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FAQs about the Brooklynellosis Disease and Clownfishes 2

Related FAQs: Brooklynellosis 1, Brooklynellosis 3, & FAQs on Brooklynellosis: Diagnosis/Symptomology, Etiology/Prevention, Cures That Don't Work, Cures That Do Work, Treatment/Products/Manufacturers... & Clownfish Disease 1, Clownfish Disease FAQs 3Clownfish Disease 4, Clownfish Disease 5, Clownfish Disease 10, 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, Clownfishes in General, Clownfish Identification, Clownfish Selection, Clownfish Compatibility, Clownfish Behavior, Clownfish Systems, Clownfish Feeding, Clownfishes and AnemonesBreeding ClownsParasitic Marine Tanks 1, Marine Parasitic Disease, Parasitic Reef Tanks, Cryptocaryoniasis, Marine Ich, Marine Velvet Disease, Biological Cleaners, Treating Parasitic Disease, Using Hyposalinity to Treat Parasitic Disease

Related Articles: Surviving Brooklynellosis by Mike Maddox, Clownfish Disease, Brooklynellosis, ClownfishesMaroon Clowns, Marine Parasitic Disease

Possible Brooklynellosis -- 11/17/07 Hi there, <Hello, Brenda here> I currently have two clowns (Ocellaris) and I noticed the day before yesterday a white cottony film...looks like mildew. Anyway, he is eating, and my other clown is acting normal. My worry, he is opening and closing his mouth more rapidly than normal, and he is swimming around really fast...Is it Brooklynellosis, or could it be a sting from my frogspawn, he keeps sticking his head in it. <It sounds like Brooklynellosis, but can't say for sure. How long have you had the clownfish? Did you quarantine? Can you get a picture of it for us? I do suggest moving the fish to quarantine ASAP. More information on Brooklynellosis found here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm > I am really worried. I don't want to loose them both. <Hope this helps! Brenda>

Re: Possible Brooklynellosis -- 11/17/07 I have yet to quarantine them. I don't currently have a qt tank? <Yikes!> Should I go buy a Tom Deco? Would that work for now? <No, a 2 -- 3 gallon tank is much too small. I recommend nothing smaller than a 10 gallon tank. What size tank are you currently keeping these fish in? Are there any other fish besides the clownfish in there? More information regarding quarantine here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i4/quarantine/Quarantine.htm Brenda>

Re: Possible Brooklynellosis, and link for formalin use  -- 11/18/07 No there are only two clownfish. I plan on doing a fresh RO water dip with formalin. <See instructions here for Formalin baths: http://www.petsforum.com/personal/trevor-jones/formalinbaths.html However, this may not be the best course of action. I really need more information that you haven't yet provided.> I don't have a QT tank, so I'm just going to do a dip, and hope that cures it. <You need to be sure this is Brooklynellosis. The Formalin procedure is very stressful on fish. It is possible that this is caused from the frogspawn. Which in that case, a dip may only make the situation worse. There may also be something else going on. Also please send me a complete list of your water parameters.> Do you think this will work? <I can't say. Brenda>

Re: Possible Brooklynellosis -- Not answering questions or reading! -- 11/18/07 I went to my LFS, and they said that it was Brooklynellosis...and advised me to do a dip, I did, for 4 minutes. <Four minutes is not long enough for Brooklynellosis, nor is it per the instructions I provided. Please read!> After I got him out, he was calm, and breathing a little heavy, but he ate and was swimming around. I dipped the female and today she is extremely happy. Swimming around, checking out all the coral, but the male on the other hand, still has some of the cottony mucus, and his tail fin is starting to fray and discolor...should I take him out, and find a tank to QT the other? <Please see my previous e-mails and links provided regarding my suggestions/recommendations on quarantine. Brenda>

Re: Possible Brooklynellosis -- Not answering questions or reading! - 11/18/07 I took him out and froze him...:( it was the best thing for him. Any insight? <Eighteen minutes since your last e-mail you froze him? I'm speechless! Brenda>

Re: Possible Brooklynellosis -- Not answering questions or reading! - 11/18/07 Hi there, <I have received your last 3 e-mails, and will answer them here.> I just tested parameters Nitrate- 10, <Needs to be zero.> Nitrite- 0, Ammonia- 0, and pH- 8.2-8.3. <This is an incomplete list of water parameters.> I'm just confused. My female (knock on wood) seems fine. She's swimming around like normal, playing, breathing, eating...what should I do? <You have to help me, help you. You are not answering my questions. You have given me a partial list of water parameters. I have no idea what your salinity, temperature, calcium and alkalinity are. I don't know how long you have had the fish. I don't know the tank size or how long it has been set up. You are not following my recommendations of quarantine and you are not following the instructions in the links provided. Brenda> Re: Possible Brooklynellosis -- Not answering questions or reading! - 11/18/07 No, I froze him before that...he was suffering bad, and I followed what my LFS said. <You will have to decide which advice you want to follow. I personally have put a lot of time into these eight e-mails with you, and I am not going to be able to help you if you are not going to follow my advice.> I didn't read my email...I did it last night. About the quarantine, I don't have another tank for my other fish, and I have corals. She isn't showing signs...yet, what do you suggest? <Quarantine everything! Read the links I've provided! Don't purchase any more fish until you are knowledgeable in their care, and can provide a quarantine tank for them. Quarantine all new fish a minimum of 30 days, no exceptions here. Sick fish need to be quarantined much longer. As far as the other clownfish, and assuming that the other fish had Brook, it is a possibility that the surviving fish will also begin to show signs. Brenda> Re: Possible Brooklynellosis -- Not answering questions or reading! - 11/18/07 He looked terrible!! <Yes, I can imagine! Keep reading! Brenda>
Re: Possible Brooklynellosis -- Not answering questions or reading! Nor referring... - 11/18/07 My tank is a BC14, <A 14 gallon BioCube? Stock lighting on this tank is a bit low for frogspawn. Do you have a skimmer on this tank? If so, what kind? How much live rock do you have in this tank?> The salinity is 1.023, temp 78, calcium and Alk. not sure, had the fish about two weeks. <Your new fish were likely wild caught or they were captive raised and mixed with diseased wild caught fish. There are plenty of clownfish breeders. I do suggest buying captive raised livestock when you can. This does not mean you don't need to quarantine, but it does lessen the chances of disease. I also recommend that you acclimate your livestock to both temperature and chemistry. Set up a quarantine tank and follow the instructions I previously provided. Don't add any more livestock for several weeks. Since you have already dipped the remaining fish once, watch it closely. I would not dip again at this time. It will only cause stress to this creature. If the fish starts to show signs of Brooklynellosis, follow the instructions I previously provided for the dip.> It has been set up for about 3 months. <Your tank is still new. It will go through a lot of changes before it becomes established. Keep an eye on water parameters and keep up with water changes to reduce the stress on the livestock. Brenda>

Can puffers be infected with Brooklynella? Short answer, yes... and much reading    10/21/07 I have a 55 gal. tank which housed a black and white percula, a maroon clown, <Not a good idea together> a porcupine puffer, a rose Bubbletip anemone, and a Condy anemone. <Ditto> Both clowns just died from what seems to be Brooklynella. <Mmm... symptomatically, this protozoan looks like other parasites...> They both had all of the symptoms. My question is can the puffer be infected with the Brooklynella? <... yes. Though this complaint is called "Clownfish Disease"... the causative organism is known to infest other fish families...> It seems to be primarily a clownfish disease. Also, will this Brooklynella live in my tank without adding something to remove it? <? Yes> I have nowhere to move my puffer or anemones <These are misplaced together BTW...> to in order to quarantine them. My LFS is to blame for the death of my clowns, the maroon was sold to me with the Brooklynella and I was told it was caused by other fish picking on him and that he had no disease and was fine. I only found out about the Brooklynella after both clowns died. Please let me know before my puffer kicks the bucket, too. Thanks so much, you have a wonderful site! Sincerely, Jennifer <... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Peruse the articles, FAQs files on Marine Parasitic Disease, Brooklynellosis... can really only be treated efficaciously with formalin baths, isolation/quarantine of all fish hosts... Bob Fenner>

Clownfish illness - 10/07/2007 Dear Crew, <Kevin> Thanks for the great service you provide to all of us amateur hobbyists out there. <Welcome> Here's my problem. My friend and I recently introduced a small Ocellaris clown into an established (3 year old) reef tank containing a yellow watchman goby, a fridmani Pseudochromis, and a large Ocellaris clown. There seemed to be immediate attraction between the two clownfish and there was no overt aggression from the other fish. Unfortunately the small clownfish (who had been quarantined for 4 weeks) soon developed an eruption of something that looked like ich, which the larger clownfish eventually developed also. <Mmm, not the other fishes though? This is likely Brooklynella... looks very similar> We immediately put both of the fish into quarantine and treated them with a formalin/malachite green solution, which seemed to do the trick. After 3 weeks of quarantine we figured that it would be safe to reintroduce the clownfish (who had been doing very well in the meantime), since the two other fish did not seem to be affected at all. <Mmmm> This turned out to be premature... both clownfish quickly acquired parasites again after being reintroduced. <Yes... not enough time, and the other fishes may have acted as reservoir hosts> My question is about what to do now. It would be virtually impossible to capture the other two fish in the main tank without dismantling it, but they haven't shown any signs of disease and have been eating and behaving normally since this all began. Should we wait another 4 weeks and then try again, or are the odds that it is unsafe to reintroduce the clownfish ever, in case the other two fish are asymptomatic hosts of whatever disease has afflicted our poor tank? <I would remove all... even if this requires dismantling the tank> Thanks! Chris <Bob Fenner, out in the Bahamas... where the water is warm and clear, and the Net is sloooow>

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

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

This Clown Isn't Funny (Sick Clownfish?)  Hi, I would like to start by saying, Thank you for being here.  <We're happy to be here! Scott F. with you today!>  Now as for the reason that I am writing. I am very new to marine fish keeping. I have set-up my first saltwater tank and am very unaware of the diseases of saltwater fish. My tank has cycled for 8 weeks now and all of the levels are acceptable. My problem is that I purchased a Maroon clown fish and after 5 days of being in my tank he has a white "coating" on his side. It almost appears to be slime. It has not affected his breathing or appetite.  <That's good that he's eating...>  The "coating" was not there when I left at 7a.m. this morning, but when I returned at 4 p.m. it had developed. It is only on one side and doesn't appear to be near his gills, only to the tail-end of him. He also has a bit of the film on one fin. Can you please help me with a diagnosis and a solution, please.  <Well, there are a few possibilities, ranging from extremely serious to relatively mild. Of immediate concern is the possibility that this may be the dreaded Brooklynella hostilis, a virulent protozoan infection. Symptoms are a thick coat of whitish mucus, rapid respiration. loss of appetite, gasping, and faded body color. I think that you need to observe him carefully, and be prepared to take action if things progress. The best treatment for this malady, IMO, is to remove him from the display tank and give him a 10-15 minute freshwater dip, then place him in a separate "hospital tank" for continued observation, and possible treatment with a formalin-based product. Before embarking on this treatment course, or any treatment, confirm that this is what you're dealing with. Use the disease FAQs on the WWM site to confirm this.>  I don't want to lose him. He was also swimming near the top of the water, but has went back down near to bottom, now. I have suspicions that he is not tank raised. I bought him from a pet store as soon as he was delivered to the store and had little information about him.  <Wild-caught clowns are usually more likely to contract Brooklynella, so you might want to operate under the assumption that this may be what you're dealing with.>  However, he seems scared and took awhile to "come around". By that, I mean that when I put him in the tank he stayed hidden for the first day, but eventually came out. Any help that you could give would be appreciated. Please respond as quickly as possible.  Thank You, Leah  <Well, Leah, it's impossible for me to be 100% certain from here, but your fish is at least displaying some of the signs of a very serious illness. I suppose you could observe longer while studying the possible diseases, as opposed to rushing into a potentially stressful course of treatment. Other possibilities are forms of fungal maladies, which are a lot less serious, but require treatment nonetheless...Do read up on the WWM disease FAQs to confirm what you're dealing with, and seek help from a local fish store or hobbyist if you are uncertain as to what this is. With quick, decisive action, the fish can make a complete recovery. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>
This Clown Isn't Funny (Pt. 2)
Hello, again. <Hi there! Scott F. with you again today!> After reading through page after page on the internet about such diseases as Brooklynella and Amyloodinium I still could find no real match for this problem.  So. I bagged him up and we went to the pet store for a diagnosis.  I was told that it was a fungus and he recommended "Revive" (which I found out later that it is now being sold as Rally and wonder about the shelf life of this product). <I've heard of the product...Not one that I've used...>   I treated the fish--not in a quarantine tank, though, didn't know I needed one until later on, but I will set one up for future cases---his coating/slime now seems to be "peeling'" away. <Yikes!> By this, I mean that it is detaching from the body and is hanging loosely in "strings".  My LFS said that I could remove the fish and put it into a small container and gently rub the fish to finish taking off the remaining slime.  What is your opinion of this? <Handling a fish in this manner is not something that I would do...> He also said that I could wait and the medicine would eventually completely cure it.  He is still eating well and doesn't seem to be affected by this.  His breathing is still normal and aside from being a little grumpy ( as I have found this to be a "norm" as well) he is doing just fine.  I hope so, that is.  What do you think of the information that I was given.  I am new to this and am leery to trust someone that gains to profit from their advice and recommendations. (The pet store)  Thank You again, Leah <Well, the LFS can be a great ally in your hobby endeavors, so I wouldn't automatically discount any advice that they give you. That being said, I m not a fan of the so-called "reef-safe" "medications", which I believe this product is marketed as. In some cases, a number of these products have turned out to be nothing more than an irritant, which causes the fish to slough off body slime in the hope of eradicating infections. If the fish is recovering, that's the most important thing! In the end, there is no substitute for having the animal evaluated locally, and proper treatment utilized. Just keep learning and studying! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Clownfish disease - Brook?    5/12/07 Hi Bob, <Kari> I got a new pair of true Perc clownfish last Thursday (5/4/07). <... these appear to be wild-caught (as opposed to tank bred and reared) specimens...> On the following Tuesday (5/8/07), I noticed the male has this strange lesion on the upper half of his body (see photos attached). He was swimming, eating, and breathing fine though. I wasn't sure what it was (could be a sting from the frogspawn they hosted to? <Yes> Could the female be nipping him? <Not likely from this appearance> Could be a disease?). I thought I'd wait to see if conditions worsened. <Maybe> Today, Friday (5/11/07), I noticed the female had 3 spots on her as well. See attached photos.  However, they are both still swimming, acting, breathing, and eating normally. <For now> I'm concerned it is Brooklynellosis, but from what I read, it sounds like if it was, the fish would be breathing hard, lethargic, and the male would be dead (or close to it) since its been 3 days. <Sometimes takes a while to "take hold"> I had a hard time finding photos online of various marine diseases. Does this look like anything to you? <Does appear these two are "breaking down"... not able to discern if this is subsequent from capture/holding/shipping, the interaction you mention with the Euphylliid in your tank (likely), or parasitic at this point> The areas in question are white, swollen (or bumpy), and sometimes have a stringer coming out of it (looks like flesh). Thanks! Kari <... Am in the process of re-sorting the 15 Clownfish Disease FAQs files... into quite a few categories... for ease of review by browsers... First, you are to be admonished for buying non-captive produced stock here, secondly... no quarantine? (You'll learn, are learning), lastly, a referral to WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the linked files above, so you can make up your own mind re how to proceed here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Clownfish disease - Brook?   5/13/07 Thanks for getting back to me.   <Welcome> You mentioned below that this might likely be an interaction with the Euphylliid in our tank (the frogspawn they are "hosting" to). This morning I woke up and the female now has torn pectoral and the back half of her caudal fin is really thin and has a hole in it (see attached). I am beginning to think this might be a bacterial infection <Rare as first order courses of disease...> instead of Brook, or could this still be a result of the frogspawn? <Oh yes. Associations with "usual" Actinarian hosts as well as other cnidarians takes some time, effort to develop... the Euphylliid is very likely stinging, burning the heck out of the clowns presently> They are still acting normal, for now. The LFS I bought from said they quarantine their fish for 2 weeks. Sigh. I know now not to trust and always best to do it myself. <Yes> I will set up a hospital tank today. I still can't tell though if I should treat for Brook w/ formalin or with an antibiotic though. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks for your time. Kari <I would not "treat" with formalin... but might try the/an antibiotic. Do be aware (and test for nitrogenous accumulation) of the disposition for these to subtend nitrification. Bob Fenner>

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

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

- Percula Problems... - Hello again! <Hellloooo, Kevin here> I just purchased yesterday a pair of true Percs. I now have them in a 20 gal qt tank. I have a powerhead, small heater and Mag 350 with carbon. <No bio-filter?> I have in the past lost 4 clowns. <Ouch> They never seemed to eat. So far with this new pair the smaller male is definitely eating but I am not sure about the female. The female also seems to be rapidly opening and closing her mouth. This is what happened before the other 4 passed. They also both seem very nervous. Any suggestions as far as what I can do to ensure they remain viable. <I'd be willing to bet that they're coming down with the "clownfish disease" called Brooklynella. The fish will develop a white patchy slime coating which rapidly enters the gills and suffocates the fish. I would seek out a better dealer of these clowns, which are likely wild caught (tank raised fare much better!) Check out http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm for more info and treatment. Good luck! -Kevin> 

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

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

Clown Fish Disease Hello, My brother recommended that I write to you about this.<sounds like a cool guy> I had to clown fish (tank raised Ocellaris) die this morning in my tank. I took them to the fish store and they determined that it was clown fish disease (I think they called it Brooklynella?) after looking at it under a microscope. I still have a Coral Beauty in my tank as well as some shrimp and snails. What should I do to keep what I still have healthy? The Coral Beauty still looks healthy but he has been scratching up against rocks frequently. Thank you, Tyler Packard The clown fish looked fine all the way to last night so I am concerned about the same thing happening to the Coral Beauty. <Brooklynella is usually noticeable, it looks more like a bunch of soft, translucent, dead skin or mucus peeling/flaking off the fish. I would keep a close eye on the Coral beauty. Take a look at our information on disease to see if it is showing any other symptoms. You may want to consider removing the coral beauty from your main tank and placing it in a quarantine tank for a few weeks for treatment if necessary. I would not worry about the shrimp and snails. Also, test your water, make sure everything is as it should be. Check out the links below and get back to us with any more questions that may arise. Best of Luck, sorry about the loss of your clowns, Gage. http://wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm>

Re: Clown Fish Disease I will get on that right away. Is it possible for other types of fish to contract Brooklynella from clown fish? <Yes> I was just wondering if putting my Coral Beauty in quarantine is precautionary or is he in severe danger of contracting the disease.<He is in danger of contracting the disease.> One other quick question, the shrimp I have are cleaner shrimp and the coral beauty stops and lets them clean them off every once in awhile. Is this something that could be helping resolve the situation with the Brooklynella? <The cleaner shrimp will do his best, but if you just lost other fish I would go with the QT method. Good luck, Gage> Thanks, Tyler

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

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

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

Tomato Clown woes Good morning, I purchased a 3-4" Tomato Clown from my LFS about a week ago. My LFS store held her (I assume, based on size) for me 10 days previous to that, and I checked her several times during that period. <That is a good procedure, but not a replacement for a stay in a proper quarantine tank.> She looked healthy and ate voraciously when I took her home. After adding her to my 75 gallon, she seemed healthy, active, and ate well (Omega One flakes and Ocean Nutrition Formula One frozen). However, about 3-4 days ago I noticed a few patches of a white/gray sheen on her skin/scales. It was only noticeable when viewed from certain angles. She continued to eat well and remained active. I watched her carefully for the next day, and the sheen turned into "rough" looking scales, with a white-ish color. Thinking that it might be water quality issues (although all tests looked good: 0 NH4, 0 NO2, 0-2 NO3, pH 8.2, salinity 1.0215, Alk 3.2 mEq, Ca 350), I did a 20% water change. It was nearing time for a scheduled change anyway. Unfortunately, things have gotten worse. This morning she seemed interested in food, but just mouthed it and spit it out, and the white/rough patches look larger. She also seems less active and is holding her fins semi-closed. After reading through your FAQs, I was immediately drawn to Brooklynella, but most accounts of that suggest that the fish would have been dead by now. <It is a fast progressing disease.> Are they any good web photos of a Brooklynella infection? <You maybe able to find a picture somewhere, but by that time it maybe too late. Your description definitely seems parasitic in nature, either Brooklynella or Amyloodinium. Both can be effectively treated with Formalin baths and removal to a separate quarantine/hospital tank. Please search through our website, www.WetWebMedia.com for more details on the suggested treatment.> I'd appreciate your diagnoses and treatment advice. Thanks very much, John H. <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

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>

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 Perc's 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 mostly 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>

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

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>

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>

Brooklynella, Microsporidium, or Lymphocystis? Hello, I recently made the mistake of purchasing a large (3") Amphiprion Ocellaris (common clownfish) from my local fish store. They had just received the animal when I purchased it, mistake number two. I added the clownfish to my newly cycled reef tank (mistake number three, biggest one). Within 24 hours I noticed a white wart/cauliflower growth on the animal's right side, in the white band area, just behind the gills. The clownfish will not eat and appears to be stagnant although it is moving about somewhat. The animal does not exhibit any other signs of infection, no small white spots, glazed or popping eyes, scratching, fin rot, and the like. What has infected my fish? I've narrowed it down to either Brooklynella, Microsporidium, or Lymphocystis or ? ? ? What can I do to cure the fish and save my reef tank. Should I remove the infected fish to prevent the disease from spreading to the other tank mates (choc chip star, scooter blenny, 2 turbo snails, 6 reef crabs)? Please advise, I want to save my tank and the clown if possible. thanks, Dan Rose >> Thank you for writing so well, including with such clarity and humility... Glad to know that I'm not the only one who makes egregious errors in the hobby... I would almost bet that what you are seeing is indeed the Clown-attacking protozoan Brooklynella... And would in any case follow these steps. Do take the fish out and treat it in a separate "hospital" system... for it's sake, the use of the treatment "medicine", and the safety from the same of the rest of your system. The likelihood that the Brooklynella will affect your other livestock is minimal (there are no other Clownfishes...)... Copper is of little use if indeed this is Brooklynella, but formalin dips/baths are efficacious. Buy a stock solution (my fave retail brand is Kordon, but any will do)... generally a few drops per quart of pH adjusted (just with sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is fine) freshwater... and move the fish from the main tank into this solution for about ten minutes... either add an airstone, occasionally splash the water around for aeration), move the Clown to the bare-bottom (but still filtered, aerated.... with a hang on, sponge, box filter...) hospital/quarantine system... Dump the treatment water... repeat every day for three days... and stop there if there is no further visible sign of the disease... If it re-shows or persists, wait two days and resume the dip/baths... This will work....  Bob Fenner 

Percula Clowns I have tried twice without success to keep two percula clowns. Several months ago, I purchased two clowns. Both healthy looking fish, both did well for several weeks. Then one day I noticed that one of the fish looked "faded" on the orange part of the coloring. Still acted okay, just looked "faded" almost turning whitish. A while later, I noticed the same fish had regained it's normal coloring. Next day when I looked in the tank, the fish was dead. Several months passed, the remaining clown doing very well. I decided to add another one. Brought one home, did fine. But for only 8 days. Today I noticed the same "faded" whitish look to his body. A little later it began to swim erratically and has since died. Any ideas? I have only the one other clown and one yellow tang. Both are doing well and have been for nearly a year. I also have an assortment of crabs, snails, 4 peppermint shrimp, about 10 soft corals and one bubble tipped anemone. All are healthy and doing fine. >> Sounds like a/the common Clownfish malady/parasite Brooklynella... the one Clown you have has developed an acquired immunity... I would leave off with trying to place other Clownfish species/specimens in this system... this problem will not affect/infect most other fish species... or invertebrates. Bob Fenner

LA Clownfish Help! Hey Bob! How are ya? I wish I had a chance to talk with you more at the MASLAC meeting. What are you up to? <Same ole madness... Writing, running, making pix, whassup?> My friend e-mailed me with distressing news about my clownfish. The clown has been in his tank for more than six months. About two or three months ago he added a Dottyback and then about two weeks ago put in another percula and a scooter blenny. I've included his e-mail and was wondering if you have any suggestions. I was thinking it might be Brooklynella and should be treated with a freshwater dip. <Yikes, there's a spate of this funky protozoan problem about...> Any help would be greatly appreciated!!! Stay Cool! Madison My friend's e-mail: The bad news is last night I notice something funny on/in the mouth our your clown. She was breather fast too. It looks kinda clear/whitish and swollen. Today it is worse and she's not very interested in eating. Which is WAY unusual for her. She's recently put on a bunch of weight too. The other clown is fine, and the blenny, but the pseudo looks like its got some on its mouth too. <Hmm, not Brooklynella on the other fishes.> I'm thinking it is either a fungus or a bacteria. Any ideas on how to tread it? Freshwater dip? Leave it alone? Marina Oomed in a q tank? Iodine dip? <Not primarily a fungal or bacterial problem I'd wager... time to look to root causes... whatever tests you have for water quality... And improve what you can... water changes, clean your skimmer, add some activated carbon...>  I've never seen anything like it before, yesterday she was still eating as every. She still has plenty of weight, but looks like she's having some trouble swimming. >> <What do you feed your fishes? I would cut back altogether, and start utilizing more fresh, frozen material and leave off with dried, prepared foods... Additionally, as a cathartic, I would lower your specific gravity (a couple of thousandths per day, down to about 1.018... to enhance gas solubility, thermal stress effects... And do take a read over the "Clown" materials stored on our site: Home Page to see if something stored there "clicks" with your situation. Bob Fenner>

The Brooklynella Blues I just purchased a percula clown. It won't eat anything but newly hatched brine shrimp and the day after I got it, it developed what looks like ich.  <Actually, more likely another protozoan infection peculiar to Clownfishes... do you have a cleaner organism in with it?> It doesn't seem to be eating at all now (4 days later) and is growing listless. Any ideas about what I can do to get it to eat something besides brine shrimp? I treated the ich for 2 days when I first saw a problem but the fish seemed to be declining faster in the medicated water (malachite green) I am brand new to the marine hobby but have kept freshwater fish for about 10 yrs. <The protozoan problem is not treatable with Copper-based ich remedies... look into Brooklynella... and institute freshwater dips and formalin treatments... NOW! Bob Fenner>

Clownfish Breathing Hard hello I have a clown fish that is breathing real hard but the weird thing is that everything in the test kit that I have is all perfect? what do you think it is and what should I do for it? thanks <Many possibilities here... could be just simple anoxia (lack of aeration, circulation)... possibly an osmotic imbalance (too much change in your water make-up in too short a period of time), perhaps a Brooklynella infestation... Please read through the Clownfish Health/Disease sections and related FAQs files posted on the site: www.WetWebMedia.com for hopefully what will surface as the cause/s, path to take here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Disease refractory to treatment... Brooklynella?   12/3/06 Bob, I used the microscope yesterday and performed a skin scraping. The pathogen is an oval, ciliated organism that looks most like Brooklynella hostilis (using Edward Noga's Fish Disease Diagnosis and Treatment) for comparison. <Could you make out the nucleus, nuclei? Their relative size here?> This might explain its refractoriness to Cu++. However, I have dipped it multiple times in a 125 ppm Formalin solution, with improvement but not cure. <Frighten-, frustrating for sure> Do you know the lifecycle of Brooklynella? <Yes> Is it an obligate parasite? <Yes> Should I treat the entire tank with a 25 ppm Formalin prolonged immersion, or are there more specific antimicrobials that I should use (Chloroquine, Metronidazole, an aminoglycoside)? I have not been able to find any literature on the lifecycle or sensitivity of this pathogen. thanks very much, Sam <Successive Formalin dips and moves to non-infested systems should break the cycle here... along with the use of anti-protozoals. My choice is/would be Metronidazole/Flagyl... as posted on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Sick Clown (Brooklynellosis?)  9/28/06 Hi Guys, I just purchased a pair of Clarkii Clowns from my LFS. They are absolutely beautiful and have a great relationship with one another. I skipped out on quarantine because they are the first fish introduced to this reef tank. <You'll learn... are learning> (I had a major power failure over a month ago and the tank was a total loss, but that's a different story) The fish were doing great for the first week. However last night, I noticed that the larger fish had what looked like a "fat lip" with some white strands hanging down from it. He also had the white "poop" hanging down and another small white spot on his side. <I take it these are wild-collected specimens...> I read up on Brooklynellosis and decided that the symptoms my fish is suffering from appear to be pretty consistent with this parasite. All of your articles indicate that this disease progresses very rapidly so I removed both clowns from the main tank at once. I placed them in a ph and temp adjusted fresh water dip medicated with a Methylene Blue/Formalin mix medicine. They stayed in the bath for about 30 min.s without any problems. <Good> I put the fish in my quarantine tank where I am slowly reducing the salinity. The large fish appears to be doing better. The swelling in his mouth has gone down and the white strands are gone. A red abrasion is present on the front of his mouth. My questions for you. 1. How many more medicated dips should I do? and should I continue to dip the smaller fish which is not showing any symptoms? <I'd do two more dips... and yes, for both> 2. Should I continue to dip in fresh water or go back to salt? <I would use FW, pH-adjusted> 3. Is there any other medication that I should add to the quarantine tank (or dip bucket) such as antibiotics or a stress coat med? <I would not> 4. The only other fish in the main tank is a wrasse. He was added the same time as the clowns. Do you think that he could keep the parasite present in the main tank. I would prefer to not have to remove him, he's difficult to catch with all the LR. Thanks guys, your help is always appreciated.** <A tough call... other families, species of fishes have been known to "catch" Brooklynella hostilis... including Labrids... If it were me, mine, I'd move, treat all fishes, let the main tank "at least" go fallow (sans fish hosts) for a month... if not "nuke it" (e.g. bleach...) and start again with cycling... Bob Fenner>

Brooklynella?   9/16/06 Hi, and thank you for your informative site, it has saved me much frustration. <Welcome> However at the moment I am mourning the death of my 7yr.old false percula.   (Quarantine, lesson learned). <Ah, yes>   Her name was Juliet, and she had a special place in my heart.  Of course she was my first saltwater fish and approx. 6 months ago I had rescued her from an air lift tube, she was basically paralyzed for approximately a week and gradually began to swim normally again after 2 months of hand feeding her.  And of course that time spent feeding her twice a day and seeing her recover totally over the following months built a strong bond between us. <You are wise to know yourself thus> Okay I know enough about that, however she just passed about 2hrs. ago.  I purchased her a new friend the other day and didn't quarantine.  Well you guessed it, problems.  1 1/2 days later the new fished got the slime coat and died, and now 2 days later she is gone.  This morning she had a tiny bit of that excess mucus and I went to work, came home and I couldn't believe what I saw.  She was covered with it, and bouncing around at the top of the tank.  I dipped her in f/w bath for only 2 min., put her in quarantine tank, and minutes later she passed.  OKAY NOW MY QUESTION, I have prefect water quality, I test every 2 weeks and do partial water changes every 2 weeks of approx. 15 gallons, in a 75 gallon tank.  I understand that this is a Brooklynella problem, <Maybe... there are other Protozoans, even infectious agents that this might be> however I cannot find any kind of information about how I can make sure my tank is cleared of this problem. <Have you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm and the linked files above?>   I have a great hippo tang who is growing larger everyday (eats like a piglet), and 5 damsels, mushroom corals, live rock, some snails & hermits & approx.  5 inches of live substrate on bottom, undergravel filter with power heads, 2 magnum 350's canisters, and protein skimmer and UV light.  Now what I need to know how to I protect the fish and everything else from this horrible parasite, what should I do now?  Any help, ASAP would be sooooo much appreciated.  TY, Marci <Much to go over with you... and happily all is stated on and on WWM... with hopefully not too much repetition. I strongly suggest you read over the linked files starting with the citation above... There is a possibility that this is/was Brooklynellosis... and that fishes other than Clowns might/can be infested... w/o a microscopic examination however... best to treat all as if this were a generalized parasitic situation. Bob Fenner> Brook disease (clownfish disease)...   7/16/06 Ok about a month ago I bought clowns (Ocellaris) from a pet store for my 90G and 46G tank. They were supposed to be tank raised. <...? You quarantined them nonetheless?> Within a few days they were all dead. My water parameters were all good (no ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, phosphates, etc) these two tanks are reef tanks and have lots of corals, etc.. I did lots of research and found out that I had brooks disease - <Not the correct term for this protozoan parasite> the pet store lost about 25 clowns to this, one by one. I ran a UV sterilizer on my 46 for about a week. Nothing was done with the 90. <... UV won't cure such...> 90G inhabitants: blue tang, yellow tang, lawnmower blenny, Firefish and a green mandarin 46G tank lawnmower blenny, Firefish, royal Gramma, 2 mollies No other fish has been sick, all are living well. I waited until now to get some more clowns and added (after formalin dipping all three) 2 clowns to the 46G and 1 to the 90G tank. <... to the already infested systems?...> One of the guys in the 46G was eating the other nothing - staying at the bottom in one spot. Yesterday they both stayed in the back of the tank, tonight both are dead.   <Uh, yes> I did fish the one out of the 90G and put him in a QT with copper treatment. <Copper won't cure Brooklynellosis...> My question is how long will brook stay in the main tank before it dies? Are the other fish in my tank hosting this parasite? If so, they seem normal and I've had no losses. <... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm and the linked files above> What can I do to get this out of my tanks? <And here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files above...> If there aren't any clownfish in the tanks say for a few months will the disease die away? <Possibly... other fishes can act as reservoir hosts...> I've lost too many clowns to this and want to beat it. Thank you for your help. Shawn Ginardi <Read my friend... ignorance is not bliss. Bob Fenner> Not appealing peeling clownfish?   7/4/06 Yesterday I noticed that my clownfish is peeling! On her bottom half, she has a long string white hanging off of her, the same color as her. Then, later in the day I didn't see it anymore. But, today I can see it again. Here is the best photo I could come up with. <a href=" http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src=" http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v416/steeee/biancashedding.jpg" border="0" alt=""></a> <Mmm, doesn't come up for me> I don't think it is an injury from liverock or other tankmates. Is this a sign of a disease? Or, what could it be? <... how long have you had this fish? Is/was it wild-caught/collected? Sounds very much like the protozoan complaint Brooklynellosis... Please see here for pix, more info.: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm and the many linked files above. Bob Fenner> Brooklynella??? Please help!!!   6/9/06 Hi WWM crew, I have an emergency...unless you can put me at ease somehow.  I have a captive bred clownfish that I have had for over a year now.  He is in a 5 month old 95 gallon tank with 100lbs of live rock and live sand.  Water parameters are great.  Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates <20, pH 8.3, salinity in between 1.023-1.024, temp steady at 78F.  His tankmates are two Pajama clowns that have been there for 4 months and all have been perfectly healthy. My clown has a cotton like patch on his left side, just at the lateral line and past his dorsal fin.  It does protrude off of him somewhat, but is difficult to get pics or more accurate description because he simply will not stay still.  He is eating well.  He is not, nor has not been near the top of the water gasping, neither is he lethargic at all.  He still swims actively around his two anemones <This may be "it"> and his fins are not clamped.  I don't know what a fish healing from a scrape looks like, or I could assume that... if it is a scrape, then it's a nice one.  His respiration seems normal, but it's hard to tell as he swims constantly.  The other fish show no signs of anything thus far. Would the fish still be eating if it were Brooklynella? <Perhaps, but not with gusto for long>   I read on this site and the section on Brooklynella thoroughly and couldn't find an answer to that question.  If it were advanced enough to be on his body would he still be acting fine? <Is not this protozoan unless you have introduced it somehow recently...>   He does twitch and dart some, but I haven't noticed any flashing.  If he flashes, it isn't often... but he does twitch like something is biting him nonetheless.  I read that it seemingly starts at the gills.  If it is in his gills, would he still be eating and swimming in the middle of the water column?  Please, any info or advice that you can give would be very welcome and appreciated!!!    Thanks again, H. Owens <I wouldn't move, treat this specimen. This is highly unlikely to be a parasitic involvement. Could be a negative interaction twixt the anemones, but much more likely resultant from a physical trauma as you speculate. Bob Fenner>

Re: Brooklynella??? Please help!!!   6/10/06 Hi again and thanks for the super quick reply!  If this is  Brooklynella, approximately how long will fish normally continue to eat after the  "bug" shows up on the fish? <Impossible to say, however, this protozoan is generally very rapid "on-set", killing its host/s within days of discovery...> The spot appeared on Tuesday and as  of Thursday night, he was still eating like a pig. <... is almost assuredly not Brooklynellosis...>   I only put two new  pieces of live rock in the tank over a week ago after holding it for over a  week.  The tank came from the LFS that has a live rock only tank with 1  Naso tang in it.  It had been in his tank for some time.  Is it  possible that it could have been introduced that way?  I guess, my main  concern is, would he still be eating if it was far enough along to be showing  up on his body?  Thanks again for your help! <I wouldn't be concerned... please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Brooklynella inquiry    3/31/06 Dear Mr. Fenner et al, <Howzit?> Last evening, I noticed that my Clarkii clownfish wasn't eating and seemed to lack energy/movement. I checked my water parameters, and everything was as it should be--ideal, in fact.   Of note, the fish is hosted by a green bubble tip anemone in a 55g and is a new addition, following 3 weeks of uneventful quarantine. (As an aside, a yellow tang remains in my quarantine tank... wanted to give it additional time, perhaps up to 5 weeks, in QT before moving to the display). <Good to read of your practices, patience> Other display tank residents include two dispar Anthias, a neon damsel and an algae blenny.   Back to the Clarkii, upon closer inspection, I spotted small, white uneven growths on its side, just behind his front bar.    Deduction: Brooklynella. <Mmm, I wouldn't be so fast here> I immediately set up a separate treatment tank, captured the clown and coursed through the prescribed freshwater dip and formalin bath that you've recommended.   (Rather miraculously, I've gone for years without a disease outbreak; I keep such supplies handy knowing that it's "just a matter of time"). <Do know that "formalin" generally does not "keep">   If my understanding is correct, this dip/bath combo is to continue for three days until the parasite is no longer visible (assuming the clown lives)---and if it reappears, wait two days and recommence with the same treatment, correct? <Yes, this is a standard protocol for Brooklynellosis> I have some related questions, the answers to which I was unable to find in the FAQs: 1. Should the fish survive, how long should it remain in the treatment tank? <A week or two... to recover... hopefully. Oh, I see below you might return it to the quarantine system> The tank is outfitted with some biological filtration and aeration but is only 4 gallons (the QT is 20). I plan to do daily water changes with RO water and slowly lower the salinity to 1.010 for the duration of the treatment, however long that may be.    <The formalin will assuredly (if it is of useful strength/concentration) kill off the beneficial microbes... immediately... You will want to monitor (daily) for ammonia, nitrite... be ready to change out water> 2. Should the clown eventually return to the quarantine tank with the tang (much larger tank, more bio filtration, more stable water parameters, etc.)---or would that merely introduce the possibility of infecting the tang (if it isn't already)? <Won't spread this pathogen... but/and I actually doubt this is what it may appear> There is a cleaner shrimp in the quarantine tank, if that's relevant. <Yes, and of use. I would leave it there> 3. My other fish--the Anthias, damsel and blenny--are showing no symptoms, eating piggishly and swimming happily--at least for now. Is the best course of action to act proactively and remove these fish from the display and let the tank go fallow (ugh...LOTS of live rock that they like to hide in/behind...but they can be captured and go into the quarantine with the tang). If they remain in the tank and stay symptom free, would it be just as likely that the clown will rejoin them and come down with Brooklynella again since the parasite might exist at low levels in the display? <I don't think this is Brooklynella... If you do... returning the Clown will result in re-infestation likely... a real problem in commercial settings...> 4. What, if any, threat is this parasite to the host anemone? <None> The clown primarily nestled in the Bubbletip for several days before removal for treatment and hardly went out, except for food the first couple days in the display.   The Bubbletip appeared to respond favorably to the hosting opportunity and is now about 1/2 to 3/4 of the size it was when the Clarkii was present. 5. I understand the Clarkii to be very hardy---once it's acclimated and settled in, but this state of flux...from dealer to quarantine to display to dip/bath treatments daily....is clearly going to compromise its immune system for the foreseeable future.   So, in the meantime, how can I contribute to its ultimate resistance to the parasite beyond what I'm already doing? <Mmm, yes... nutritionally...> What other counsel do you have to help ward off another outbreak...besides quarantine even longer?    <The best? Selecting tank-bred and reared specimens that have not had exposure...> Thank you, in advance.   I want to do my best to save this fish and ensure the longest life possible for it and the others.    Conscientiously yours, Eric <Mmm, I do wish there was more opportunity to see such events, remark on them... ahead of your efforts here. This protozoan looks different from what you've described. Have you seen the pic here: http://wetwebmedia.com/brooklynellosisart.htm Is generally more diffuse... slimy in appearance. A small microscope would have been of tremendous use here... maybe give a look/consideration of the QX3 or later generation... reviewed in places on WWM... Better to leave off here for now. Bob Fenner>

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