FAQs about the Diseases
Related FAQs: Clownfish Disease 1, Diseases of Clownfishes 2, Diseases of Clownfishes 3, Clownfish Disease 4, Clownfish Disease 5, Clownfish Disease 6, Clownfish Disease 7, Clownfish Disease 8, Clownfish Disease 9, Clownfish Disease 10, Clownfish Disease 11, Clownfish Disease 12, Clownfish Disease 13, Clownfish Disease 14, Clownfish Disease 15, Clownfish Disease 16, Clownfish Disease 17, Clownfish Disease 18, Clownfish Disease 19, Clownfish Disease 20, Clownfish Disease 21, Clownfish Disease 22,
Disease 23, Clownfish Disease 24,
Clownfish Disease 25,
Clownfish Disease 27,
& FAQs on
Clownfish Disease By: Environmental
Stress, Nutrition, Social/Behavioral/Territoriality, Trauma/Mechanical Injury, & Pathogens:
Lymphocystis, Infectious Disease (Bacteria, Fungi...),
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 Anemones,
Related Articles: Clownfish Disease, Clownfishes, Maroon
Clowns, Marine Disease, Brooklynellosis,
Clown fish not eating well 11/22/13
Good day, WWM crew! We hope this finds you well today! We
are currently treating our two new clowns in a 29 gallon cycled QT tank
for Ich with quinine sulfate. The final dosage of quinine sulfate
was added last night, and will be in the QT until Sunday, when we begin
to pull the meds from the water. (9 day treatment, with a 25%
water change before each new dosage at 3 day intervals.) During
the QT process we have also noted that the clowns do not eat well at
<Yes; could be influence of the quinine, and/or the move/quarantine>
They swim to the food when put into the water, mouthing food, then often
spitting it back out; some is eaten, thankfully. We've tried pe
Mysis, frozen blood worms, frozen brine with Spirulina (the brine is not
the best food, we know, but are trying to get them to eat), Spectrum
pellets, flake food. We've observed white, stingy poo from the
female, but have never seen the male poo at all in the 1 1/2 weeks we've
<I would add Prazi... oh, wait, I see you mention this below>
We have some Prazi pro to add to the water to treat for what seems to be
internal parasites after the quinine treatment has been removed from the
water, as it's our understanding that the PraziPro can't be
added to water when there's quinine in it.
<Can you give me a citation for the above assertion?>
The problem is that the male is getting so thin and the female has been
laying on the bottom breathing a bit fast from time to time. We
really need to get some good food consumption so they're healthy,
obviously! So, our questions are:
1) Should we add Epsom salts to the QT water (WITH the quinine
sulfate in it) to provide immediate relief from the suspected
<Yes I would>
2) Should we perform a freshwater dip with Epsom salts and methyl
blue to get the process moving, so to speak?
<I would just try/use the Epsom at this point>
3) Should the dip be instead with tank water and Epsom salt?
4) Should we just wait until the quinine sulfate treatment is over
and THEN treat the QT with PraziPro? (Of course any other action
that you have would also be most appreciated!)
Our main concern is, obviously, to get them to both eat so they can get
well from the Ich and fatten up. However, we don't want any toxic
conditions from the quinine sulfate and Epsom salt mixing, if that is
indeed an issue. We do appreciate your help to us, and the
clownfish in our care! Have a fabulous day!
James and Bet
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Clown fish not eating well 11/22/13
Hi, Bob! Many thanks for the speedy reply! I have been
looking at so many things regarding treatment, that I'm not sure where I
read about the quinine-Prazi negative interaction. It many have been on
a Reef Central forum page. So, you've not heard of such an
interaction between the two?
<I have not; no>
Do you know of anyone who has used them in conjunction with success?
<Not in actual scientific (controlled) circumstances; but anecdotal
The clowns have indeed been exhibiting some of the typical
lethargic/lack of appetite symptoms associated with quinine usage, but
the female's behavior of the laying on her side and breathing heavily
just started yesterday with the addition of the final quinine addition,
and I certainly don't want to make a bad cocktail by adding the Prazi.
I know from reading your FAQ's that many people add meds to their QT's
willy nilly, and I don't want to be one of "those" people. :) If
you have heard of people using Prazi and quinine in conjunction, that
would be a good endorsement for me!
You've probably heard it ALL!
<Am still hoping for a few more doozies before I go>
I don't want to make this more complicated than it should be by
overthinking things, though. Would Epsom salt, in your opinion, be
as effective in "getting things moving" for the clowns as the Prazi?
<Mmm; different mechanisms... likely MgSO4 will clear constipation in
general; but it might not shake lumenal worm parasites...>
I, of course, realize that if it is an internal infection issue, the Prazi
may be what we use later anyway.
Thank you for any extra input you can provide about dosing with Prazi or
Epsom salts. You all are such a great resource, and I am thankful
for your input!
Re: Clown fish not eating well 11/22/13
Hello again, Bob!
I just got home and spoke to National Fish Pharmacy (where we purchased
the QS), and was told that the quinine and PraziPro should not be dosed
at the same time. (It was not Dr. Aukes, but someone else who
answered the phone.)
<Okay; any reason, rationale proffered?>
So, we'll dose the Epsom salt in the QT tank, since we know there's no
negative medicine interaction here for now, then later this weekend,
remove the meds and dose with Prazi.
Thanks so much!
>And you, B<
Sick Clownfishes 11/5/13
<... nine megs of pix... Why? Why don't people follow directions if
seeking our help?>
I had two ocellaris clown fishes in my 32 gallon reef tank (now in QT).
One is a large female I have owned for 8 years and the other is a small
juvenile/male that I bought from my formerly trusted LFS about 2 weeks
ago now. This fish is the first thing I have added to my tank in
at least 2 years. I neglected to set up my QT (I know, I know, bad
move…). First thing I noticed was that at night time, the male would
spend nearly the whole time sitting near the surface of the tank.
Meanwhile in the day time he would hang in the top portion but swim
around to the lower portion to hang out with the female. A few
days after purchase I started to notice both him and my female clown
gasping for air at the surface of the tank a bit.
I checked ph, salinity, alkalinity, nitrates, ammonia, and my temperature
sensor and everything was beautiful (I don’t remember them exactly since
this was now over a week ago and I didn't exactly write it down at the
time). I am battling an algae problem
<... what do you mean by "battling"? What specifically are you doing?>
so thought maybe this was due to a lack of O2 due to the algae, even
though I have a tank with no top and there is more than adequate flow
and the skimmer provides additional aeration. A few days later, I
noticed the male had a slightly shredded caudal fin, which I figured was
due to nipping by the female (she is aggressive). A few days later, I
started to notice some color fading of the black stripe on the caudal
fin in the region of the fraying. I thought I might have seen a single
white spec on the dorsal fin of the male but it was very hard to tell.
The female looked fine externally aside from three small spots of
discoloration or thickening on top of her head in front of her dorsal
fin. She was not showing signs of distress or any rapid breathing.
Both were still eating very well. The next day (9 days after purchase)
the small male had a long white string of fecal matter that was at
longer than he was and wouldn’t fall off for some time. His tattered fin
looked even worse and both fish seemed to be gasping at the surface even
more. Tested water parameters again and they all were appropriate. Did
some research and posted in some forums and ended up catching both
fishes and throwing them in my 20 gallon QT with a heater and a marine
land penguin power filter that I seeded with stuff from my reef tank.
Filled that with water from my reef tank, put the fish in, and dosed the
tank with furan
<? For what reason?>
as per instruction. Also dosed the tank with quick cure at double dosage
as suggested by another LFS that is highly reputable (realize I probably
should have just done baths). The female ate a little for the first day
in QT, but then she stopped eating all together and would hang out in
the bottom corner unless coming to confront me for invading her space.
The female was breathing very rapidly and heavily and was gaping but the
small spots on her head disappeared. The male seemed to be behaving more
normally overall, but was also breathing very labored and was gaping a
bit. Anyways, I did the water change (25%) and media change on day 2 as
per directions on the furan box. And continued to dose daily with furan
and quick cure as described. The male’s fin seemed to get a little
better and regained some color but still was tattered a bit. I finished
the fourth day of the furan and did a water change and media change
again. I then continued to dose with quick cure
at double dose for two more days (I realize I probably should have stopped
when my female fish showed such signs of distress, next time). My female
now hadn’t eaten in like 7 days and was showing a bit of very fine white
stringy stuff coming from where I imagine poop comes out (I have heard
this can happen though when fish don’t eat for long periods of time but
I am not sure how reliable that is).
<Simply search and read on WWM. Bob Fenner>
She continued to breath very labored and was gaping and occasionally
made these jerky mouth movements like she was choking/ gagging and
trying to cough something up. I have seen the male do this as well and
he was also gaping and breathing heavily. I stopped treatment. Nitrates
and nitrites at this time were zero, but ammonia was 0.15 ppm. I did a
45% water change. Water parameters of my source water were matched to
those in the QT. the female continued to gape and breath heavily for the
next day or so as did the male. About a day later both fishes stopped
gaping so much and had a more normal respiration rate. I did another
water change (15%) after testing my mixing water before using it. The
female is no longer gaping really but still does that gagging thing
occasionally though. The male is still eating voraciously and I have not
seen white feces (or any really) since he has been in QT and the female
finally started eating again now, but is being a bit picky and spitting
some pieces out after. The female doesn’t appear to have any body
lesions but the male still has a slight frayed and discolored spot on
the lower edge of his caudal fin. So now I am trying to regroup and
decide where to go from here. The biggest question is what do you think
is going on here with my babies? Some lingering questions include: Was
six days of quick cure and four days of furan (Nitrofurazone) enough if
it was brook with secondary bacterial infection? Should I start doing
dip/bath treatments? Do I need to think about treating for intestinal
worms? When can my babies go back into my reef tank? I tried to provide
as much information as possible so I apologize for the length. I very
much appreciate your time and help and thank you for your advice and
wisdom. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I have attached two
pictures of the male with the white string poop when he initially
presented. The third attachment is a photo of the female when she showed
the few discolored spots on her head that disappeared early on in
treatment. The last attachment is a photo of the two fish together from
today. You can just barely see the tattered caudal fin against the
background of the large female. I was not able to get a picture of the
small white stringy bit hanging from the female, it was too small and
thin and just wouldn’t show up. And today, QT water testing showed
ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite are undetectable, salinity is 1.23, temp
is 78.4, ph is 8.3, alkalinity is 10. Thanks again for all the
Re: Sick Clownfishes 11/5/13
So I ended up being able to snap a few shots of the stringy thing hanging
from the bottom of the female. The other apparent spots on her body are just
artifacts of the photos. I have attached them here. Thanks for all the help
and your hard work, it is very appreciated!
<May be indicative of lumenal parasites or not. Search, read on WWM re
Clownfish diseases. BobF>
|Re: Sick Clownfishes
Dear Mr. Fenner,
I apologize for the image size, I haven't posted on here in years and am
embarrassed I forgot.
The link with that request amongst the other helpful tips for navigating
this site is not the most obvious, since it comes after all the freshwater
stuff on the "ask WWM" page. When I saw that, I just went back up to the
link that was like "saltwater issue? email us at..." .
I am sure that I am not the only one who has made that mistake.
<Thank you for this. It was I who made the "just contact...." addition;
worrying that folks would be too annoyed at locating our email addy for
You may have more success with this if you consider moving that link up to
the top of the page. It's just a suggestion, I am not implying that I am any
less responsible for my mistake and I truly am sorry for the inconvenience.
I have done thorough searching through your site as well as various other
forums and venues regarding clownfish diseases and those of saltwater fish
in general. I am coming to you because I am at a point where I just don't
know anymore and feel like I am seeing conflicting things. My fish are
showing signs that I feel could be a number of things which leads me to
wonder about the likelihood that this is from multiple infectious organisms
or is just an odd presentation.
<Could be; but given the exposure to formalin you previously mentioned, I
doubt if there is much more externally>
I moved the fish to QT mostly because I was unaware you could use dip/baths
to treat them when I started treatment after consulting some fellow
hobbyists and my local LFS. I also knew I couldn't treat the display tank
because it would crash my tank. So I used water from my reef to establish
to help ease the transition and seed the tank. I then used the Nitrofurazone
because the small male's tail was starting to erode and lose a bit of color,
so the concern was that he had a secondary bacterial or fungal infection
like fin rot of some sort and this is what my LFS said they carried and
would use in such a case.
I used the formalin (Quick Cure) because they were gasping at the surface
and staying near the top of the tank (especially the new male) which was
suggestive of Brooklynella to my knowledge. I also suspected Brooklynella as
a possibility because of the rapidness with which the males fin began to
fade and fray, and also because my female suddenly began to show a few
splotches on her forehead as shown in the photo. She also has been doing
this weird gagging/ coughing thing and like flushing her gills which also
made me think of possible Brooklynella infection. So that was the rationale
behind my initial treatment choice. Problem is none of these things address
the cause for the white stingy feces of the male or female,
<This "cause" might well be internal, or at least "gut" (which is actually
external in some regards)>
and while the males tail was doing better, it seems to have stopped
improving in the past few days. Thus I am not sure what to do now beyond
keeping them in the QT and ensuring good water quality. Do you think the
white stringy feces is something different from or related to the other
symptoms my fish are demonstrating?
<Can't tell w/o sampling, viewing under a 'scope. You could, I might
pre-emptively treat with food soaked in a mix of Metronidazole and
Praziquantel (or other vermifuge)>
When you said "lumenal" does that imply worms or can some of these other
infections, like Brooklynella, go systemic?
<Gut... in the lumen; mostly worms or Protozoans there>
When I say battling an algae problem, I mean I am doing consistent testing
of my water, both tank and source, I have cut the light cycle to 5 hours a
day, am doing water changes (20%) every week, as well as trying to
minimize waste by hand feeding my fish from tongs. I tried manual removal as
well but a good amount of it is in unreachable areas in the back of the
tank. Thus, I say it is a battle because I am trying hard to do all this
stuff for the past how many months and have seen little improvement despite
maintaining nitrates at 0,
<... not advised>
although phosphates tend to rise above 0 closer to water change time (i.e.
within the week). I have also been doing research on vodka dosing to help
with this but that is neither here nor there. Again thanks for your time and
your help. I tried really hard to edit and make sure appropriate things were
capitalized etc so I hope I did a good job! If you want to point me to any
specifically helpful threads that would be appreciated too, although I have
read the majority of the ones for clownfish diseases already in the
"diseases by affected fish group" section. I just cant seem to put it all
together to figure out the appropriate diagnosis. Thanks again and I look
forward to hearing form you soon.
<Thank you for this well-thought out account of your actions, rationale and
speculations. I would either lace foods or treat the water directly as
stated above. Bob Fenner>
Note, Zoas, Euphyllia
|Re: Sick Clownfishes
<<Again; am curious as to "how" you sought to control NO3; rendered zero
ppm... It may be that this process triggered the Cnidarians present
(allelopathogen expression) to react, causing your clowns to exhibit as if
they were otherwise sick. B>>
Dear Mr. Fenner,
If we are being technical, my nitrates are not zero, but are below the
threshold of my LaMotte test kit, which is 0.25 ppm. Nitrates in my reef
tank, according to frequent water testing, are pretty stable and rarely rise
to the 0.25 threshold, unless my pistol shrimp is particularly active in my
<Ah good. To be direct, I was concerned that you might be (over)using a
specific chemical filtrant... that might have in turn starved your
photo-chemo-synthates... The Zoanthids and Euphyllia shown in your images;
stirring them on.>
Thus, most of my efforts have been conservative and focused on nutrient
control as I described previously (diligent water changes with manual
removal of algae, minimized feeding, active skimming) because my phosphates
are always high (like .05- .08).
I haven't added any additives or anything like that if that's what you
I do have a lot of pesky hydroids though in my display.
<I see; very common in the wild; and often involved in stinging fishes and
more in captivity when/where present in numbers>
I hope I answered your question there, I wasn't sure exactly what you were
asking. Thanks again for all the help and your time, I know you must be very
<Not so much as I don't have/make time to aid, share with others>
<And you. Oh! The very first email I had a question that you can answer or
I'll assume by your silence that you don't... Utilize a chemical means to
treat algae here. You had stated "battling" such I believe. B>
Re: Sick Clownfishes 11/19/13
Dear Mr. Fenner,
Thirteen days ago you suggested I might preemptively treat both fishes with
Metronidazole and Praziquantel soaked food due to symptoms described.
Its been two weeks in quarantine and they are still showing the
white stringy feces.
<... see WWM re... not necessarily indicative of disease>
A crucial detail I should have added before are that they are also
bloated slightly and seem to be over eating.
<... these two are likely related (sarcasm)>
They are not lethargic really and respiration rate appears normal.
Do you still feel I shouldn't treat them with Metronidazole and
Praziquantel? Thanks for the advice.
<I wouldn't; no. B>
Re: Sick Clownfishes 12/2/13
Dear Mr. Fenner,
I have had my two Clownfishes in QT for a little over a month now. To
recap, the major presenting symptoms were discoloration/erosion on the
caudal fin of my new male clownfish, both were gasping for air at the
tank surface, both showed rapid gill movement, and the male was spending
most of his time near the surface by the power head. The male was also
showing white stringy feces and bloating. The female also developed
white stringy feces but not for another week. The female had a single
whitish spot on her forehead.
<And to sum up; all this, these could be simply manifestations of stress
from being moved>
Because of how rapidly symptoms seemed to progress, I was
concerned for Brooklynella.
<Can only be ascertained via microscopic examination>
At my LFS's suggestion, I dosed the QT tank with furan
<... of no use for Protozoans>
as per instructions and also dosed the tank with quick cure at
<A note to others/browsers: This treatment is NOT suggested. Formalin is
TOO toxic for casual use>
The quick cure treatment was carried out for 5 days but then stopped
because the female had stopped eating and was breathing heavily and
acting lethargic. She recovered well after this. I kept them in QT
because of concern for internal parasites. I was going to treat with
food soaked in Metronidazole and praziquatel but you suggested I don't
bother since the fishes are eating well and behaving normally. I still
kept them in the bare QT and noticed two days ago my female had a single
white salt grain spot on the side of her body.
She is still eating normally and is not lethargic.
She is however trying to scratch and rub on the sides of the glass.
the male is not displaying this behavior or any body lesions and his
tail discoloration has since healed. Today, the salt grain spot has
moved to a different spot on the same side of her body. There is still
only one noticeable grain though. I am wondering what could be causing
this and if I should be concerned.
<I wouldn't be... >
I thought about Ich, but am not sure of the likelihood of this since the
entire QT and both fish were treated heavily with formalin at the start
of the month. I am not sure if it is relevant but the male has been
nibbling at the sides and gills of the female lately (she lets him).
This has been in addition to lots of courtship type behaviors so I
assumed it was just part of that. I was about to move the fish back to
the display when I noticed this so I would really like to get it sorted
out before I do that. Any advice and impressions would be greatly
appreciated. Thanks for your time and help.
<Keep reading on WWM if interested. B>
Platinum Clownfish with pink bumps
I am truly hoping that from researching your site the spots on
my female baby platinum clownfish are stings or abrasions from our
corals and will heal up without further treatment.
<Ah yes; quite common>
But I am concerned it might be something more serious and I love her so
much I will be devastated if I lose her so would love some advise.
She has one larger spot that looks like a raised pink lesion near her head
(not gills toward the top of her head) and one on the same side toward
her tail that is more like a spot, not lesion-like. I noticed those two
yesterday. Today they seem smaller, less noticeable, but I noticed a
third spot on her other side toward her tail. She is eating and acting
Background- She and her mate were bought as a pair about 6-8
months ago and have been happily growing since then on our 10
gallon "baby tank".
Because they were hanging out in the corner in effort to make that tank
seem less open and scary we have added more rock and coral to make them
feel more comfortable (this is not recent).Also in the tank we have
a green Chromis and a yellow clown goby. All are tiny babies. All have
been and are still eating and acting normal. Three weeks ago I bought a
tiny baby cowfish and added him to the tank as he had been at our local
fish store for three weeks and seemed healthy (no QT tank set up). We
noticed a couple small spots of ick the day after adding him to our baby
tank. We raised the tank temp, went through a 15 day treatment cycle of
<Of no use whatsoever>
and started soaking their food in garlic guard. With in a couple days
cowfishes ick spots were gone and no one else developed any. Everyone
We have a frogspawn coral, hammer corals, and long tentacle corals in
there with mushrooms and a large rock with a bunch of small feather
dusters and it one growing Aiptasia that we killed yesterday. I know
that those are all stinging coral expect the mushrooms. My fear is the
bumps / lesions are some sort of parasite that came in with cowfish (he
has no visible sign of anything else after the ick).
<Doubtful (highly); all would show symptoms>
So does this sound like an infection, worm or parasite or does this
sound like an injury?
<The latter almost assuredly>
If its an injury should I move those corals to our big tank to avoid
<I wouldn't; no>
Having baby cowfish in the tank seems to make the baby clowns feel more
comfortable and they swim more freely around the tank so the purpose of
the coral other than decoration is not needed.
We have done a water change, added back the charcoal to the filter and
added some stress coat to help her heal if these are just abrasions. I
can get a QT or hospital tank together if this is something more serious
I should treat her separately for. Any advise is greatly appreciated!
Thanks a bunch!
<Patience urged here. Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Clownfish problem... new system, no reading 10/28/13
<... is there a full moon? Five Megs of pix; why?>
Hi I was wondering if someone could please tell me what is going on with
my clownfish. I currently have a 55gal with 4
clowns 2 orange and 2 true black
<Are these captive produced specimens?>
, 1 hippo tang
<Needs more room than this>
and a coral Banded shrimp.
<Predatory; could eat your clowns>
My tank has been up and running for a few weeks
and Amm is 0 Nitralite is 0 and nitrate is 0-10. He started breathing
faster 4 days ago and now looks like something is coming out of his
He is not eating as well and hides in the corner on the bottom of the
I have treated him today with Paraguard 5ml for 1.2L of water from the
tank for 2hrs. How often should I do this and when will I see results? I
don't see any change. Thank you for your time your opinions and advice
<... let's have you start reading where you should have ahead of writing
|Re: Clownfish problem
I already completed the cycle brown diatoms, green algae etc.
<Mmm, well; the marks on the head of the Clown/s are likely indicative of
neuromast destruction (HLLE); are reversible w/ time, good water quality,
nutrition... But highly likely exacerbated by the system "being new">
As for wild caught I don't know the store never said.
<...? I would be asking... and reading re... Please search and read ahead of
The pictures are from my phone so that's why so many megapixels.
<.... Please....comply w/ our guidelines or go elsewhere. >
As for the tang she will be moved when needed. According to the website
provided it could be a number of things so how do I figure out which one it
is? I was told my shrimp would clean from our pet store as well.
Re: Clownfish problem
I am sorry I didn't see anything regarding pictures and or sizes of files.
<The fish shows "neuromast destruction", HLLE, as stated below... do you see
the search tool (on every page)... Just plug these terms in...>
I also didn't see a problem with asking a question and It's quite obvious I
shouldn't have even bothered as the comments are pretty rude.
I will ask further questions elsewhere. Sorry to waste our time.
<Agreed. IF you had taken the time (where you found how to write us) you
would have seen the requirement that file sizes be limited (due to
constraints on our mail server and the fact that often some of us are in
places w/ poor Net service). Good luck to you, your livestock. BobF>
Sick clown fish 9/20/13
My clown fish has been acting unwell since this morning (approx 10
I scoured the internet but have been unable to come up with a definitive
diagnosis. I have had this clown fish for approximately 2.5 years. She
is a female ocellaris clown and is about 2 inches in length.
I first noticed that she was not as outgoing as usual and was mainly
hiding behind the brain coral she has hosted on. She was also gasping
but has not being going to the surface. I fed pellets around 1pm (New
Life Spectrum Marine Formula), which she ate, but was very uninterested
in. This is unusual behavior as she is usually very pushy and aggressive
during feeding time. Later in the evening I tried feeding Mysis which
she attempted to eat, spat out, and then ate. (Again this is unusual
behavior, usually inhales food.) At this point I stopped feeding as I
was concerned about a possible blockage and that I might be doing more
harm than good. About five minutes after this feeding I noticed white,
stringy poop. I have noticed this occurring in both clown fish in
the past, approximately every few months, so am not sure if it is
related. Previous research had led me to believe it could occur from a
high protein diet or stress. Since both fish were behaving normally I
did not worry.
At this point her behavior has not really changed. She is still
breathing rapidly and is mainly sitting on her brain coral (although she
did come out to see our male clown for a bit later in the evening).
Normally she is very active and swims all over the tank. Our male clown
fish and possum wrasse (the only other fish in the tank) are showing no
signs of illness or distress. I do not see any kind of discoloration or
marks on the female clown fish. She is also swimming upright/normally.
She is dusting a rock near her brain coral more than usual, however, she
has done this in the past. Has never laid eggs though.
Our tank is a 50 gallon with a 20 gallon refugium (live rock, a couple
crabs, cheeto) and a 20 gallon sump (Reef Octopus Diablo XS160 skimmer,
media reactor with carbon). We only use R/O water for water changes
10 gallons per month) and top offs. Tank has been set up from about 2.75
years. We normally feed PEmysis and New Life Spectrum Marine Formula
pellets once or twice a day, and Cyclop-eeze or 'Coral Frenzy' every
We have not added any fish/ corals/ live rock in the last 7 months.
However, we did add 6 new Cerith snails yesterday from the LFS.
<Mmm; good reporting>
Water tests show 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, pH 8.2-8.4 (difficult to read
with our test kit), nitrate less than 5 ppm, temperature 78, and
salinity 1.025 with refractometer. The test kit used was API brand.
Thanks for any help or info you can provide.
<Well; my two best guesses (considering what you detail, including the
good health of the other fishes) are that the one (female) Clown either
swallowed something (like a Polychaete worm) or was stung (may not show
yet) by something... In both cases, there's nothing for you "to do"
other than be patient, continue your normal maintenance. There was
something of a similar case recently. I think archived here:
Re: Sick clown fish 9/20/13
Thanks so much for your response and guesses as to what might be the
problem with my fish. Her condition has not really changed although she
is now no longer eating at all. I took a video and uploaded it to
Maybe you will notice some indicator of what is going on that I have
Here is the link:
<My guesses have not changed; though this is the most outgoing
Wetmorella I've ever!>
I am currently setting up at 10 gallon hospital tank and have Maracyn
Two and PraziPro on hand. Would either of these be any benefit or should
I leave her in the DT?
<I would definitely leave this fish where it is... whatever the cause (a
bitten off Hydrozoan, a sting from the same, or other)... it will cure
Sorry to bother you with all the questions but she was my first fish and
I am really hoping to save her. Thanks again for all your help.
<No worries; and welcome. BobF>
my clownfish spawned... Hlth. Q.; injury? Lymph?
But also on the same day has what looks like a cut on one side behind
its pectoral fin and on the other in behind the pectoral fin some sort
of lump <I see this>
She isn't interested in eating
I've attached a pic
Water levels are all good no other signs of illness in the other fish.
Any info would be greatly appreciated
<Not to be treated; this very much looks like a viral manifestation...
often termed Lymphocystis in fishes... Will very likely resolve (fix)
itself as time goes by... w/ less stress in this fish's life. A useful
cleaner organism might help here; if it will "fit" in with the existing
livestock. See WWM re both. Bob Fenner>
|Re: Clownfish laid eggs now has bump on side
Thanks very much for the response I do have 2 cleaner shrimp hopefully they
will help out
<Ah yes. BobF>
clown fish breathing heavily... Host f' as well
I have a pair common clown for almost 19months, many times spawn, never
able to save the fry.
<... easy to do>
actually I have upgraded my tank to 100g tank and have placed a
torch coral which is big with ten heads and tentacles extend
about 4-5 inches each (approx) so it looks huge. now my male
clown is attracted to this torch and some times leaves his
anemone and dives into this torch coral and most time nipping
and sucking it tentacles.
now what I have noticed that this clown has started breathing rapidly
and appetite is also reduced but his movement, activity level seems ok,
all the fins are fully opened, his eyes seems ok (not cloudy), fish is
not rubbing or scrapping, only thing is heavy breathing which is
worrying me a lot, is it toxicity of torch coral which is causing or
Brooklynella, what should, I do I love this Pair of clown, these
are my 1st pair of salt water fish that I bought and when I started
My Yellow Tang, All other Corals Seems Fine and Happy
Temp 26 deg Celsius
Ammonia:0, NO2: 0, NO3: 5PPM
Cal: 380 PPM, PO4: 0
<Likely just "getting used to" the new Euphyllia. I wouldn't be overly
concerned. Bob Fenner>
Ocellaris Question; hlth., need data, rdg.
I hope all is well. I am having an issue with a tank raised ocellaris. I
believe it is stressed because he is breathing rapidly and
heavily, the odd part is that this has been taking place for
over two weeks and he is still showing a normal swimming behavior.
<Mmm, if I had a dissolved oxygen test means (and CO2) I'd be using
it... but even w/o, I'd change out some of the water, lower the spg a
thousandths or two (see WWM re the rationale), and "wick off" the
surface water... Please search WWM re surface films>
He is not accepting any foods but does ingest Cyclop Eeze "non
intentionally", and is pooping every other day. Any clues as to
what the heck can be going on with this little guy.
<Could be quite a few things; which we could narrow down w/ more data, but
this would take perhaps too long... Please read through here:
and the linked files where you lead yourself.>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Stunted clownfish... and others; metabolite build-up effect,
BGA, small system... 6/26/13
Hello, you holders of fish knowledge. I once again need some advice. I
have a 29 gallon reef tank with three fish: an ocellaris clownfish, a
royal gramma and a yellowtail damsel. I've had them all for 4 years and
everyone seems happy and healthy, but they are all three on the smaller
side; not tiny but definitely not as large as they could be.
<Ahh... could be "stunted", "bonsaied" as your title states>
My nitrates have always been higher
<Yes; very common: Metabolite build up... Read here:
and the linked FAQs file above>
than I'd like (as evidenced by some nasty red slime algae),
<... see WWM re this (control) as well. Also a factor>
but otherwise the water quality is good,
and gets a weekly 20% change. I'm not sure if I've stunted my fish through
lack of nutrients (I feed daily but tiny doses trying futilely to combat
the slime algae), or if it's due to being in such a small tank, though
others have had success in much smaller tanks. I'm planning on upgrading
to a larger tank next spring, and I was thinking about buying another
clownfish before then. My question is this: if I were to get another
clownfish, will I end up with aggression problems if/when the new
clownfish grows larger than my current one (who is a little over 2
<Two can likely fit here... get a tank-bred specimen... smaller in size;
but I'd fix the metabolite and BGA issues first >
If I've read things correctly, my current clownfish would become female
when a juvenile is introduced.
<Mmm, depends on which one is larger and/or more aggressive>
If the juvenile fish grows larger than his stunted female buddy, would
he turn female and beat up the stunted female?
<Could; or make it revert (if it's even changed physiologically) to a
Would it be wiser to wait until I have the larger tank before buying a
and if so, should I try to find a clownfish larger than mine so there's
no debate as to which fish would be dominate?
Any thoughts on whether or not my fish will grow once in a larger tank?
<They will when the issues of whatever is allowing metabolites to
accumulate and the related Cyanobacteria to proliferate are fixed>
know stunting can be permanent in many cases with freshwater fish, but
can't find much info on stunting in marine fish. Thanks in advance,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Awesome Story (Amphiprionine resurrection!)
I wanted to share an amazing story that started out extremely sad that I
experienced this weekend. Within this story I also have a question as to
what your thoughts are as to what possibly happened. Let me begin...
Saturday I was doing a deep clean to my tank and rearranging rocks.
Trying to be as careful as possible I failed and I had a rock slide and
fall on one of my mated false Perculas (Amphiprion ocellaris) the male
to be exact.
I did not know however at the time that the rock was on top of my little
buddy. It wasn't until I moved the rock about 10 minutes later that he
floated to the surface upside down completely inactive. I SCREAMED! So
loud in fact that wife ran in wondering what happened. I was devastated.
After I composed myself I kept working on the tank and had removed him
to a bucket that had water in it. About 2 hours later I looked in the
bucket and noticed that he had started moving his back fin but was still
floating upside down! I picked him up with my had cupped and he moved
violently! I was shocked. Surely I thought he was about to die still
though. Because of this movement - not sure why I did this looking back
upon it but I put him back in the main tank to the warmer water and
turned off all the strong pumps. I left to go to the LFS and when I came
back about 2 hours later he was back down at the bottom of the tank
swimming normally and hosting back in his anemone!!! I was completely
amazed, shocked, bewildered. I mean you can literally see on the front
white band a mark of where the rock hit him.
I feel like the worst care taker ever that I made such an elementary
mistake. I know he is not completely out of the woods yet. However, it's
been about 48 hours- I checked on him this morning, he has been eating
live brine and he was even bullying a new tank mate I put in yesterday.
Have any of you ever heard of this?!?!?
<Ah yes; most reef life is very tough...>
(All in all he was floating upside down 3+hrs) I surely thought he was
dead! Did I just knock the gland (not sure what it's called) that gives
the fish its buoyancy?
<Mmm, this and much more likely>
Like knocking the wind out of a human? Well I thought I would share this
true miracle that happened to me this weekend. I am so glad that I
didn't bury the little dude after seeing him not move for so long.
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Mysterious Clownfish Sickness 3/3/13
Hello WWM crew,
I have looked through your disease question and answer pages and can't
seem to find a disease description that resembles what my clownfish has.
This morning, there were two white patches near the base of my black
ocellaris clown's tail. The fish is currently in quarantine because I
just bought it.
The patches are circular and about 2mm in diameter. I gave the fish a
freshwater dip for 5mins and the spots seemed to disappear. Then, I
found them again on the fish 15 min.s later on the ventral fin and near
a gill operculum. When on the fins, I have noticed that they seem to
bleach out the color on both sides of the fin. I also saw the fish
scratch on a rock once. The white patches seem to move about every hour
to a new spot, but there are always two of them. Any ideas on what this
is and what I should do about it?
<Moving, white/blanching w/ freshwater exposure, 2 mm in diam.,
Sounds like either Flukes or some sort of Crustacean parasite... There
are chemicals that can be added to dips, foods, and least-desirably to a
main system's water for both. See WWM re these parasite treatments. If
you need help using the search tool or indices, please write back. Bob
Thank you so much for your help!
Re: Mysterious Clownfish Sickness 3/3/13
Thank you very much for the guidance! One more question, if you have the
time: There were cleaner shrimp and snails in the tank as well, which I
removed. How long should I keep these shrimp and snails isolated since
I'm not sure what type of parasite is infecting the fish?
<Till all traces of whatever medicine/s you intend to employ have been
False Percula Clownfish Sick? 2/3/13
I can't tell if there's something wrong our clownfish. We got them
both about 4 months ago, and they have always been healthy, happy little
swimmers. In the last 48 hours, the larger one has started laying on
our purple live rock and breathing heavily.
<Mmm, did it over-eat? Get stung by something, ingest an organism it
Her activity level has dropped so much, every now and then she'll swim a
little bit within a small area, but usually it's just to another spot to lay
down (maybe a couple of inches away). We've really never seen them
stop swimming before. There does not appear to be any disease or
problem with her body, and none of the other fish appear sick. Is
there any idea to know what's wrong with her?
Should we move her to the quarantine tank or treat her in some other way?
<I'd leave this fish where it is... nothing to be gained by moving or
treating... As the other you state is fine>
My husband just tested the levels, and he says everything is good, except
for the salinity, which is 1.027.
<Mmm, I'd lower (add freshwater) to 1.025-6>
Temperature in the tank is 80 degrees,
which is what it always is.
I'm attaching some pictures in case they help.
Thanks so much for your time!!
<In the meanwhile if you'd like to peruse here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: False Percula Clownfish Sick? 2/4/13
Ok, thanks! In the last few hours her belly has become
distended and swollen. I'm not sure if that makes things
worse? I can't really get a good picture of it...
<Mmm, search WWM re Epsom Salts. B>
Re: False Percula Clownfish Sick? 2/4/13
It seems like all of the articles on WWM regarding Epsom salts are for
freshwater tanks. is it still safe to use for saltwater?