You're entirely welcome.> I really appreciate the invaluable advice you dispense. <Will try> I hope you can help me diagnose the problem with my clownfish. I have read through the Clownfish Disease FAQ's (1-5) and I am not sure what is happening to my clowns. Most of the answers related to "black spots" seem to indicate there's nothing to worry about. However, the coverage on my clowns is pretty significant and I'd like to make sure there's nothing major going on. They don't look like "age spots" to me, but I don't really know what to expect as these fish age. I have had my two percula clowns for about three years now. They still seem healthy, eat well and behave normally. However, they have developed these black markings on various parts of their body. Please see the attached pictures of the one with the worst problem. The pictures were a little hard to take this evening. The fish are camera shy and don't want to let me show off my great expertise in digital photography ;) <Unfortunately the attachment came in as a .dat file, and there's no way my anti-virus program will let me open that! Try sending the pics again.> The right side picture shows the worst area below the gills and also above the anal fin. The lips have also turned black. My other percula had the same kind of spots but seems to be getting over them without any specific treatment. Could these be burns from trying to "nest" in brown polyps? <Unlikely> It seems over the last few months the clownfish developed a fondness for a brown polyp colony on one side of the tank. They like to lay on the polyps like I've seen others go into anemones. It was around that time that the spots became noticeable. <Interesting...> I have not added new livestock to the tank in over 6 months. Water parameters are OK - pH 8.2, Alk 3.2 mEq/l, NH4 0, NO2 0, NO3 20 ppm. Temperature 80 F. I do weekly 10 gal changes to my 75 gal tank. There's about 150 lbs of live rock in the tank, a sump and a skimmer. No other filtration. Lighting is 260 W power compacts. half 10K, half actinic. I did get new lighting around the end of February but I can't recall if the color changes had started before that. Before that I had about 110 W 50/50 power compacts that were about 9 months old. I'd appreciate any insights you might have into what is going on with this fish. <Very odd, could be melanism if they were consistently stressed out for some reason. Your water parameters are fine, you have plenty of natural filtration, and since the fish still appear healthy, I wouldn't worry about it. Good luck! -Kevin> Henry

-Black spots on clowns; now with pictures!- OK, let me try this again. Here are the pictures one more time. <I saw the exact same thing happen to the male of a pair of false Percs in the shop a few months ago. He developed the same markings but never acted too much out of the ordinary. During that time the female was being extra harsh on him though, and that was likely the culprit. That said, he's fine now, all the spots have vanished. I think it's safe to conclude that it's a stress response instead of an actual disease. -Kevin>

- Clownfish in Distress - Hi! <Hello, JasonC here...> It was Sunday, June 15th when I noticed a small vertical lesion on my tomato clown. He also was not eating, which was very unusual given he normally was a voracious eater. Additionally, he seemed to be kind of lateral . Normally his swimming patterns were odd, but this was different. He still remained near the two anemones as always. The wrasse, blenny and camel shrimp seemed fine and are still fine as are the anemones. However, I did lose my peppermint shrimp. I tested the water and found nitrates!!  I also found that I had a filtration problem likely causing the nitrates along with my overfeeding. So, I moved quickly to reduce them with water changes and fixing the filter error. By the way, this tank with live rock has been running for a year and a half. One quadricolor anemone (now 2) and tomato clown were added last August - so almost a year ago. Next, I began to search your site for clown fish illnesses and was sure mine was in the beginning stages of Brooklynella. I gave him a freshwater dip (proper ph, temp) and saltwater bath with formalin and malachite green, and then placed him in a hospital tank to recover. <Hmm... I wouldn't have used the formalin on this fish, they tend to be sensitive to it.> But, he was experiencing labored breathing and stayed at the top. So I treated with clout thinking parasites were to blame. Then I thought it was bacterial so I removed the clout and began using an antibiotic - Maracyn -two. I have been adding vitamins to the water too and constantly testing its parameters. Still this fish has not eaten now for several weeks and appears distressed on a daily basis, which is why I stopped treatment the last 5 days. That lesion is still on his body. White feces which I assumed were due to his lack of eating, but your site says it might be an intestinal parasite. <Emphasis on 'might' here... I think the non-eating is more of a factor at this point.> His pelvic fins first looked slightly frayed and now show a little bit of whitish tufts (a fungus?). The head, mouth and throat region have some red stuff which I thought was a sign of an internal infection (like bleeding). There's also a very slight whitish sheen happening toward his dorsal fin. The other side of his body looks perfectly normal! Overall his coloring looks pretty good, but he continues to breathe rapidly and will sometimes swim in circles. What is attacking him? <Hard to say specifically... most likely Brooklynella combined with stress, and maybe some complications from the formalin.> He is totally disinterested in food. <Not a good sign.> I know he is very frightened and suffering a great deal, and it's killing me that I'm not doing the right things to help. <Well... I think you've done most everything that can be done.> I hope you can point me in the right direction. <All you can really do at this point is to continue attempts to feed, and stay on top of water quality in the quarantine tank. Here's a little background: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm > Thanks for listening. - Janet <Cheers, J -- >

Bad Advice - And A Bad Result! My poor clown already died. <Sorry to hear that...> I put her in a hospital tank and she got worse from there on. The patch of skin fell off leaving a red open wound. My LFS said not to put her in a hospital tank, as it would only make things worse, but I wanted to get her out of the main tank as I have another clown in there. <Your thought was correct...> My LFS also said that Brooklynella is wiped out in fish (that would be nice; this is also the same person that said there is no reason to quarantine fish, they only get sick when they are stressed, so they can get sick in the main tank, too) <Yikes...not the best advice I've heard!>, but I think he said it was velvet, because that was the only medication that they carried. She was in my main tank when she got sick (I didn't quarantine the clowns, per my LFS, but I learned my lesson the hard way). I still have 1 clown (that I bought at the same time as the other - 2 weeks ago, and a lawnmower blenny in the tank. They show no signs of being sick, but I'm afraid if I add another (after quarantine this time) that they will pick up the Brooklynella in the main tank. Does Brooklynella stay dormant in the main tank until it finds another victim? <Like many diseases, it can remain in a sort of "dormant phase", waiting to strike again...I'd remove everyone into a separate tank, and let the main tank go fallow for a month or so, to allow the population of parasites (assuming it's a parasitic infection that you're dealing with) to crash for lack of hosts...> I just added a cleaner shrimp, and I don't known if that helps some. Any help is appreciated, I can't get good advice from my LFS. <Well, I'd go for the fallow tank trick, as outlined above. Keep a close eye on all of your remaining fishes, quarantine all new arrivals, and take all advice from that LFS with a grain of salt! Quarantine is simply one of the things that you must do if you keep marine fish...I'm sorry that you had to learn it the hard way, but I'll bet that you'll see a lot of success in the future! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Out Damn Spot!  Hi Guys, <Hello.> Haven't written for a quite a while, everything's been going great. Recently removed some fish and had to dismantle the whole display... damsels!!! Anyhow all in all I have probably subjected my fish to too much stress. Now for the consequences! I have had a black- footed clown for about 9 months and he has been doing great apart from the bullying from a pajama wrasse who has now been removed, (and the damsel). The problem is I have noticed about 5-6 white spots on the clown. I took him out and put him in the refugium (I know more stress) for a couple of days, and the spots seemed to have disappeared. So fool I am, decided that he would be happier back in the main tank (thinking it must of been a figment of my imagination). Guess what... the spots returned. I am at a loss at the minute, I have not had any sick fish until now. Just would like some advise if you would not mind. Thinking of either putting him in a fresh water bath for 5- 10 min.s, or else setting up a hospital tank and treating it with a white spot remedy. <I would do both - give the fish a pH-adjusted freshwater dip, and then isolate it... perhaps not treat with anything else right away, but keep under observation there for at least two weeks, more if you end up needing to treat.> The problem is that I don't want my other fish to get it, and seeing as though it is a mixed tank I can't treat them without killing all the inverts! Would you suggest setting up a large bare tank and treating all the fish in this and let the display lie fallow for a month? <I'd go one at a time... isolate the clownfish, then keep an eye on things in the main tank... if the main tank seems free of problems, then there's no need to run it fallow. Just keep a watchful eye.> P.S. - Stats: Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite all  0 ppm, Calcium 320, KH 9, Phos, pH8.3, 15kg live rock , 2" live sand, 4" deep sand bed/refugium, variety of soft corals, Anthiine, Blue/Green Chromis, Fire Goby, Scarlet Hawkfish Twice fed daily, live and frozen, and live Phyto plankton. Any advise greatly and as always much appreciated. Thanks for your time,  Rob <Cheers, J -- >

Sick Clown (Cont'd.) Thanks for your help, Scott (or whomever is manning the box) <Scott F. back with you today!> I'm not sure I was clear here.  He is in the display tank right now (with a few snails).  The QT was setup after getting him and his 'friend' and having her die right away.  I can certainly pull him into the QT but that's going to leave the Velvet in the main tank, too and present a different set of problems for the weekend. <Right...the main tank should be left fallow for about a month> The QT is cycled (I used a filter from a LFS and borrowed water) enough to put him in (no ammonia, very low nitrites and nitrates).  The problem isn't the ammonia, it's the temperature.  The QT will naturally spike to close to 85/86 degrees during they day. We don't have central air.  It's easy enough to cool it off with a fan (down to about 82), BUT you lose 1-2 gallons of water everyday :( With us being gone for 3 days, we'd come back to a tank with 3 gallons of water. <Ahh.. I follow you now...> I guess we could move the LR (luckily we don't have much) and snails to the QT and dose the main tank.  I know it's a crappy option, but he will definitely die if we put him in the 10 and are not here to do maintenance. <I would not dose the display under any circumstances...However, I would rather wait until the end of the weekend to move him, and take the risk....>   We did a FW dip last night and it seemed like the parasites dropped off, but there were white patches left behind (not raised) and he was really stressed out by the experience.  I am assuming this is caused by the wounds from where they were attached.  Honestly, he's in much worse shape today (not eating and literally swimming in circles) and I'm not convinced we can pull him through.  :( <Well, the patches that you are seeing could be the tissue that is being liquefied by the parasites...Immediate action is really the best bet. Given the circumstances, I'm afraid that you'll have to wait till you get back...but it may be too late. You still will need to run the tank fallow, of course. Parasitic diseases are terribly difficult to eradicate from the display, so you really want to keep a sick fish out of there...> Yeah.  Lesson learned on that one.  Sadly, too late.  Assuming he makes it long enough to put in the 10 gallon for proper treatment or dies, should we copper the heck out of the main system and leave it fallow for at least a month?   Copper means no snails, ever, correct?  I can probably take the 3 I currently have back to the LFS store.  The only other option I've been reading is to tear the display tank down and let it dry out.  I'm not sure I  would ever get the courage up to start back if I did that. <No need for copper...just run the tank fallow, without fishes, for a month or so, conduct all routine maintenance (water changes, etc.), and be patient...Hopefully, you can avoid "nuking" the tank> Thanks again, Angel <No problem, Angel- be patient, and do your best...Here's to hoping that the clown pulls through! Regards, Scott F>

The Eye Has It! I recently bought a skunk clown after the passing of my porcupine puffer from not eating for over a month. The clown now after 2 days has one eye appearing what seems to be gray on the pupil with a bulge. I have read some facts and do not know if this is something that will go away, infect the other fish, or have been damaged by my domino that thinks he is king of the tank. <Well, if it is in one eye, and bulging is the only real symptom, than there is a high likelihood that it is swelling caused by an injury or other trauma. Hard to say what could have caused this, but it sounds like your damsel could have either injured the clown directly, or the clown might have injured his eye by scraping up against a rock or something?> I have read about the suggestions for Epsom Salt and do not know if I need to quarantine the tank to do this.  I also have a snowflake eel but he minds his own business until feeding. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks, Jen <I would rather perform this treatment (or any treatment, for that manner!) in a quarantine or separate aquarium. Epsom salt would probably not cause any undue problems, but I'd still treat elsewhere! Epsom salt is a very effective treatment for this malady. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Desperate dying clown fish question (06/19/03) Dear Dr. Fenner: <Bob would tell you that it's not "Dr." Fenner, but it's Ananda here tonight...> My husband set up a new saltwater 20 gal. tank a month ago--his first one.  Though he's gotten some advice from my father and a neighbor who's a marine bio grad student where I teach (UNC-Wilmington), things are going badly. <Uh-oh.> Our clownfish, purchased three weeks ago as a second fish, is lying on the bottom of the tank, breathing hard.  He had been doing great, but about 9 days ago my husband ordered FOUR fish (Hawaiian Tang, Diamond Goby, Red-lipped Blenny, and Gramma), and put them all in the tank.  The Tang died two days ago, after two days of suffering (and ammonia reducing help from our neighbor).   <Far too many fish, added too fast, to too small a tank....> The clownfish was swimming about better than ever up till THIS morning.  When I got home from work at 7:30, the Gramma (who never came out from under one rock, and whom I never saw eat) was lying dead on the tank bottom.  I scooped it out immediately, but the clownfish is lying in a back corner.   <Do a water change as soon as you can get the water mixed. That will help reduce the ammonia in the tank.> I called my neighbor, who said that dying and dead fish give off more ammonia, but that the thing he used to reduce the ammonia is back in his lab in Wilmington, a 45 minute commute.  I said I'd drive back into Wilmington--I love this little fish, and feel they've all been condemned to death through ignorance--but he said there was nothing I could get tonight, because the pet stores would be closed.  Tomorrow he said he'd bring sterile sea water from his lab, and trade out 5 gallons. <I would ask for thrice that amount, and do a 10 gallon water change to start, with another 5 gallon water change the next day.> Is there ANYTHING I can do?  We live right next to the beach and I have access to the sound.  Would he live if I let him go in either?  (I know, Pacific ocean fish in the Atlantic...)  Would he have a chance?   <Not likely at all....and it's always a bad idea to release fish that have been kept in aquaria into the wild.> I tried to register to ask you via WetWeb, but my computer kept telling me I had to download Outlook Wizard, and I don't know where the software is. <How very odd. Do try and access the web site through a different browser.> If you get this and could reply, I'd be very grateful.   <From the sounds of it, you may not have the supplies needed to make your own saltwater. If that's the case, check the yellow pages for local pet stores. Perhaps one of them still be open when you get this -- try calling them. If not, look for aquarium maintenance professionals; perhaps one of them will be able to help.> Sincerely, L. Amanda Tatum PS--We have 5 former shelter cats, ages 2 to 13 years, all in excellent health, and we should have stuck to cats and larger animals.  But at this point, I want to minimize the damage, because I feel it's all very cruel, even if unintentional. I printed your great article out tonight ("Toxic Water Situations" http://www.wetwebmedia.com/toxictk.) and I'm going to make him read every word.  I'm never such a shrew, but I'm very upset about this fish.  Thanks again. <You and your husband are not the first to make mistakes with marine fish. Hang in there, and keep reading and learning.  --Ananda>

Re: Desperate dying clownfish question (06/21/03) <Ananda's note: I'm combining two messages here. This first one was dated Friday.> Ananda:  Thank you very much for your prompt, thorough (and kind) answer.   <Hi. You're welcome -- I will always at least try to answer an emergency question when I see one... I have a clownfish, so I understand your stress!> The (false percula) clownfish is still alive this morning, which I can't believe, so we'll do everything you suggested. He seems to be a hardy little guy, so maybe there's a chance now. Wilmington (not surprisingly) does have a specialty aquarium store, so if our neighbor can't bring the entire 15 gal., we'll get the 15 gal. all from the same place. <Do consider getting the equipment needed to mix your own saltwater -- with all the possible things that can go wrong, it would be good to have a backup source for saltwater. The ocean near your house may be polluted, which is why I did not suggest it in the previous message.> You guys are the GREATEST, and I will change our browser connection to WetWeb over the weekend.  I'll also look to see how the site supports itself, and if you take donations from users, I'll send something.  Thanks, --L.A. Tatum <Much appreciated. If you go to the bottom of the Daily FAQs page, there's an "Amazon honor system" banner. Clicking the blue box will take you to another web page.> <New email, dated today:> Dear WetWeb Crew: <Heh. You get Ananda again, as we like to try to keep some continuity so we know the background of the situations....> I should have waited one day for my thanks, so that I could send this one. <Uh-oh. That sounds ominous.> After I got Ananda's reply, saying that we should change out/ add 15 gal. total (instead of just 5), our friend agreed to bring that much sterile sea water from his lab (he's the UNCW marine biology grad student). <Ah. How wonderful to have such a kind friend/neighbor!> They did this yesterday afternoon (so within 18 hrs. of Ananda's reply), and by the evening, the clownfish still didn't look that much different.  He was sitting/ half lying in a corner on the tank bottom, and our friend Steve said it didn't look good. <Nope.> But this morning, he's swimming around and looks normal again! <Likely that there were some lingering effects from whatever was in the old water, and it just took some time for them to work out of his system.> Your advice definitely saved him, and I'm sure it's made life better for the other three fish (Diamond Gobi, Red-lipped Blenny, and a common mud minnow from the sound).  We've learned a lot since Thursday evening. <Always good to hear.> I know this was all about a common little petstore clownfish, but I get very attached to my pets.   <You are definitely not the only one. My "common little petstore clownfish" holds a special place in my heart, too.> You all are the BEST.  Thanks again, L. Amanda <You're quite welcome. --Ananda>

- What's Wrong with My Clown? - Hi WWM crew folk! <Good morning, JasonC here...> This is des. I'm wondering about my bicinctus (sp?) clown in QT. I bought two of these and they are tank raised. I believe they are having problems, but gosh if I know or have read what these might be. I thought I saw a lot of tiny white spots on one (not the male) and actually the female is the only one with problems (I think). Or at least the problems are worse. Anyway at that point I thought "oh no velvet" but I thought well there's a chance it is ich. I lowered the SG and raised the temp. And watched and a couple days later it seemed like nothing was wrong. They were swimming around normally. No spots to be found and I feel like I had one of those awful aquarium dreams that I get every so often (just much less bad :-)). I decide to do nothing and watch them and add to their QT time by a week. A few days later I see  *both* of them hovering at the top like they are sucking air. I don't think I have seen SW fish do this before. This was late so I decided that the next day (today) I would do a water change and treat with Formalin, as it seemed like the logical thing. Although I can't find the disease in anything, if it is one. I think the female doesn't look good, is often in an unusual posture, on side or at top and today against heater. Her eyes look dull to me. (However I notice from pics that bicinctus have all black eyes.) There almost looks like a white scrape on over the nose. The female seems to be breathing heavier but nothing extreme. This is quite hard to define. Sorry I am doing the best I can! This tank has always been very stable, with temp now raised to 80 degrees; Sg at 1.020; and ammon and nitrites at 0; nitrates at 10-15, pH at 8.0. Oh yeah and how long should I treat with Formalin, if I should treat with it. The directions say "use to disease is over". Although I wish I knew if it WAS a disease. Perhaps an injury?? <Perhaps all of the above, perhaps genetics... It can be really hard to tell sometimes, but I would still approach this as if it were a disease because it's the easiest problem to have. Start with freshwater dips, and then move on to the formalin, but don't wait any longer to treat this. If I remember correctly, you will need to maintain the formalin for about five days.> Any ideas what this might be and what I should be doing differently (if anything)?? <No concrete ideas, but do think your on the right track, but don't wait to treat.> The folks on WWF had few comments. Thanks, --des <Cheers, J -- > - What's Wrong with My Clown - Follow-up - Oh forgot to mention. They are both eating great. --des <That is a good sign, but probably not out of the woods yet. Cheers, J -- >

- Re: What's Wrong with My Clown - >  <Perhaps all of the above, perhaps genetics... It can be really hard to tell sometimes, It certainly is that!! <Agreed.> > but I would still approach this as if it were a disease because it's the easiest problem to have. Start with freshwater dips, and then move on to the formalin, but don't wait any longer to treat this. If I remember correctly, you will need to maintain the formalin for about five days.> I think maybe I did not make myself clear. I *am* using the Formalin. <Oh, ok... good on ya!> I started treating last night, as I thought I shouldn't wait any longer.  Should I do FW dips as well or just the Formalin now that I have started. <Keep an eye on things... if the fish seem to be recovering, perhaps avoid the FW-dip stress... otherwise, it is useful as part of a treatment regimen, and could lower the parasite load.> > Any ideas what this might be and what I should be doing differently (if anything)?? <No concrete ideas, but do think your on the right track, but don't wait to treat.> Thanks Jason, --des <My pleasure. Cheers, J -- >

Bloated clowns I have two pink skunk clowns that seemed to acclimate fine, found the LTA and dove right in less than 12 hours after introduction into the tank. In the last week both have begun to show signs of the belly bloating up and going slightly white.  They're eating, eating Mysis, brine, and flake and in less than 3 weeks I don't suspect nutritional causes. I do however have a very bad flatworm outbreak that may factor into it. Any ideas? <Well, the flatworms are more about nutrition, they've found a good food source and are breeding to fill the space. They're not a problem, unless they start covering any corals you may have and irritating them to death. As for the bloating, try dosing the tank with Epsom salts: 1 tablespoon/5 gallons of water. That should help the bloating, it will take a few days to happen. If that doesn't work, try feeding them a medicated flake. Watch for signs of possible internal parasites, if the bloated areas are moving, or their feces has thread like worms in it. If that's the case, there are anti-parasitic flakes as well. I would recommend moving them to QT to treat them. Have a good day, PF>

No Strings Attached? (Possible Parasite?) Hi, <Hello there! Scott F. with you today!> I have a Maroon clown that recently has gotten a ~ 1 inch thread-like substance (about the diameter of hair) coming out of his mouth. I noticed it suddenly about 4 days ago.  When he eats, it gets taken up into his mouth for awhile but then comes back out.  It doesn't seem to affect him in any other way except it startles him every once in awhile when it touches him. Also maybe his cheeks are slight pinched looking but his appetite is still good. Is this some sort of disease?  Should I try to remove it? <Hard to say what this could be...Some kind of worm, trematode, etc...You'll need to delve into the FAQ's on the WWM site to find descriptions and/or pictures of something similar...or you could try emailing us a picture for us to make a better identification> Secondly I have a Heniochus that has a few lymphocystis-like spots on his tail that appear to be growing (it had slight case of ich (treated with copper 4 weeks) in the same region right before getting these much larger spots).  Could this be bacterial or fungal (instead of lymphocystis) and should I section off that part of the tail? <Well, it could be a secondary infection of some sort...But then again- if it's Lymphocystis, this condition will usually clear up on its own, with simple attention to water quality and nutrition. Before attempting any radical "treatments", I'd give it another week or two to see if it is progressing or causing the fish discomfort. If it is progressing, once again I'd recommend that you get a positive ID on it before beginning a course of treatment using medication...> Thanks for any advice you can give. Eileen <Just be careful trying to identify what you're dealing with, an take appropriate actions as required...Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Medicated food for bloated clown. Kevin, Thanks for the info.  However I have one more question of ignorance. What exactly constitutes medicated food? <Tetra used to sell a great medicated food although now it's only available overseas. I suggest you fly to Germany to get some. Now, if you weren't interested in doing that, you could make your own but I would only suggest feeding it to the clown in a quarantine tank (there would be lots of excess medication getting into the water).> Like I said she is eating and surviving and right now a quarantine tank is not really an option due to space/financial constraints.  I have to say that if I was certain that would save her I would spend the money in a heartbeat (just spent $950 on surgery on my Labrador....when they become part of the family, they are that way for life). <Bummer :( hope she's better!>  IN the short term I would like to try medicated food.  About 2 weeks ago I removed ALL of the substrate (crushed coral with quite a bit of organic waste stored in there) <Hmmmm... fishy poo> and did 100% water change (suggested by my LFS).  Since then 10% water changes a week.  Oh yeah, here is a run down of my system just to help: 1 power head for water movement 1 box filter (mechanical and biological filtration) 1 CPR backpack II 20 lbs live rock 2-3 inches semi-live sand (only in the tank 2 weeks) 2 red leg hermits 1 crab 1 pygmy angel 1 sea cucumber 2 maroon clowns 0 Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate Haven't checked the pH in a while. <You really need to check pH regularly, much more so than nitrate. pH can go wrong quicker and easier than anything you have tested and can be extremely stressful.> Anyway, I guess the real question is what exactly should I buy in the way of medicated food (or what should I look for. <Adding a general antibiotic to it's normal food would be the way to go in a quarantine tank. Be wary of trying this in the main because the biological filter is easily disturbed by antibiotics. You could even remove half a bucket of tank water and try feeding the fish in there with the medicated food, then after the fish has finished eating, throw the water away. If you can remove the fish slowly and carefully, it may not get stressed enough to refuse to eat.> My current plan of action is: 1.  Medicated Food 2.  Continued 10% water changes a week 3.  Possibly try small quarantine tank if I can come up with the equipment <best bet, look for a cheap 10g freshwater setup at your LFS or even (gasp) Petco.> 4.  Hope for the best Any other thoughts? <Try the bucket feeding, just don't leave it in the bucket for too long!> Thank you very much for your wonderful web site and all of the fabulous information contained therein. <Good luck! -Kevin> Tony Jopling

Clown swim-bladder problem. Hello again, I am still having some troubles with my female maroon clown.  She seems to be having a lot of trouble swimming.  She spends most of her time trying to keep upright.  She gets pushed around by the flow in the tank.  She sits resting under the rocks to keep sideways. She still wants to eat, and will work really hard to get to food.  I have been told by my LFS she might have "swim bladder infection."  Does this sound right? <Yep, when they have a hard time getting around and all the fins are intact, it's likely a gas bladder problem.> And if so can she recover? <Well, if you can eliminate the problem the fish can lead a somewhat normal life even with some swim bladder damage. Unfortunately, its difficult to figure out exactly what the cause is (bacterial, fungal, even could be caused by a blow). I'd recommend medicated food and some water changes on the tank, even removing the fish to a quarantine tank and treating with a general antibiotic.> Also, if she goes, how will the male of the mated pair react? <Eh, he won't care, one less fish to beat on him!> Hope you are having a great holiday weekend. <Thanks! Hope your clown gets better! -Kevin> Thanks, Tony Jopling

Lockjaw clownfish 5/28/03 Hi, my Percula clown fish started playing around my frogspawn's tentacles with its mouth for about three days then I noticed my Percula sometimes shakes its head rapidly and opening its mouth until lately the Percula had its mouth constantly open and its seems like something is hurting her when she tries to eat and now she doesn't eat anymore. Looks like her mouth is swollen inside. <could be several things. Something embedded has become infected (bristles/setae from an eaten polychaete worm, e.g.)... or if you have had the fish long enough on a limited diet (same fish food(s) without much variety or fresh fare/frozen/live)... then the fish may be suffering from a dietary deficiency> I removed the frogspawn to another tank hoping that my Percula will go back to her good health again. Is the toxin from the frogspawn tentacles caused that misery to my Percula clown? <not likely, although the clown would have killed the frogspawn in time (1-3 year picture) from the unnatural occupancy/repetitive abrasion> Thank you .....Joe <best regards, Anthony>

Off To A Rough Start? HI Bob. <Scott F. in for Bob today> I just stumbled upon your site while researching possible infections that my new clownfish may have.  I just recently set up my 60 gallon Hex Tank, so I'm new to fish tanks. My friend sold it to me so it had been up and running for over a year now.  Anyways, I bought some crabs, snails, a 6 line wrasse and a false Percula (I think that?s the name of it, the clownfish). About 3 hours after I put the 2 fish in the tank I noticed a white cotton like growth coming right out of the gill on the clownfish's left side. <Hey...ya got to quarantine all new fishes before introducing them into the tank in the future- a good procedure to use, okay?> I thought it was something he had bumped into and got it stuck and would work it's way out. Well 5 days later it is still there.  The fish is acting fine, eats all the time and is quite active.  Like I said, there is just a big 'ol white fluffy growth coming out of his gill.  What should I do? ADAM <Well, Adam- sounds a lot like a fungal disease to me. However, many fungal diseases are actually mis-identified bacteria-caused illnesses.  My recommendation is to try feeding the fish a medicated fish food, preferably one with an antibiotic. If you are going to use powdered or liquid antibiotics in tank water, then I'd be careful about treating the fish in the display...you need to move the fish into a separate system for treatment. In fact, before you begin any course of treatment, I'd review the many disease resources available on the WWM site  to get a positive ID on what you're dealing with. Also, arm yourself with a good book on basic fish husbandry and/or diseases, Like Bob's "Conscientious Marine Aquarist", or Michael Paletta's "The New Marine Aquarium". Take it slow, learn all you can, and take decisive action once you know what you're dealing with. You'll be successful if you take the time to do it right... Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Bad News For My Clown <Hello again Debbie, PF onboard this AM> I thought I would give you the sad updated news.... <I'm sorry to hear about the little guy.> After about 2 1/2 weeks in the q tank Mr. Clown's behavior had not changed, he still was hanging in the corner.  I had not observed any spots, dots, cloudy eyes, body film, discoloration... absolutely nothing visible externally.  He was eating well but he still was virtually motionless "from the waist down".  Last evening I observed what looked like some raised areas on his body and tail -- the first visible sign of anything, but it was not on the exterior surface of his body it appeared to be something internal.  I had no clue what it was.  Today, when I went home for lunch the raised areas looked as though they had burst through his skin from the inside and were small, pinhead sized, open sores with whitish raised areas surrounding the open area.  However, he was not scratching because he was laying on his side on the bottom of the tank gasping for breath.  I expect my husband will perform an urban burial this afternoon while I am at work.  I have absolutely no clue what this could be.  Is there a form of parasite that infects from the inside out? <Possibly, there are a huge number of infectious organisms we still know nothing about.> This entire episode with Mr. Clown took approximately 2 months which I think rules out most, if not all, typical infections.  I would appreciate your opinion and especially advice on how I could prevent such a thing from happening again (if that's possible). <Well, if you see similar symptoms, I would try feeding it anti-parasite food (links in the original email for those carrying it).>  By the way, the rest of my livestock is fine, certainly no one else in the main tank is exhibiting such behavior.  <Good to hear that. Sorry about your loss Debbie. Be sure and sterilize the tank and everything in it. The eruption sounds like a parasite spawning even to me. Have a better one, PF>

Black spots on a clownfish >hi, >>Hi, Ben. >I had a quick question.  I've got a percula clownfish that over the last week has developed a bunch (10+) black spots all over it's body (some up to 3 mm).  No particular location - just all over.  Besides these spots, the fish seems quite healthy and has a voracious appetite, swims normally, and hangs out in a colt coral it has hosted to.  The only thing that has been different recently is that I installed 2 new lights about a week ago (2 x 96W PCs, one 6500k and the other an actinic).  Could the fish be 'sunburned'?   >>You know, I've never heard of a fish being sunburned unless it was actually out of the water.  This sounds more like a disease that's much more common on tangs, especially yellow tangs--black spot disease.  It's a parasite, and very easily dealt with via freshwater dipping.  Just be sure the water is matched for temperature and pH, and all should go well.  Minimum dip time would be on the order of 5 minutes, but I always watch the fish (they can often go longer).  Erect fins are a sign it's time to pull them out of the freshwater dip, but they will breath rapidly and "lose their balance", all common with f/w dipping. >Although I had decreased the photoperiod from 12 to 8 hrs, some polyps didn't like the change and they retracted until they were relocated to the bottom of the tank.  Have you seen this before? >>To be expected with the inverts, they do indeed tend to "burn", so reduction of photoperiod OR moving the lights and/or the inverts away (then moving closer/increasing photoperiod as they adjust) until everything has adjusted is the order of the day. >thanks, Ben >>You're quite welcome, and best of luck to you.  Marina

Clownfish With Swollen Eye Hi there.  Just have a quick question.  I have a Clarkii that has one eye that has bulged out.  Is still eating fine and swimming about but the one eye is way out there.  Have one coral beauty, one yellow tang, the clarkii and six green Chromis in a 55 gallon.  All levels are great and nothing else seems amiss.  Is this an infection or maybe an injury?  All seem to get along well.  Thank you in advance for the info. Sincerely, Linda C <Well, Linda- you hit it on the head! When you see one eye bulging, it generally means that your fish has suffered some kind of trauma to the eye. The swelling can be reduced by isolating the fish in a separate tank, and treating with Epsom salts. Alternatively, you could simply make sure that the tank water quality is as high as possible, and the injury could heal with minimal intervention on your part. Either way, just keep an eye on this fish (no pun intended here!) to make sure that there is no secondary infection manifesting itself. Good Luck! Regards, Scott F.>  

Formalin question Hello crew, I recently purchased 2 clownfish and after a week in QT, I believe they might have Brooklynella.  Luckily for me, a friend works in a research lab and got me some formalin.  However, it is a 10% solution.  Since stock solution is normally 37%, would multiplying the dosage by 3 work for formalin dips? <Mmm, multiplying... as in adding 3.7 times as much as you might will give you about the same concentration as a stock solution...> I was planning on mixing about 3 (maybe 4?) ml/G saltwater for a 40-60 minute bath, repeating in a few days if things don't improve.  Does this sound like a reasonable plan? <Yes. Do aerate the water while the clowns are in the bath, and keep checking on them every few minutes> thanks for the help, as always! ~Jim
<Bob Fenner>

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