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FAQs about the Diseases of Clownfishes 8

Related FAQs: Clownfish Disease 1, Clownfish Disease 2, Clownfish Disease 3, Clownfish Disease 4, Clownfish Disease 5, Clownfish Disease 6, Clownfish Disease 7, 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

A Maroon Clown with Brooklynellosis, aka Clownfish Disease

Sick Clown Hello, I have a clownfish that may have some kind of disease or something I'm not sure. but the symptoms that it has are it sometimes will float up on the surface of the water but it will still be breathing but it will swim away like its fine if you put your hand near it. Also, it only comes out when I feed it (and it eats normally), other than that it is behind my live rock or floating at the surface. so is there anything wrong ??<Hello Amanda.  Yes, obviously something is wrong, this isn't normal behavior.  The tank may be starving for oxygen.  Do you use a wet/dry filter or something that will oxygenate the water?.  Do you change 10% of your water on a weekly basis?  Are there any spots or markings on the fish?  I will wait till you respond and we can get into a little more detail.  Thanks, James (Salty Dog)>

Re: Sick Clown fish still acts this way but I only do water changes every 2 weeks should I do them weekly??.<If you change 20% every two weeks, it will be fine.>also my other fish (a firefish behaves normally and never "floats" at the surface like the clown fish and I have not been able to see any markings or growths of any kind on it. but I'm not sure what type of filter I have, I know that it has carbon filters and it sits at the top edge of the water. (so its not inside the tank). but if you suggest something to help oxygenate my tank what would you suggest? thank you for helping <Amanda, it sounds like you have a hang on the tank power filter.  This will help put air into the water and release CO2 from the system. But these filter pads should really be changed weekly.  Continue your water changing and follow my other advice and keep an eye on your clown.  I think you will be fine.  James (Salty Dog)>

Mystery skin issue on Maroon Clown... Hi Bob,      Thank you SOOOO MUCH for the vast array of knowledge you have made so readily available to us mini-reef geeks in training!!! I've benefited greatly from this site. <Ah, good. Our intent> So here's my situation; I've had my maroon clown (captive bred, supposedly) for about 3 months now, about a month and a half ago I discovered a small white patch at the base of it's tail fin on it's body.  There are some small bumps on it's skin as well.  The tissue seems to be stable in that area, and has not affected any other part of it's body, the worst part (in appearance) is shaped like a line running vertically from top to bottom, but it does not seem to be a lesion, rather a scar (!?)  The fish swims, breathes and eats just fine... I have freshwater dipped it twice (about three weeks ago), after the second dip it's fins frayed (sp?) pretty badly.. At this same time, my newly introduced Eibli Angelfish was also picking on the maroon (just for that day!?).  The maroon found a good escape route through the liverock, and the two now get along fine, the maroon's fins have healed, but this patch of white w/ small bumps is still there on the maroon's skin!? No better, no worse, after a month!?! What could it be? <Likely simply a healing scar as you speculate> None of the other fish (a "brown" tang, bi-color blenny, and an Eibli Angelfish) have shown any signs of infection at all.  Any insight would be greatly appreciated. THANKS! Mariah <If there is room, no objection, I would add a cleaner organism... a Lysmata shrimp, Gobiosoma Goby... this will help in cleaning the wound as well as lowering stress. Bob Fenner>

Re: Mystery skin issue on Maroon Clown... THANK YOU for the never-ending wisdom (-wink).  I do have a cleaner shrimp, does he count!? ~Mariah <Heee! Yes, does count. BobF>

Clownfish Spots Good morning, crew!<Good morning John> I sent this in on Wednesday and never heard anything back.  So I tried again yesterday and didn't hear anything.  Maybe sending 3 pictures (totally about 300kb) was too much?  Anyway, I reduced it to one picture & am sending again as I'd really like to know the answer...  :-) In the last couple days, our two clownfish have developed some brown spots on them (see attached photo).  The spots do not appear raised, but more of a discoloration.  They appear on the body & on the side fins (don't know proper name for fins, sorry).  There have been no new fish introductions in a long time.  I've had both clowns for over 2 years in perfect health. Actually, one clown is over 4 yrs, and the other one was introduced when quite small about 2 yrs ago.  The only change I can think of to my tank is the addition of a couple zoanthid frags about 10 days ago.  Can you help me identify the spots, their cause & point me towards any needed recovery? (Status as of Friday...hard to tell if number of spots has increased. Clowns are still eating fine, but maybe a little less 'swimmy' than a few weeks ago.)  I do have a quarantine tank if needed, but am hoping that the issue is not that serious.  :-)<John, I've seen that before, in fact I had a couple Percs that had similar spots.  You can keep an eye on it, but I wouldn't worry about it.  Changing 10% of your water weekly does help to promote the health of your fish and invertebrates.   James (Salty Dog)> Thanks in advance for your help,


Disease Symptoms, or Nothing To Worry About? Good morning, crew! <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I sent this in on Wednesday and never heard anything back.  So I thought I'd try again... <Yikes...sorry to hear that. Every once in a while, a query slips through the cracks, as they say...> In the last couple days, our two clownfish have developed some brown spots on them (see attached photos).  The spots do not appear raised, but more of a discoloration.  They appear on the body & on the side fins (don't know proper name for fins, sorry).  There have been no new fish introductions in a long time.  I've had both clowns for over 2 years in perfect health. Actually, one clown is over 4 yrs, and the other one was introduced when quite small about 2 yrs ago.  The only change I can think of to my tank is the addition of a couple zoanthid frags about 10 days ago.  Can you help me identify the spots, their cause & point me towards any needed recovery? (Photo named clown.jpg is best close-up pic, if it helps.)  I do have a quarantine tank if needed, but am hoping that the issue is not that serious. :-) Thanks in advance for your help, John <Well, John, I'm not 100% certain from the pics, but I think that you may be looking at something as simple and non-problematic as minor pigment variations. On the other hand, I'd recommend that you continue observing the fish carefully, to ascertain whether or not the fish are eating regularly, acting normally, etc. In the absence of verifiable disease symptoms, it may not be worth worrying about too much. Do ask yourself if you see any major behavioral changes or the emergence of any nasty symptoms. I you don't, just keep observing them and take action only if needed. Hang in there! Regards, Scott F.>

Clarki (fungus?) Thanks for your great service! The basics 55 gallon 40 lbs LR Yellow tang 2 Damsels 2 Clarkii Goby Feather Duster Bubble Tip 2 Cleaner Shrimp 1 Peppermint shrimp 2 Crabs and a variety of small hermits and snails KH 11.5 pH 8.2 NH4 0 Nitrates 5 ppm PO4 0.5 ppm Salinity 1.023 Sterilizer 4X65W PC Using RO/DI Issue: It seems that the Large Clarkii's mouth is swollen and he seems more lethargic. We are concerned because a couple months ago we lost a Kole Tang to at the time we thought was Ich but basically he had a white fuzzy material around his mouth and at the onset had white spots on his sides. The Fish store "expert" advised no treatment until we were sure we had a problem with more noticeable symptoms. The Clarkii lives in the Bubble Tip and basically rules the roost including the cleaner shrimp. I have been reading your web site daily to try to learn and am aware of the importance of water quality so have been working my nitrates and PO4 down from really high levels a month ago. But its still not perfect. Since I have been doing this, and with new lighting, the BTA has really perked up and that's when the large Clarkii got friendly. Previously only the small one mingled. We have also recently added the Goby. We know the importance of quarantining but the store is very small and the owner and only operator said he had it for more than 3 weeks and assured us we were OK. Usually you have to prove to this guy your going to do thing right before he sells. Its like his hobby. So. Do you think we have an issue with the large Clarkii and should we treat. <Dale, I believe the LFS gave you good advice.  Don't treat unless you can identify the problem. You know, you don't take cough syrup for a sore finger. I also think your fish load will be a little high in short time as both the tang and the clarkii's grow quite large. I suggest changing 10% of the water weekly for the overall health of the tank and to replenish lost trace elements along with reducing phosphates/nitrates by dilution.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks

Clownfish (environmental) disease question I have had my clown fish for about 5 years.  I am not sure what type of clown fish he is - see attachment. <Premnas biaculeatus, a Maroon> This week he has developed a white spot under his eye and possibly discoloration on his top fin. <Yes, I see these. Good photo> You will also note that I am getting some burgundy slime/algae growing on the rocks. <Yes, a type of Blue Green Algae, aka Cyanobacteria> I have wrapped my 12 gallon saltwater tank in a towel to kill the slime/algae and have done syphoning and water changes.  The slime goes away for a couple of days and comes right back.  This may or may not have something to do with my fish. <Likely has to some good degree. What is important to understand, work against, is the root causes of the favoring of conditions that are allowing the profusion of BGA here> I have a snail, a sea urchin, and some multiple legged creatures that live in the rocks (starfish with long stripped legs??).  Can you shed any light on my problem?   Thank you in advance. <Yes... your Clowns principal, basal health issue VERY likely stems from poor water quality... your system has "aged" in ways that favor the Cyano... you would do well to change out, add some new live rock, possibly a good part of the substrate, make some large (25%) successive daily water changes... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marenvdi.htm and the Related Articles and FAQs (linked, in blue at the tops of these links) where you lead yourself. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish Injury or Disease? I have a new clownfish (A. percula) that has a short, say 1/8" red, vertical mark at the junction of its white stripe and orange body. It appears red enough to be an injury, yet it almost appears to be just under the surface. I say this because of the white stripe doesn't look damaged. It may be a few days old. I can't find anything that references a disease with this symptom. It is eating and acting ok. <I wouldn't panic (just yet)... perhaps a natural color change, anomaly... maybe the result of a physical injury, but not much to do re other than good husbandry. Bob Fenner>

Re: Clownfish Injury or Disease? Thanks for the input....Unfortunately the mark is getting larger. It almost looks like there is some sort or rot or disintegration happening. Definitely red though. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the other Related FAQs (linked, in blue, above). Bob Fenner>

Clownfish Injury or Disease? What can be used in a reef tank for a bacterial infection? I have a star polyp, live rock, red bulb anemone, crabs. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/infectio.htm and on to the Related FAQs (linked, in blue, at top). Bob Fenner>

Very Sick Clown I have read every thread on your site (at least it seems that way) that deals with the same symptoms my female true perc. clown (from a mated pair) is having but I haven't found one that matches exactly so I thought I would write. My clown has been in quarantine for a week.  The clown has NOT eaten during this time (at least that I can see) and has heavy breathing with stringy cotton like feces that is literally 6+ inches in length. FREQUENTLY. <Not good> She is slowing down fast.  I started by giving her fresh water baths along with treating the quarantine with Metronidazole as directed.  Yesterday, I started treating with PraziPro as well.  No improvement.  The male is fine.  Water levels very good.  Any help would be greatly appreciated! <I take these are wild-collected fish... and yes, likely heavily parasitized> Hope to hear from you soon, the site is AWESOME! Frank <Not much more to be done than what you're doing IMO> PS - If she passes on, how exactly do I go about introducing a new clown in with the male she will leave behind? <Days. Bob Fenner>

Bloated gashed clown Hello <Hi there> I have had a maroon clown in My 200 gal FOWLR for 4 months now. I noticed early last week a gash in his side. he has eaten well since and other then the blemish he seems fine. <Likely a bump in the night...> yesterday he seemed a little bloated but it isn't unusual to see him that way after feeding. he seems to take in air during surface feeding and kinda "floats" but then seems fine. <They are called "clowns"...> Today I noticed a similar gash on the other side and he seems more bloated. he is still eating. <Maybe not a bump, but a crustacean would-be predator...> I thought it my be a mantis shrimp. I got some new rock a couple weeks ago but I have never heard any clicking whatsoever. The gash almost looks like it could be from the inside out. I'm not sure what to do. any ideas? <I would isolate this fish (in another tank or in a floating plastic colander) and try baiting out whatever might be hidden in your rock. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/stomatopods/mantisshrimp.htm and the Related FAQs (linked, in blue, at top). Bob Fenner>

Re: bloated gashed clown Is it possible to have a mantis in the Tank with no clicking?? <Yes. Clicking is far more common with Alpheid shrimp/s... Some Mantis can make periodic loud smacking sounds... the "smasher" varieties> we haven't heard click one also, I have 5 green Chromis, an algae blenny, and 2 tangs with no marks??. I'm gonna keep my eyes peeled and keep watch before I don the scuba gear and capture the clown out of the 200 gallon <It still may be that the clown's marks are from other cause... even repeated swimming into sharp objects... Bob Fenner>

Sick clownfish HI Very informative site! I introduced two clarkii clowns to my 10 gallon tank one week ago. One is about 2 inches and the other about one 1.25 inches. About two days ago the larger one stopped eating and hides away a lot. Any ideas of what this behaviour could be caused by? << Unfortunately many clowns will ship poorly and don't do well in our tanks.  This sounds like a very common sick clown.  The best advise I can give is to quarantine if you can, and try offering live foods. >> All tank parameters are normal. Thanks for the help. Regards Nasi <<  Blundell  >>

Percula Clowns-sloughing of skin?? Hello Bob... <M. Maddox here...not nearly as good, but hey, I'm still awake!>I've been in saltwater aquaria for about 4yrs now.   I'm running a 45 gal tank with 1sm Yellow tang, two small Percula's, 1sm sweet lips, 2 very small blue hippo tangs. <My jaw just dropped.  You are WAY WAY WAY overstocked in your 40, and ALL of those fish will outgrow it (it isn't even a suitable size for one tang, let alone 3 and a Sweetlips!!> Large protein skimmer, 2 power heads (800) running undergravel, and whisper 60 for debris removal.  I recently purchased 5 perc clowns.. 2 very large, 3 medium.  1 large for the 90 gal at work.. one for the 45 @ home. <*Jaw hits the floor* You DON'T need to be adding more fish to your 45!> When I went to work today... the large clown in the 90 had this white film...almost like sloughing skin... along with one medium newly added...no others showed the signs.  Removed to treat @ home.  When I arrived @ home... the large perc at home also had this along with the other medium added with it to the 45 gal.  I currently have all 4 in 5 gal QT.. with 60% 45gal tank water and 40% new water.. running Furazone and a bubbler. 1.) What is it they caught <Possibly fungal, more likely bacterial> 2.) If 2nd-ary situation.. what do you think was initial cause <stress> 3.) Will Furazone help with treatment?? <Probably...follow through with the dose (just like any antibiotic) and see if it helps.  If not, there is neomycin, Maracyn...> Please help... both large Percs are the size I've only see in state aquariums 3-4 ins. <You need to move those tangs into your 90 gallon ASAP.  Find a new home for your Sweetlips.  Continue quarantine\treatment of your clowns, they should pull through ok.  Good luck - M. Maddox>

White Stringy Feces My Maroon Clown has stopped being sociable. She says flat against the glass and won't eat. <Not good> Noticed two visible items. 1, Long white Stringy feces hanging off the anal area. 2, grayish growths on the edge of the fin area. They kind of look like partial toenails attached. My guess was that the feces problem is Capillaria or some form of a intestinal disease. <Possibly... have you had this fish long?> As for the gill, I thought perhaps Gill Crustaceans. I have read about several illnesses for these symptoms and several medications. Which Med would be the best to use to cover the whole gambit of possibilities, with out doing several different treatments? <Actually, a combination of compounds... available as Marine (or actually nowadays both Marine and Freshwater) Clout by Aquarium Products. Bob Fenner>

Percula with dorsal wound Hi WWM Crew, <Tom> First, a huge thanks for putting the WWM site together.  I've been looking thru the site but can't find anything like this situation.  I've had this perc for about 5 weeks now.  It arrived mail order (60deg F bag temp!) with damage to the dorsal and one ventral fin, which quickly turned into what looked like a white fungus. <Likely bacterial, secondary> This was cleared up in QT, leaving just the exposed spines for the dorsal and one ventral fin, but the spines and wound appeared clean.  After another week in QT, the exposed ventral fin spines fell off, leaving just one ventral fin. <Oh... paired? This/these are pelvic fins... the ventral is singular, aka the anal fin> The dorsal spines remained exposed but apparently clean.  Other than the dorsal fin this fish looks and acts perfect, so I gave it a couple more days in QT (total QT time 3 1/2 weeks) then put the fish into our 110G reef.  Other residents in the tank (all healthy and growing) are a yellow tang and sixline wrasse, along with about 80 inverts (SPS, LPS, mushrooms, 2 scarlet skunk cleaners, 1 emerald crab, 2 stars, derasa clam, red and blue leg hermits, black cucumber, Hawaiian feather dusters, abalone, etc.).  Tested water parameters are all good (Spg 1.024, PH 8.3, dKH 10-11, Amm/Nitrite/Nitrate all zero, Ca 440).  Also test for iodine & phosphates, levels are fine.  Reef has about 120lb live rock. <Sounds good> The problem is that the dorsal wound isn't getting better, in fact it's getting more "raw".  The attached picture is grainy but you can see the exposed spines and even a little red where the wound is raw.  There is no fungus, the wound appears clean.  I haven't seen it, but could the perc be going to the wrasse or shrimp and getting the wound cleaned picked, making it worse?  Other than put it back in solitary QT, is there anything else I can do for this fish? Thanks, Tom <Not likely much more than you have done... perhaps vitamin supplementation to foods... if the fin/s are so badly eroded/missing, they often won't regenerate. Hopefully your Clown can/will lead some quality of life sans its dorsal, reduced pelvic fins. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish with mouth problem Thanks Mac L for responding to my last email. <Hi Roxanne! MacL here with you again.> We tried putting her in the QT with "Nemo2" but they fought so hard I had to separate them. <Eeek that is a problem. Probably not ready to accept a new mate and being that it was a tiny container. I did consider that but really felt she needed to be in QT> She is in QT by herself (with anemone) but still hasn't eaten. <I'm glad to hear you were able to get her in another QT.> Her breathing is becoming more rapid and she seems quite lethargic. <NOT GOOD> I couldn't notice any other physical prob.s until yesterday when I noticed her lips/mouth seem to be a bit swollen. I'm treating with triple sulfa but not sure if that will help at all. <I'd like to suggest that you take a look at this article on WWM http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm.  Also there are multiple attached faq's about clownfish diseases with pictures. Do you see anything like what she has? I'm just not sure a sulfa drug is going to do the trick here.> Also, another quick question. I've noticed tiny swimming bug type things in my tank lately. They are tiny white things. I caught one and it seems to have heaps legs?  <Swimming? hmmmm. That might not be soo good. There are good bugs and there are bad ones. Copepods, amphipods, isopods. Is there anyway to get a picture of it or perhaps to look through the WWM FAQs and see if you see anything similar? Usually Mysis look like tiny shrimp babies.> There actually may be more than one type of intruder as the other things seem different (smaller, less legs...). I assume it may be these copepods or mystic shrimp? I've heard you all mention. When I told my LFS she told me that its not good to have them in my tank. I was under the impression though that it was a good sign???? <Mysis are a good sign as are most copepods.> Ill let you know how "Marlin" goes over the next few days. Any ideas on the mouth thing would be great. I don't now how she could have hurt it or if its some kind of infection or disease or?????????? <It could be infection after the fighting but my guess is that its all related to whatever she and her mate had.> Also any ideas on how to treat it. We haven't had any problems with any other fish apart from these two clowns.<Sounds like you have a great home for your fish Roxanne, don't let this discourage you. Let me know if you can identify anything in the faq's and we'll go from there.> Thanks heaps Roxanne

New black perculas Hey someone who knows a lot more than I do, <That would hopefully be me>       Yesterday,  I bought a pair of juvenile black perculas <Probably a dark color morph of Amphiprion ocellaris> from my usually very trustworthy LFS.  I acclimated them for a half hour as usual and put them in my tank.  My tank is a standard 12 gallon Eclipse with 10 lbs live sand, 15 lbs of live rock. <Wow, you're pushing the limits with a pair of clownfish in a tank that small>  With 4 different types of mushrooms some GSP, button polyps and unfortunately some Aiptasia.  Side question: Any other corals I can have with this much light? <How much light do you have?>  I have had the tank running for about 3 months now and the only livestock I have had in the tank are 2 peppermint shrimp that haven't seemed to touch the Aiptasia an emerald crab that walks  over all my mushrooms a sand sifting star a small green serpent star, and  the usual hermits and snails.  No carbon in the filter, just a sponge, my Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates have been zilch for some time now. <That's good>  So, I put the clowns in and they were fine, they ate some brine 3 hours after I put them in there, what should I mix in with their diet?  This morning I woke up and turned the light on and one of the clowns had two white spots and the other had three, it looks like ich to me.  First I was wondering where it could have come and just what's going on?  Well, it is about two hours later now and the spots are gone, I just went to an eye appointment and when I came back there were no more spots.  I was wondering what happened to them and also if they were going to come back.  Do I needed a true cleaner shrimp or a cleaner goby, or is this a one time thing? <Not usually any such thing with Crypto.  You'll need a quarantine tank to treat them in. Please read our archives regarding crypto treatment>  After reading the FAQs I am presuming that this is not a one time thing, although I have never read about a case like this. <Sounds like a typical crypt infestation to me>  Anyways I am just wondering what advise you could give me. Thanks for reading, and for all the help you have already given me through reading your other FAQs. <Set up a quarantine tank because you won't be able to treat the infection in a display tank with invertebrates.  Treat them for at least 4 weeks, as your display tank is going to need to be fish free for that long to kill the parasites currently in the cyst stage.  Also, please use correct spelling and capitalization when emailing us, as these questions are archived>                                    Cheers,                                         Mike <M. Maddox>

zzy The Clown Is In Trouble! (Possible Brooklynella Infection) Hello Crew, <Hi there. Scott F. with you again> Ozzy was doing very poorly last night, I really did not think he would make it, even more so after I took drastic measures. I gave him a fresh water dip  I had read up on Brooklynella and he seemed to have all the signs of the disease. The dip made him worse at first and after putting him back in his tank I did not think he would make it through the night. <Freshwater dips, although useful in many cases-are a rather stressful experience for fish. After all, you're basically subjecting the fish to a deliberate osmotic shock, in the hope that the fish can withstand the shock better than the parasites can.> To make the situation worse, his wife Sharon kept grabbing him by his tail and pulling him into their hair algae patch, this continued, so I segregated him in a mesh tank that hangs in the tank. Well I'm happy to say he survived the night. I will release him for a while and see how he does , he is still not doing that great not  My question to you is this I heard about using formaldehyde in a fresh water dip, if he does not improve I would like to try this. <I question the effectiveness of a dip in many instances, but when using formalin, a dip is the way to go, IMO. This is powerful stuff.> My vet gave me a small vial with 10% formaldehyde. Can you please advise me as to how much I should use, I will use 1 gallon of freshwater and adjust heat and pH. I would appreciate your response as quickly as possible. Thank you very much Jackie <Well, Jackie, if I were using Formalin, or a formalin-based remedy- I'd use 1 drop per gallon. Do observe the fish VERY carefully for signs of distress and remove if things look bad after a few minutes. If you can pull off a 5-10 minute dip without damaging the fish further, I'd call it a day. Then, simply provide the fish with the best possible conditions back in his observation tank. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Problem At The Osborne House! (Clownfish Trouble) Hi, I'm hoping you can help me with one of my clownfish, his name is Ozzy, I ve had him for about 4 yrs. Yes his wife's name is Sharon, they are the Osborne's. <Well, #&$%@ That's a really %&%*&%%* creative idea! LOL> Anyways, I have a 33 gallon, mini reef, all the water parameters are in check. I do regular water changes, once a week some times  every 2weeks. I have a small hair algae problem, but that is Ozzy and Sharon's home. <Easier to care for than an anemone! LOL> Last week I noticed a small white pimple on Ozzy's nostril and a few red streaks around it. Ozzy also appeared listless and not interested in his food. <Never a good sign> Sharon is fine and shows no symptoms, none of my other fish seem affected. <Good to hear> I used Melafix for 1 week and the white pimple went away, but Ozzy is still not himself sometimes laying sideways in the hair algae and not eating, his mouth seems a little agape and so do his gills. I stopped the Melafix and did a 30 % water change.  I have a few corals, a Mandarin, Coral Beauty, red starfish, Tuxedo Urchin, 1 Coral Banded Shrimp, 2 Cleaner Shrimp, and a "clean up crew". I have a bout 50lbs of live rock, 2 powerheads, and run a Bak Pak 2 protein skimmer. Please advise me as to the problem and how to treat him. I don't want to lose him, as I have had this couple since they were babies. Thank you. Jackie <I suppose the Melafix may have worked, but it may or may not have been the right remedy to use in this case. The lack of appetite and labored respiration could be a cause for concern. I'd consider removing Ozzie for further observation and possible treatment, if required. Sometimes, conditions like this can go away with little or no intervention on the part of the hobbyist. Do familiarize yourself with the symptoms of Brooklynella and Amyloodinium, both of which are very serious, and which often afflict Clownfishes. Don't rush to dump medication into Ozzie's tank, but be prepared for aggressive, rapid intervention if it becomes necessary. Stay on top of things. let us know if Ozzie's condition changes. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Bicolor blenny not eating Okay....things are getting back to normal slowly...no ammonia, no nitrates, ph 8.2, nitrates still a little high at 15 (doing 5 percent water changes weekly). I've got 2 small Percula clowns, a rainfordi goby, cleaner shrimp, pygmy angel (a gorgeous fish!) and a bi-color blenny in my 46 gallon tank (plus a few snails and hermits and baby starfish)  A couple of issues....although I see waste from the blenny, it does not appear to be eating any food other than sucking at the live rock...I have tried:  formula 2, brine shrimp, flake, dried algae, Cyclop-eeze, and dried marine algae flake. <Its eating algae and pods from the live rock, which is a good thing.>  It also seems to sift the sand.  I have had it a couple of weeks....a guy at work tells me they eventually eat but it takes a while....what do you think?  Is there something else I should try? <I think that as long as it has stuff from the live rock to eat it will prefer to eat that.> Also, my clown has had a small white raised spot by it's side swim fin for several weeks...it does not look like ich, it is a little larger.  A guy at the pet store told me clowns get that sometimes and are usually doomed....any thoughts? <It depends on what it is, if its Lymphocystis (Cauliflower looking as it grows) then its not usually fatal> It is eating and acting perfectly normal....doesn't appear stressed at all, so I have been just keeping an eye on it. <Sounds like you are on the right track Lisa, Lymphocystis is usually fixed with good water conditions.  Good luck, MacL> Regards! Lisa

Flying Clownfish? (Or- Any Landing That You Can Swim Away From Is A Good One!> Hello! <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> This is the first time we have resorted to email, since your fantastic site usually answers our questions.  Thanks! <Glad we are helpful to you!> We have a 40g FOWLR, about 4 months old,  with a Cleaner/Skunk Shrimp, Fire Shrimp, Red Sea Star and a handful of hermit crabs and snails.  Our two fish are a Spotted/Psychedelic Mandarin and a Percula clown.  Both are really healthy - we keep the tank stocked with copepods and feed the Mandarin brine shrimp fortified with phytoplankton. He eats like a pig (!) about 40 shrimp a day, (he learned to eat the shrimp out of a feeding tube). <Excellent! Glad to hear how well this fish eats!> Anyhow, I am writing to ask about my Clownfish. He has been really territorial and has taken to attacking our hands in the tank. <Not the first time I heard of a Clownfish doing that!> Twice now, we have moved our hands in time, and as a result of missing his target, Pete has flown out of the tank onto the couch or floor.  We pick him up immediately and put him back in the tank.  He doesn't even seem phased by it and goes back to eating/being aggressive.  From the last time he fell out, we think he hurt his dorsal fin and there is a little white speck about 1mm along the tip of one of his fin bones.  We think one of his dorsal fin bones pushed through the skin during one of his flying episodes, and his bone is protruding through, and is catching some debris that is floating around the tank, hence the white spot, but we are not sure.  Anyhow, if it is the case, and it can get infected, how can we tell, and what can we do about the infection. <Well, if it is infected, it will display visible signs, such as swelling, discoloration, or other problems. The best thing that you could do would be to provide clean water conditions, and continued good care. If there is a serious infection, then you could use a broad spectrum antibiotic (in a separate hospital tank, of course). But do try simple good care before resorting to the medications.> Other than that, Pete is eating fine, swimming fine, acting normally (Aggressive!). <Good to hear that! Even the "being aggressive" part is good to hear!> Your help is always appreciated.  Many Thanks! Mike & Amy <Sounds like you've got a good handle on things. Just keep a good eye on this fish, and be prepared to take action if it becomes necessary! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Blind Clown (9/15/04) I have a clown that has been in a 55 gal. tank with a yellow tang, an anemone and some soft corals for about three years now.  The other week the clown's anemone up and moved over to the other side of the tank next to the Yellow Tang's caves and the Tang began aggravating the Clown at night. <Something's bothering your anemone if it up and moved after three years. They only move when they don't like it where they are.> I believe this is the cause of the Clown developing pop-eye in his right eye (none of the water levels have changed in the past six months). I moved him to a 10 gal. hospital tank using 5 gal of water from his 55 gal and another 5 from another 55 marine tank I have.  I have done a ? water change every day, and dosed with Epsom salt (as directed in another of your question forums for pop-eye) and Ampicillex as directed by local fish store. I dissolve the medicine in a cup of his water before I introduce it into the tank. <This all sounds reasonable.> Needless to say after 5 days he has definitely gone blind in the eye and developed a white band around the eye (no recognition from him if that's the only eye he can see you with). <Once the infection/inflammation heals, he should be able to function fine with one eye.> I have no problem leaving him in the tank another week or so, however, my question is, Since he's gone blind, will the treatments still help the swelling, or will this not heal since he appears to be blind, and should I put him back in his tank where he is obviously happier with his anemone. <The treatment will help they eye heal. It is still possible (though not probable, perhaps) that it will regain a measure of sight ion that eye once it heals. And what are you going to do about the Tang. If it was harassing the clown before, it likely will do so even more when it considers it to be a new addition. This is especially true because your tank is too small for a Yellow Tang (75G minimum) and he may be starting to feel cramped if he has grown normally over the past 3 years.> I thank you for your time, your site has helped me immensely in the past. <I hope this is helpful. Steve Allen.> Thank you <You're welcome.> Casey

Is this an infected clown fish? Hello, <Hi there> One of my three clown fish has developed an infection around the corners of it's mouth. The other two have not developed any symptoms. Initially there was what seemed to be an incision on the side of it's mouth which in the last few weeks has developed into white blemishes.  We have tried adding a solution which was sold to us by our local aquarium for the sole purpose of treating cuts and abrasions. We don't know the name as shop owner made up the solution. However this has had little to no effect. The infected skin looks as if it is peeling off, so we thought the skin could just be healing - yet it hasn't. <Does sound like a cut/abrasion... and these can take a few weeks to heal> He is still eating, yet lethargic. Before putting medicine in, his colouring looked faded, but has now brightened. We are unsure of what to do as it has been 14 days of using solution and overall doesn't seem to have helped. At times I thought white blemishes were healing, but more just appear. Thank you Natasha & Simon <I would add a purposeful vitamin mix to the fish's foods (like Selcon) and leave off with any "medicine" use here. With time, otherwise good maintenance this fish should recover. Bob Fenner>

Clown Disease & Treatment: Oodinium Hello Anthony! <cheers Thanassis> Summer holidays are over and here I come with my first problem: My mail Ocellaris has Oodinium, while the female shows no signs yet. <this is very dangerous with clowns... fast progressing> The clown does not get close to the cleaner shrimp, so it can not clean him from the parasites. I am thinking of giving a FW dip with Methylene blue to the clown and then move him to my quarantine tank, where I will move the cleaner shrimp as well. Is it a good idea? <yes... very good. You may medicate with formalin too> I am also feeding food soaked in liquid garlic. <very nice> Any other actions I could take? <this is exactly what Id do... no worries. Keep in QT for at least 4 weeks... and do as many small water changes as possible by siphoning (parasites) from the bottom of the bare glass aquarium. DO check out the excellent articles on these parasites by Steven Pro on reefkeeping.com magazine> Thanks as always, Thanassis <by the way my friend... I will be relatively close to you later this year: I'm giving a presentation in Milan Italy in November for GAEM. (also in Germany in December). Perhaps we can take a slow boat to visit each other <G>. Ha! best regards, Anthony> Stringy Feces on Clown Fish On May 14th of this year, I bought two captive-bred ocellaris and put them into quarantine. It is now September 1 and the fish are still in quarantine because of suspected internal parasites (stringy feces).  I've done a lot of research at your site (wonderful site by the way), in books, etc. but still feel the need to describe my situation for your expert advice. <Unusual to experience internal parasite problems in captive-produced stocks. Did you examine (microscopically) the fecal material for such?> Background:  Freshwater dip with Methylene blue (5 minutes) prior to putting the two fish into a single, 10-gallon Qtank.  Formalin dip for both fish (4 days, 40 minutes/day) during week 1 to fight rapid breathing and possible Brooklynella in one of the fish (no slime, just open mouth and rapid breathing). <Might be from handling, treatment> Pipzine mixed in food during Week 2 to fight stringy feces. Round 2 of Pipzine, this time dosed in Qtank, during Week 6. Round 3 of Pipzine, dosed in Qtank during Week 8.  Switched to Hexamit mixed in food during week 10.  Split clown fish into 2 separate Qtanks at the start of week 12 (emptied tanks, cleaned, new filters, etc.).  Round 2 of Hexamit dosed in tank during Week 12.  Have now started Jungle Anti-parasite Medicated Fish Food during week 15 because we cannot find Pipzine or Hexamit locally or on the internet.  First active ingredient of the medicated food is the same as Hexamit.  The bottle says to dose for 3 days in a row each week for 4 weeks.  We have completed week 2. <Okay> My primary concern is that the fish appear completely normal (color, shape, eating, activity) except for the stringy feces.  Both fish have exhibited normal feces and stringy feces throughout the marathon quarantine session. <I strongly suspect there is nothing wrong with your specimens... could be the food they were being fed, their state of development... I would discontinue the use of these medications, remove the fish to the main system> We are following label directions on all medications, including no carbon in the Qtanks during the medicated periods. Water parameters are always good (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate are zero, s.g. = 1.022). I'd hate to think that we keep medicating these fish if they are generally healthy or in some benign relationship with an internal parasite. <Me too> Please help.  Any advice on what next would be most appreciated.  Is it possible that the occasional stringy feces is 'normal' and no further treatment is necessary. <None is in my estimation> Thanks for the incredible information on your site, and thanks in advance for any advice you can give. Suzanne Poll <Thank you for your concern, kind words. Bob Fenner>

Re: HELP! Sick Clown? Hey,  <Hey Ray, MacL here.  Did you get a response to this. I've sent it twice now. If not please let me know and we will go from there. MacL> Well, today she was the same-old clown......but still not eating and still having a tiny, stringy poop that just hangs off her anus. She is in the hospital tank with Kanamycin (can't find Spectrogram, besides Kanamycin is one of the main antibiotics in Spectrogram anyway).  Going to try it for a few days.  If after a few days, she is still not eating, I will try triple-sulfa (sulfathiazole, Sulfamethazine and Sulfacetamide).   She looks really sad in her hospital tank.  Rudi (the other clown) also looks lost in the main tank without her.  I just hope this only takes a few days.  If she is eating and pooping for 3 days straight, back to the main tank she will go. Thanks again for all your help.  I'll keep you updated. -Ray

Sick Clown Thanks for your reply MacL. <Hey Ray!>  Sorry for technical troubles....no matter whose side it is on. <Sad to say its probably operator problems here on my part.> I have been adding vitamin supplements to the hospital water from the beginning (foresight of your suggestion I guess).  <Ah or very smart man.> Today, she swam right up to food (as normal) and then took it in her mouth and promptly spit it out.  She then swam up to another piece and just bumped it with her nose.  Seems like she wants to eat, but can't.  She was getting vitamin soaked Mysis btw (normally her favorite...even boxes out my coral beauty for it).  <I'd suggest trying something smaller, perhaps some vitamin soaked brine until she's able to eat the big stuff again.> Still active, swimming around, and with great color.  No pooping (stingy or otherwise) at all.  I gave her a good 50% water change and then a 3rd dose of Kanamycin.  I am leaving for 2 days for the holiday, so further treatment is on hold till then. <I'll keep her in my thoughts and prayers> Just a side note that may be nothing.  An Aiptasia anemone has appeared in my tank.  NOTHING has entered sans QT for months, and I have only had two Aiptasia when I first started in Dec.   Hear me out on this theory.  Last weekend, a powerhead came loose and blew a portion of sand all over the tank (down to glass......a real mess).  Do you think it is possible (or likely) that it "unearthed" an Aiptasia pod as well as some bacteria that has infected my poor clownfish?  I find the coincidence a little too strange. <You know its possible, nothing is impossible in my opinion but its also possible that she tried to take a bit out of the sand thinking it was food or that she got blasted with sand by accident or a million other things.  At this point we just don't know all we can do is try to find a way to make her better> Just an idea. <And a very good one!> Anyway, thank you so very much for your help.  I will keep you updated on the progress. <Please do>  My friends think it is silly for me to stress out so much over a little fish, but I feel that this is a beautiful creature that has been entrusted to my care and I should do everything in my power to make sure it has the best life possible. <I really like the way you think.  Its nice to see in this day and time.  And the truth is these guys become a part of us.> Somehow, I think you will understand. <I do, you should see me when I have a sick fish. Its a sad and pitiful sight! Please let me know how she is Ray. MacL >-Ray

Sick Percula Clowns 26 Aug 2004 Hi to whoever it may concern.<Hi!, nice to meet you MacL here with you>  About five days ago, I purchased a couple of percula clowns and I have them in a QT tank now. <Very smart> Today I noticed that one of them has a whitish film on him.  He's still eating with gusto but I'm very surprised.  I would hate to lose my clowns to this devastating disease. The salinity is very low, 1.008 to 1.01.  I'm so surprised because I read an article on how to wipe out marine parasites in Aquarium Fish Magazine a couple of weeks ago. <You know it could be something else causing the film. It could be something as simple as low ph.> For Brooklynella, the article specifically said that lowering the SG to 1.01 or slightly lower will kill off this nasty disease without the use of chemical meds. <True but you have to lower the salinity VERY slowly.> However, this does NOT seem to be working.  Is it possible that this parasite can withstand hyposalinity, rendering the information in that article untrue? <Its possible depending on how affected the fish is but I have to wonder if there's not another cause.> I haven't added any meds so far to the tank. <I've been through Brooklynella and lost a lot of fish, its a horrible horrible disease and you feel so frustrated cause nothing seems to work.> I have this med called Quick Cure that has only malachite green and formalin in it. <Be careful which meds you use because they can cause more problems then help.> I also have this other med called Cupramine which is an ionic copper med.  Will either or both of these work for Brooklynella if used according to their dosing instructions. <There are several suggestions located here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm>  Any help will be appreciated. Thank you.

Sick? clown? Hello Crew <Hi Ray, MacL here with you tonight.> Seems that I am only asking you questions when something is wrong lately.  <Sorry to hear there is something wrong.> I think I may have a sick Percula Clown (Toni).  She (she's the dominant one of my two) has not eaten for 2 days.  the other one is fine.  Usually, Toni practically jumps out of the water into the glass pouring the food into the tank at feeding time.  She even will eat out of my hand. <Mine just bite my hand.> That was the last time I saw her eat actually.  I was feeding my open brain coral some finely chopped, vitamin-soaked squid and I had a spare piece so I fed it to Toni.  It may have been a little large for her, but she ate it anyway (has done same in past).  That was the last time I saw her eat. For the last 2 days, she has parked herself in a cave below some rocks at one end of the tank (usually swims over the entire tank all day long).  She does not swim very far from the cave and takes little interest in food.  She will swim up to it sometimes, but then goes back to her spot.  She appears to be breathing fast as well.  Her color is as good as it has ever been.  Being the big eater of the tank, she looks as plump as ever too (not larger nor smaller than normal). <Its just a guess but have you looked into the cave under the rock, you might have eggs there.> Everyone else in the tank (fish, corals, anemone, shrimps, inverts) are doing spectacular.  The only loss lately was a jawfish that I think got stung by my anemone and died after 2 days.  Water parameters are pristine.  Nothing added for 7+ months without QT first (except a coralline algae swap from a trusted friend several months ago). I am mixing water for my QT/hospital tank just in case.  I have on hand rid Ich, copper, Kanamycin and formalin for any necessary treatments. I am wondering if a large piece of squid blocked her up somehow and she is just constipated.  Either that or some other disease has somehow come out of hiding (did not QT for my first 3 months.....pre-WWM days). <I really think she's on eggs.  She's acting just like mine do when they lay.> Do you have any advice on what is going on?  <Take a look and if no eggs let me know. We'll go back to the drawing board.> What should my plan of action be?  PLEASE help as she was my first marine fish....and my favorite. Thank you in advance for your help.

Sick Clown follow-up 27 Aug 2004 Thank you soooooo much for the quick response MacL<He again Ray> I was also thinking the same thing but I looked close (the cave is more of a tunnel actually) and nothing that remotely resembles eggs. <K so we go on the assumption that she's hiding cause she's not well>  Also, she is just under 2-1/2 inches long (still a little young I think). <Mine was laying eggs at that size.> I was able to get her out of the tank pretty easily (chased her with a net into a clear plastic breeding cage) and gave her the least radical treatment I could think of until my hospital tank is ready (RO system cranking out water as fast as it can). <Fantastic!> She got a 10-minute freshwater dip (temp and pH balanced & aerated of course).  She tolerated it well and is back in the main tank.  Closely observed her for about 10 minutes afterwards.  She appeared to almost cough a couple of times.  Still breathing fast and mouth opening wide when she does.  Can't really get a good look in her mouth, but it appears all white inside.  I don't know if it is swollen (never looked before) but almost looks like it is. <Sound like she might have some parasites going at her in some way. The breathing hard is usually as sign they are in her gills and usually that means you need to get to her quickly.>  The other clown (sticking right by her side as always) does not breath nearly as hard or fast and mouth a lot more closed. Any ideas?  The problem is that I will be gone from 6am tomorrow to 8am Sunday and won't be able to treat then. <When you get back look at her closely, See if the dip provided her with any relief.  I know I had to dip mine several times along the way when she had a parasite of some sort.> Thank you again for your help.  I may be able to do a dip first thing tomorrow morning, but won't be around to watch her.  I only hope I bought enough time. <Keep getting the hospital tank ready because if she does have some parasites they will go active and shed eventually and attack the other fish.  Keep me up to date we will figure this out.>

Sick Clown Follow up 29 Aug 2004 Greetings Crew! <Hi Ray, MacL again here with you.> Thank you again for the quick reply and all the help.  You are a true credit to the hobby. <That's kind of you to say> Anyway, the last 36 hours have been very long for me as I have been on-call and away from my beloved fishies.  Now that I am back, there has been a change. My clown is behaving more like her usual self. <That's very good to hear.>  The rapid, wide mouthed breathing has stopped.  She still is hanging out around the same tunnel area though.  Color still looks good, but she does not look as plump as before. <Possibly an internal parasite. Really sounds like she wants to lay eggs.>  Still nothing that resembles eggs in the tunnel.  Still no noticeable growths or markings. When I fed the tank today, she quickly swam up to food, took it in her mouth, and then spit it out.  Repeated this behavior multiple times.  Looks like she is hungry, but can't eat.  Even tried stealing the tidbits that I hand feed my open brain, only to spit them back out again. <Are you using vitamins on the food, its possible she's getting part of the food.> Early this morning, my girlfriend saw what she thought was a "stringy-looking" poop coming from her (the clown, not my girlfriend).  <Could be something like a parasite or could be nothing without a good look.> The lights were still off so she did not get a good look.  The clown did sleep in it's usual position with the other one up at the top behind the Whisper return. I am now perplexed as to what to do.  The hospital tank will be up and running by tonight in case I need it.  I have several differentials so let me know what you think. 1.  Constipated:  really don't know what to do about this. <Id suggest vitamins in the water regardless. Perhaps a more algae based food.> <<RMF considers this the most likely issue here... and would prescribe the use of Epsom Salt in a treatment tank>> 2.  Pregnant:  Will leave alone in main tank and observe. <Sounds lovely.> 3.  Parasitic gill infection:  Will attempt another fresh-water dip this afternoon.  If this is leading diagnosis, move to hospital tank. <I just have this feeling that if she's not laying eggs she's got some type of internal parasite. The question then becomes does she need to be hospitalized and treated or will the dips do the trick.> 4.  Clown just being a weird clown who is growing up.  No need to treat. <You are the one viewing her? Do you feel this is the case?> 5.  Unknown:  Main tank has most stable environment, leave there and observe closely.  Any change for worse in condition, move to QT immediately.  <Well of the five this is the one I would follow, AFTER I freshwater dipped her again. Please keep me up to date on her progress I know how much you care about her. MacL> Any comments or new ideas would be appreciated. Sorry for the long email, just want to present all the relevant information so we can get my poor Toni back to her usual self. -Ray

Sick Clownfish 30 Aug 2004 MacL, <Hi Again Ray!> Thank you so very much for your replies and attention.  I definitely owe you a beer someday!  :-) <That sounds nice I'll look forward to it!> Anyway, Toni is still alive and swimming. <Very good to hear.> Behaving more like her normal self.......but still not eating. <Well she has some good weight on her can go a bit without eating.>  She made less of an attempt today at eating than yesterday, still grabbing the food (yes, always vitamin soaked) and immediately spitting it out. <Are you trying live brine? that might tempt her enough.> She is thinner today than she was yesterday.  She also has abandoned her little cave and is swimming around the entire tank like she usually did (Rudi (other clown) never far from her at all). <That's very good news indeed.> I have personally now seen the stringy, white poop coming from her anus.  It seems to stick there and not break off. <I really think its a sign of an internal bacterial infection. I would put her in the hospital tank and use an antibiotic. Most people here recommend Spectrogram.> Constipation? Internal infection/parasite? QT is up and ready if needed.  Giving her a third FW dip tonight.  10 minutes, pH & temp matched and aerated. <I'd go on an move her over for a while. Just to make sure and use the antibiotic.> If there is no change in her by tomorrow night, it is QT time.  How should I proceed with treatment if it comes to this?  I am thinking trying Epsom salts combined with antibiotics (Kanamycin). <Ray I feel like I've come to know this fish. Please tell me how it goes, MacL> Thanks again for all your help. -Ray

Clown Improving. Great News! (9/10/04) Hey MacL & Crew!  <Steve Allen tonight. MacL is out to MACNA.> Great News!!! My little Toni (Percula clown) has been eating for 2 days now!!! She is avidly eating formula one, clam chunks, Cyclop-eeze and Mysis (all vitamin soaked of course). She seems to be behaving as normal as clowns behave (still looks ticked at me for putting her in QT) and her color is great. She is breathing normally now (has not breathed fast in a week).  <Excellent.>  No signs of the white-stringy poop. There is some debris on the bottom of the tank, but I am not sure if it is poop or leftover food (had a fish-sitter over the weekend). Going to clean it up and watch it for a day.  <Good idea.> So, here is my plan of action. She has been in antibiotic-treated water for 7 days now. She is eating and, assuming, pooping. No signs of stress. I am going to watch her for 24 more hours and if things are still looking good, put her back into the main tank. Sound good to you?  <Might be wiser to remove the antibiotics with a series of water changes and watch for a couple of weeks to be sure. It would be a real bummer to have to return her to QT due to premature return to the main tank.>  Everyone in the main tank still looks unaffected by whatever she had.  <Good. Keep it that way by being certain she is healthy and non-contagious before returning to display.> Thank you so very much for all your help. I am really happy that my little Toni is finally back on the mend. <Again, glad to hear.> -Ray 

Fungus, Abrasion, or...? (Diagnosis of Clownfish Problem) Hello; <Hi there. Scott F. with you tonight> As always, thanks for your dedication in helping hobbyists with the hobby! <We're glad that you enjoy it! We're happy to be here for you!> I've had a maroon clownfish for about a year, has always seemed healthy and never showed a sign of disease until very recently. I noticed a bluish-white dot above its eyes about a week ago. Didn't appear to be raised, more like a flat patch.  Several hours later, it was gone. (?)  This week, I see small patches of the same color around its mouth, slightly inside and slightly outside.  Again, they do not appear to be raised and do not have a "fuzzy" or "hairy" appearance, although they are very small so it's possible I'm not seeing these characteristics.  The clownfish is behaving normally although I'm not sure whether it may be working its mouth slightly more than it usually does.  Its appetite, if anything, appears to have increased. (?) <Always a good sign!> Ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are zero.  Temperature is kept steady and very rarely fluctuates more than two degrees F, usually less than that.  pH fluctuates a bit more than I'd like; it generally goes from 8.0 at lights-on to 8.3 at lights-off.  I do a 10 to 15% water change weekly.  Other inhabitants (sailfin tang, engineer goby, two Bubbletip anemones) appear fine. <Again, good signs> How can I treat this clownfish?  Thanks in advance. <Hmm...Without good pictures, it is rather difficult for me to make an accurate diagnosis. My initial hunch leads me to believe that you may be looking at a fungal infection here, despite the fact that there are no apparent "fuzzy" areas. On the other hand, I would observe the fish a while longer before affecting treatment with a commercially available medication, just to be sure. If this is abrasions, rather than a disease, they may heal spontaneously without your intervention. Treatment should always be done in a separate aquarium, not the display tank, should it become necessary. If this were "Marine Velvet" (Amyloodinium), you'd have other telltale symptoms, such as lack of appetite, rapid respiration, lots of mucous, etc. Of course, you do need to observe the fish for any additional symptoms or signs of trouble. Be sure to maintain high water quality continuously, and take aggressive action if required. Keep an eye peeled, and hang in there! Regards, Scott F.>

Percula Woes (8/19/04) Hi-  <Hello, Steve Allen here>   I wonder if you can help me. <I'll try.> In the past 5 weeks I bought 5 Percula clowns to add to my 55 gallon tank (but not all at the same time). <1. This really is too many for this size tank. Clowns are not shoaling (schooling) fish. Many people do not realize that they are damselfish and are actually quite aggressive and territorial. They live in pairs after their juvenile period. 2. Always best to add all together when adding a group of any fish. Latecomers tend to get badly picked on.> All were bought mail order but from 2 different companies. The first order included 3 clowns, which were received alive, however, the clowns were fairly large (3+ inches). <Thus set in their ways.> Two died within a day (and I was credited by the company I bought them from). <Who knows what disease they may have introduced into your tank if you did not quarantine them.>  I waited about 2 weeks and bought two "aquacultured" clowns from another supplier. <No quarantine? You should read and heed the articles and FAQs about quarantining new additions. Failing to do so will almost certainly lead to grief eventually.> These two clowns appear to be doing well, but the third large clown died yesterday.  I did notice a "bruise" that appeared on the large clown a couple of days ago, and wonder what happened to cause it. <Could be a bacterial infection, or an injury inflicted by the other two ganging up on it. Three is always a bad number--clowns and other damsels seldom play nice in threesomes.>   I do not have an anemone in the tank. <And your clowns do not need one. Most, if not all, anemones should be left in the sea.> Presently, the tank holds about 50 lbs of live rock, a small piece of green star polyp coral, three sea horses, two yellow tangs, one fire tail goby, the two clowns and an assortment of cleaners including snails, peppermint shrimp (3) and a few crabs.  <This is a very bad combination. Yellow Tangs should not be kept more than singly except in larger tanks (150G at the least). No Tang belongs in a tank smaller than 75 gallons. Also, your seahorses are almost certainly doomed. These slow-moving fish will not likely be able to compete for the food in your tank against the likes of Yellow Tangs and Clowns. These belong in species tanks or with sedated tankmates, which the only one of yours that qualifies as such is the firefish.> I change out about 10% water each week and the water quality readings are all very good.  Nitrites are 0 as is ammonia, pH is 8.2, SG is 1.023 Nitrates are running under 20.  I also have a protein skimmer on the tank. <All of this is good.>   Question is--do I need an anemone to keep the clowns alive? <Absolutely, 100%, unqualified answer is no. They do not. Anemones have very special care requirements and are 100% guaranteed to kill your seahorses. > Am I doing something wrong? <Yes, bad stocking plan. You either need a much bigger tank, or you need to remove the Tangs. Bad things are going to happen, it's only a matter of when. Maybe you could set up a separate seahorse tank.> I am afraid of losing the 2 young clowns now in there if there is something else I can do. <Now that the odd man out is gone, these two ought to be fine unless you have introduced some disease into the tank.  I think you need to decide whether you want a peaceful (seahorses, the firefish, non-competitors) or an aggressive (Tangs, clowns, etc). To humanely keep one of the Yellow Tangs, you need a bigger tank. To keep both, you need a much bigger tank.> Thanks in advance for your help. Larry  <I suspect this is not what you wanted to hear, but you can read pretty much any reputable aquarium book and will get the same message there. You can have great success, but you need to consider all aspects of each species temperament, care needs, adult size, and how it fits into the community.>

Fish gill problems, part 1 and 2. Hi Guys and Gals: << Blundell this morning. >> I have a confusing problem that I hope you can help with.  I have been searching WWM and the internet to no avail.  I have 30 gallon reef tank with two Percula clowns and a couple of other small fish.  It has been set up and running for about 8 months.  The female perc has suddenly developed a very large..."something"...in one of her gills.  I haven't added anything to the tank in the last couple of months, but could this be some type of latent parasite?  I tried to look around for pictures but all of the flukes, trematodes, etc. that I found were very small.  Whatever this is, it fills the operculum completely.  It is sort of translucent and fleshy-colored...appears almost the texture of a flatworm.  It bulges out of the gill, but the fish appears to behave normally.  She is eating and swimming and does not flash as far as I have seen.  Do you think it might be a tumor? << No, I'll bet it is a parasite of some sort. >>  If you know any good sites with photos of the various options, I'd appreciate some guidance.  I am going to try a fresh water dip at the very least. << Bingo, that was going to be my advice.  I would freshwater dip the fish for about 5 minutes.  Then move the fish to a hospital tank!  Like a 10 gal tank with copper and something like tetracycline. >>  Anything else you guys could suggest would be appreciated. << By using the hospital tank, you can take the fish out for freshwater dips about 3 times per day.  Continue doing this for several days. >>  Thanks for the valuable service!!  Take care, Greg << Blundell >> I sent a question about an hour ago concerning the growth or parasite in my female percula's gill.  I just remembered something that might help with a diagnosis.  About a month and a half or so ago, she developed a raise white bump behind her gill.  And then about 10 days later she had the same symptom again.  I fresh water dipped her each time and she seemed to get better so I thought the problem solved.  These bumps were not like crypt, they were much larger.  Something like a small zit from the teen years!!  Anyway, maybe that helps...maybe not.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Thanks again, Greg. << Same diagnosis.  I don't know what the parasite may be, but regardless the treatment is the same. >> <<  Blundell  >>

Clown question Aug. 7, 2004 thanks for the reply!. I agree that it may be the ph fluctuation( she never had pathogens of any sort, tank raised clowns ROCK!!!! )<AGREED!> I will try making up the water mix earlier than usual and let it really settle for a few days and see what happens on the  water change. <I think you need to test the ph of the water you mix and the currently existing water and see how you can make the newly mixed water the same ph as the tank water.>  Thanks again for the info!!! aloha from Kona ( deep into the summer doldrums of no surf. bummers) <Aloha from a landlocked person lol, let us know if it helps Pete, MacL> Pete Clownfish <Hey Pete, MacL here with you today.> Hey guys, been reading through the site here and have not found anything similar to what I am noticing on my perc clown fish. Seems to happen every once in awhile. After a water change I notice in the next day or so these black marks, almost like a smudge or a bruise on my clown fish. <Closest I can come to is past damage left by Brooklynellosis. Take a look at this faq and see if it matches what you are seeing. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm>  She is active and eating, no weird actions. The marks go away after a few days  but I have noticed them a few times over the past 9 months. <Possibly not Brooklynellosis then because it doesn't usually go away and can be fatal. Is it possible that she's just to marks from some type of injury that show up when she's stressed, for instance when a water change occurs?>  I do about a 20% water change every 2 weeks with instant ocean salt and ro water. (10 gal mini reef..) all other  corals /zoanthids. feather duster.. crabs. brittle stars are fine.  Tank has been up and healthy for 2 years now. No parasites prob.s at all. used to use ocean water but too much hair algae so switched to  ro water and salt mix. Seachem reef complete/reef plus and reef carbonate...as per instructions.. SeaChem liquid calcium also per instructions.  Any ideas?.. one extra question.. loads of coralline algae all over glass/filter intake ...but not too much on live rock?. any ideas on that one?.. <An additional possibility might be the fluctuation of ph when you do a water change. Have you tested the water you are adding? Good luck and please let us know. MacL> Thanks guys Pete

Fin Regeneration Question Hi, <Hi! MikeD here!> One of my clownfish got one of its ventral fins bitten off by a maroon clown... not the whole thing but a good bite size< This is fairly common in tanks housing more than one species of Clownfish. Clowns are a sub-category of the Damselfish family, and can be just as territorial and aggressive as the rest of the clan>. The fin looks like tattered flag now. I would like to know if the fin will regenerate back to normal or it's going to stay like that for life?<It should regrow back to its normal configuration as long as the bite doesn't extend down into the "root" of the fin. Keep watch to make sure a bacterial infection doesn't set into the injury site, but it should be just fine> The fish looks OK and happy now after I locked up the maroon.<As in where? In all likelihood you'll get a repeat of the same situation when you put the maroon back> Thank you for your attention.<You're so very welcome> Alan Yeo Singapore

It Is What It Is, Re: Clownfish ocellaris ventral fin get bitten off Hi Mike, <Hi, you've got me again!> Thank you. You are most reassuring.<Really? I thought I was a realist!**grin**> I wonder if the maroon understands reward and punishment<Easy answer. NO!>.  He was behaving himself as the tank cycles (I guess the ammonia sedates<actually, it's called poisoning> both fishes) but he got carried away when the ammonia drops to zero<That's because he feels like he MIGHT just have a prayer, now!>. For jail, I put him or her? in a suspended container in the tank.<That's not going to work for very long. My suggestion is to try and trade him back in, and get a "rain check" if possible, not adding ANY further fish until well after the tank has cycled. Good alternatives during this period are some of the red/purple dwarf lobsters, a little tougher, and under stress won't contract a disease contagious to fish> Alan

Help -- sluggish / sick clownfish ?!?! Hi all, Hi Back, MikeD here> You have a terrific website and I've browsed through it often.<Thank you>  I did just now find a post fairly similar to what I'm going to ask, but I wanted to ask anyway in case there was something we could do before it's too late ... We have a 50-gallon aquarium that we got from someone who wanted to upgrade.  We've had it for about 8 months.  It came with some live rock and two clownfish and one damsel.  We've added some more liverock, a leather coral and a brittle star.  (None of this very recently.)  Oh there's also a small, fuzzyish crab that apparently came along with some live rock before we acquired this aquarium.  This crab apparently ate three previous residents of the tank.<often the crabs are blamed for killing the fish, while in reality small ones actually are doing what they are supposed to do, namely scavenging on a dead corpse, which is really often very helpful, preventing deterioration and ammon/nitrite spikes>  A snail came along with some liverock that we put in but it disappeared after a few weeks, not sure if the crab got it or the star ...<most brittle stars can only eat dead snails. If small crabs aren't fed specifically, they may attack persistently enough to finally cause a small snails demise> Anyway, today one of the clownfish has been spending a lot of time lying on the bottom in the corner of the tank.  It will occasionally swim around very sluggishly and doesn't seem very interested in eating.   I don't see any spots or anything like that on it.  It does seem a bit bloated but I'm not sure if I'm imagining that or not. Is there any help for this poor fish ?  Currently the water temperature is about 76 deg F and SG is 1.021.  Oh, in the past month or so we've been battling a case of brown hair algae as well ...  (any advice on this front ?)<my only suggestion would be to remove it to a quarantine tank and try medicated foods. I HAVE also heard of females becoming egg-bound with manual stripping working, but that's very risky for any but an expert or DVM specializing in fish. One last suggestion is a very old home remedy, being net it out and very carefully, using a tiny eye dropper, put a drop of mineral oil as far back in the throat as possible for possible constipation. Sometimes works on dogs, cats and kids too **grin** <Good luck> thanks ! Sheila

Sluggish Clownfish Thanks very much for your quick reply when I first wrote to you about this clownfish nearly 4 weeks ago<You're welcome, we try to be prompt. You've got MikeD this time>.  At the time I didn't think the poor thing was going to live much longer but oddly enough s/he's still with us.  So I'm curious what you think might be up. To recap, suddenly this fish was spending a lot of time hanging out at the bottom of the tank, in one particular corner.  And when it would swim around it seemed very sluggish and as if it felt very heavy.  Also it would not eat.  After a week or so, it started perking up and is now seeming fairly "normal" (swims well and eats) although it still does visit that particular corner of the tank fairly regularly (I had never noticed this behavior before, though I could have just missed it).<This is normal. Clownfish are territorial and select certain areas that they claim as their own, even without an anemone>  We do have two clownfish and this one is the larger of the two so I gather that implies that it is a female<Quite probably> -- could it have something to do with eggs ?  or do you think it was a case of overfeeding / constipation ?<It could be any of the above, or just a case of one clownfish having a more subdued nature than the other>   We didn't really do anything except do a big water change and try to clean the tank and the protein skimmer really well.<Regular water changes (25% per month) and keeping the protein skimmer operating correctly are your best alternatives, always. There are many remedies and panaceas on the market but most are likely more a matter of not harming anything than of doing an actual service. Since you have to pay for them, LFS owners will often tout them, along with many other things, but my sincerest suggestion is to NEVER treat for anything without being sure of what you're treating. All medications are mild poisons designed to kill the offending parasite/bacteria without killing the fish, but they DO have negative adverse reactions, and often are the first step in killing an otherwise healthy fish> Thanks ! - Sheila

Clown missing fin Hello, <Aloha> I really like your website. <Me too> I have a juvenile/adult (starting to get yellow bands) maroon clownfish that has only one pelvic fin.  I always assumed it was a genetic defect and it wouldn't grow one. <Maybe> Today I noticed a small spec of a fin (less than 1mm) where one is missing. I'm not sure if it has been there all along or not. <Possible... and still possible your first assumption is still correct> Is there a chance it could grow another fin? Thanks, Anthony <Not much if you have had this fish for a month or more... or it is growing larger with the fin staying stubby. The good news is, this defect may well have little effect on your fish's living a quality life. Bob Fenner>

- White and Black Spots on Ocellaris - Hi all, Love your site, I refer to it constantly ... I've searched the FAQs but am not sure of my diagnoses. Here goes: I had to go out of town for a week, leaving the tank in the care of the house sitter with specific instructions. When I came back all was not well. (A golden rule of reefkeeping: Bad Things Happen When You Leave?) <Often this is true... it's hard to ask non-aquarists to take care of an aquarium.> When I returned my 37g tank water level was 1" low (so sg would have been slightly elevated) and temperature was high, around 84-85. I normally keep it at 79-80 degrees, with sg 1.024-1.025. Other water quality params were ok (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate at 0, alk at 3.5 meq/L). Then I noticed spots on my two captive-bred Ocellaris clowns: one fish had developed two small (1/8") black spots, on its side and at the base of the tail; the other had developed a white patch just above one pectoral fin. This was about 1/8" wide and 3/8" high. Let's start with the black spots: they are large enough that they don't look like black "ich" (Turbinella) -- after researching a bit, a more likely explanation seems to be a skin (melanin) reaction to contact with a zoo colony just under the powerheads where the clowns hang out (I don't have an anemone but they aren't hosting in the zoanthids either... however they do come close to it occasionally). The black spots are pretty well defined and do not appear to be raised at all, more like "beauty marks." This fish seems to be perfectly healthy: swimming, eating, breathing seem 100% normal, as far as clowns go. The white-patched fish seems a bit more out of sorts, swimming a little irregularly (often tilted a bit over to one side), though again it's hard to tell as clowns are so goofy to begin with. Breathing seems fine and appetite is OK, but perhaps a tad diminished. The white patch looks kind of velvety, soft white; it appears to be raised up from the fish's skin. It doesn't really look like ich or velvet, I can see no salt like grains, and the affected patch is confined to a single contiguous area. Quick history: The tank itself is 5 months old w/50 lbs. LR and 2" sand. Zoos, Sinularia, Sarcophyton, inverts. The clowns were purchased from a reputable LFS here in SF (Nippon) and went into QT for just over a week. At that point the filter was no longer able to cope with the ammonia despite 25% daily water changes (crappy BioWheel hang-on filter) so in desperation I put them in the display tank as I have no other fish. They were in the display for about 10 days when I had to go out of town. When I left they seemed totally fine and were eating like pigs. Diet has been a combination of frozen (Formula 1, Mysis, krill) and high-quality flake (brine shrimp, Spirulina, Cyclops-eeze, etc.). However when out of town I set them up with a twice-daily flake-only automatic feeder. Although this slight change in diet might have been stressful at first, my amateur guess is that the fluctuations in sg, and more importantly temperature, weakened the fish's defenses/coating and opened it to a bacterial or fungal infection. <Is my thinking too, the high heat would have compounded this, making it more favorable to bacteria to multiply.> (A reader on a different forum suggested Amyloo.) So far my course of action over the last 2 days has been water changes (5-10% daily in the display), restoring the normal, more varied diet (incl Selcon, Garlic extreme) and stepping up tank maintenance. My QT is all set up if I need to use it though I've had two bad experiences with hospital tanks... Enclosed are some not-great pictures of the affected fish: one of the black-spotted one and one of the white-patched one. <Unfortunately, the image is rather small and hard to make out. No worries, I'd try some Melafix - this has been thrown around as a cure for ich, but in fact its strong suite is bacterial infections. Its active ingredient is Melaleuca which is reef safe although you should stop running your skimmer for the week or so that it takes to run a full treatment. Once you turn the skimmer back on, it will go nuts for a day or two so be prepared to empty it frequently. I'd start with this, if no improvement after a week, then you may need to move on to the quarantine tank and more aggressive means. Let's cross that bridge when we get to it.> Thanks a million for any help.
<Cheers, J -- >

- White and Black Spots on Ocellaris - Thanks for the help. <My pleasure.> Here's a follow-up to the situation: Soon after posting to WWM FAQ, the fish with white patch started to deteriorate, so I removed both clowns to QT, with a quick (3 minute) pH-adjusted FW dip in between in case there were parasites that I wasn't seeing, or that had newly attached themselves to the vulnerable flesh. In QT I've kept water quality as high as possible and dosed with Maracyn+. <Yes... best to keep water quality up by large, frequent water changes. In the neighborhood of 50%.> Almost immediately the fish showed rapid improvement. To the best of my knowledge, the white patch was simply an infected cut or abrasion, with the high water temps having enabled rapid bacterial infection. <Good guess.> The fish is now swimming normally, no clamped dorsal fin, and the white patch is healing -- just like an infected wound on a human, with dark colored tissue or scab replacing the soft white infected tissue from the outside in. Appetite is still not 100% but I assume that will come with time. <Likely.> A note for your readers: a simple infected wound may not be at all obvious, especially for newcomers like myself. When the symptoms are "white patch, clamped fin, loss of appetite, erratic swimming" the normal assumption is that there has been some sort of parasitic infection. So ich, then velvet, then Brook are usually considered. <Indeed, is not always useful to assume the worst.> The only thing I don't know is whether the fish was injured from getting sucked into the powerhead where it likes to hang out and sleep, or from the other fish. <Powerhead is more likely, but both are possible.> I'm currently suspecting the latter as I've seen some harassment on his part, and the injured fish has a couple of lightly nipped fins. <Fair enough.> For now they're separated, at least until the weak one gets back to normal. <Good plan.> best regards, John <Thanks for sharing. Cheers, J -- >

Taking The Battle To Ich Hello Crew, <Hi! Scott F. your Crew member tonight> You're providing a terrific service. I would have spent thousands of $$$ on books (or gone through a bunch of fish) for the info you provide. <Glad that we can be of service!> After I saw what looked like Ich on my True Perc, I read the FAQs and gave him a 3-minute FW dip (sans Methylene blue). His behavior has changed a little. He seems calmer. Is this normal? Could he just be recovering from the stress of the dip (and capture), or could he just be feeling relaxed? What's "normal"? <Well, I'd like to think that the 'dip took him to his special place, making him feel all groovy- but it sounds like he's simply recovering from the dip process. There is a certain amount of osmotic shock associated with this process, and this could simply be a result of the ordeal. > Physically, it looks like most of the white spots are gone, but a few are still on his side (could be something else because it's near what appears to be a scratch). Is this normal? <Yes, it is, in my opinion. Although FW dips are a great adjunct to treatments for Marine Ich, they are not in and of themselves, a successful form of treatment. I am a big proponent of more aggressive medications, such as copper sulphate or formalin-based products, administered in a separate tank, per manufacturer's instructions concerning dosage and duration> I've already set up a hospital tank with antibiotics, but wanted to try the simplest approach first. <Understood. If you are dealing with Ich, and not the "scratch" as your primary problem, then antibiotics will be of little use. You'd need to use one of the aforementioned medications for best results. If al you are worried about is the scratch, then I'd simply maintain great water conditions for the fish, and observe carefully to make sure that he's on the road to recovery.> One more thing. Can you recommend a good technique for catching him? It took me 30 minutes chasing him around his anemone (trying carefully to avoid touching it) in my 40 gallon tank before I was able to land him. Thank you so much. You provide an excellent service! Brook <Well, Brook- there are no perfect methods for catching fish with absolute success. I like to wait until the lights are out for a while before I make the attempt. Then, you could use a large net to "corral" the fish gently into a plastic specimen container for capture. That works well for me. Hope all works out for you! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Making The Right Diagnosis! Thanks for the quick reply Scott. <You're quite welcome!> I decided to give my Clownfish one more day before starting treatment. I'm glad I did because, overnight, the white spots linked up and turned into solid white lines...which means bacterial/fungal vs. ich (5 day treatment instead of 45 days). <Good pickup on your part! As you are keenly aware, it's sometimes best to wait a while before rushing to treat..> After one day in antibiotics, the white lines have already cleared up. But, I'm going to continue the full 5-day treatment. <I agree...Always follow the manufacturer's recommendation concerning dosage an duration> At the same time, I'm going to stop feeding my display tank for a day or two (I only have 1 neon and 1 orange-headed goby, a cleaner crew, and a couple of soft corals).  Well, hopefully it won't happen, but now I at least feel prepared to fight ich if/when it strikes. Brook <Excellent work, Brook! I'm glad that you've made the right diagnosis, and I wish you the best of luck in your battle! Regards, Scott F.>

Peculiar Percula  6/14/04 Hey guys!  I hope everyone is doing well. <Thanks!  You too!> I am writing to follow up with you from my earlier e-mail about my clownfish having Brooklynella.  I think I've pulled him through the ordeal but I'm worried that his appetite isn't back to normal.  Also, they are still not very active in the QT. <Probably all normal after a bout with disease.  Do experiment with a variety of high quality foods, including some that contain marine algae (I am a fan of Ocean Nutrition's frozen Pygmy Angel formula).  Piscine Energetics Mysis is also a good choice for energy dense, quality and irresistible food.> I'm worried about putting them back into the main tank and being harassed by the other fish. <I would suggest that the fish stay in quarantine for at least six weeks.  If it has been less, I would not move them back.  If you have other fish that are likely to harass the ones presently in quarantine, then you need to rethink your stocking choices.> I have a pair of B& W O. Clownfish and my two O & W P. Clownfish.  I was told by two LFS that they would be fine.  Will these two different types get along?  I noticed the O & W went downhill shortly after the intro. of the B &W's.  I'm worried that they will be harassed if they think the O & W are less than healthy. <It's possible, but your 90 should have plenty of space for these fish to stake their own territory.  Careful observation will tell you if they are getting along.  Sometimes this requires observing from a distance since the fish will go into "feeding mode" when you approach the tank.  If their is aggression, you will have to make a choice.> They have been in my QT for approx. a  month. Do you think the lack of activity comes from them being unhappy in a 10 gal QT?  I appreciate your advice. <I would keep then in QT for at least another two weeks to ensure that they are disease free and eating well.  As long as the water quality in the QT is decent and you have some cover to avoid stress, 10gal should be fine for temporary quarters.  Best Regards.  Adam>

Clown Going Down? (Cont'd) Thanks for the response. The Brooklynella seems to be gone... now, I am battling ich! <Yikes! Talk about  a one-two punch!> Thanks for the info. I am trying a natural approach as it is in the display. 1 cleaner wrasse, 1 cleaner shrimp, and Kent's Garlic Xtreme in food (smaller more frequent feedings). Is this enough natural cleaning, or do I need more to nip it in the bud? Thanks! Gordon <Well, Gordon- although medication is always a last resort, I think that it may be a better route here. My personal feeling on garlic is that it's use may have some merit as a preventative, but that the jury is still out as to its effectiveness as a "cure". I am a stronger advocate of the what I call the "Two Front" approach to fighting these diseases: Removing the fishes from the display for treatment with an effective medication, and letting the display run "fallow", without fishes- for at least a month. It's not fun at all to do, but it addresses a major issue in fighting this disease: The presence of the disease in the display tank. Here is the link to an article I wrote on this approach: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm Good luck in your battle! You won the first battle, so win the war! Regards, Scott F.>

This Clown Is Not Funny.. We have two ocellaris clowns for aprox 3-4 weeks our water levels are all ok, specific gravity 1.024 temp is 76.5--one of the little guys has always been smaller than  the other and seem not so active, we've observed him several times motionless in a corner or floating vertically. He doesn't seem to eat as much, he goes through spells where he swims fine, I guess, but he just seems a little sickly. We have read books and talk to others and they say that its typical clowns. <Well, typical of a sick clown! These behaviors are, in my opinion, possible indicators of potentially serious parasitic diseases, such as Amyloodinium or Brooklynella. Do a little searching on the WWM site to see if you fish seems to be displaying symptoms consistent with either of these nasties> Today, we awoke to find our little guy really pale in color and almost motionless getting sucked up to the siphon box, we have him in a small tank with water from our system-heater and airstone. <It was a good move on your part to remove him from the display for observation and possible treatment.> Please respond as soon as possible!!!!! Thank you. Paul Easton <If it were me, Paul, I'd make a positive ID as to what illness I'm dealing with, and proceed with a course of treatment ASAP. You could utilize either a Formalin-based or Copper-based product, both of which are generally effective with Amyloodinium and Brooklynella (my two prime suspects, as stated above). Look for other symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, excessive mucus, obvious skin damage, etc. Take decisive action and follow manufacturer's instructions to the letter when using medications. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Clowns with Ich (5/29/04) Help! <I'll try. Steve Allen here.> I have 2 small (1-1.5 inch) ocellaris clowns in quarantine. <smart move> These are my first 2 fish and they've been in quarantine 9 days now. Ich appeared on both fish on day 7.  Now I'm so glad I quarantined <yup>, but am worried about them. Yesterday I purchased CFX parasite (copper/formalin) complex and started using it per the instructions. <follow carefully> This morning one of the fish seemed slightly lethargic, stayed at the bottom of the tank for a few minutes after lights were on, but was swimming around within 5 minutes.  The other seems fine.  I'm testing with the copper test kit by the same manufacturer & the level seems to be on target (0.15 ppm) although the test is a little hard to read. <many are>   I've since been told I should have gotten Cupramine, and have been advised to stop the CFX, run carbon to get rid of it, and use Cupramine instead. <By whom? Lots of opinions here. Both copper and formalin are effective ich meds with risks as well.> Unfortunately none of my local stores have the brand of test kit that is needed with the Cupramine and because of Memorial Day weekend it would take me at least 4-5 days to get hold of the test kit.   Is the CFX an effective treatment?  <I am not personally familiar with that brand, but the ingredients are known to be effective.> more importantly is it posing a danger to my fish if I'm using it as directed and monitoring levels carefully?  what level is toxic? <I do not see any reason for Cupramine to be safer other than that the addition of formalin presents its own unique risks.> any danger signs to look out for? <rapid breathing, lethargy and such.> Or should I stop all treatment till I can get set up to use Cupramine (probably not before Tues or Wed)?   Please help, I'm really attached to these little guys already and want to do right by them. <You might consider hyposalinity. Spend some time this weekend reading the series of articles that starts here: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/sp/index.htm  Hope this helps.> Beth

Clown In Trouble (Possible Parasitic Illness) Hello everyone!! <Hello there! Scott F. with you today> I surely hope you can help my poor clownfish. He's in awful bad shape. What prompted me to put him in QT was when I noticed he was hiding a lot more than usual and not eating very well and very lethargic.  <Good heads-up move on your part...These symptoms could be signs of a potential problem> I've had in QT for almost a week and I have yet to see him eat. He hangs out at the bottom of the tank, hiding behind a fake rock. He doesn't swim around at all. It looked like he's got pop eye and I've been treating it with Maracyn-2 for 3 days. His eyes are getting better, but he isn't improving at all. <Sounds like there's more going on than just Popeye...> There are no white spots or slimy white film on him-I'm wondering if it isn't the dreaded clownfish disease. How do I treat him? I'm desperate to get my fish healthy again. I had him for well over a month with no problems. I was suggested by someone to do a Formalin bath-would that help? I'm afraid he's going to starve to death before he dies of illness. Thanks for your help!! Me and my fish thank you. <Okay- let's get to work and try to save this little guy. Despite the absence of the tell-tale excessive mucus or faded color, it still sounds to me like you may, indeed be dealing with Brooklynella or Amyloodinium, both serious parasitic illnesses. If caught early enough, you can certainly save the fish! I'm going to operate on the assumption that this might be an early stage of Amyloodinium, and my recommendation is to start with a 5 minute freshwater dip for the fish. Yes, this can be a bit traumatic on the fish in its weakened state, but it is a lot harder on the parasites! This in and of itself will not cure the illness, but it can "soften up" the parasites for the more aggressive medical treatment to follow. I'd then add a commercially available copper sulphate medication, such as CopperSafe or Cupramine to the treatment tank. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter concerning dosage and duration when using copper, and be sure to test the copper with a copper test kit to assure that you are achieving a proper therapeutic dosage. The normal treatment course is no longer than 10-14 days, so don't let the fish linger in water that has been medicated with copper much longer than that, as it can cause more problems for the fish at extended durations. If you act quickly and decisively, you can definitely save this fish's life. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Sick clown (4/15/04) We have two ocellaris clowns for aprox 3-4 weeks our water levels are all ok, salinity 1.024 temp is 76.5--one of the little guys has always been smaller than the other and seem not so active, we've observed him several times motionless in a corner or floating vertically. He doesn't seem to eat as much, he goes through spells where he swims fine I guess but he had just seem a little sickly. We have read books and talk to others and they say that its typical clowns. Today we awake to find our little guy really pale in color and almost motionless getting sucked up to the siphon box, we have him in a small tank with water from our system-heater and airstone please respond as soon as possible!! <Was the tank cycled before you added these fish? What are the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels? How large is the tank? Do they show any other symptoms of disease? If not, sounds like some form of stress...do check your water parameters and let me know how they check out> thank you <Sorry I couldn't be of more help...and doing a partial water change and using some good quality activated carbon never hurt - give this a try in the meantime> Paul Easton <M. Maddox> 

Ich and Other Woes (5/24/04) Hi Steve! <Hi!> Thanks for the advice. <My pleasure> Sorry for asking so many questions, but I have another more serious one. <shoot> I added another true percula clownfish after a week to the display tank for him to have a partner. The new one is a little bit smaller <Needs to be a fairly significant difference in size> true percula and is also 1 month quarantined at a separate tank since he was ich free. After a few minutes when I introduced the new one, I noticed that the old perc was not moving his right fin. I checked and there were no visible signs of injury, he was still eating and swimming, but no movement in his right fin. After 3 days, I noticed that there was bleeding in his right fin, and looked liked he got chomped by the new one. And worse, they were infected with ich. <Ouch> I placed them in hospital tank and started medication. I added Methylene blue to the water to treat the wound, added copper and slowly adjusting the salinity <needs to be down in the neighborhood of 1.010 to work> to remove the ich. I am doing daily water siphoning to remove the ich, and 25% water changes. Now, I noticed that the old one is struggling, not eating, deteriorating, staying in one place and sometimes struggling to get to the surface. He hasn't moved his right fin, and his wound looks like covered in white scales (I think one of the ich is feeding in his wound) <probably not the ich doing this>, and his whole right fin is starting to become white. The ich is starting to lessen. The new one is ok, he's feeding and I'm at a loss on how to take care of him and heal his wound, and what medications to give him. <Consider Melafix and a broad-spectrum antibiotic.> Thanks, Romel <Hope this helps.>   

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