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FAQs about the Diseases of Clownfishes 2

Related FAQs: Clownfish Disease 1, Clownfish Disease 3Clownfish Disease 4, Clownfish Disease 5, Clownfish Disease 6, Clownfish Disease 7, Clownfish Disease 8, Clownfish Disease 9, Clownfish Disease 10, Clownfish Disease 11, Clownfish Disease 12, Clownfish Disease 13, Clownfish Disease 14, Clownfish Disease 15, Clownfish Disease 16, Clownfish Disease 17, Clownfish Disease 18, Clownfish Disease 19, Clownfish Disease 20, Clownfish Disease 21, Clownfish Disease 22, Clownfish Disease 24, Clownfish Disease 25, Clownfish Disease 26, Clownfish Disease 27, & FAQs on Clownfish Disease By: Environmental Stress, Nutrition, Social/Behavioral/Territoriality, Trauma/Mechanical Injury, & Pathogens: Lymphocystis, Infectious Disease (Bacteria, Fungi...), Protozoans: Cryptocaryon/Ich, Amyloodinium/Velvet, Brooklynella (see article below), & Mysteries/Anomalous Losses, Cure, Success Stories, & Clownfishes in General, Clownfish Identification, Clownfish Selection, Clownfish Compatibility, Clownfish Behavior, Clownfish Systems, Clownfish Feeding, Clownfishes and AnemonesBreeding Clowns

Related Articles: Clownfish Disease, ClownfishesMaroon Clowns, Brooklynellosis

A healthy "Perc" in an odd association with a Euphylliid in captivity.

Clownfish color change Hi again Bob! <Anthony Calfo, and pleased to meet you <G>> Thanks for constantly letting us pick your brain like cleaner shrimp on yellow tangs.  <hmmm... a Vulcan mind meld even... and I'm not even a trekkie> My question is about a darkened body color of an Ocellaris clown (Mr. Wiggles). I got him one month ago and after a week and a half in my tank his color began to darken considerably.  <maybe he is angry at the name you gave him> It is to the point where his body is completely darkened (black-orange). Only his pectoral fins and face are the original orange color. <sounds like he's furious to me> Environment: Mr. Wiggles lives in a mixed reef tank which has been running for about 6 months. pH is kept at 8.4, alkalinity is 3.6, and specific gravity at 1.024-1.025 at 79 degrees. Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate are undetectable. I do not test for phosphate but judging from a recent microalgae breakout I would think it is above ideal levels. <besides the possible phosphate, quite excellent indeed> Behavior: He eagerly takes frozen brine shrimp and flake foods. Breathing and swimming are normal. Eyes are clear and there is no visible sign of external parasites. He is not being harassed by any fish, as he is kept only with Chromis and a very peaceful algae blenny. I've kept clownfish before and I've never had this experience with them. Any information you can provide is very much appreciated. <likely natural... many clown experience a color change by the time they are tow years old (even losing or connecting stripes). Could just as easily be an expression of the change in diet from what it was eating compared to what you are giving. All else sounds fine. No worries, my friend. Anthony>  Thanks! Ben

Clownfish I have a 50 gallon salt tank running for 1 month now and I've just decided to get a clownfish and 5 hermit crabs. After about 3 days, I've started to notice that there were a white small bump or spot on his head. What could this possibly be? The ph level is at 8.3, nitrite is low, ammonia is low, and temp at 78degree. What do I need to cure the problem. <Hmmmm.. needs to be ID correctly first. If the spot spreads to spots and they are like sized no larger than a grain of salt, then you may have a parasite. Else, it could be more than a few things. Do get a good book like the Conscientious Marine Aquarist and study well. With marine aquaria, my friend, you should never put wild fish right into a tank. It is a surefire way to spread disease, kill fish and lose money. Research on proper quarantine protocol. The QT tank is cheap and easy and saves lives, heartache and money in the long run. In the meantime, fins a good disease reference book like the Handbook of Fish Diseases by Dieter Untergasser to ID the symptom on your fish. If you have a killer camera, do send a picture along. Kindly, Anthony Calfo> Paul sang

Clownfish, disease Hello Mr. Bob I've been looking around WWM for a few days now, I still have a couple of questions. I had a fish (Amphiprion clarkii) that, within one week, lost about one third it body weight, lost coloration to cloudiness, stopped eating, looked like its skin was peeling away, and was taking about 35-40 breathes every twenty second (that's higher than I'd ever heard of so I kept checking again and again but got the same numbers). Finally it died. I had given it a fresh water dip at the first signs of a problem. Through the whole ordeal I didn't notice any white specks until after it died. I took the fish to school and under a microscope could see very tiny white specks here and there on the fishes body. They were too small to be seen with the naked eye, but they were easy to spot with the microscope. I assume the disease/parasite is not Ick but rather Amyloodinium? The fish was the only fish in the tank. It had been in there about two weeks when all that happened. The tank had been running for a good while now. It is a 75 gal. I've had snails, crabs, a bulb tip anemone, mushrooms, and some star polyps. All the inverts are fine. I would like to get the inverts out of the tank and into another tank before I take any steps to rid the system of the parasite. Also, the tank has about 80 lbs of live rock. Is it possible to infect a another tank by moving inverts into it? I can live without the crabs and snails, but I would like to keep the anemone, mushrooms, and star polyps. I think I read that the infestation of another tank through the introduction of inverts would be from the parasites being attached to the "non-living hard surfaces" on/with the invert. If that  is the case, then I guess it wouldn't be possible to keep the snails, crabs, star polyps (attached to rock), or the mushrooms (attached to rock), right? On the other hand, would it be safe to pull the anemone off its rock and put it in a different tank? Is it okay to freshwater dip an anemone or any of those inverts? I have two tanks. My other tank is a little reef tank. The live rock for it had been previously taken from my now infected tank. So it may be infected too there aren't any fish in there right now). To find out, I was thinking of putting some kind of cheap "tester" fish like a damsel or maybe even a molly in the reef tank to see how it does. So can all fish get affected by the same diseases and parasites? Back to the big tank. I do want to completely rid the 75 gal tank of the parasite. I don't want to put copper in the tank. I want to use the tank as a spawning tank for clownfish and I've read that copper can cause sterility in clownfish. If Amyloodinium is the culprit, then is there any way of getting rid of it aside from completely drying out the system? I was getting ready to put some kind of small "flame or pygmy angel" type fish in the reef tank. Do you know of any examples of reef safe fishes that wouldn't be affected? If you're still awake, then thanks for your patience. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I really enjoy the web site and your columns in FAMA.  Thanks, Matthew Boehm <OK Matthew, lets keep this simple. Please do not move anything nor freshwater dip your inverts. That is a good way to kill them. Some corals will tolerate very short dips, but snails, crabs, shrimp, etc. would be killed. Leave the tank empty of fish for one month and the parasites will die out. They require a host and without one will soon die. -Steven Pro>

Disappearing Fish <Anthony Calfo in your service> Bob, I have had a green Chromis and a clownfish disappear with in three days.  <newly added or old established fish?> I didn't find any left over body parts any where. All I have left is (2) peppermint shrimp (1) clownfish and (1) green Chromis. Would the peppermint shrimp attack and eat a fish <not even possible... would only scavenge dead/dying> or is there something else in my tank that would do that? <indeed...pathogen, predator or parameter> I do have LR in my tank with a couple of Spaghetti Worms, however last night I saw a different type of worm that look like a string of snot.  <thank you for that visual... dinner just went to hell in a hand basket> Sorry I didn't want to be gross, that is the only description I could think of.  <not your fault that I have a vivid imagination...hehe> In order for my to get rid of all of the worms, I may make a tub of saltwater with the salinity being very high and having it sit for about an hour.  <why!?!?!?!?! My friend, most worms are beneficial... and of the few that are not, you have not even identified one possible candidate. Sounds like a good way to kill a lot of good things on your live rock> Rinse it off and put it back in the tank. I have a 45 gallon tank with 45 lb. of LR it will take a little of time. If there is a better method please let me know I really don't want to kill all of my Coralline Algae.  <two words...massive die-off. Please forgive me, but I'm missing why it is you suspect worms of murder. Are the fish new, and were they quarantined? What were the water quality readings, etc. More homework my friend. No knee-jerk reactions, please. Anthony> Thanks for your help. <quite welcome>
Found fish
<Anthony still> Bob, my wife found the other clownfish, however it seems to swim low on the bottom of tank. This particular fish ate a little bit yesterday but seem to not want to leave the bottom and breaths a little heavy.  <vague symptoms... how long have you had the fish?> There are no visible sighs of disease. Should I place him into the hospital tank for now and try to figure out what is going on?  <depends if he is new or not... a new fish should not be moved three times in as many days (store, to home to QT...a surefire way to kill it and ironic to not have used the QT first as it was designed to be used. If the fish is established... then perhaps, but I can't diagnose from here on such general symptoms> The other fish are not effected, I still can not find my other green Chromis. Thanks <kindly, Anthony>
Re: Disappearing Fish
Anthony, the Green Chromis I have had for 3 months and the Clownfishes I have had for 1.5 months. The clownfish that died looked kind of funny when I got him, however his behavior was normal.  <eh...the fish were held by you long enough that you'll want to look for an influence like water quality, parasite or predator> His dorsal fin seemed to be allot smaller than normal and his head seem kind of large. Maybe a birth defect. <or maybe he was a union leader or politician in the fish world (the big head is symptomatic)... on no, that can't be... this creature has a spine> I have red Cyano bact. algae on some of my live rock. Should I take out the live rock and scrub of this algae and rinse it off using tank water.  <please don't bother.. a simple matter of nutrient export. Better skimming, chemical filtration and/or water changes (assuming water is not nutrient rich)> I have a nice protein skimmer on it's way (Remora Pro) I think this will solve my algae growth.  <yes. could easily. Learn to work it well> The protein skimmer I have now "sucks".  <contributory/cause of nuisance algae> What exactly is the best way to get rid of the Cyano bacteria (red algae with out having major die off. <honestly.. just aggressive skimming for two weeks collecting dark product daily> Thanks for your help <very welcome! Anthony Calfo>

Tomato Clown Won't Eat Hi Bob, <Anthony Calfo, here my friend> This is my first question for you. I have had several questions since finding your site in December (after a disastrous Marine Ich infestation) but the existing info already on WWM has been a great source. <agreed and thank you> Since the Ich, I have obtained a quarantine tank. I am now restocking the main tank after a considerable fallow period as per your guidelines. The first occupant of the QT was a Tomato clown. He hung out in this 10 gallon tank for over two weeks, eating and generally happy. Upon moving him to the MT, he continues to be active (actually more so, swimming with nose to glass up and down for long periods) and now has not been eating since the move on Friday. <drop in average water temperature compared to QT?> He had been accepting frozen brine shrimp as well as most of the dry food, especially the Omega One flakes. <great dry food...reduce the brine to very little... a very hollow food> Now, no appetite it seems. He'll take the food in and then spit it out - repeatedly. Seen SW and FW fish do this before and thought that they didn't like the food or were sick.  <not necessarily... try a 2-3F increase in temperature up to 84F at most> Particularly concerned in this case because he had been happily eating the brine shrimp and flake when back in the QT.  <can go for a while without foods...no worries yet> Last night I tried Selcon on some flake, <smart...a good habit in the future> same result, sampled but did not ingest. At what point does one become concerned? <no rule... but up to a week no big deal> The water in the QT started as MT water. Both are fine. I have an idea that maybe I should try to return him to the QT, but catching is near impossible and stressful. <disagree...too stressful without knowing the cause> Any advice you may have would be appreciated. Thanks for the website and endless amounts of info. Regards, Bill <best regards, Anthony>

Question About Clownfish That I was told you may can help Hey I recently posted a message n someone replied n said you probably can help. I have a 46 gallon saltwater tank with 4 fish a few corals & one anemone .....the problem is the clownfish recently caught something, its eyes have a cloudy covering n they look swelled, it also has a cloudy spot on his chest n fin...I use Instant Ocean salt n have a Emperor 400 for filtration.....what should I do? Thanks allot for any info. I have a product I used on my yellow tang its called "CopperSafe" <Please take a read through the marine fish disease sections of our principal site: www.WetWebMedia.com You may find it worthwhile to also read the Clownfish Disease FAQs files, starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and beyond. You should try to gain an understanding of underlying principles. The information offered above is only a beginning. Bob Fenner>

Tomato clowns Dear Mr. Fenner, <Anthony Calfo in your service while Bob tours the country with his MacIver Barkeep routine...mixing any drink on request with only a bottle of Tequila, chocolate sprinkles and a bowl of pimentos to work with. It's amazing...he can literally mix ANY drink requested... of course, the all taste like vodka with pimentos covered with chocolate sprinkles...but that is another matter> I recently purchased your "Marine Aquarist" book and have found it an invaluable introduction to the saltwater hobby.  <truly one of the best!> I had a brief question that perhaps you could shed some light on: I have a 55 gal. tank with a wet/dry filter, a Prizm HOT skimmer and an undergravel filter.  <consider investing in a second/better skimmer for the future...especially considering the UG filter and the possibility of adding invertebrates> the system is about 4 months old and all the Nitrogen levels seem to be in order. I've only got 2 tomato clowns and 2 striped damsels in there for now. The 2 damsels feed well and are active but regularly scratch themselves in the rocks and gravel. the clowns I have not seen scratching <could be pathogenic OR water quality...alas, a general symptom> but both have recently (past week) started to show areas of white to off-white small patches on the anal and lateral fins. The white spots don't appear to look like anything I've seen or read concerning ICH or Velvet so I was thinking they might be fungus. Any info you could provide on diagnosis and/or treatment is greatly appreciated. Thanks so much, your book and website are superb! Adam Farkas <Adam... fungus is unlikely, but buy and feed antibacterial medicated flake food to help out just in case. Many water quality parameters besides Nitrogenous components can cause scratching/glancing... do a series of small frequent water changes to see if that could be the case (dilution is the solution to pollution...aiee!). I think it is more likely that the fish have gill parasites. Pick up antiparasitic medicated food at the same time and feed as per instructions (feed full term). If stabilization or improvement is not evidenced within days from meds and water changes... be prepared to remove fish to a quarantine tank for medication. Kind regards, Anthony>

Tomato clowns Hi Anthony, <good evening Adam... I'm obviously on the night watch. Fortunately, I eat so much garlic during any given day that I am quite safe from bats and vampires. Anthony> Thanks so much for your quick and informative reply. I'll certainly try out the medicated flakes and hope that clears things up, but I've got the hospital tank up and running just in case. <excellent! A very good aquarist indeed. Watch for labored breathing too in the fish, or especially a symptom of closing one gill while pumping the other... a good reason to remove to quarantine> You guys are running a great site at WWM.com, much appreciated. Regards, Adam <You are very welcome...pass it along to other aquarists, please. Anthony>

Re: A sad clown :) Let me clarify in ****'s .... <Okay> Thanks Another question to one of the most helpful folk's I've found on the net.... I have a Percula clown that has been in our hospital tank for a week now. (prior to the hospital tank - he was in the main tank for 3 weeks) Why <when> we put him in there - he didn't have any noticeable fungus, or **** whoops **** anything on him - but he was VERY weak, he would constantly be pushed around by the current, he wasn't eating - and he was losing color. He didn't seem to be able to open his mouth, and showed signs of disorientation by swimming sideways (on his side). <Why did you purchase this specimen?> **** Man - I must have been out of it last night. He was fine when we put him in the tank, after about a week, he started showing those signs. **** <<I see>> When you looked closely at him - his "face" looked like an old man... he was all wrinkled. He got really thin - you can almost see thru him. Back to the hospital tank - been treating the little guy with Cupramine (Buffered Active Copper) for a week at a level of .03- .04 ppm. I test the tanks water every 2 days. He doesn't seem to be getting better. He often hides in the little coffee mug I have in there for him, levels in the hospital tank are good (ammonia, PH, salinity, etc). Any thoughts, suggestions on getting him better? <Hopefully this specimen will rally... I would freshwater, pH adjusted dip it and return it to the main system, try vitamin-soaked live, meaty foods...> **** Forgot to add that I initially did a freshwater dip, the pH of the dip was the same as the pH in the tank. Had him in there for about 30 seconds. He stopped moving. **** <<Typical... and not that much to worry re... worth the stress, effort>> (OK - maybe two questions). Tank stats - 46 gallon, Fluval 350 canister filter, 5 pounds live rock (plus misc plants, and "dead" coral), 1 purple tang, 3 Percula clowns (including the sick guy), 1 velvet damsel, 1 mandarin goby, 1 Banggai Cardinalfish, 1 choc. chip star, 2 hermit crabs. From what we've been told - 1 inch/fish per gallon of water. We are thinking of adding a coral beauty angel. Do you have any other suggestions on additional fish? <Please read about this species, marine livestocking in general on the Marine Index of WetWebMedia.com and utilize more like one half inch of fish as a guideline here> Thank you very much. ~Bill <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner> Bill Yazji

Clownfish & Goniopora Doing Poorly Hello Robert, <You reached Steven Pro working his shift today. Anthony Calfo and I are filling in for Bob for the time being.> Whenever I have a problem that I cannot figure out I know who to ask, you're the man. My female clown has been sick on/off for about a year, mostly off, but when she does get sick it's always the same physical signs. Common features include split tail, discolored spots around body, white mucus around gills. Not all signs appear at the same time, but one or two together are common. I have researched your website, and have found the best thing to do is to wait to see how she reacts and wait, so that's what I do, but how long can she go through bouts of sickness and remain alive in my tank. Also, she is paired with a male and they both share a home together (long tentacle anemone) and I have never noticed the male with any signs of disease, nor the 6 other fish in my reef tank. What does she have? What should I do? <This sounds more like an environmental factor or some reaction to aggression, than an infectious disease. I would look for changes in water quality that correspond with the symptoms showing up.> Last question. My two flower pot corals have both been closed, sometimes showing signs of opening, but they never open to their full capability that they showed the first month or two when introduced in my tank. I have moved them away from the light, but their isn't much room in my 40 gallon. What do you suggest? <I have no suggestion for you. Your corals will be dead shortly. Goniopora are one of the most commonly imported corals into America and they almost always die, 99% mortality in less than one year. They live long enough for the hobbyists' to falsely believe they are doing OK before they taper off. I do not mean to seem so callous, but it is a commonly known fact with this coral. One suggestion I have for you is to go get and read Eric Borneman's "Aquarium Corals". This should help educate you for your future purchases. -Steven Pro> Thanks again, Jason

Aggression as the Cause of Mysterious Ailments Thanks for the coral advice, I figured something was up. I think the aggression might be the cause of the Clowns physical behavior, whenever I move anything in the tank or the anemone moves to a new spot she gets sick. <Also, do make your hands are clean and free from soap, hand creams, after shave, etc.> Thanks for figuring it out. You guys are good. I need to get some got reference books to learn more. Jason

Re: New pair of clownfish Sorry to bother you yet Again I was reading your site and now have more questions). In regards to Brooklynella, how do clowns get it? <Brought in with other host/Clownfishes... mainly imported with wild-collected specimens... spread to others by their introduction, movement of water, materials from infested systems...> Should I be concerned? The clowns we got look great; beautiful color, not skinny...., are very active and curious. They didn't say they were tank raised/reared, but there behavior laying on top of each other in a corner) is indicative of tank raised. I don't know if it helps but they have a lot of black in them is this more likely in tank raised specimens?) <Likely no worries... were captive produced probably... The darker ones from stock hailing from Shark Bay, Australia...> We didn't dip the fish because the LFS dipped them in quick cure on Wednesday and we thought another dip would be stressful. <Not warranted, worth it in my estimation as well> I am mostly concerned about my 5 inch Hippo he can't get Brooklynella, right?) <No> Again, should I be concerned about this disease given the above info on the clowns? THANKS again and I will stop reading your site for now, or I will be coming to you all day with "what if questions" haha.... <Keep studying, dreaming, scheming my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: New pair of clownfish
> Thank you!!!! I will clam down now! Have a great New Year and will be chatting with you as we try to restock our tank and upgrade to a much larger system!!! <Ahh, the pleasure. We will be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Euthanasia Bob, Hope all is cool with you and yours! Wanted to write and get your take on my attempts at cross breeding A. chrysopterus with A. sandaracinos. I have had one mixed pair together for about a year that laid down a couple of nests that were consumed. Last night the chrysopterus ripped a big chunk out of the poor sandaracinos.  <Yikes> The only thing I can think of is that other clown females tend to abuse even long term mates for lack of cooperation.  <Likely... a form of competition> I guess the sandaracinos didn't stand a chance in this case. My fear is that the sandaracinos was blinded in one eye and may eventually succumb to infection as a result of his wounds. Do you think I should put him down if an infection becomes terminal?  <Yes... but the Amphiprionae/Clownfishes are remarkably resilient, regenerative as you likely know> In the past I've placed fish in a sizable container and placed them in the freezer to end their suffering. Can you think of a more humane way of dispatching a terminal fish? <This is my favored method for small specimens...> Thanks! Jeff Lawson Eco-Tropic <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Maroon clown mouth problems. Bob, I have a gold stripe maroon clown, 2 inches plus. Has been in mature tank for 6 months. Has taken up with a frogspawn coral, for a surrogate host. Has always been very healthy, but today I noticed that his mouth appears to be stuck open. The inside looks swollen, almost like he is having an allergic reaction. He is able to move mouth a little bit, but has been unable to eat. All other fish in tank are doing well. All tank parameters are in line, salt concentration at 1.025, water temperature 80F. Any ideas? Should I just let it ride and see if it passes? Thanks in advance Kevin..... <I wouldn't change anything. As you suggest, hopefully this "open mouth syndrome" will cure itself. Bob Fenner>

Cinnamon Clown Dear Robert: We recently set up a 44gallon tank. We just added our first fish. We have a wonderful guy helping us at Sea World Pet Center. I cant seem to get in touch with him at the present time. We put the clown in on Thursday night and he has made a couple of nests. This morning we found him in a tiny cave in the live rock and he was sleeping upside down!!! We put the light on and he flipped over and swam out of the little cave. He is now swimming all over the tank and doesn't seem to have a problem, but we are concerned as this is our first fish and it seems odd to us that he would be upside down and still be OK. Please let me know if this is his usual behavior. Thanks much, Ron & Judi New parents to a cinnamon clown named Zeus <No real worries here. Clowns are, well "clowns" in more than their coloration and markings. They do orient in odd positions, hide about, especially when first introduced to a system. Bob Fenner>

Re: Brooklynellosis? Mr. Fenner, Thanks again for your quick response! My next question is: Could the stress of what this fish has been thru be causing these periodic spots on him & him alone. <Yes> The other fish don't get them. Diagnosing these "spots" is very tough if you've never seen them before. I will take your advice & leave him be for the weekend. If the spots are Ich & not Brooklynellosis, & the other fish are very, very healthy, am I running a risk of infecting them all by being gone for 3 days? <Some risk yes. I hasten to add there are no "no risk" propositions in this life. Bob Fenner> Thanks Craig

Re: Clown with erosive condition Let me ask one more question if I could. I have a Tomato clown in a QTank (29G). This poor fish has been in this tank for over a year now. He eats well and I treat his food with Selcon a couple of times a week. The problem is that it looks like his "scales" have been removed. The last 75% of the fish looks white like the red "skin" has been removed. I've tried Copper and Melafix in this tank. The fish is not getting any worse but I'd like to see if I can do anything more for him. <Me too... but not much that I can think of will change the situation at this point. Bob Fenner> Thanks.

Ich As promised, I have more questions. This time concerning Ich. In my main system (the 40 gallon) I had a clownfish that developed white spots. The other fish in the system (two small damsels) do not seem affected and all fish are still eating and swimming fine. I have two cleaner shrimp in the main tank. I noticed the spots last night and move the fish to my quarantine tank (a 20 gallon) with a specific gravity of about 1.021. I have a few questions about this disease and treating it. Is this Ich or some other disease? <Maybe Brooklynellosis, as only the Clowns seem affected. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm> My plan was to raise the temperature slightly in both tanks and to dip the clownfish in a freshwater dip with copper sulfate for a period of time (several dips of about 5 minutes that are spread out in about an hour time). Is this a good method of treatment? <No> I have live rock in both systems so would I be able to lower the SG any more (my main system also has other inverts)? Should I do anything else to remove this disease? How helpful would a UV system be in preventing this for later? Thank you, Kevin <Please read through the WWM site re these questions, issues. The answers are there as are many co-factors you don't mention. Bob Fenner>

Mainly Clownfish Lymph Dear Robert, I have come for your help again. After some reading and stuff, I must agree that rather than having Ick, my clowns are most likely sick with Lymphocystis. All are alive so far and eat like pigs, but I read in several books that Lympowhatever is a viral disease and has no cure.  <Mmm, no "direct cure"... like virally-mediated conditions in humans (like warts) there are steps one can take to effect apparent remission. Please read here on our site: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lymphfaqs.htm> I also read, and I quote "The disease is not usually fatal, but it is of course infectious and there is no cure. Depending on circumstances, it is usually best to destroy the infected fish....". What circumstances are they talking about? Isn't it a bit drastic? <Mmm, this is too drastic, too negative... Lymph/ocystis is generally not "that" infectious... Have seen it "cured" on many species of fishes... As you will find by reading the FAQs where I've sent you, by improved water quality, nutrition, prising clumps from fishes...> I've never killed anything intentionally (well, that's not entirely true) do I have to? What are the consequences of having all fish get this thing? I mean if I let them live and add others. None seem to be bothered by it so far. (perhaps the "so far" is the answer to this one) <No need, reason to kill specimens...> Of three clowns that I have all were infected. After I put them together with LTA (Macrodactyla doreensis), one no longer has the growth (he had the smaller clumps), another has gotten worse (got new clumps and some of the old have grown, some have become smaller) and the third one seems to have remained unchanged (actually he just got there, 2 days ago, moved from copper-safe tank with two old and one new growth). Is there a chance that the first dude is cured? <Yes... with improved immunity no less> I did read somewhere that apparently Macrodactyla D. is "the cure" for Lympho.. even if the fish is just placed with the MD without making a clown-anemone bond. <Anything that improves the life of the host will delimit the viral component... an important lesson here... Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm> None have actually bonded with MD. The sicker one sometimes comes by and rubs himself against the stem (foot) of the anemone. Do you know anything about the magical powers of Macrodactyla Doreensis or it is just me, reading too much into it? <Mostly the latter... as I state, the "balance equation" is tilted more toward "health" with a more "complete" positive environment... the Anemone is part of the equation> A follow-up: In the 10g (everyone is there temporarily), the anemone seems to be doing OK. It finally got up and is now standing attached with her disk (not foot) to a rock next to it. It also started to feed by itself ( I used to have to stick food directly into her mouth as she dropped it otherwise). We are still waiting for 55 to cycle with rock. Is it normal to have zeros in ammonia and nitrite after only 3 weeks? Could we have finished cycling? <Likely finished> Tests show 8.0-8.2PH, Nitrite=0,amo=0, nitrate<20. (should I test for something else?)  <Perhaps alkalinity, and the biomineral calcium> I did do a massive water change once toxins reached zeros, so that should explain nitrate, which I did not test before the water change. Oh, and is there any reason why my water smells like vinegar, or something very similar to that.  <Results of dying, competition of live rock constituents> I did however go wild (following the dosage) on additives, such as iodine (Kent), calcium (Seachem), strontium & molybdenum (Kent), trace elements (CombiSan and Kent) and Carbonate Alkalinity (Seachem) for the rock. I forgot to add iron.. oops. Are those elements in any way harmful to fish, considering the dosage is correct? <Better to under-dose, be careful about mixing, matching manufacturers products. There are some semi-toxic mixing possibilities> Well, I think I should leave you alone for now... Thanks a bunch Oksana <Study where I've sent you, and the links beyond. Bob Fenner>

Re Clownfishes Hey Bob, It's been a while, how are things? My tank seems to be streamlining its operation, thanks to you. I recently acquired some new livestock, a Sailfin Tang and a breathtaking Bulb (Bubble) Anemone. I'm hoping that my True Perk will take to it (doubt it). But here's the deal, speaking of the True Perk. . . When I approach the tank, he, like all the rest of his tankmates swim to the front of the glass and await to be fed. He eats in his usual manor and everything seems fine. But then, I caught him what appeared to be napping on the sand. Right against the front glass. Then when I moved suddenly, he'd swim about again. Even when another fish would swim by close to him, he'd get up again. He was laying upright but appeared to be breathing hard. It may be my imagination though. . . But also worth mentioning is the fact that he seems to be swimming in a vertical style when he thinks nobody is watching. Finally, I took a real close look and I discovered what appeared to be some kind of "parasite" WITHIN the fish. That is, as you looked closely at the latter half of the fish you could see a few 3-5 small brown football shapes that were NOT on the outside, but on the inside. . . Any ideas? <Might be something... maybe nothing> He also sleeps much longer than the rest of the crew. . . It's not until the lights are totally on that he sets out into the water column. His colors are brilliant white and orange. His diet is of ONLY frozen foods. Brine shrimp and MYSIS shrimp. Great to talk again, my friend. I hope all is well. Rich <Do take a read on the Internet re Clownfishes, even on our site: http://wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and beyond. Bob Fenner>

True Percula Clown w/ Brooklynella Dear Robert Fenner, I have recently made the move from a fresh water aquarium to a salt water system, and I love it! By the way, I was sold your book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" when I decided to change to a marine system, and I think you did a wonderful job (And I'm not trying to suck up).  <Thank you. Much good help with this work> Anyway, I just purchased two true Percula clown fish, a bubble tip anemone, and a carpet anemone. Since introduction, one of my Clowns has acquired this whitish film, almost like his [he's smaller than the other] skin is shedding. I have read all of the stuff on WetWebMedia that pertains to the clown fish. I'm thinking that I might need to do a fresh water dip to treat him after reading all of the information.  <And more... I would resolve/resort to using formalin/formaldehyde in this dip procedure> I don't have a quarantine tank to put him in afterwards, but is it ok to put him back in the main tank? <Mmm, yes, but a likelihood of reinfestation (the system likely harbors/has intermediate forms of this protozoan now.)> If this is the case what is the best method and additives to use in the dip?  <Hmm, do seek out a formalin product sold in the trade and follow their instructions (my pick? Kordon's). Barring this, about fifteen drops per gallon of dip of 37% food grade...> Also, the larger clown doesn't seem affected, but I received this one with a gold spot on its tail, which has turned into a hole. Is there something wrong with this one, or should I just keep a close eye on it (which I would do anyway)? <The latter> I really appreciate your opinion. Thanks - Tim. <And I the opportunity/challenge of aiding your efforts. Bob Fenner>
Re: True Percula Clown w/ Brooklynella
Robert, thank you for your timely response. I'm out the door to get Kordon's formalin product for my fresh water dip, and I still had a couple questions... 1. What did you mean by "of 37% food grade"? <Oh, this is a "stock solution" and strength of formalin, formaldehyde in aqueous solution... available in places. Sorry for the confusion> 2. I was planning on using filtered water (the stuff you get outside the grocery store for a quarter/Gallon), is this o.k.?  <Sure... I use dechlorinated tap... pH adjusted.> 3. Can I use just a gallon of dip, or is better to use 2-5 gallons? <For one Clown? A gallon should do... and do aerate it during use, and stay there watching the fish...> 4. Should the fish stay in the dip for 5-10 minutes, while watching that it doesn't start thrashing about? And lastly, <Yes, please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm> 5. If the protozoan has infected my tank, is there any way to treat the tank, or is it best to leave it alone? Thanks again. - Tim <Best to "treat" it by leaving it w/o hosts for a month or more... Detailed on the WWM site... Bob Fenner>

Clown question (health, symbionts) Hello again Mr. Fenner, I will keep this short. My 2 tank raised Percula clowns have adopted my flowerpot corals a host over the last few days. <Yes, this happens> Last night, the larger clown would hardly leave the coral & seemed to be enjoying himself <Herself. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm> immensely. This morning when the lights came on, he was dead, against the inlet sponge. Could the flowerpot coral have caused this??? <Hmm, yes... could have> All my levels are perfect. I wont tempt you w/sushi in Vegas this time. Thanks in advance Craig <Sorry to hear/read of your loss my friend. Please read over the WWM site re the Flowerpot/Goniopora Coral (family Poritidae), anemone symbionts, clownfish health... Bob Fenner>

Cleaner Wrasse contradiction Hi Bob, I'm not trying to "catch you up" or anything but I know you want the info on your articles and FAQs to be accurate. <Yes> You don't have to put this on your daily FAQ or anything as I am not trying to embarrass you. <Only I could do that my friend>> But I was reading up on the clownfish pages, but on the section on diseases you recommend Labroides Wrasses. www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm (Look towards bottom of the page.) Gosh I know you don't anymore, looks like an older page perhaps? I thought you might like to know this was still there?? <Very... very likely... do see the reference you mention... Labroides who have "made it" used to be used to clean up mainly Brooklynella (hostilis) infestations in wild-caught Amphiprionines... Perhaps clarification (and definitely whatever is the cause of the all-emboldened part of the file, sheesh, can be offered.> BTW, had a good time with our now mutual friend Zo this weekend at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. I didn't need him to move any couches. :-) <Ah yes, and no... a missed opportunity. Will add an addendum with your suggestion tomorrow. Thank you. Bob Fenner> --des aka Jane

Amphiprion chrysopterus Bob, Changed most of the water in 1/4 increments. Tried my best to match all variables. I'm getting a 0 reading with the quick dip. <Read the above sentence... a zero reading of what?> I'm still not certain as to what is up with this female. You ever turn on a tank in the morning and notice how some fish seem to have lost all of their color? <Yes, normal... a reasonable event considering the survival value... matching the environment, avoiding predation> This fish seems to be able to lose color at will and at random. I've tried different bulbs, different spectrums, etc.. The more light in the tank the more stressed they seem.  <Possibly too bright> The female still has a white cast to her body color. There is still some twitching from time to time by both fish. There is no flashing or otherwise overt sign of a parasite. I just don't get it! I'm wondering if Oodinium might still be at play? <Maybe... perhaps something else... Bob Fenner>
Re: Amphiprion chrysopterus
Woops! I meant 10 ppm nitrite. 90 would kill humans!  <Ten is still WAY too much... as you know...> Sorry to sound like a defeatist. I never thought about a false reading off of formalin. <Yes, this happens with the most common test format... also with the more popular water conditioners btw for browsers> I did run carbon over night and it is still coming up with nitrite over 10 ppm. Do you think I should do a massive water change? <I would first "test the tester"... in other words, get/borrow/have a store test your water to assess whether your kit is bunk. I do suspect that this value is not accurate (10 ppm). Be chatting. Bob Fenner>
Re: Amphiprion chrysopterus
Can't figure it. I'm using "Quick Dip" by jungle. It's supposed to measure Nitrate & Nitrite. It gives quasi accurate readings on other tanks. I know that these are not as reliable as others but they are great when you just want a glimpse. We tested some water with a Tetra test NO2 which also showed the same results - Off the scale!! I changed 1/4 of the water just for sanity sake and I still get the same results, 10.0 ppm on the "Quick Dip" and 3.3 - 33mg/l on the "Tetra test". The "Quick Dip" is showing 20 ppm nitrate. I'm going to try a "SeaTest" and a "Red Sea". I did a 100% water change on this tank before these clowns went in using tap water. I used Prime to dechlorinate. I'm using a hot magnum with Fluval brand carbon. I replaced the carbon last night and have run it since. I have not detected any ammonia. The tank is about 55 gallons total. I'm going to replace the water in increments over the next couple of days. I would guess that nitrite that high would have killed these clowns? <Hmm, mysterious, and yes to the clowns being killed by the high/measured nitrite. I concur with your plan. I would also be changing a good deal of water. BTW, one of the ingredients in "Prime" (the PIP), will also register a false/higher positive with the common nitrite test kits... Bob Fenner>
Re: Amphiprion chrysopterus
The on going saga. Perhaps I should just flush them and get it over with! <What would be gained in such a defeatist act?> If I can't kill a fish no one can. They are not dead but I think I have the suspect in custody. It's fish keepers 101 for me. I've thumbed through Robert Clifton's book, "Marine Fish" The recognition and treatment of diseases searching for that odd ball Ebola style killer of chrysopterus clowns when all I needed to do was check the nitrite. That's it, I quit! Just kidding! I can't figure how a couple of "delicate" clowns could live in nitrite above 90 ppm? <What? Ninety ppm of Nitrite, not nitrate?....> It defies reality. I'm not sure why it's only nitrite and not ammonia? Ammonia looks great. The only guess is the combination of low sg, 1.013 and residual formalin? <Ah, the formalin is likely giving you a false positive on the nitrite> I've added some media from a healthy wet dry and a few pieces of not so live rock. No sponges or other life forms to die off. Would it stand to reason that since they are living in the high nitrite that once the recycle is complete all will be fine? The pH. is at 8.4 steady. Does this even make sense? Your input is always appreciated. Perhaps the only purpose to my life is to serve as a warning to others! <Don't be so hard on yourself my friend. You are just on the steep upward slope of a learning/experience curve. All will soon make much more sense... do use a bit of activated carbon in your filter flow path... and test again. And be patient. Bob Fenner>
Re: Amphiprion chrysopterus
The breathing of the female is back up a bit. I'm guessing that the dry looking scales and continued heavy breathing are the result of damage that will heal in time?  <Likely> I have not seen any flashing by either fish. The male has no continued symptoms other then quasi heavy breathing. They are not huffing but the breathing is a little faster then all of my other clowns. The female seems a bit lethargic unless food is present or I approach the tank. They both eat with vigor but the female still swims with a slight waggle. The good news is that her pectoral fins are down most of the time and their feces looks OK. I'm still noticing a tinge of white in the females droppings. She appears a bit stoned at times. I guess my questions is do you think that after a three week period without a continued decline in general condition that the worst would be over? Can I still expect a reemergence of the causative agent? <Things are likely fine... Bob Fenner>
Re: Amphiprion chrysopterus
Just an update. I'm going with the "they should make it" synopsis. Although their breathing is still a bit on the heavy side, approximately 50 to 60 breaths per minute, I'm inclined to believe these chrysopterus are starting to shape up. The female has regained a lot of her color and the "dry" look has started to subside. I've started to bring the SG back up SLOWLY! Their activity level has increased. They are eating about one and a half cubes each day with vigor. <All sounds good> As far a diagnosis I'm at the "I don't know" impasse. I guess if I'm going to do this on a quasi professional basis I should purchase a real microscope and can the Fisher-Price model I currently own. My fist guess was Brooklynella but you pointed out that the lack of lesions would almost certainly rule that out. Maybe Oodinium. Maybe rough handling on my part. Maybe a combination.  <Yes to the combo.> Maybe chrysopterus have a special disease all to themselves. In any event I'm praying this is the last leg of their and my torment. My last pair and the individual paired with the skunk went through a similar ordeal. The only thing that saved them was a pre dip and hypo. Just wanted to say thanks for having a sympathetic ear and doing what it is you do. Until next time! Jeff Lawson <Yes my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Amphiprion chrysopterus
I need to start paying you for your time. Maybe Oodinium? Again! No spots, no specks but I just saw her flash a couple of time and wiggle as she swam. Help!  <Maybe all the way around. Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm> Back to square one! I'm not certain what forces are at work here but hoped you might be able to guide me in the right direction. The scales on the large female chrysopterus look dry. It starts along the base of the spiny dorsal fin and extends down to the lateral line and back to the base of the soft dorsal. It's on the top of the fish. No spots or specks. Just a dry, faded area down the back and heavy breathing. I tried to get it on digital film but the camera will not pick it up. The male looks great and acts like a normal male clown. He's not breathing as heavy but still more then 80 breaths per minute. <This is too much... do you have a dissolved oxygen test kit? Your water may be too low... After a few days to weeks, new livestock should "resolve" and adapt to new surroundings, breathing at a reasonable (slow enough, deep enough) rate/degree... perhaps there is a parasite involved...> I've got them in a 29 with UV, Wet/Dry, and Carbon. The temp is about 80.8 and I've dropped the SG to 1.010.  <The spg may be the real culprit here as well... I am not a fan of keeping organisms that live in close association with non-vertebrates in conditions that they (the invert.s) are intolerant of... I would slowly (a thousandths per day) return the spg to NSW condition> They arrived on Wednesday the 1st so I've had them for 9 days.  <And you lowered the spg how quickly!?> I wanted your advise before going forward. I did a dip on them before introducing them. It does not seem to fit the Brooklynella pattern but what else could it be?  <You, the spg, perhaps a gill fluke, other parasite> Should I give them another week? What are your thoughts on the various Acriflavine, aminoacridine, formalin combo products on the market? Worth a try? <At this point, if it were me, I'd simply restore these fishes to near seawater conditions. It's too late for dipping, treating... Bob Fenner>
Amphiprion chrysopterus
Mr. Fenner, I don't know if you remember my name at first glance but I'm the guy with the chrysopterus/sandaracinos pair. I had to move the pair to better surroundings. They had been living in a 29 quarantine tank for 5 months and I just couldn't keep them their any longer. They are up to their old tricks. Chrysopterus chases skunk, skunk chases chrysopterus! They seemed to enjoy the move to a 55 so I'm hoping they will produce another nest in the next couple of months.  <Likely so> You'll be one of the first to know. On Wednesday I purchased a pair of Amphiprion chrysopterus from FF Express. These are the white tail variety allegedly from Palau. I started dropping the specific gravity the morning after introducing them. They came in about 1.022 and I acclimated them to 1.020. At last count they are down to about 1.012. I treat all my clowns to a stretch of depressed salinity if their breathing does not improve 12 hours after acclimation. Do you think this course of action extreme?  <Hmm, if you have success with this approach (hyposalinity), no... as I am in agreement that something must need be done with all wild-collected Clownfishes (Amphiprionines)... Our companies used to do pH adjusted freshwater dips with a cap of 37% food grade formaldehyde per half five gallon "pickle bucket" (a standard tool) with lots of aeration, for two to five minutes... for our procedure of eradicating external parasites, infectious agents...> They are both still breathing heavy and the female is starting to loose color on top of her head. A local shop brought in 5 pairs of chrysopterus about 6 months ago and they all did great for a couple weeks. They eventually started to turn white on the top on the head and then died slow deaths. Am I perhaps looking at Brooklynella or something else? If so do you recommend anything? I've attached two photos of the aforementioned pairs. <Hmm, probably not Brooklynella hostilis... you have probably seen the "white, clumpy appearance" this protozoan makes... I would consider our tried and true protocol, after a few days of grading the fish back to near seawater spg... Bob Fenner>
Re: Amphiprion chrysopterus
Robert, You should report me to the fish police and have my clown keeping license pulled. I'm guessing that I didn't have enough flow in the tank. I accidentally redirected a couple of power heads and the female has started to perk up. She's out and about and harassing her mate a bit. I'm going to guess that the color change is just stress related and that the less then optimal breathing is the result of gill burn from being locked up in a bag for the better part of 24 hours.  <This happens, parole for you> It's always the little things that kill... It makes sense as chrysopterus is normally found in a moderate to strong surf zone. Do you think excessive micro bubbles in the tank could harm or irritate clownfish?  <Depends on degree> The reason I ask is that the tank I keep my nigripes clown in has very strong flow and, as a result, a lot of tiny bubbles. They're great in wine but I wasn't certain about an aquarium? <Too many, too fine bubbles are trouble... beware of anything under 1/64th of an inch> I read something about a gas embolism in Frank Hoff's book but couldn't tell if he was talking about larvae, juvenile, or adults. <All: read: http://wetwebmedia.com/bbldisease.htm Pertains to all aquatics> I'll keep you posted on the chrysaracinos! I'm thinking of doing up a small website on clowns and wanted to know if it would be cool to link out to your site? Keep up the outstanding work! <Absolutely. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Amphiprion Ocellaris parasite !? Hello, sorry to bother you... <No bother my friend> This is Portugal here. My name is Luis Santos, and I'm having troubles with my small (4,5 centimeters long) Amphiprion Ocellaris. He seems to have developed some sort of white pin-head parasite on the base of it's left ventral fin. <Hmm, might be a parasite like Brooklynella hostilis... or just a "mark"...> Everything else seems right on him. But he's experiencing real visible discomfort. Can you please give me a clue of what's going' on ? PLEASE. (PS: he's the only occupant of my 65 Gal marine tank. For now.) Thank you very much for your cooperation. LS <Please read through the FAQs on Clownfish disease posted on our site starting here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm Is this a tank bred, reared specimen? If not, I would administer a formalin/formaldehyde based medication (as a dip, placing the fish into new water, a new system), or at least avail yourself of cleaner organisms: http://wetwebmedia.com/clnrfaqs.htm So this soon. Bob Fenner>

Portuguese Clownfish Hello again ! Portugal here...(Amphiprion ocellaris parasite !?) It's great to reach home at night, and find some sort of help from across the Atlantic Ocean to your aquaristic problems. <The Net can and should be a phenomenal tool to spread information, inspiration, even hope to others... quickly, at low cost...> Really admire and respect your job. You see this is a kind of "desert" out here (I mean Portugal...!); no one really knows much about this marine issue. Basically we (have to) depend on two or three shops for advice, and pray they'll give you the right answer. <It's much the same here in most localities in the U.S.....> But enough licking my wounds and let's get down to business I mean information). I don't know were the Ocellaris came from. I bought it in a small town shop by the sea, were I live. I have two years of freshwater aquaria experience and I started this marine tank(65 Gal) on the 7th July. (Ph=8.2; Ammonia=0ppm: Nitrites=0.2ppm; Nitrates=10ppm; Spec. Grav.=1.025; 26? Celsius. these are readings taken the 25th August). Life Support Systems are: interior side filter with Eheim Ehfisubstrat + Eheim Ehfimech filter media and powered by a Project Step-3 water pump(950 Lt./h), plus a Eheim 2227 Wet/Dry (1050 Lt./h) with Eheim Ehfisubstrat media, toped by an AZOO Tri-super Skimmer. Lights are two Actizoo nominal TX 25W fluorescent lamps and finally two Rena Cal Excel 200W heaters and crushed coral as substrate. Inside resident one single Ocellaris (poor guy!). Today I bought NeoPlex Seachem broad spectrum antibiotic (containing Neomycin sulfate) and gave a one hour dip (this was before I read your advice !). And also replaced around 8 Gal of water. Tomorrow I'm planning a water test (Red Sea Marine Test Kit) and another (bigger) water change. I'll let you know the results, if you don't mind of course. Thank you again for your support. C you. Luis Santos <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish Hey Bob, I just walked in from work and noticed my clown fish had a white substance in its mouth and what looks like a white worm type coming from the side of her. What should I do, wait? freshwater dip? chemicals? Jason <Hmm, not good... wild-collected Clownfishes are rather prone to Nematode infestations... usually only seen on necropsy (cutting them open, post-mortem)... One of the several reasons folks suggest going with captive-produced livestock... No treatment moda are suggested. Bob Fenner>

Re: clownfish disease Dear Robert Fenner Got your mail thank you for your response, I have gone through the articles mentioned all of them were regarding the sub adults in trade as I am working on the newly metamorphosed ones I do not know how it is going to work. once I tried the copper treatment in some with no result but complete mortality. hope you can help I will also try other treatments if I encounter it again. faithfully Binu <Sorry to state, don't recall your circumstances... I would NOT use a copper-based medication on juvenile fishes of any species... Please write back with your pertinent information. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish disease Sir, I am doing my research on the nutrition of clownfish at Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Koch, INDIA. Presently I am working on the one month old larvae of clownfish sebae, I am encountering serious disease problems due to parasites both Ich and Oodinium , I hope with your vast experience you can help me in countering these problems. I would like to know the preventive measures and the possible treatments, I am not using anemone in the 70 l experimental tanks as my study is on nutrition. I have not got the useful dosages of any medicine at this stage of fish just after metamorphoses. I would be happy to receive any advice and suggestions from you. I would also like to receive any articles on the same. <There is much to say, relate here my friend. I and others in our field will help you. Please do read over the "links" page on our site (WetWebMedia.com) and contact Jeff Turner of ORA (their link there), Tropic Marine Centre, and C-Quest. I will be back in the States soon and continue our dialogue from there. Bob Fenner> Thanking you Yours sincerely Binu Varghese Research Scholar Vizhinjam Research Centre of CMFRI Vizhinjam.P.O. Thiruvananthapuram Kerala INDIA

Please help!! (Clown with cloudy eye) Mr. Fenner I have a 120reef Berlin system that has been up for about 4 years. It is packed with all of the usual inhabitants, hard and soft corals, 200lbs of live rock, and sand etc. I woke up this morning to find my little clown fish has his right eye all clouded over. My readings as far as calcium Alk, ammonia etc are all great as usual) nothing upset aside from my 10 gal water change I did yesterday's always use bottled distilled water for my changes. I am very worried. He is only about 2 inches long and I have had him since he was a tiny little baby. I have a 18inch saddle anemone for him as well he loves it) Can you please help me?? <The cloudiness only on one side? Likely this fish just went "bump in the night" and will just as likely cure on its own. Don't panic, don't move it, don't pour anything into the water. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish It seems like I am writing to you about once a week lately. So far all the other problems that I have had have worked themselves out but this one is a little different. I have had a little Perc. clownfish for about three weeks now and up until this afternoon he seemed to be doing really well. He has been eating everything he gets hold of and swims all over the tank and seemed very alert. This afternoon he is laying on the bottom at a slight angle and seems to be having trouble holding himself in a upright position and is breathing rather quickly. He has no interest in food and isn't moving out of the way when the other fish come over near him. I don't see anything on him like white stuff or bumps or parasites. He looks very sad, is there anything I can do to help him? He is in a 30 gal. and his tank mates are a yellow tang, mandarin, Haitian anemone, a little urchin, and a cleaner wrasse. Thank you. <Sounds like this little Clownfish ate something that doesn't agree with him... maybe a bit of the anemone or vice versa... not much to do now but keep the faith... likely this fish will rally in a day or two. Bob Fenner>

Losing fish I am sorry to bother you but I am trying to figure out why my fish are dying and I came across your web site. I have a 3 month old, 75 gal reef setup with a 25W UV. Currently I have a 3" Flame angle, and a 3" Coral Beauty, and (as of last night) three Percula (False) clowns. One of my Percy's was being "bullied" by the other two perch's so he started to leave them alone and just sort of hang out by himself.  After a week of this his condition worsened and he started looking really bad.  <Yes, this happens> The Perc began to develop this white-ish film that started to build up on top of his head and extend out to cover about 60-70% of his body. I quarantined him and an area inside my main tank so I could keep and eye on him. Yesterday a second Perc showed signs of the same infliction. I added him to the quarantine area and started feeding everyone an anti-bacteria food. I believe that the original Perc perished this morning. I know that the Percs are easy to replace (but I still hate to lose any fish) I want to try and prevent this from happening to my Flame and Coral Beauty angles. <The disease you mention is very likely "Brooklynellosis", a protozoan that is particular to Clownfish species... the last Clown will soon show signs of this as well... it is treatable, but not with antibiotic foods. Please read through the "Clown Diseases" section of our site: www.WetWebMedia.com for treatment info.> I have a few corals and two anemones along with several Mithrax crabs and about 100 snails along with a few brittles and cucumbers.. I don't think I can use a copper based medication.  <You can't there> I do not have a separate quarantine tank but if it is required to save my fish,.... One will become available!!! <Good idea... please read through the "Quarantine" sections on the WWM site> Any help you might have would be extremely appreciative. Brian Alster <You have the desire and intelligence to succeed... translate them into learning and action. Bob Fenner>

Percula Clown (disease) I can't figure it <What's "it"?> out my Tank <What size, shape?> has a Emperor 400 Filter with Chemi Sorb, and Phos-Sorb, and 2 normal filters. I have for circulation, 2-802 powerheads, and 1-226 PowerSweep powerhead, and a Sea Clone Protein Skimmer, everything is working great. I have 220 watts of light 50-50Actinic and Actinic 03 Fluorescent (URI). It's a 75gal. reef, Livestock I have 1-Royal Gramma, 1-Yellow Tang, 1-Manderin Goby, 2-Pecula Clowns, 1-Sand Sifting Star, 65-Combined Blue Legged Hermits and Scarlets, 30-Astrea Snails, 1-BIG Turbo Snail, and 1-Fire Shrimp. My ? is I noticed my Percula Clown looked like it had a sm. hole in it's head above it's eye, now they both have them and more of them, They also started to turn a blackish color, my nitrite is perfect as well as my nitrate, amonia,Ph-8.0-8.2, Alkaline@9-10 which is right in the middle of the optimal scale, I can't fine no information on this matter can you please help? <Does sound like a typical/classical case of HLLE, head and lateral line erosion... there's a section on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com re this... "environmental" or "nutritional" disease. Do give this a read over... and supplement their food with a vitamin complex and iodine supplement> I forgot I have 5 Anenomes,2-types of sponges very sm. Red tree, and a green sponge, 2-rocks w/mushrooms, everything is great except the Clowns, and I change 20% water /Month Tropic Marin Salt mix. <Be chatting my alliterative friend. Bob Fenner>

Sick fish....what to do on a Sunday? Hi again Bob, It's Sunday, so I'm short on resources again. I live in Colorado and have the new tank.. and you have been kind enough to help several times this last week. The B. cardinal fish and the flame angel look great. My remaining maroon clown though looks slow and has white spots and film on him, especially around the head. Is that the dreaded ICH?  <Perhaps... and/or Amyloodinium (velvet)... maybe even Brooklynella...> The most important thing I need to know...do I get him out'a there ASAP? <Would be a good idea if you have another stable system to place her (the larger one is a female)> No sign of problems in the other fish. The only other loss is another starfish. The black banded Seastar is going strong after 2 1/2 weeks. I must be doing something right since some things are doing well??? <Mmm, I'm tentative as usual> My levels still look good. Thanks, Sara <Brooklynella tends to just infest Clownfishes... do keep your eyes open re your other fish livestock... and read through the "Marine Diseases" sections on the www.WetWebMedia.com site. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick fish....what to do on a Sunday?
Bob, The smaller clownfish is the surviving clown. <Ah, then likely a male> The only other place I can put the fish is in the tank with the rocks which is heated to 74....and has a powerhead...nothing else. The ammonia and nitrite levels have been zero in there for days now...I just haven't put the rocks in my tank due to the problems I am having. Will that support the fish?  <Likely yes> The fish is swimming in the anemone....sometimes laying on it's side...but as I said isn't as vigorous as it was. <Hmm I would move the anemone with it if you do so> I tried to read the info at your site, but I can't get into the site today...thought you might need to know that. <Thank you for this. Have called the Hosting service re... a bother to not be able to work on it as well. Bob Fenner> Thanks again Sara
Re: Sick fish....what to do on a Sunday?
Hello yet again, Your site is back online now...whew...and I've been reading like mad.  <And I swear I haven't just been a lay about> Couple more questions. Just to be very specific after reading....The clown has white spots about the head only, cloudy eyes, and either white threads...or his skin is peeling...and he does seem to really be rubbing a lot on the anemone.. You recommended putting him in with my rocks. So....if I put him in with my live rock, will I infect the rocks...or is it a mute point because he's already infected the tank?  <A moot point> I can't get anything to treat him with until at least until tomorrow afternoon (small town)....would it be kinder to euthanize him...or does he have a fighting chance? <There is always hope, and the problem whatever it is, is now entrenched in the system at any length> (I know you can't see this fish....I'm an ER nurse and I hate being asked to diagnose on the phone.) How soon will my other fish show signs of infection?...like I said, they look very good. <Should within a day or so... as I stated before (in brief) there is a Clownfish protozoan complaint, Brooklynella hostilis, which rarely infests other fishes... I do hope this is it in this case. Bob Fenner> Thanks Bob Sara

Help please (small system, maroon clowns, live rock...) Mr. Fenner, Oh boy have I gotten in over my head. A friend gave me an aquarium, 30 gallons with live sand/coral. She told me it had been cycled (she had it a long time) and was ready to go. I let it run for a week, then bought a cleanup crew and some rock. I realize I have a bunch of questions and will be very grateful if you can answer a few!  <I will try> I have read a lot of your info on your site...but this is overwhelming. I'm confused about the rock and I'm reading and hearing conflicting information. <There is plenty of this in our interest... and therefore a need for a clear, discerning mind, and searching, ferreting out on ones own> I purchased pre-cured live rock from FFExpress. According to them, I could add one or a few pieces a day to my tank. I put it in a separate container with a powerhead and heater. It's obvious to me from my levels. that I can't add it that fast.  <Yes, I do believe my personal experience over any stated "fact"> Now my fish and other stuff (think I ordered too much) is here and I've had some deaths. Should I just leave the rocks in the separate container for a while? How long? Is a powerhead and heater all I need until the rocks stabilize? Should I take out the two rocks I've put in my tank already? <Please read over the "Live Rock Curing FAQs" areas on the www.WetWebMedia.com site. I would NOT add any more live rock, so-called cured or not, to this system till all stabilizes there (by measuring aspects of nitrogen cycling: ammonia, nitrite). I would engage water changes with pre-made water should either measure approach 1.0 ppm. I would feed nothing to very little to the livestock there during this period. This may take days to a few weeks. Your curing container set-up should be fine; do test the water, change it as needed there as well. I would likely NOT move the rock in the tank already.> I'm a little hesitant to take out the rock because it is sheltering some of the fish. I think I was a little misled about what fish to get. I got a pair of Maroon Clowns, a Flame Angel and a Banggai.  <For a thirty gallon? I would trade out the Flame Angel> The clowns were supposed to be a pair...but the little guy is picking on everyone.. including the mate. I was led to believe this was a good combination. What can I do if they don't get along? <You could sell them, trade them for other livestock... I would likely wait on the Maroon Clowns at this point... as they are likely too stressed to be moved. This is too aggressive, large a species to keep in such a small tank> Thanks for your help.....I have a million more questions, but will continue to read your site. Sara <Very well my friend. Do contact me if there is something more I might do. And do weigh more than one opinion (yes, even mine) in judging important matters in the hobby. There are many good people to help you (perhaps sign up to one of the listservs re reefs, marine aquariums); listen to all, decide for yourself. Bob Fenner>
Re: help please
Thank you Bob for your answer. The larger clown died within hours (he looked bad on arrival...maybe that's why he was being picked on.)  <Sorry to hear/read of your loss> The smaller one is behaving better now. I guess I'll see how he does. Everyone else seems ok. I'll keep my fingers crossed and an eye on the water. Thanks again for your help. Sara <My thoughts are with you. Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Clownfish Parasite problem I have a couple of clowns in my tank and one of them has been carrying a parasite that I cannot get rid of. I have treated the tank with Kick-Ick <Worthless>  for the full cycle. In the past couple of weeks I have dipped this clown in HydroPlex <Ditto>  twice and also did a freshwater dip on him. He seems healthy and does not scratch or any other signs of being uncomfortable. All other fish in the tank are completely clear of any parasites. Can you help me identify this problem and also offer any other suggestions. I would like to get this under control for him. Attached is a picture showing the white tufts on his side. Thank you very much for any help you may give me. <Hmm, looks like "clownfish disease", the causative organism a parasite called Brooklynella hostilis. Please see the "Clownfish" article and "Clownfish Disease" FAQs posted on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com for more on treating this too-common malady of wild-collected Amphiprionines. Generally calls for a formalin/formaldehyde based medication, possible use of cleaners. Bob Fenner>

Saltwater Question I want to bother you with another question (I promise I won't start harassing you!) <Hmm, beauty and harassment are in the eye/mind of the beholder> I have two mated Percula clowns. The little male is great, brightly colored and energetic. The female is huge, and eats great, but her color is dull and she gets sores on her side. They start out as bumps under the skin then quickly erupt into a white fuzzy area that then turns red. All heals up within a couple of days, but then immediately starts over. Is this "clownfish disease"? <Not the usual protozoan Brooklynella... but perhaps something else.> This has been going on for what seems like forever. The male has never shown any sign of this problem. My tank parameters are fine, except pH tends to drop. For the past few months I have been able to stabilize it at 8.0 by using 1 cap full each of SeaChem Reed calcium, Reef Complete, and Reef Plus twice weekly. I put 1 tablespoon of Reef Advantage and Reef Builder in top-off water on alternating weeks. Three months ago, before I started this , my pH was all over the place (7.7 - 8.3), the KH was 18 and Calcium 140. Now the system has stabilized at pH 8.0, KH 10 and Calcium 400. I got this regimen from GARF. <Looks much better to me> I thought maybe the problem with the clownfish was the changing tank conditions, but now things are stable, yet the problem persists. I can't stand the thought of using chemicals in a hospital tank. I have never saved a fish that way. By the way, I have had the fish for 1 1/2 years. I feed them frozen brine shrimp, beef heart and Spirulina plus a little flake food alternating daily. Thanks for any advice you can give!! <If it were me, I'd add a liquid vitamin preparation to their foods daily for a couple of weeks then weekly thereafter... there may be a nutritional deficiency component at play here. Do use the Google Search feature on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com for FAQs input here. Bob Fenner>

You Dip We Dip (Clownfish Disease) Bob, <Bob, Lorenzo Gonzalez, standing in for Bob-in-Asia> Well, I spoke too soon. After being in the q-tank for 1 week, one Tomato Clown came down with a fungus. Located right below the dorsal fin, it appears as a "white fuzz". I take this is the dreaded clownfish disease? <Hmmm. The clownfish disease (Brooklynella parasite) usually looks more like a bunch of soft, translucent, dead skin or mucus peeling/flaking off the fish. Gross. This sounds more like a fungus.> So I went tooling through WWM and found some answers to my questions. I will begin treating all three fish (2 Tomato Clowns/1 Six Line Wrasse) with a freshwater dip in Methylene. The Wrasse also appears to have a little white fuzz. There is one question that I could not find an answer. What is the duration of the dip (1 week, 2 weeks, etc.)?  <The duration of the dip is 5 minutes max for the wrasse, around 10 for the clowns.> Then what is the frequency of the dip (every day, every other, etc.)?  <Don't haul those fish out and dump them in a bucket more than once every 48 hours. It's really not fun for them at all.> I am also planning to do a partial water change every day or at least every other. <Very, very good idea. You can also treat the entire quarantine tank with the Blue.> Now here is my big question, how much longer do they need to stay in q-tank? <Until you haven't seen any trace of the disease for 14 days straight.> Thanks as always for your help. I think my brown bottle tab just went up again. <I don't drink, but I'm sure Bob will be happy to collect! -Lorenzo> <Oh yes! Bob F> Bob Wrigley

Uronema (Uronema) Dear Robert: I'm completely lost about the life cycle of the Uronema sp. that cause fish diseases. I wonder where I can find this information!!! I would really appreciate if you could tell me where I can find it!! I have been trying to find it in the net but I couldn't. <Hmm Edward Noga's coverage of Uronema and its implications in captive marine husbandry are about the best current coverage (Fish Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment)... that and Blasiola and Gratzek's works for Tetra, publication date 1992... Or a search on BIOSIS... requiring a visit to a large college library likely... Doing such searches is covered in a few places on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com... btw, Noga is coming out to the next MACNA (XIII) in Baltimore this summer as a speaker...> Thank you very much in advance. Yours sincerely Marc <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Uronema
Thank you very much for the information Bob! Marc <Anytime my friend... Wish I owned rights to the Noga book... would fax, copy, post on Net pgs. 103-104... Bob Fenner>

Re: sick clowns Hi Bob, I wrote a couple of weeks ago about my sick clown fish (Ich?). I have a 20 gallon high tank with a protein skimmer and BioWheel filter - which I've since heard is a complete gimmick and won't be effective after 6 months - What's your opinion on that? <Hmm, no... these work... and have worked... for many years... as nitrifying beds... the rest for mechanical filtration, circulation> Back to the fish. . . I stopped using Quick Cure and waited a few days, but the fish seemed worse, so I called my new LFS (?) and asked what I should do - he gave me Cupramine, and after the first treatment they seemed great. I was afraid to overdose the tank, so instead of treating it again two days after the first treatment like the directions said, I waited and did it on the third day b/c I saw one fish rub against a shell once. After treating it, the fish immediately started acting funny again - very lethargic - and this morning one of them died (I actually cried!) I've gotten so attached to them. We had a funeral in the bathroom and now the other fish seems to be struggling. I put my carbon filter back in b/c I immediately thought it was the copper, but the LFS said it was probably the Ich. <Yes... did you use a test kit? Not doing so is dangerous... as there is little to be trusted in "just putting in" copper/Cupramine in the system... Likewise, skipping a treatment interval can be disastrous... try to understand me and the situation here... it is necessary to have a "physiological dose" of free cupric ion present in your water at all times (else wise the Ich parasites can/will go off and reproduce and come back on to your fish (hosts) while the dosage is sub-lethal to them)... Cupramine is a chelated product of copper salts... formulated to stay in solution longer... but not long enough to not be tested and replaced at least daily...> Everything else in the tank seems normal, nitrites are 0 and I think my tank has finally cycled. The LFS recommended I remove the carbon filter, do a partial water change and another Cupramine treatment to completely wipe out the Ich. What do you suggest?  <One "more" treatment will not "do it"... Please read over the "Ich", "Marine Parasitic Disease" and "The Three Sets of Factors that Determine Livestock Health" posted on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com> I hate to put more copper in the tank. Are Cupramine and Copper essentially the same? <The former has the latter as its active ingredient> Please help! Thanks, Laura Houseal
<Bob Fenner> 

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