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FAQs about Maroon Clownfish Disease/Health

Related FAQs: Clownfish Diseases 1Clownfish Diseases 2Clownfish Diseases 3, Brooklynellosis Maroon Clowns 1, Maroon Clowns 2, Maroon Identification, Maroon Behavior, Maroon Compatibility, Maroon Selection, Maroon Feeding, Maroon Systems, Maroon Reproduction, & Clownfishes 1, Clownfishes 3, Clownfish Identification, Clownfish Selection, Clownfish Compatibility, Clownfish Behavior, Clownfish Systems, Clownfish Feeding, Maroon Clownfish,   Anemones & Clownfishes, Breeding Clowns

Related Articles: Clownfish Diseases by Bob Fenner, Maroon Clowns, Clownfishes

Clown fish breeding system. Premnas dis. Reading        12/11/15
Hi guys.
I've got a breeding system that's been running for 10 months without an issue and today I found my PNG white stripe maroon breaking the water surface. She was breaking the water this morning as I was checking the flow. Ended up laying on her side on top of the stand pipe and a bit of foam. Got her back in the water and she sat upright in the corner gasping
for air at the surface. I covered the tank due to her jumping and she swam down and say in a bed of Aiptasia. Moved her out and she seems to have a bit of a balance problem. Possible swim bladder?
<Mmm; what? Have you had this fish long? What would damage, mal-affect its swim bladder?>
The male is fine currently but the small female maroon in the next section isn't right either. The other two pairs which aren't maroons are fine. Any ideas?
<All sorts>

Tested both ammonia, salinity and temp. No ammonia, 1.021 and temp 25 degrees.
The only thing I've done recently to the system is a water change and change of media (PhosGuard) in a reactor.
<Not a fan; others have had fish et al. losses....>
This was done over a week ago.
<Ah, not likely a direct cause then>
Please find attached a video of the big female upright and a photo of her on the bottom...
There's also nothing visible on any of the clowns to indicate anything.
Many thanks
<Take a read on our/WWM Clown and Premnas disease FAQs. Bob Fenner>

Re: Clown fish breeding system.    12/12/15
Cheers Bob, legendary as always ��
<Epic-ly lazy more like it. DO read over the FAQs files I've referred you to Wes... Am hopeful the process will
"bring live to your conscious" useful input and questions. BobF>

Re: Clown fish breeding system.      12/14/15
Hi Bob, I'd hardly say it was epically lazy to be posting species on Facebook daily and to be able to keep up the great work of wet web media.
<Heeee! I don't have a day job Wes>
I can't confess to being able to read everything but what I could find didn't seem to lead me to any sort of answer. On the upside it's only the large female PNG white stripe that is effected (clearly her offspring was just being the typical maroon jerk). She does seem to be more relaxed and swimming about now, even eating. She is now mostly in a head down orientation, on her side and upside down but mostly head down.
<Mmm; can only guess... do you think this is manifest of some sort of trauma? The fish bonking its head on something hard?>
Looking pretty rough but I guess that's to be expected. I've turned off the PhosGuard reactor a few days ago so maybe that's what caused it?
<Could be a factor>
I know aluminium (said the English way ��) oxide has an adverse effect to fill gills.
Is there anything I can do for her to promote a normal life again for her.
<Mmm; the usual good care.... high, optimized water quality, supplement soaked foods (HUFAs, Vitamins, Iodide...)>
In her time she has been a prolific spawner and with a blue tail bar she's certainly different to most. I have SeaChem Metronidazole,
<Yikes; to be used only once.... kills fishes kidneys/nephros>
SeaChem focus, some random fluke meds, SeaChem KanaPlex (on the way), SeaChem para guard, and a few other things laying around. Sadly in the UK we seem limited to what we stole in the is country and with most, if not all of my advice coming from across the pond it's difficult proceed with treatments without the same or similar products.
<Ah yes; understood>
Sadly I'm off up to Scotland in a few hours to try and fix the forth road bridge but I can direct a minion to do my bidding.
<Didn't see these movies... yet>
Thanks again and keep up the stellar work.
<Cheers (and biers!), Bob Fenner>

Maroon Clown with bubbles on side, Gas Bubble Disease?       12/11/15
Hello, I am looking for some help with a Maroon Clown that came with an established BioCube 29 tank I brought home on 11/29/2015. Previous owner had this clown for at least 2 months and the “bubble” has been there since at least 11/2/2015.
<I see this in your excellent pix>

The day I brought the clown home, there was a bubble on its side. It was about 1/2” in diameter, protruding from the clowns side. There is also a lump under the clown’s skin.
The next day the bubble had deflated. A dark red or black line was visible on the deflated part, resembling a vein. Over the course of several days the bubble went away and the area became smoother. No scales are visible in that area.
On 12/9/15 I changed 2 gallons of water, plus added some to increase the level in the 3rd chamber (almost 3 gallons total). Salinity was 1.022 when I brought the tank home and I have been slowly increasing it (topping off with salt water). Salinity was 1.024 after the water change.
The next morning, 12/10, there was a new bubble in front of where the previous one was. This bubble is 1/8” in diameter, protrude from the scales, transparent and looks as if it is attached to the outside of the body.
Clown appears completely normal, eats, swims normally, no other marks on its body.
It shares a tank with 2 Chromis, 2 yellow damsels, 2 hermits, a peppermint shrimp and snails (plan on rehoming the fish once I get this figured out).
<I take it the other Damsels (Clowns are part of the same family) don't overly harass the Premnas>
I am attaching a few photos, and happy to send more (or full size) if needed.
Thank you very much for your help!
<Well, the original cause/source of the bubble could be... a sharp poke, sting.... trauma... or bacterial, or as you state, maybe gas embolism. At this juncture; I would not do any "treatment" per se for this "owee", but render the usual good care, water quality and nutrition. It should heal over pretty much... in time. Bob Fenner>
Photo of deflated bubble 11/30/15
Photo showing lump under skin, note the darker area on the white center stripe. This appears to be where the new bubbles on 12/10 come from.
12/10 The first bubble appears smooth. The new bubble is on the white stripe. It appears flush with the scales here, but is actually protruding from the skin

Re: Maroon Clown with bubbles on side, Gas Bubble Disease?       12/11/15
Thank you very much for your prompt reply.
<Welcome Jen>
To answer your question, there is not any aggression right now. The clown has it's spot in the rock arch, the other damsels keep their distance. But I do not see this arrangement working out for much longer.
I have a couple follow up questions if you don't mind.
How would I know when treatment is necessary? And what would it be?
<If I saw the beginning of an emarginated sore or poorly behavior....>
What would be your guess as to what the large lump under the skin is?
<Coccidiosis, flukes, nematodes.... many possibilities pathogenically. Just resultant from a physical trauma poss.>
Thanks again!
<Welcome. BobF>

Maroon Clown new behavior and fin rot         8/12/15
Stumbled upon your site while researching maroon clownfish.
I have had a Maroon Clown for a little over two years with few issues it is currently about 4.5inches. I have a 130 gallon system with live rock, 3 power heads, 30 gallon sump with bio ball. All water parameters are good and 20 gallon water changes are done weekly. Other inhabitants include: blue tang, coral beauty angel, yellow Chromis, blue damsel, yellow tang,
snow flake eel, hermit crabs and turbo snails.
So, my Maroon Clown hosts an inverted piece of PVC pipe. Lately he/she has been moving pebble out of the pipe and moving the gravel around it non stop. Maybe it is a she and she is preparing a nest?
When ever any other fish gets close they are chased away. She/he seems very stressed out and now has the early stages of fin rot. No sure if these new behaviors are related to the illness. Any advice on the situation would be greatly appreciated.
<Could be simple territoriality. Unless you plan on trying your hand at breeding, rearing young; I'd do nothing here.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Desjardini Tang with black spots; plus now Premnas "rash"        6/25/15
Hello Bob,
You were right the spots disappeared within 2 days.
Thank you for your help. I have a pair of Clownfishes and the female appears to have a lesion on its bottom side. I've quarantined the pair in a separate tank already.
The lesion was getting better the other week, but today I noticed that it got bigger. Do you think it's Brooklynella?
If so I have some Ich-X formalin ready. Better to get it a long bath or add it into the quarantine?
<I would not dip or treat this fish... yet. This "rash" may be "natural"; an endocrinological manifestation. Bob Fenner>
Re: Desjardini Tang with black spots       6/25/15

Ok thank you. I will refrain from doing anything further. Anything that you would recommend to help it recover?
<The usual: Optimized, stable environment and good nutrition! BobF!>

Strange Maroon Clownfish Death/Issues. Diag.; shooting in the dark        2/27/15
So long story short. I started my 90G tank in August of 2014, went through the normal cycle, added fishes, hooray for me I'm a hobbyist. Then a few months later, disease struck because of no QT, lost 3 fish and rehomed the other two to begin my fallow period.
Started a cycled QT at the same time and after that cycled, proudly put in two maroon clownfish that I was able to bond and they spent a happy six weeks in QT (only med was PraziPro). On Saturday I started TTM with them (backwards yes, but I planned copper originally and changed my mind). Monday morning I notice a little white film on top of the small one's head
and Tuesday morning he is dead. Monday night he looked fine so I thought. His breathing appeared a little rapid, but seemed normal like it had the last 6 weeks. Larger one was breathing a little slower but also what I had observed for 6 weeks.
Carcass showed nothing else on the outside. No film, tears, cuts, abrasions, rot, no nothing except a dead fish.
<... sampling, microscopic exam.? No>

Transferred the living one to the new bucket today and now she won't eat.
Breathing is appearing to be a bit quicker than last night. I'm using an airstone and pump rated for 10 gallon tanks and the water was made up over a week ago. Only thing added was ammo lock on day 2 and the next day they quit eating. No ammo lock was put in the second bucket.
After a day in that bucket, I saw she was getting worse. I took her out and put in her my DT as a last ditch effort to save her. That was Tuesday night and now here on Thursday she's making progress and is eating again.
Swimming better and breathing has slowed down but is fast. Here are some images and video. You can see some whitish stuff coming out of the gills.
It has lessened but is still there today.
<... poss. flukes; maybe just med. exposure.>

Night put in DT right after coming out of bucket.
24 hours later http://youtu.be/xxW5Xv-QhJc
<... the same, ditto...>
Buckets were temp, ph and sg matched. 76,8.2,1.024. Both were fine and healthy until I started TTM. Qt did have a cloudiness to it the last week they were in there, suspected bacterial bloom from over feedings. Qt was 37G but they spent all their time in one corner but were healthy. They were also not wild caught, but captive bred. The larger one had been at the fish store for 6 months and the smaller one for a month.
<Could've picked up something from other livestock there>
People on the forums are stumped as well as am I. Thanks for any help you can provide. I enjoy your site.
<The 'scope... reading, perhaps an e-copy of Ed Noga... Bob Fenner>


Help IDing clownfish problem      4/20/14
Hi!! Thanks for hosting such a great resource!
I have a mature maroon clown female in a brood system. She was wild-caught, though I've had her for several years. I recently introduced an ORA GSM male.
<I see both of these>
This system contains two other breeding pairs. They share the same water but are separated with perforated black acrylic divisions. None of the other fish show any symptoms like this female.
This female maroon has started growing what looks like fuzzy grayish-white patches on her face. This started about a month ago. The small male does not have any of the patches.
These patches do not respond to formalin. I was at first concerned it could be Brooklynella and treated the whole 40 gallon system with a dose of 1.5ml formalin every other day with a 10% water change prior to each successive dose. I continued this for just over a week with no visible improvement.
With a Q-tip, I was able to rub one of the patches and it rubbed off. Several days later it had grown back. They seem to be spreading very slowly. The patches are concentrated on the face and it seems to me that they are slowly are spreading towards the gill covers.
The fish is behaving normally, has good appetite and does not appear to be in distress.
What on earth could this be, and how should I go about treating?
<My guess is on some sort of exudate this fish is producing itself... "Stress" the root cause. Reduce the stress and all should be fine. Bob Fenner>
Thanks for your help! Raquel.

Help / Disease - Maroon clown - fin - Ich?       6/25/12
Hello, I'm trying to confirm whether my juvenile maroon clown has Ich.
Please see the attached picture, there appear to be white spots on his pelvic fin. It seems he took a thrashing from an Eibli (slightly larger) that was added to his QT.
<Something has torn this Premnas up>
He is not using this fin when he swims, and seems to rigidly extend it away from his body. I otherwise seem to have Ich in my fish populations (I moved 3 engineer gobies to a smaller QT, I see spots/scratching on them, other stress factors that I have recently caused on all fish (starting/stopping hyposalinity etc) seem to have taken their toll). I have ordered quinine and will try that, but want to rule out other problems with this clown's fin. Water parms have been ph 8.0-8.2 (trying to raise), 0 amm/nitrites, ~20 nitrates. Thank you.
<Can't tell from this poor image... But would likely treat as planned; as there may be one or more Protozoans at issue here.
 Bob Fenner> 

Re: Help / Disease - Maroon clown - fin - Ich?    6/26/12
Bob, thank you for responses. The Premnas' dorsal fin was torn when I acquired it. It seemed to be in fairly good health until I subject the poor creature to a series of missteps in my quarantine procedures.  I attempted hyposalinity treatment as a preventive Ich measure,
<Rarely works; more stressful than worthwhile>
 and returned to normal after consultations with WWM crew (and realizing it was incredibly stressful for the clowns), soon thereafter I introduced the Eibli which pummeled the clown for several days (which I believe has caused the ripped pelvic fin). Now, a road to recovery (and hope that it isn't too late, as I see heavy breathing).
In parallel, I moved the otherwise healthy engineer gobies to the 10G QT (to make room for the Eibli in the 30G). They had nonstop erratic behavior in the new tank, which I am afraid is due to the change and ? (reflections/lack of comfortable hiding places?
<Could well be>
too small? not sure).
I noticed their scratching and suspect white spots. I moved them back to the 30G (after a freshwater dip from which they barely recovered), in preparation for Crypto Pro treatment for the whole bunch.
Assuredly, they all seemed pugnacious at last feeding. Now I wait for the Crypto Pro delivery in 2 days.
On to my follow-up questions:
1. I have ceramic media as my bio filter in the tank. Do you think this media will cause a problem with quinine treatment?
<No; should not interfere, interact at all>
2. The Eibli came from a healthy tank, and seems fine, however I hope to eradicate this parasite strain which has cost me other fish in this quarantine system. Do you think this preventive measure on the Eibli is too risky given stress for an otherwise healthy fish, or a healthy measure given my disease problem?
<Can't tell>
3. I will move the live rock and shrimp/hermits from quarantine into the 10G tank (fallow), and would like to run quinine in this as well.
Even at risk of killing some life, I hope to eradicate Ich from this rock. Do you have thoughts on this approach?
<I would not treat the system, water, with these crustaceans in it... just have them isolated for as many weeks as you can... 8 or more. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Maroon Clownfish    2/5/12
Thank you for such a fast reply, your site is incredibly helpful. The Maroon Clownfish unfortunately is wild caught. Sad to say, there are only two LFS where I live.
<Can you return it? I would>
One of them happens to be Petco and I would not buy a fish from them if you paid me too. Petco does have tank raised Clowns, but the other LFS store is currently out and only has wild caught fish. Also the fish is only about two inches long so she is still young. Thanks again!
<Welcome. BobF>

Sick clown fish? 6/24/10
First off, I love your site!
My question is concerning a Maroon Clown that I have had for three weeks now. He is currently (I am cycling a 75 gallon tank) in a 14 gallon Oceanic Bio Cube, housed with six Nassarius snails, four Nerite snails, six hermit crabs, three Damsels, live sand, a sexy shrimp, an anemone (white tipped. I think), a serpent star fish, and about thirty pounds of live rock.
<This mix may become a problem fast.>
My nitrates and nitrites test below 0.5ppm and 10ppm respectively.
<Nitrites need to be 0, very toxic.>
My PH is 8.3-8.5, my KH (which concerns me and I have no idea how to fix this) is over 250ppm (off the API 5 in 1 test strip charts), and calcium is over 450ppm.
< http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm >
Everything else looks great, water is crystal clear! So with that, all of my livestock appear to be eating and acting perfectly well however, about a week ago, I noticed what appeared to be an abrasion on my clown (it looked like a brown scratch).
I took him to my LFS and was advised it was (in his opinion) a scratch; I have a lot of confidence in my LFS and he is always up front with me if he does not know the answers.
<Could be a scratch, a sting from the anemone, or wounds from a tussle with the damsels.>
As of Sunday, 20 June, I noticed this "scratch" began to turn dark green. Also, (and I am not sure if this is related), I recently noticed a small piece of his top, middle, dorsal fin missing; it is not rotted, it looks like a piece was taken out. maybe a crab bit him?
<The damsels.>
I have taken him back to my LFS, Google searched "green growths on marine fish". anything I can do to try to figure this out, and no one seems to have any answers! He still eats (very well) and swims all about the tank with the other fish. He does not breath heavy or act strange. If anything has changed about his personality, he is growing slightly more aggressive toward his tank mates (I understand this to be normal with Maroon Clowns?).
<A highly aggressive and territorial fish.>
I'm at a loss. I really like my clownfish and am afraid I am not going to be able to have him diagnosed or treated until it is too late.
<Most likely will heal on it's own if properly housed and fed, which I need to say will not be possible in a 14G tank with 3 other aggressive fish.>
I also fear that if this is a disease, he will infect my entire tank.
Please help!
<I doubt this is a disease, more likely battle scars.>
Thank you,
~Nick DelPonte
<For what it is worth, I would not be using a maroon clown as a first addition to a new tank, it may decide the entire tank belongs to it and kill all new additions.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maroonclnart.htm .>
Re: Sick clown fish? 6/24/10

Thank you Chris for the fast reply!
You provided me helpful links to look over. :)
You mention my mix of livestock may quickly become a problem; are you referring to the maroon clown housed with the other tank mates or they are all a poor mix in general?
<Damsels tend to be territorial and aggressive, if you intend to keep them in the 14G I would remove two, otherwise they may reduce their numbers on their own.>
In other words, if I were to have a separate tank for the clown and keep everyone else
together, would that be ok?
<Depends on if we are talking about the 14 or the 75 and what variety of damsels you have.>
If so, would it be ok to introduce two false Perculas into the 75 gallon with the other fish (minus the
maroon clown)? Thank you again!
<Clowns are damsels and you very well may have aggression issues as they mature even in the larger tank.>

Re? Gold Stripe Maroon Clownfish Troubles!   12/18/09
After my last two emails to you, where I must admit I was snobby due to the fact that I was just sick of my losses (Now a joke at my favorite fish store).
<Mmm, well, you're paying them. Which leads me to not wonder at the motivation for simple servants acting this way>
However with extending the rest of my life habits to my aquarium I have a wonderful chemical (except spherical carbon) free system! But after having my beloved four year old clownfish become mysteriously ill, here I am. With
much reading I have opted to do a Methylene blue- freshwater dip.
<Mmm, I wouldn't do this; after reading the following re symptoms, I don't consider you have much to gain here>
The symptoms are as follows: heavy breathing, interest in food but no actual consumption (despite garlic and Mysis shrimp), and this afternoon I cleaned my filter and stood up only to catch a small glimpse of my beautiful clown lying behind rock on his side practically hyperventilating. There is very very little discoloration and nothing white (gold colored rather than crimson on his belly only) except a spot about half the size of a penny (maybe smaller) at the head end of his dorsal fin. With not much to go on, I feel that the general dip would be the best option.
<... for what?>
Now for my question, should I use CopperSafe in the quarantine tank? With much gratitude, Audrey
<... Need more information. Is there previous correspondence with us? I would look to water quality, some interaction with other life here... vitamin/HUFA supplementation. Dips/baths won't help; may harm. Bob Fenner>
Subject: even whackier
I emailed you only a few hours ago and already something new has developed!
My beloved clown appears to have a "dent" just below his dorsal fin!
Nothing else seems to have changed. I might not have noticed earlier due to the angle which I was inspecting him.
Thanks Again, Audrey
<... What? Please read here:
the whole bottom/last tray. BobF>

More Maroon Troubles!    12/19/09
Alas after moving my beloved clown to a quarantine tank
<... have you read where you've been referred to?>
( I waited a week because he's gone through phases before where he hid and ate little to nothing but there were never physical signs of stress and aside from the previous activity nothing was unusual in his habits). The slight stree of moving seems to have left his fins very slightly shredded and I can now see that his scales seem to be swelling/lifting away from his body. Being that, the skin appears discolored in white and black beneath the scales ( kind of like a spotted cow's pattern). I would send pictures but my computer couldn't handle it.
The clown is also floating diagonally.
<... bad>
My water parameters are ideal in the MT and the water in the QT was pulled directly from the MT ( the QT has a heater at around 80-82 degrees F, same as the MT, and a bubble stone as well as a clay pot from the MT which my clown had enjoyed occupying occasionally) The clown is as I said before at least 4 years old and 4-5 inches long. I have heard that it requires extra good attention for a clown to live much longer than that anyway
<Have been recorded past two decades in captivity>
and I've been through two moves in two years as well as a 5 day power outage (due to an ice storm) with icy cold waters, no light, no filtration, no nothing. The clown's previous tank mates were a unicorn tang that is 7-8 inches long and a small Sailfin tang in 120 gallons. The clown has never had an Anemone to host in as each one I purchased he promptly killed. I acclimated the invert and put it in a small floating tank for everyone to know what to expect with a new arrival. As soon as I released in and placed in on a rock the clown would swim over and fan it (rolling it over) until it died. Tried to bubble tips this with the same results. The clown ate Spectrum THERA + A Lg. Fish formula his whole life that I know of and occasionally he eat a few pure Spirulina flakes that are meant to round out the diet of all my fish. He always seems interested in eating but never actually does. I apologize for such lengthy and repeated emails but Id like to get as much information in as possible as I can't seem to find something even close to exact or definite on your website. Nothing in my tank has changed in the past few months except a bit of water. A new situation with my tank members has also presented itself. A friend had a 55 gallon tank with several fish in it one member being a 10 inch long stars and stripes puffer.
<... needs much more room than this>
The girl wanted it out asap and after a small amount of research I took it since it had never once had any medical issues nor bothered her much smaller fish. I recently as in a little while ago added it to my tank.
Everything is going swimmingly but I'm afraid of how my clown will handle it once its healed and ready to back in the tank. I realize I made a rush decision but the circumstances had to be dealt with quickly. I do have the option of sending it to a pet store and getting fish that will not affect the dominance of my unicorn. I haven't read up on it since I knew the fish's temperament and history from the time it was 3 inches long and diet of feeder guppies and crayfish.
<A poor diet>
Currently the unicorn is trying to express territory but there is no where much for the puffer to go. I am considering reorganizing one end of my tank to accommodate a 13 inch wide clay pot that 1/4 of its circle removed on the opposite end of my unicorn's favorite pot. Please send advice as there is no other place for the puffer to go that has suitable tank members and is large enough (trust me I've been looking for one lol). Thanks again, Audrey
<See WWM before writing us. In this case re Tetraodont Puffers in general,
their systems. RMF>

Maroon Clownfish Troubles   12/19/09
I have lost my beloved clown. "She" I discovered, died within five minutes of spazzing out. Though I am very sad at losing it I'm amazed it lived through all it did. Thank you for your advice and now I ask for more. I obviously won't be purchasing any new clowns anytime soon. I'm wondering since all the rest of my fish stayed completely healthy through all of this, was the problem clownfish specific?
<Can't tell w/ the information provided>
We just learned from the man who owned it before me that he purchased it at full size and had it three years before my three. I imagine this means it was perhaps just old for a fish that did not have a lifelong home. I thank
you again for your time and wonderful site!!!
<Welcome. Please use it>
And with some reading up on puffers I'm hoping to keep this beautiful and healthy fish! The end of one life brings a new. I'm wondering (and so far have no been able to find) if the puffer with tolerate leathery corals and Anemones and the like?
<... read. May consume these>
Thank you as usual! Audrey
<Read, as usual. RMF>

Gold stripe maroon was swimming oddly, now can't catch food  5/5/09
Dear, dear WWW crew,
Like so many of your faithful readers, let me thank you (from the heart) for this wonderful website ,and all the caring attention that everyone there gives to each request. I have search every forum possible on WWW over the last few days and haven't found anything to compare my problem with. I have an 80 gallon bow FOWLR , with a 25 gallon sump that has been up for 3 years. I previously had a 46 gallon bow, same set up, for 6 years before I upgraded to the 80 gallon. I chose this size as I have some serious health problems and had to be wise about what I could actually manage. I STRIVE to keep the water conditions as near to perfect as I possibly can. Water changes are 20% every 2 weeks. I also run a Vecton2 600 sterilizer
<For others... this is an ultraviolet unit made by TMC>
for several days just before I do the water change. I had a blue hippo tang, a purple , a Foxface lo, and a gold stripe maroon clown for nearly 5 years. I was recently very ill and couldn't care for theses beautiful fish
the way they were used to. I was unable to change their water for over a month. I ended up losing the tang and the Foxface. I still am not sure how that could have happened.
The water conditions were still acceptable. Even nitrates were less than 10 ppm. I did notice that even though they all were eating robustly, the tang was getting very thin. He went first and then the Foxface. The maroon clown was fine. All has gotten better with my health and the maroon clown had been doing great. I have a small hippo and a small Foxface, each in their own qt now for 5 weeks, waiting to join the clown. The other day I noticed that that the clown was swimming very oddly. I knew that it was likely swim bladder. ALL the water parameters tested great. There seemed to be no sign of injury. So I put him in his own qt as well (truly, it's beginning to look like our LFS around here). I personally am a huge Mela-fix fan. Have used it many times over the years for a variety of situations in fresh and saltwater. I added this to his tank for 5 days now. He seems to be swimming much better, but he can't seem to either see, or perhaps, catch his food.
If it floats across his mouth, he can catch it. I don't know what to do at this point. I also have a 26 bow front, also FOWLR, for 6 years with 2 wild caught Perculas that i have had for over 9years.This tank is fine. I feel
very foolish to have this many years experience in successfully keeping marine fish and yet be dumfounded as to how to treat this. Over the years I have battled serious out breaks of ich, 2 moves with these tanks, and a coral tank. You would think that this should be easy. Thank you for being so patient in reading this and what ever insight you can offer. WWW fan,
<This reads as either one of two "more likely" possibilities... some sort of nutrient deficiency in the minor, and more potentially so, an in-tank source of toxicity (perhaps microbial...) with the practice of water
changes over the years keeping whatever the source of toxin at bay. I would in turn do three things more here... Add a unit of Polyfilter to your filter flow path... and add a bit (a few more pounds) of new live rock... and when you do your water changes, make more of an effort to vacuum the substrate, move what rock you can about each time to get underneath it. Bob Fenner>

Re: maroon clown swimming oddly   5/7/09
Dear Mr. Fenner, and WWW crew,
Thank you ever so much for your prompt response to my question. I should have mentioned that there is approximately 80 pd.s of live rock in the 80 gallon FOWLR tank that the clown was in all those years, as well as another 8 pd.s in the sump. This has worked extremely well until i had become ill . You mentioned to vacuum the substrate (live marine sand). I will certainly do that. would it be of any benefit to treat the clown with anything other than Mela-fix?
<I am not a fan of this leaf extract.>
Perhaps a few doses of Maracyn plus just for insurance.
<Nor a fan of "treating" appearances so casually>
I really would prefer not to if there is anything else I can do in addition to what you have recommended.
<Nothing more that I would do, no>
I am quite concerned as to what will happen to him once he is back in the main tank (he is in 20 gallon qt now) if he can't catch his food. He seems to be interested in eating, and tries to locate it when i feed him. Could he have become blinded from some of the possible causes you had mentioned in your response?
<Yes... there are a few general known causes of blindness... as you will see from reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm
the green tray... Diseases: Other Etiologies... Eyes...>
I have a huge Mexican turbo snail that I have had for nearly 3 years ( I didn't know they could live that long), and several crabs that have also been in this tank for a long time. all of them are doing great. Wouldn't
they be the first to be affected if there was a serious toxin in the tank?
<No... there are many "group" specific chemicals that don't affect other organisms in the least>
Again, I apologize for my level of ignorance after so many years of caring for marine fish.
<No need to apologize. Ignorance is entirely acceptable... it's apathy and arrogance I abhor>
 I can't just give up on this little guy. If I may bother you once more for a response on your expertise opinion as to why he is not
able to catch or locate his food, I would greatly appreciate your time.
<See the above citation... could be a few possibilities... nutrient deficiency, parasitic or pathogenic disease, genetics, environmental of some sort (too bright light...), trauma, toxicity of many sorts, senescence...>
I was considering partially breaking the tank down by removing the rock (heaven help me) and some of the substrate and rinsing it in clean salt water.
I also considered taking out the snail and crabs, and possibly dropping the gravity to about 8-10 for about a week.
<I would not do these>
Hopefully that may correct whatever is wrong in the tank, but it won't help the clown. Could this aspect of whatever is wrong with him be swim bladder related?
<? What re root cause/s? This/these are what you need to discover, ameliorate>
I have read that epson
<Epsom, MgSO4, not the printer>
in the tank would help with that , but would need instructions on how to do that safely.
<Also posted... see WWM... the search tool, indices>
If you feel that he may not recover at all, then I will euthanize him with a gradual solution of clove oil.
<I would not destroy this animal just yet>
As always, thank you for your consideration and time, but most of all thank you for caring so much about aquatic life as to do this for all of us. Ramona
<Do try the reading, food/water supplementation (HUFAs, vitamins...) and patience here... There is hope for recovery. Bob Fenner>

Re: current follow up on maroon clown swimming oddly 5/12/09
Dear WWW crew,
I wish there was a way that I could have all of you over for dinner to show my appreciation for this wonderful site and ALL the time that each of you spend for all of us.
<Do send along the date, address>
Thank you so, so much. As regards my maroon clown, there is SOME improvement. I have been feeding him frozen Marine Cuisine, frozen mysis shrimp, and, a variety of Ocean Nutrition (my sweetheart) flake foods, all soaked in Selcon. I know WWW is not a big fan of Kent Garlic Extreme, but I have used it in the past with excellent results, so I added this to the soak. At first, i had to hand feed him, as he couldn't locate it. However, after a few days, he seemed to be able to 'search' for it to an extent. I did notice that he CAN see. I see his eyes moving looking for the food.
Today he is swimming all over the tank as soon as i put food in. Sometime, he will swim right up to it , and yet, not take it. It's almost as if his sensory organ is off. If the food swims by his face, he will GULP it down.
This made me wonder if this may not be related to stray voltage in the tank .As you can tell, I have been at the computer for DAYS ON END, researching WWW for some type of insight as to what may be going on. Could this be a possibility??
<Mmm... yes>
Could that explain why the other two fish that I had for that i had for over 7 years. I had the hippo tang for over 7 years, and the Foxface for over 6. I have had a marine tank ,all together for over 10 years. As I had mentioned in my previous note, I had become ill, and was not able to do a water change for a month. The water parameters were still very good, as I had meticulously kept up with it prior to this. The fox face and the tang had endured 2 serious (seemed like forever) bouts with ich. Also, we had to recently move into a home that had door openings that would accommodate a wheelchair, a place I occupy often these days (certainly not my favorite).
<I am sorry to realize your travails>
During the move, all the tank inhabitants spent several days in my 55 gallon Rubbermaid brute container that I use to mix clean water. Of course, this had filter, heater, etc, as needed. It had never dawned on me that stray voltage could be a problem. I run a Emperor 400 hang on, an AP 190 gph internal filter that I keep by a could be dead spot, a maxi-jet 290 power head in the main tank. The sump return runs through the Vecton2 600 uv sterilizer (isn't kept on constantly), powered by a Rio 2100. I also have a small internal filter that I keep in the sump to keep any surface debris from returning to the tank. I have never run a protein skimmer. For YEARS, all was GREAT, in spite of the move and ich outbreaks. All the fish recovered extremely well. I am going to try to get someone to help me check for stray voltage in the tank,
<Better still actually... as there IS some stray electrical potential (induced) in all circulated bodies of marine water... is to go ahead and wire all circuits through GFCIs. Please read here re:
and the linked FAQs file above>
whether that could be responsible or not. As of yet, I haven't found any takers for this task, and I can't say that I blame them. I have read on WWW how this is done. Not for the faint of heart ( we are ALL sissies here).
Naturally, if there is any, I will do whatever needs to be done to correct it. In your expert opinion, could that be what is wrong with my maroon clown?
<Not really "very" likely... Much more so this is a long-term nutritional, perhaps genetic, other environmental issue manifesting itself...>
If it is, is there hope for recovery?
<There is always hope as long as there is life>
He can't live in a 20 gallon tank forever, being hand fed, can he?
<Mmm, actually... with care to water quality... quite a long while... years>
If that is what I have to do, then I will. We don't have room for another large tank in the home that we live in, yet, I know that he would not be able to stay in the 20. I wouldn't have the heart to put him down if he was otherwise healthy. These beautiful special animals likely should not be out of the ocean ANYWAY. Our love for them has made us go to great lengths to keep them in captivity. This give us a huge responsibility towards them.
<We are in agreement>
It literally breaks my heart when I read a post from someone that is more concerned about the financial investment of one of these magnificent creatures than their well being. I know this was very long. Hopefully, I won't have to take up much more of your time.
<Not an issue... Your concerns are indeed exactly why I AM here>
I know how much I appreciate reading the many experiences of others. Even if it is too late for this little guy, maybe this will help someone else with this dilemma. Thank you for your time. Thank you for caring. Ramona
<And you. BobF>

Sick Maroon Clown?   8/5/08 <?> Good evening everyone, <Howsit?> I have been looking everywhere for possible identification of something on my Maroon Clown and only find things that are sort of close but have one thing that doesn't match. To start, I have a 55 gallon rectangular tank with around 30-40 lbs live rock. Maroon Clown, Royal Gamma, Scissor Tail, <... what? A Microdesmid? A social animal...> Kaudern's Cardinal and a Baby Pacific Blue tang all x1 (I know the tank is small for the tang, but am working on getting a larger tank very soon), a sebae anemone, a Longspine urchin and 1 pacific cleaner shrimp and various crabs and snails for cleaning. Temp: 80, PH: 8.4, Ammonia 0.00-.125, Nitrates hover around 10-20ppm and Phosphates .1. About a week ago my Maroon Clown started to get a lump on his side about halfway to his tail fin and over the course of the week it now looks like a big zit with a white head on it, the base of the bump is almost black. He's is not acting strange at all and still eats great and feeds his anemone and plays with the tang all the time. Do you guys have any suggestions as to what it could be and what to treat it with. <Mmm, yes. Nothing... likely this is a mechanical injury... an urchin spine is the best candidate... will heal or not with just time going by> I have tried to get pics of the spot but he is too active for me to get a clear shot and I apologize for that. Thank you in advance for your knowledge and advice, Brandon <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/clndistrauma.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Maroon Clown?  8/5/08 Thank you Bob for your response. Of course right when I seek professional help the problem seems to go away. <Ahh!> In the time last night when I sent you guys the email and this morning when I woke up the spot has done a 180 degree turn for the better and is now barely raised on his body and just a little white. I had suspected the urchin as over the last week he has been venturing very close to the anemone which the clown will not settle for from anyone. :) Thank you again, you guys are great! Brandon <Thank you for this update, good news Brandon. BobF>

15 Y/O Maroon Clown time is short? 5/27/2008 Hello WWM, <Hello> I was told time is short for my almost 15 year old Maroon Clown fish. <Is a good long run for a clown, you should be commended for giving it a chance at a good long life.> This past week he developed white rings around his eyes, and just today he has lost his appetite. <Color loss is common in older fish. Hopefully it will start eating again soon, try frozen foods, perhaps with some Selcon additive to stimulate feeding.> Aquarist that I know, said this is old age and time is short. <Perhaps, or could still have a few good years left, only time will tell.> Truly heartbroken and hoping you can advise, please. sincerely appreciate any recommendations. <Just keep doing what you are doing, this fish has already surpassed 99% of clowns in captivity.> <Chris> Re: 15 Y/O Maroon Clown time is short? 5/27/2008 Good Evening Chris, <Hello> Your input is greatly appreciated for my cherished Clown. I did drop in frozen brine and she went for it then backed off. I will continue to monitor and keep you posted. If you ever hear of white rings around the eyes, keep me posted. <I would not worry about it too much as long as the eyes stay clear and do not become swollen.> The WWMCrew is truly educational to all aquarist, beginners and advanced alike. Thank you so much for your input. Most Sincerely, Donna <Welcome and good luck with your old timer.> <Chris>  
Update: 15 Y/O Maroon Clown  6/4/08 Good Morning Chris, <Hello> Well the rings around the eyes slowly disappeared, and the left eye developed a clear see-through bubble dangling from the perimeter. During a water change yesterday and her aggressiveness with that, she burst the bubble, and it looks like a skin tag now. <Hopefully this will clear in a few days, if there are no other symptoms I would take a wait and see approach here.> I have enclosed some pictures for your pleasure, in which she loved posing for!! <A very pretty fish.> Her appetite was still suppressed, but she finally ate today. Considering her responsiveness to the camera I can tell she is feeling better and looks good for 14!! <Oh yes.> Thank you again for assistance. I love your site, immensely!!!! <Thanks> PS- do you know how to rid of the turtle grass that you may see in the picture. <Not beyond the usually nutrient control, manual removal, and water changes.> <Chris> <http://photos.msn.com/Viewing/Album.aspx?PST=8nK2AN1B!1JkYezkeWQp2b2RRhu8yviurpNoAFDJMIG3a!9ZBl6gvYJX3ryY8AmbQ0vO9yYkES0JsfeBANuCTg%24%24>

Re: UH OH ! Update: 15 Y/O Maroon Clown 6/10/08 Hello Chris, <Hello> Successfully placed Lady Clown in the QT this morning and started treatment with the API Furan-2. <Good> I found her to have developed two of those clear bubble sacs: One on her eye again and the other behind her fin. I do not know what is causing it, perhaps a gas due to the bloating?? <Is possible, I looked around WWM for more information on this and there seem to only have been a few queries about this, and not much to go on. I am guessing it is not parasitic just based on the age of the fish, and it does not sound like you have added anything recently. Is most likely somehow related to the bloating, hopefully a round of antibiotics can help, assuming the issue is bacterial and not cancerous.> Would the Epsom salt relieve this or leave it alone for now, and let the anti-bacterial do its course. <Epsom salt is pretty mild, but due to the age of the fish I would probably go conservative and not add another treatment.> Speaking of course, the treatment is a four day regimen, and API states it could be repeated again. Could you advise what to expect after the first four day course, and how do I decide if another treatment is necessary, without overkill? <if she is still showing symptoms I would give it another round.> I know the QT stressed her out, along with myself. The hawk is missing her buddy, but put the 12 year old green chromis in with her for now. <A whole bunch of nice old fish, congratulations. Perhaps we can convince you to write an article about what you have done to keep the little guys around so long, share a bit on knowledge.> Yes, My fish are senior citizens, and all my kids!! I apologize for the constant bother, but your backup support and advice is greatly appreciated. I have attached anew photos were you may see the clears sac by her fin. Again, Thank you. Donna <Chris>

UH OH ! Update: 15 Y/O Maroon Clown 6/9/08 Hello Chris and Crew, <Hello> I have been reading for 6 hour shifts on your sight- OMG does the brain ever stop swelling ? !!! <Can be overwhelming.> Advise is needed please: clowns' bubble disappeared from the left eye, then the next day another clear bubble developed on the right eye, then disappeared. Now, she is blowing up like a Nemo toy balloon, slowly, with harder breathing, not accepting the foods at all. I purchased the garlic, soaked the Mysis shrimp, and she bypassed the buffet! I would like to try the Epsom salt procedure in the main tank for bloating to see if this would be a help. <Worth a shot, obviously treating the main tank is not ideal, but with the age of this fish it may be the best move. But start setting up the QT just in case, I have a feeling an antibiotic treatment may be necessary here.> I am concerned with the age, and would not like to transfer to a QT- the only other inhabitant is an Arch eye hawk, whom is approximately 12 years old. any recommendations would, again be appreciated. Most sincerely, Donna Hackert <I would try the Epsom salt here, but if she continues to get worse after a day or so I would begin an antibiotic course here.> <Chris> Re: UH OH ! Update: 15 Y/O Maroon Clown 6/9/08 Thank you Chris for such a fast response, <Welcome> Kindly, recommend the brand of antibiotic, when I perused the store today, I have noticed so many kinds and obviously cannot waste time. <You want a broad spectrum anti-biotic, Furan-2 is effective against both Gram+ and Gram- bacteria so if you can find it that is probably the way to go. If not either Spectrogram (if they still make it) or Maracyn Plus should work. While it has been a looong time since my microbiology class, I believe gram- bacteria are more common, so should you not be able to find the above medications, try to find one that is effective against gram- bacteria, often this is printed on the medication, otherwise a bit or research will be necessary.> I'll run to the store now!! I think the antibiotic is the way to go too- Just so nervous with the lady clown! Never had to go through this!! Thank you. Call if you care to XXXXXXX or cell XXXXXXX. <Wish I had the time to call, however life prohibits me from getting into that habit, sorry.> Again THANK YOU CHRIS!! Donna <Welcome and good luck, and remember you have done something right to get them this far, so keep it up. And in case it is not obvious, must be treated in a QT, and lots of water changes will be necessary since the medication will wipe out any biofilter you have.> <Chris>

Need a second opinion:  Lady Clown Dying?  6/12/08 Hey all, If someone has a second to take a look at a query for me, I'm running out of ideas to help a quite sick 16 year old clown. I'd hate to lose a fish that old because I did not think of something. Thanks Chris Lady Clown Dying? 6/12/08Hello Chris,<Hi>I am afraid for my clown. Day three for the Furan-2 treatment- no noticeable improvements- more of those air sac bubbles appeared on both sides of her body and right eye in the am- returned home from work (pm), they seem to decrease in size, but are still visible. She is not eating, nor defecating at all. Do you recommend the Epson salts?<At this point I would probably give it a try, it might help.>Will this help?<Hopefully>I am at a complete loss. Lady clown is just leaning now. Please consult with the team for any advice, Chris.<Will do.>I guess it may be her time and how do I end this peacefully step by step. I don't Like the freezer idea at all. Most sincerely for all that you are offering. Donna <Clove oil is my preferred method, is a natural anesthetic and seems pretty painless, a few drops in a small cup usually does it pretty quick, but I'm hoping it does not get to that point.><Chris> <<Man... that's tough... 16 years is a long time for a fish in captivity and typically so set in their parameters that any change of any kind will spell doom, not including of course the big insults like medication. I wouldn't beat myself up too much - there really is only so much you can do short of driving to this person's house and even then you might not be able to "help" in the way the owner was helping. Is there any more thread history on this I can read up on? Cheers, J -->>

Re: Need a second opinion:  Lady Clown Dying?  6/12/08 Thanks Jason The whole story is here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marclndisfaqs.htm, the first set of queries on that page. <<I think the key here is to find out what changed... I've seen several 25 year old clown fish so this one is not over the hill by any means. What I mentioned before is mostly about how these fish become chemically dependent on their environment. For example: if we keep the salt low (or high) but consistently so for 15 years and then suddenly make a large salinity change. then as RoboCop says, "There will be trouble." It sounds to me like the fish-owner has been diligent enough to do water changes (I'll relate a story about this in a bit), and that at least is a plus. In reading through the history... I don't think I would have recommended anything different. I think you've done as well as you can here. There is a decent chance that this is bacterial but I'd for certain go the water-quality route first - I'm convinced something changed (even something silly like a new piece of live rock) and this is the stressor that starts it all off. The Epsom salts are also a worthwhile shot but make sure salinity does get weird... other than that, I proscribe you a stiff drink. On the related note - I met a fellow in Florida who had a 225 I think it was that he had running for almost 30 years... he never did water changes and used fresh water and "real fresh" water from the Atlantic to top off... all very consistently for as long as the tank had been running. He had been through several hurricanes and never had a major loss. Someone convinced him one day that he should do a water change and without knowing a percentage, he went for 50%, also with water straight out of the Atlantic. Well, you can probably guess the rest - several of his oldest inhabitants went belly up within a couple of hours and by the time 24 hours had passed, he had lost pretty much the entire tank. Moral to the story? Well... anecdotes are anecdotes, and you'll meet several people who will say, "I never do water changes and I've had a tank running for X-number of years." That's all well and good - I've met several of these people, I even worked with one at a LFS in Boca Raton - she had an Annularis Angel that was well over 20 years old, perhaps 25 and she never did water changes; which means it can be done. That doesn't mean it's optimal, but the lesson with old tanks is - whatever you've been doing, keep doing it... don't change now or... what's that RoboCop line? Cheers, J -- Oh... feel free to re-use that story if you need to.>>

Re: Lady Clown Dying? 6/12/08 Chris, Hope you are doing well. <Yes, thanks.> I was in the store buying the clove oil, for the event. (Tears made a river) I perused another fish store, and realized from the tank display, that my QT is a five gallon, not ten. <That pretty tiny for a fairly large fish.> I overdosed the medication for three days. I rushed home, and quickly changed out 25%. <Good> I hope I did not do any damage. Did I? Or maybe it helped. <I think it will be ok, just do an extra couple of water changes to I'll learn from this. I'll try the Epsom salts now, and keep you posted. As always, Great Appreciation, Donna <I was chatting with our Jason C about this last night, and he was wondering if anything was added to the tank or routines changed before the fish got sick? Please keep us posted.> <Chris>

Re: LADY CLOWN-PARASITE- HELP 6/12/08 Chris, <Hi again> I have looked in the QT tank with a magnifier this early am. There are approx. 8-9 dead (dying) microscopic, clear, elongated bugs, with antennae, kind of resemble shrimp. They were by the clown, but don't know if it came off of a small piece of rock. <Most likely amphipods or copepods, and harmless. However I would remove the rock from the tank if possible, the antibiotics will do a number on these and make maintaining water quality difficult. Sorry I did not realize you had LR in there or I would have mentioned it earlier.> I do not know what to think!! I am at a huge loss of what to do. The sacs are still on her body. The eye sac disintegrated, left a tag again. The sacs on the sides have begun to get more cloudy, no change in the size, except one sac has a more solid structure (growth) contained within the sac. <Could you get a close up picture of it?> Lady Clown's breathing does not appear to be as labored. She is still very swollen; has not defecated. No food intake. I am quite perplexed at this point. <Hopefully if it is constipated the Epsom salts will help.> Whom knows if the overmedicating process helped, hurt, or these organism expelled through her. All recommendations I will accept. <Most likely just die-off from the live rock, and not related to the fish's illness.> I did not do the Epsom salts at all. Chris, anticipating your reply. I have to go to work today. But hope to hear from you soon. Thank you Donna <Give the Epsom salts a try, just watch your salinity closely.> <Chris>

Re: Lady Clown Dying? Amphipod 6/13/08 Hello Chris Again, <Hi> After doing more research, this organism appears to be an amphipod. I saw the photo on Amphipod Facts. It looks very close to it. It is smaller than a garden ant. <Seems most likely.> I do not know if this creature is affecting the clown or not. Any thoughts? <I doubt it directly effected the clowns, although their death may indicate a water quality problem.> I, unfortunately have to leave for work. Thank you Chris. <Welcome and check your water quality when you get home, and perhaps do a water change if you have some prepared.> <Chris>

Re: Lady Clown Dying? 6/13/08 Changed to a new wet dry filter, the old one developed spider cracks. Changed to a coral life protein skimmer, in sump. Had used the Berlin skimmer, and completely dissatisfied. (May 25th was the purchase) (I believe I installed the following weekend) Purchased 10 Hermit Crabs to help eat the green hair algae, approximately 6 months ago which does not work. <Rarely does.> Five are still remaining. Purchased generic shells, boiled for 15 minutes, then rinsed, placed in tank. Nothing really different. With the equipment changes, I did maintain the original sponges, filters, etc. ., for the new system. I hope this helps. Late for work, got to go. Thank you Chris!! <Thanks for the additional information.> <Chris>

Photos- Re: Sick Lady Clown, Photos 6/14/08 Hello Chris, <Hi> I want to sincerely offer my appreciation for your thoughtfulness and guidance during this time. I depend on your advice greatly. <No problem.> With that being said, Lady Clown is still alive! <Ah, good.> Bloating is still there and the lower portion of the abdomen appears to be turning lighter in color, but now an hour later, she is normal again. I believe she is constipated, no feces, but, also no food. <The Epsom salt should help with that.> The bubble sacs this am were cloudy with a growth is the middle. Now, with a magnifier, I believe the sacs disintegrated, developed a skin tag. A new bubble sac forms in the same area, containing the skin tag. There are four bubble sacs on her right side, another new sac developed above her left eye again. Other wise her eyes are clear and she sees well. <Good that she can at least see.> I did another 25 % water change this morning. Salinity is currently 1.022. I am going to add the Epsom salts which should take it, to 1.023. <Ok> This is the salinity that I have maintain for the 15 years. Thereafter, late PM, I will add the fourth dose of the furan-2. <Good, and good with the salinity stability, this is important in a fish this age.> Tested her appetite with two dried flakes - they were gone when I checked back. I soaked Tetra Bacterial pellets in garlic and water, but she did not go for them. <Maybe a little frozen food, bloodworms or Mysid, and if still no response in a day of two try some live brine shrimp, although nutritionally pretty worthless is often stimulates a feeding response.> She seemed to perk up one half hour after the lights were on. She still, mostly, hovers at the bottom. She seems to try to maintain a balance at occasional points. She stills comes to me for a greet. <Good, she is still engaged with the outside world, a good sign.> I notice her breathing is more heavier now, with the light on for an hour, and the activity around her. I am attaching photos from today, and hopefully they are clear enough. My computer is giving symptoms of crashing. I hope you saved my numbers, please. Thank you Chris, and Jason C for all of your insights. Donna <Welcome and keep on the path.>

Algone.com - Fish Diseases Re: Sick Lady Clown, Gas Bubble Disease 6/14/08 Hello Again Chris, <Hello> One thought= Gas Bubble Disease? As described on this web page could this be possible? <Possible, but the bubbles did not look quite right to me for this.> We did get hit with a heat surge here, I know the temps went up, then the central air kicked in. I do have excessive hair algae> What do you think? Thank you, Donna http://www.algone.com/fish_diseases.php<http://www.algone.com/fish_diseases.php> <Are you seeing lots of micro-bubbles in the tank? Try putting your hand in the tank and see if bubbles rapidly form on the surface, this is often a sign of gas over-saturation. > <Chris>

Re: Sick Lady Clown 6/16/08 Hello Ziggy, Your assistance would be greatly appreciated and help me and aid WWM to help diagnose this strange condition. These sacs look like clear water balloons that some one may have just taped on her body. Hopefully, she can make it by Monday, for your friend from SERA, to see her. Call Home: XXXXXXXXX Cell:XXXXXXX Chris, The Hidden Reef owner, Ziggy, in Levittown, Pennsylvania, is a aquarist friend, who met Bob in Germany. I hope he has an opportunity to stop by and view this, and try to aid in this creatures health. This correspondence does not need to be posted on the WWM sight Chris. I am just trying to open up the channels of communication. Computers seem to be crashing in this territory, so if need to be, please, please call. Thank you and God Bless, Donna <No problem> <Chris>

Re: Sick Lady Clown, Update 6/16/08 Good Morning Chris and Crew, <Hello> Lady clown is still with us. There are much better pictures which clearly show these bubble sac's that I have been trying to explain. I have completed the Furan 2 protocol. 6-14-08 pm: I have added charcoal to the filter. 6-15-08: I did a 50 % water change with another dose of one teaspoon of the Epsom salt , rinsed filters, and now monitoring. <Good> No food intake still, and no defecating, just yet. I am Hoping for a miracle, like a marine biologist to show up at my door, if you are out there, Lady clown lives just outside Philadelphia! This is a APB plea! Some people, in society cannot understand how devastated I am with Lady Clown. I respond in stating this is my pet of 15 years. I had her since she was a baby and hand fed her to maturity. Winked at her everyday- until some eight years ago, she clearly expressed that she was going to stop me from winking. While cleaning my tank, I was standing on my step stool above the tank, and "in for the charge" she went. This clown jumped out of the water one foot above the tank, and had bitten my eyeball, and happily went back to her waters! <Ouch!> I guess I got the message! (LOL) I now where glasses! If any person has experienced this clear bubble sac dilemma, please contact WWM asap. She still is fighting to survive, and enduring every process that I apply. Thank you Wet Web Media, especially Chris, who has held my hand through this heartbreaking process. Most Sincerely, Donna <Keep at it and monitor the water quality closely.> <Chris>

Re: Sick Lady Clown 6/16/08 Dear Donna, This looks like your fish is suffering from Lymphocystis. This is a viral disease and there is no treatment, the fish should be isolated to stop cross infection of other tank mates. This web site has some information on the disease http://www.aquarticles.com/articles/management/Lawler_Lymphocystis.html <http://www.aquarticles.com/articles/management/Lawler_Lymphocystis.html> Regards, WATERLIFE. <I would have to respectfully disagree, I see no signs of Lymphocystis. I do agree that it is not curable, however is usually not terminal in fish and subsides with improved environmental conditions.> <Chris> Re: Sick Lady Clown 6/16/08 Dear Ms Hackett We refer to your recent e-mail regarding the difficulties you are experiencing with your clown fish. We would advise that we are unable to determine the problem from the information you have supplied, but it is possible that your fish has Fish Pox, which is a viral infection. However, we are not qualified vets or scientists and, whilst we will always endeavour to assist as much as possible, we regret that we are limited in the amount of in-depth help we can give on these general issues. We would suggest that you may wish to contact an organisation like the Fish Veterinary Society, who may be able to put you in contact with a fish specialist, who could give more specific assistance with the fish disease issues. Their details are: The Fish Veterinary Society P O Box 1510, Stafford, ST17 4YQ Tel: 01785 258411 www.fishvetsociety.org.uk  <http://www.fishvetsociety.org.uk/> We hope that this will be of assistance to you and wish you well with your fish keeping. Yours sincerely Donna Townsend Senior Administrator Customer Support <I think by fish pox they are referring to Cryptocaryon irritans, aka Ich, which I also do not agree with.> <Chris><<Mmmm, a comment: the term fish pox is used in a few countries/languages in the world... Does refer to non-specific types of viral complaints generally. RMF... who doesn't know what the root/source/s of this bubble appearance are either.>> Re: Sick Lady Clown, 6/16/08 Chris, I am elated! Sera Corporation is arriving at my house at 1:30 pm. Harvey will be discussing the condition with a doctor in Germany!!! I will keep you posted!! This is truly God Sent!!! Thank you Donna <Very good.> <Chris>

Re; Sick Lady Clown, R.I.P.  6/19/08 Hello Chris, Crew and Special Friends, <Hello> It is with great sadness, Lady Clown has passed., <Sorry to hear.> I have donated her to The University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital to understand and learn of what caused her condition and eventual passing. She has given me much joy and happiness in our 15 years. The last three weeks were difficult, and the stresses, I am sure, she could not handle. After the treatment of Sera Baktopur, the following day, they all shrunk to a pimple size, except the largest one, it decreased in size. One disintegrated sac left a six inch stinging trail of mucus. She did seem weaker, and maintained her heavy breathing. I did not have a good feeling, but still maintained hope. Dr. Brian Palmeiro, The Pet Fish Doctor, arrived last night. When trying to retrieve her, she put up a strong fight, and eventually burst those bubble sacs; so he was unable to determine the contents, though he suspected mucus filled. The doctor lightly sedated her with MS-22, Tricaine Methanesulfonate, (His preferred way to euthanize). Dr. described to me, in layman terms skin cyst. He noted that the scales were sticking out some. Under a microscope, he stated proliferation of skin cells. No evidence of Lymphocystis, parasite, or fungal. <Interesting> He also studied the gills, and found them to pale, which indicated anemia. Under the microscope, Lady Clown had mild to moderate Hyperplasia. Her body inspection did not reveal internal lumps, but pressure on her side did leave, per say, a thumb print. Not a good sign. She was dehydrated and Dr. injected her with fluids, ( intracoelomic fluids). He also injected .7mg of Baytril, an antibiotic. Dr taught me how to do the injections , so as to follow the course of treatment every three days. Dr. Palmeiro was suspicious of internal disease, possible cancer or mycobacterium. The eventual studies will tell. <Please pass along these results, would be interesting to know.> She was seriously ill, and the eventual stresses was just too much. We do know she was over the 15 years of age, was 5 inches long and weighed 74 grams. (Never knew that!) The Doctor tested my main tank levels, as they were pristine, he recommended to very slowly acclimate her back to it, for he felt it would have been more beneficial to her health. If she was able to pull through, I would have seen result in two days from the antibiotic. I acclimated for over one and one half hours, placed her in a safe harbor in the main tank at 2:00 am. I sadly found her at 7:30 am. I hope to learn from this and pass the education on to you and your readers. We never stop learning in this rewarding hobby, and this is what I can offer to you in her memory. <True> Chris you have endured me for almost three weeks, from May 24th Until today June 18th. I do not know how to thank you, But THANK YOU. <Welcome> We have tried our best, and held on for hope, but our Lady Clown has left us. My appreciation to the entire CREW for your dedication, passion, knowledge and continual efforts in education. Your unselfish investment of your valuable time is a great gift to all. May I offer a special thank you to Harvey Fell from Sera, Ziggy from The Hidden Reef, and Dr. Brian Palmeiro "The Pet Fish Doctor" and his efforts at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital. Most Sincerely, Donna Hackert <Sorry to hear about this, but sometimes it is for the best. Hopefully a learning experience for us all and will help others out there.> <Chris>

More Trouble, Hawkfish 6/19/08 Hello Chris, <Hello> Double stiff drink! My 12 year Chromis died today. <When it rains it pours...> All that is left is 12 year old Arc Eyed Hawk. Any recommendations for his well being? Donna <Stable conditions, good water quality, that's about it.> <Chris>

Re: Lady Clown follow up 7/2/08 Good Morning Brian, I hope this email finds you well. Thank you for the report. Could you possibly mail the report to me, along with the photos that you have taken. I want to combine the two and forward to www.WetWebMedia.com<http://www.wetwebmedia.com/> and Harvey Fell at SERA so that they may assist others. If there was anything that I could have done on my part to avoid this, what could that have been? Is the mycobacterium, in your opinion, prevalent in my tank? If so, what do I do? Any advice would be greatly appreciated since all I now have the 12 year old Arc Eyed Hawk, and now am concerned for his well being. Most Sincerely, Donna Hackert <Thanks Donna, do be aware that mycobacterium is transferable to humans so make sure to wear gloves when working on the tank and wash your hands when done. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/infectmardisfaq3.htm .> <Chris> Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2008 8:22 PM Donna, I hope you are feeling better. I did get the final report from the pathologist today. There was significant thrombosis (i.e. blood clots) affecting the muscle and skin on either side of the pectoral fin region. The lack of blood flow (kind of like what is seen in a stroke, except here we are talking about the skin and muscle instead of the brain), caused the changes to the skin you were seeing. It also caused the underlying muscle to be very weak and damaged. She also had evidence of mycobacterium. It is possible to tie the two together (the mycobacterium may have caused the thrombosis) but that is not 100%. The pathologist thought that some sort of systemic infection (whether it was the mycobacterium or other organism) caused these findings. I am glad that we did get some information for you. Let me know what questions you may have. Take care, Brian On Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 11:12 AM, wrote: Sorry again. that really sucks. So, here is the deal with lady clown. Unfortunately, there were some post-mortem changes, but i still think we can get some information from the biopsies so i will send to the pathologist. I spoke with the pathologist at the vet school in Oregon and if i ship out to arrive there around Monday/Tuesday, he would not expect to generate a report until early July (which fits with 2 week turn around time). I did not find any masses or tumors in the abdomen on initial exam. The tissue underneath the skin did look weakened and abnormal, again, hopefully the tissue samples will show something. The only other thing i found, besides for what we found when i was at your place was that the internal organs (spleen, liver, kidney) had A LOT of pigment centers that we call melanomacrophage centers. These are areas of inflammation. I have seen these with systemic (body wide) inflammatory conditions, such as mycobacterium and other chronic inflammatory diseases. Again, hopefully i will get more info on the actual tissue samples that i will send out today. take care Brian On Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 7:46 AM, wrote: Good Morning Brian, The Chromis has died, I contained him last night, to feed him but he did not take a bite. Appeared to be gasping for air at the top of the tank. Yes you are right, this is not the week. Thank you. Sincerely, Donna
Sick Maroon Clown... env.   4/16/08 First off, thank you for all the information on this site. It is so helpful to know you can go to a place and you can trust the information. I have a Maroon Clown fish that's eyes look like they are about to pop out of its head. They also appear cloudy around the puffy part of the eye. She lives in a 20L with a Choc. Starfish, Long Spin Urchin, 1 small Emerald Crab, and a few Hermit Crabs. <Mmm... need more room...> She currently lives alone, but last week she was sharing her tank with a very small long nose butterfly <Way too small a volume for a Forcipiger> who died from what I believe to be ich. It came at night and within 6 hours killed the Long Nose. <Mmm, no... the environment...> So whatever it was it didn't even give me enough time to get the Long Nose in quarantine tank. The tank is about two months old with 20 pounds of live rock and the water tests fine. <Too new to house the stated invertebrates> I currently have the Maroon in a Hospital tank and have started a copper treatment. <Of no use here... the root/issue here is environment. W/o fixing it this fish is doomed.> I am wondering if you can help me determine if I have properly diagnosed the Maroon and am preceding with the popper medicine. Also, the urchin did an interesting thing today. Small brown pellets came out of its eye. Have you ever seen something like that? <Yes... is excreting... waste> Thanks for your information. Spencer Hall Pictures attached. <... I'd move a few steps back here... a 20 Long is too small for a Premnas... too stressful for this wild specimen. I might look into some tank raised Ocellaris... Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Maroon Clown  4/16/08 Well I do have a 55 g coming to me this weekend, which I planned on putting the Maroon after a few weeks of live rock and water movement. <Ah, good> When the Maroon was smaller she lived in an 8g bio cube with an anemone <... not well> and I had no problems until I put the fish in the 20L. I am kinda confused with what to do. When I bought the fish he was in a much smaller tank. Why is the problem coming now? <In a word: ontogenetic, i.e. developmental... the fish, particularly the eyes are "tweaked" from the conditions in which it was reared> Does it have something to do with the inverts in there as well? <Marginally> What can I do to insure the survival of this animal until I can place it in a much larger tank? <Care in maintenance... feeding> Should I keep the fish in the 10g quarantine tank and see if she gets any better? <I would not move the fish till the larger quarters are ready> Should I remove the Urchin? What is your suggestion on keeping this fish and keeping it alive? The Butterfly was covered in little white dots the night before it died? <Could be... a few things> Does the environment play a roll in the fishes immune system being down? <Oh! Yes!> I am sorry for all the question and I do appreciate the help, this just seems puzzling to me. Thanks Spencer Hall <Ask away... keep an open mind... and keep reading! Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Maroon Clown  4/16/08 Well, thank you so much for your help. I will keep the Maroon in the 10g quarantine tank until I have the 55 ready to go. I do have some little tank raised Ocellaris in my 8g bio cube right now. <... need more room...> They are a little too slow on hosting with a BTA, <... ditto> but they are seeming to be more interested. In fact they seem more interested in the mushroom polyps in the tank. But they are super small guys and I figure that's what I will place in the 20L when I get the Maroon in the 55g. <Better> I just noticed yesterday that the Choc Chip Star had a brown balloon or bubble about the size of a pin head coming out the top of him. Any idea on what something like that might be? <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ccstardisfaqs.htm and the linked files above> I have done some research on fungus type parasites, and from what I read its very uncommon for inverts to get that. Some one suggested he might be reproducing. <Mmm, no... Dying> I am pretty new to salt tanks and I am trying to read as much information that I can. I great appreciate your help. Thanks Spencer <Good to keep reading. B>

Re: Sick Lady Clown -- 6/17/08 Chris, just sending to you some help from people and their opinions. I don't know if this would help, but they do have a nice web sight displaying diseases with photos. Donna Going by the odds and the appearance I would have to say it is a bacterial problem. If the furan is not effective at the end of its treatment length I would switch over to Maracyn but use double the dosage amount. If an improvement is not seen soon, might taking the fish to a vet be the best thing. You would probably have to call around to find a vet familiar with marine fish or might this website be of use in finding one. http://www.aquavetmed.info/ <http://www.aquavetmed.info/> Chuck <Thanks, I would agree with their assessment.> <Chris>

Re: Sick Lady Clown -- 6/17/08 Hello Chris, <Hi> Here is an update: Harvey Fell from SERA-USA arrived to view lady clown. He honestly has never seen this before either. He has the sent the of pictures to their Dr. in Germany. We spoke to a person at ORG in Florida, then Lance Ichinotsubo, also in Florida. Course of Action: Lower Salinity to 1.010-1.013 I was concerned with this due to the age of Lady Clown and the efforts already endured. <I would not do this personally, too much on the fish.> Added another antibiotic Sera "Baktopur" containing the following: Acriflavine 209.7 mg Methylene blue 4.95 mg phenylglycol 0.6 mg aqua purificata ad 100ml day one 20/drops per 5 gal. day two no treatment day three 22 drops per 5 gal. Brian Palmeiro (the pet fish doctor) Will try his best to arrive Tuesday evening to do necessary cultures to determine cause and proper course of treatment, if applicable. I also suggested, after his examinations, if the fish is distressed/incurable to no return, then Lady Clown shall be euthanized. I hope this is treatable, so as to not have to go that route, but she will not suffer. <Hopefully it will all work out.> Brian, said to bring the salinity back its original state ( 1.023), due to the stresses it imposes on the fish. I agreed, and this was done immediately and gradual. <Good> The best way to describe to you, after all this visual inspection of these bubble sacs, we do believe they are air filled, not water. It looks as if it is a clear balloon that was just blown up, and attached to her body. She is bloated by 25%. Possible defecation, as we saw two small fragments, greenish, slight yellow on the tank floor. Breathing is same, not too active due to lights being off but did move some when turned on. Chris, you have put so much effort into this and you are a treasure. Again, I will keep you updated with the progress and respect all of your input. Many people from all over are assisting me to aid in clowns health, that is why I pass it to you and the crew for your expert opinions and assist others whom love to learn. PS: Harvey believes Clown is over fifteen years old and a wild caught clown. I acquired her in 1994, and she was about 2 inches big at that time. <Could be a couple years older then.> Please offer my sincere gratitude to all of the crew especially, Mr. Fenner, and Jason C. Thank you, Donna <Welcome and good luck.> <Chris> Pet Fish Doctor / Pet Fish Doctor Re: Sick Lady Clown, Pet fish Doctor 6/18/08 Chris, <hello> Please review the link below. Have you heard of him and his accomplishments? What do you think? <I have not heard of him before, but to be honest that does not mean much. Will ask Bob if he knows him, <<Mmm, nope! RMF>> he seems to know everyone. Otherwise perhaps ask Steven Pro on the Marine Depot forums, he is in Pennsylvania, although on the other side in Pittsburgh.> PS- Thank you for your input on the "FYI" I cannot agree with them either. I will pass all responses by you if you do not mind. <Feel free.> I realize I am taking up a lot of your time, and as Jason C stated, we both could use a good stiff cocktail. I owe you a big one!!!! Donna <No problem.> <Chris> http://petfishdoctor.com/ < http://petfishdoctor.com/>

Re: Premnas biaculeatus, The Maroon Clownfish, hlth., cloudy eyes    4/13/08 Hi Guys: <Hi Robert, Mike I, here> I finally got my 55 gallon fish only tank's nitrates down from well over 100ppm to between 20-25 through less feeding and more meticulous overall care of the aquarium. <Good stuff!> There are only four fish: A Dwarf Lion, a Yellow Tang, A spotted Cardinal and a Common Clown. A few days ago, I noticed a cloudy, translucent film over half of one of the Tang's eyes. Today, it looks like the Lion is starting to show a trace. <OK> I'm always hesitant to put meds in the water fearing destruction of the bio filter and since it looks like it's spreading in the tank, isolation doesn't seem to be a viable option. I am absolutely "religious" about maintaining my tanks and can't for the life of me understand how anything got into the water as I haven't added any new specimens. My source water is pristine RO/DI. As always, your help is very much appreciated. Regards, Robert <Well, Robert, a lot of "cloudy eye" can come from physical injury/incidents, but if more than one fish is coming down with the same symptoms, then it's likely the cause lies elsewhere. One would first look at water quality, and since your nitrates have been high, it could be the result of prolonged exposure to less than ideal water quality. Having brought it down you may see the cloudiness gradually disappear providing you keep up with your attempts to keep the water quality right. If not, then next guess would be some sort of bacterial infection, which will need treatment. Treatment outside of the tank would be the preferred option. Search the indices here for "cloudy eyes" to find recommendations on a course of treatment. Good luck. Mike I>

Sun, 2 Mar 2008 11:43:40 -0600 Hey Bob: <Not Bob today but Mike I with you here> My Maroon is over five years old now and has lived (alone) in two different nano reefs. The first at only 6 gallons and for the last several years in my JBL 12 gallon Nano Cube. This has got to be the healthiest and happiest (except for my Dwarf Zebra Lion in my FO 55 gallon tank) of all of the marine species I've tried. <OK> Two weeks ago, I had the nano crash due to a stuck heater which cost me most of my coral and nearly killed the clown. <Ouch!> She loved to nestle in a large Trumpet cluster and also on the Mushrooms. Since those are now gone, she now just lies in the sand bed (can't be too good?) when not swimming. What is your best recommendation for a symbiotic anemone for this fish? <In a nano that size, none I'm afraid> The nano is slowly coming back and just suffered an quick ammonia spike but the nitro cycle has safely resumed. The beautiful purple coralline encrusting the back of the tank didn't survive and is now just white or VERY light pink. Should I have scraped this off before starting over. I don't want to mess with it now though. Is it safe or will it regenerate? <Although possibly un-aesthetic, I wouldn't worry about it. If some remain healthy they will likely come back> At any rate, I just wanted to let you know that I had indeed kept this species in a small environment successfully. Regards, Bob Sabbia <Thanks, Bob. I don't know if you have conversed with the Crew/Bob prior to this email, as previous correspondence was not attached. Regarding the small environment, in the wild this type of clown in particular will generally not leave it's host anemone much and may be more suited to a smaller confine. Nonetheless, if asked outright, I would probably advise a larger tank generally. Who would choose to live in a motor home if they could have a castle? Heee. Certainly, the tank is too small for any of the hosting anemones. As it happens, how big is your clown? Adult females can reach around 5 inches, and yours looks a little smaller in your picture... All the best, Mike I>

Maroon Clown with air sac coming out of gill?  2/2/08 Hi guys! I'm a bit stumped on this as I have never seen anything like it. I searched all over and the only info I could find on air bubbles seemed to deal with puffers. I woke up this morning to find my male Gold Stripe Maroon clown had what appeared to be an air sac coming out of his gill! <I see this> I have no idea what it is or what to do so I came to you guys for help. I have checked all of my water parameters and nothing seems out of whack. The other fish all seem fine. He seems to be breathing normally and acting normally, but didn't want to eat large pieces of flake food. He only ate a few small pieces. I have attached some pictures. Any ideas? Thanks, Crystal <Might be a neoplasm... perhaps a zoonoses... In either case, I would do nothing re at this point. If it is a tumour, perhaps it will spontaneously remit... if a "worm" et al., maybe it has a complex life cycle... will degenerate or age, not be able to complete reproduction w/o intermediates... Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Sick Maroon Clownfish -- 9/30/07 Dear Crew, <Hello, Brenda here> My Maroon Clown 3-1/2" size was not eating and moving. There is a pair of Percula Clownfish doing well and eating in the same tank no other tank mates. Tank is 120 liters, hypo salinity of 1.010, temperature 28 degree Celsius. I gave them a freshwater dip two days ago. <What is the reason you are doing hypo salinity and freshwater dips? What was the starting salinity, how fast did you bring it down to 1.010? Is this being done in your main tank or a quarantine tank?> Since yesterday the Maroon Clown is lying down sideways trying to hide. He is trying to swim but is swimming side ways, upside down; sometimes he is rotating round and round as if he wants to eat his tail, not eating. Please help what should I do? <More information is needed before I can offer any help. Brenda> Regards, Inderjeet Singh Bansal.

Re: Sick Maroon Clownfish -- 10/1/07 Dear Brenda, The SG was brought down in three water changes, over 3 days from 1.020 to 1.010 for quarantine purposes, in the quarantine tank as I wish to treat the fish in hyposalinity. <The rapid change in salinity during each water change may have been too stressful on the fish. Has its behavior improved any? It is not uncommon for these fish to not want to eat right away when placed in a new environment. What are you trying to feed them? Brine shrimp will sometimes help get a fish to eat, although it is not very nutritional. I would also place something in the tank for it to hide in. PVC pipe will work great for this. Are there any other odd things going on; stringy white feces, white spots, etc. What are your other water parameters?> Regards, Inderjeet Singh <Brenda>

Maroon clown... death...   9/23/07 Hi, well just to update, the GSM finally "bit it." <Sorry to hear that. :(> Thing is, I have no idea why--parameters are where they're supposed to be, all other life in the tank--softies, BTA, Gramma, blenny...look great. I did try to induce it to feed with live brine, but to no avail. It just sat in the BTA, seemingly for weeks, not eating anything i offered. My hope was that it was eating something, perhaps pods or something, all ready in the tank, but apparently this wasn't the case, and it indeed seems to have starved to death. <Starvation may have likely been secondary to some other disease/infection. It sounds like the little guy may have had some kind of internal parasite like a cestode (kinda like tape worms). See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm> Actually, I saw the moment too, last night--it just suddenly darted out from the BTA, swam erratically for a while, and then went limp, still breathing though. I caught him in a container and put him in QT, but didn't have any kind of "meds" on hand. By this morning he was gone. Another baffling thing is he actually didn't appear unhealthy--color was there, breathing seemed normal, just a bit lethargic. Anyway, before I think of replacing him with another GSM, I'd like some insight as to what might have cause his death. <It's hard to say specifically without doing a thorough examination of the fish. But take a look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndissucc.htm> I had him for maybe 4 months. When I got him he was about 1 1/2", and I believe he was wild caught. <Did you quarantine?> Initially he ate well too, but then just stopped. Maybe a tank raised specimen would be better, <They tend to be better in many ways.> and I'd prefer that for the sake of conservation anyway. Any words of wisdom here though?? <...just to always quarantine your new arrivals. Sometimes these things happen and there's not much you can do about it. But quarantining everything certainly helps.> Thanks, Eric. <De nada, Sara M,>

Maroon Clown Acting Strange, Very High Nitrates 9/12/07 Dear Crew Member, <Hello> I have a 4" gold-striped maroon fish who I've had in my 40 gallon salt water aquarium for well over a year. He has always been healthy and loves to nestle in his bubble tip anemone. The anemone has shrunk over time and now the clown fish avoids the anemone and consistently shimmies in almost a vertical position as if he is struggling to reach the top. <Clowns do have strange behaviors, the concern here is what is wrong with the anemone?> He has no outward signs that I can detect such as ulcers; however, his dorsal fins are noticeably clamped down. The only redeeming quality is that he is still voraciously eating with all my other fish. <A good sign.> Once he finishes eating, he resumes his behavior of shimmying. I've never noticed this behavior before. Is this behavior symptomatic of "velvet"? <Does not sound like it to me. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm > All my parameters are within range except for my nitrates which are 100 PPM. <Very high, dangerously high, this is your problem.> I change 5 gallons every two weeks but I have neglected to use my Pura NitrateLok packs because I haven't regenerated them yet. <Set up the water changes and find the source of the nitrates, NitrateLok is just a band-aid. Are you overfeeding, overstocked?> Please advise whether you suspect some underlying illness or whether this behavior is typical or atypical with clown fish. Thanks in advance for your prompt response. Sincerely, Tom <Get those nitrates in line and I bet you see an improvement in the anemone and overall happier tank. The clown's behavior on its own is not terribly troubling, most likely it just found a new place to host since the anemone is no longer viable.> <Chris>

Something is wrong with my clown, and English, and msg.... no useful data  7/9/07 Hi this is the first tme i have ever posted . Befor i tell you my problem let me give you my tank specs: 140 galllon reef ready tank,2 239watt mh light fixtures , all the levels are exelent do to 20 gallon water changes a week the tanks inhabitants include four yellow Chromis an my baby a two in a half inch yellow striped maroon clown fish also a assortment of soft coral. ok now for the question my maroon clownfish has a couple of bumps behind his head on his first yellow stripe . i am very worried about him because a couple of months ago i had another maroon clown get bumps in the same area and then died. is it a parisite ? and what can i do to help him he is still eating very good though <Please... run what you send us through a grammar and spell-checker ahead of sending... And you give no useful information re water quality, maintenance, history... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/part2.htm the bottom tray. Bob Fenner.

Maroon Clown with swollen cheeks/wart  7/7/07 Dear Crew, I am very worried about my Maroon Clown fish. I have had him for about 4 months. About a week ago, he began swimming very near the top of the tank (55 gallon) all of the time, swimming back and forth frantically, and other fish kept biting at his fins. <Her fins...> After two days I noticed that his cheeks were a bit swollen, but I didn't know why. The next day his left cheek bulged out more and showed whitish spots on its tip. <I see this> This all happened after his Bubble-tip anemone host died, and I am not sure if his change in behavior had anything to do with this death of his host. <Very likely so> I am tentative about buying him a new host, <Mmm, do please read on WWM re BTAs... why was this last one lost?> although this might relieve some of his stress, since I do not know why his original anemone died after being fine for 6 months. <Again... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/bubbletipanemones.htm and the linked files above> Thinking that my clownfish might have an early stage of Brooklynella, I treated him with a freshwater/Formalin dip and lowered the salinity of my now fish-only tank from 1.024 to 1.014 in an attempt of a hyposalinity treatment. <Good techniques> Two days later, his bulging cheek seemed to have reduced in size. I dipped him again and put him back in the tank. Checking the water parameters, I found that all was fine (nitrite 0, ammonia 0, ph 8.3) except for the nitrate (20). <Mmmm> I did another 10% water change and deep-cleaned the substrate, hoping that better water quality would help the fish heal. <Good> Now he will swim nearer to the bottom of the tank, but he seems to only be able to swim diagonally with his head down while doing so. <Mmm, you're on the rightest tracks here> He still eats food heartily and is able to compete with the other fish for food. He swims normally when he is doing this, so I am not sure if he is resting or hiding from the other fish most of the day with his strange swimming action. I hope that my method of treatment is working, however I do not know if I have even diagnosed his disease correctly. Could he have Lymphocystis? <Perhaps... this or other "warty" viral condition as you aptly state> What course of action would you recommend for me to save my clown fish? Please help! Thank you in advance for your time and expertise. <Continue to improve water quality (see WWM re Nitrates, Nutrient Limitation)... and bolstering this and the other fishes metabolisms with a vitamin and HUFA prep. like Micro-Vit. Bob Fenner>

Maroon Clown cheek spine problem  - 05/26/07 Hello, <Morning> I've looked through all of the clownfish disease information listed, and I can't find a definitive answer to my question.  I know that a similar query was made in "Maroon Clown Cheek Spine 12-02-05," but my problem is a bit different. My clownfish has what seems to be a sort of white or light tan material stuck on his right cheek spines.  This material (or disease?) has been present since the fish's purchase, about two and a half months ago.  It has not grown in size or spread.  The clown eats voraciously and is very active in taking care of his bubble tip anemone.  The fish has even recovered from a few minor fin bites and has healed beautifully in a very short period of time (additionally, the source of the biting problem has been alleviated). <Good> Also, my water parameters seem to be alright: Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, and pH 8.0 (I am on the problem of fixing the low pH already!) .  Should I be worried about this whitish material and do you have any ideas as to what it might be? <I would not be overly concerned here... The photo is too blurry and unresolved to show much, but this color/material is likely part of the Premnas itself...> My Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimps seem to desire to clean my clownfish a great deal, but the fish only ever lets them touch his body, and not near his head.  I hoped that they would be able to remove this, is that possible? <Is... I would be patient here> Thank you so much for your time, Katherine
<Thank you for sharing! Bob Fenner>

Maroon clown fish help, no useful data   5/24/07 hello to everyone at WWM, my problem is I have two gold stipe maroon clown fish that over the past 10 days have begun to lose their fins (looks almost as if they are rotting) <Yeeikes... are they new? Are they wild-caught? What re the system, set-up, maintenance, tankmates, water quality tests, foods/feeding...> I treated the tank with furan-2 <Not in the main system I hope> with the recommended dose and did a water change, and it still seems that the fish are losing there fins. I really do not want these fish to die and I have no clue what else I should do, any suggestion would be greatly appreciated. thank you m ciccarello <You haven't given me/us any clues either... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maroonclnart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

My maroon clown is loosing some of his scales.    5/21/07 Hi, <Howdy Nick>    I have been reading a lot about marine aquariums on your site lately, and it has given me some great insight.  One question that I have not been able to find an answer to is about fish loosing <losing> their scales.  I recently purchased a maroon clown for my LFS (less than two weeks ago) and in the past few days some of his scales have started to flake off. <Yikes... no quarantine?> At first I mistook this for ich, since I have lost previous fish to this.  The more I observed his conditions and behaviors, the less like ich it seemed.  He appears to be perfectly happy and very energetic.  My wife and I have agreed that it very much looks like flaking scales.  My water parameters are as follows: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 10 nitrate, 8.2 ph, 1.023 salinity, unknown calcium (no test).  Any insight into this issue would be very helpful. Thank you very much for the help. ~Nick <Mmm... how large was/is this specimen? It is/was likely wild-collected (as opposed to tank bred/reared)... and has the usual troubles of such Clowns... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/part2.htm Below the orange line. Bob Fenner>

Re: My maroon clown is loosing some of his scales.    5/21/07 Hi again, <Welcome Nick> Thank you for the prompt answer, I really appreciate it.  To answer your response questions, the clown is about 2.5 to 3 inches.  Yes he was caught in the wild and delivered to the LFS.  Today he is looking much better, most of the scales that were flaking appear to have fallen off. <Ah, good... the damage might well have occurred during capture/holding/shipping, be stress-only, principally...> He is still very happy and eating everything I give him. <Good sign> Thank you for pointing out the information, I have been reading it thoroughly.  I am still unable to find any direct information about why he would lose his scales like that, but maybe I just haven't run across it yet.  Thank you very much.                  ~Nick <Can be as stated, simply from netting, being moved about... not-necessarily pathogenic. Bob Fenner> Problem with my Maroon Clownfish.    5/16/07 Hi, I'm at my wits end here and I'm hoping you can help me... My maroon clown's tail is going a whitey colour, a bit like dust. There are a few small lumps at base of tail but no where else. Also the fins on top of his body look to have white powder on them. Also there is some white powder marks in between his 2 bottom fins. He seems fine. No heavy breathing and he still has his appetite and swims normally in and out of his Anenome with his mate. My tank is a matured 350 litre Trigon 350. I have no Nitrite / Ammonia however my nitrate is high around 40 . My Ph level is around 8.3 ( Normal) and all fishes and corals seems to be fine and living well. Please could you tell me what you think this is.? <Mmm, might "just" be normal expression... Some Premnas do go through such color, depigmentation phases... particularly tank-bred specimens> Oh by the way . He does wiggle his tail in the substrate even before this powder like rash appeared. Thank you very much. Phil Dring. <I would not panic here... nor move, treat this animal with chemicals... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maroonclnart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Maroon Clown - Fin Rot?    5/7/07 Hello Crew! <Mark> I don't think this is an urgent question, however I've taken some pictures of my clown fish as I am just a tad bit paranoid about him <This is a "her", a female> catching a disease. I've lost a few fish so now I'm really trying to keep my eye open to catch anything at the first sign. <Good> Either my clown has had some fins chomped on recently, or else I think it could be fin rot. <Perhaps a bit of both> Only problem is that I have no idea what fin rot looks like - that's why I'm writing to you. I'm assuming it's probably just that he's gotten chomped (maybe by the recent addition of a dogface puffer). <Would/could do it> His left front fin is frayed away and then this morning I woke up to find the bottom left one is also partly frayed off. Please let me know if it is anything to worry about. Thanks for all your time and help! Mark <... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maroonclnart.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Sad day for my maroon pair  4/14/07 Good afternoon Crew, <John>             I wish this question was aimed at preventing some sort of damage, but the damage has been done. I am the owner and keeper of a 150 gal reef. I have many fish<es> in my reef, most of the tang, surgeonfish family. With the exception of an occasional quick chase here and there all of my specimens live very well together. All are very healthy, colorful and in great physical condition. My reef has been up for nearly 3 years now with very few issues. My question has to do with what was one of my favorite additions to my reef. I purchased a pair of GS maroon clowns many month's ago if not over a year ago. I had been burnt and disappointed by the first pair of WS maroon clowns I had purchased when the Female was unhealthy from the start and ended up dying within 3 days later to what looked like Brooklynella. <Very common with wild-caught Premnas of size...> I learned some of the things to look for in healthy specimen and waited until I found the right pair. The pair in question I had in my tank for a long time with no signs of trouble, or at least any I picked up on. Last night I saw my large female swimming in fast circles and saw the smaller male was chasing her. Before I could do anything she started to slow down and began to die. Upon closer inspection I saw she had all of her fins chewed up looking like a ghost ship. I quickly netted her and moved her to my refugium, where she died shortly thereafter. I was hoping you could shed some light on possible causes of this type of behavior. Does a pair of maroons fall out of love, so to speak, and if so is it odd for the smaller male to fight the larger female to death, <Very unlikely... the males being so much smaller, entirely subdominant...> or could it be that the female had fallen ill and the male out of instinct just finished off the weaker run down mate? <Also unlikely... if there were something pathogenic at play, both would have succumbed...> I am sure the answer to any of these questions could be yes, but are any more likely than the other or do you think it could be something entirely different. <Yes... but what? Perhaps this female ingested something... got stung?> Any info would be appreciated. One last thing I Know she was eating well the day before and I never saw any aggression from any other tankmates and all other fish seem to be doing fine. <Or...? Do you still have the corpse? I would do at least a gross necropsy if so... open it up, look through the lumen/gut... Did the fish's skin feel "dry" to the touch... not slimy? I would wait a few weeks, try adding a smaller male if you want a pair... Bob Fenner>

SICK maroon clown, please help.     2/23/07 Hello: <Hi there> I just realized both of my maroon clown fishes are sick. They eat ok and all, but there are white stuff growing on them. It is not ICK. I have ick in the tank, but that is not what this is. I have photo of their spots. The spots only appears under the pectoral fin. If the fishes hold the pect fin to their body, you will not see anything. <Appears to be a "reaction" to something... your pix are very blurry... but this looks like aggregated "slime"... from... toxicity due to?>     There are 2 other fishes in that same tank, but they are not showing those spots at all. The white spots are too big to be ick.  It almost look like the spot came from underneath their skin. <Yes> If you have seen this, please help. Yili <Have you put chemicals of some sort in this system? Bob Fenner>

Re: SICK maroon clown, please help.... and host beh.   2/24/07 I really appreciate the answer.  I am not very good at taking photos, those 2 pictures were the best of the 40+ pics I took. <Mmm, take a read through the manual you got with the camera... I carry mine along on trips... and am continuously surprised (and delighted) to learn here> I have not added any chemical in the water at all.  The only change in that tank is the removal of their RBTA. <Ahh!> The light was not good for the anemone in that tank and I moved it to my other tank.  I put a trumpet coral in there.  The clowns are hosting in it, <Another ahhhh!> I was wondering if that is what's bothering them. <Very likely so... one, the two "blame" each other for the loss of "their" Entacmaea... next, a more toxic substitute is working them woe...> I will observe them for a couple of days, I started to soak their food in garlic juice. <... not efficacious> If things look worse, I will get them out and medicate them.  I have the medication called proze pro, <Prazi... also not useful here> I think if what ills them is parasitic or fungi in nature, the meds will heal them. Have a nice day. Yili <I'd move one or both to wherever the RBTA is, or fix the previous system and return it to them... Bob Fenner>

Re: Double anemone hosting   2/22/07 Hello WWM Crew Again! I'm sorry I'm writing you again, I know you are very busy but I'm starting to get nervous. I wrote about the two maroon's that i got, and they were doing great, but now the female is not eating! <And is very beat up... judging from the photo you've supplied> She didn't eat much when we got her but at least she was eating, but now she's not eating anything. The male is fine, he is eating and looking good and hosting. Today i came home from work and noticed that her top and back fins were shredded, i don't know if its from rubbing on some rocks, or if another fish is nipping at her. <Much more likely the latter> She is the largest fish in the tank, could it be the male? <Doubtful... generally they're much smaller, more submissive> She still seems ok though, it looks like she still has plenty of energy. I have tried to give her Mysis shrimp, and little pieces of krill, she doesn't even go close to the food. <... Mmm, too traumatized...> I gave her a FW Bath <Mmm, no... even more stress> because i thought she might have a decease but she still hasn't started eating. Its been about 4-5 days since I've seen her eat. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have attached two pictures, one close up of the female and the other with the male in the background. My levels are still the same as  before. Thank you again! <Need to move this fish elsewhere, or find, remove whatever is bullying her... NOW. Bob Fenner>

Sick W/Ich Clowns???   2/22/07 Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, <Greg> I have been reading your FAQ's and just about everything and anything else on your site for weeks. WOW, what an immense collection! This really helps us hobbyist that are, for a lack of a better term, green in this realm. You all should be very proud of the fact that you are helping save many little lives and keeping people from making many mistakes that leads to them giving up and collecting pet rocks instead. THANKS! <We are humbled> Anyway, on to my dilemma. I have a pair of Yellow striped Maroon clowns that are very active and fun to watch. They are in a FOWLR tank. Just the two clowns, no other fish. I do have a few small coral frags too. Well the clowns are sick. The female started to have a loss of color on her head which would go away on it's own in a day or less. The forehead area would develop small dark areas. I think it may have something to do with stress in a newer environment. <Likely so> I have only had them for 2 weeks. Everything seemed fine until I noticed a little white bump on the female right at the starting point of the lateral line. Bigger than a speck of Ick I do believe. This did not seem to phase her a bit. The next day I noticed the smaller male scratch against a rock about 3 times. <Not unusual> His respiration was increased considerably too. I thought he may perish overnight so I did brace myself for the heartache. When I woke up and looked at the two, still very much alive, I noticed the male also has a small white dot on his lateral line right at the beginning of the line as in the female. <Good descriptions...> The female looks to have another very small speck along the same lateral line. <The neuromast involvement is telling> The respiration of the male has slowed down but still a little elevated. The female really isn't showing any distress. I want to feed them some good vitamin enhanced flake food but worried that it will in turn increase the respiration of the small male. They are both out an about trying to find little critters on the glass and rocks to eat which shows they are still somewhat healthy. <Yes> My basic water parameters are terrific.  0, 0, 0, 8.4, 1.023, 79F steady. No fluctuations that I am aware of. I'm not sure how they got the disease. Everything has been purchased from Tropicorium in Michigan. Very good place to buy things IMO. Great knowledgeable staff too! <Ah, yes... know Dick Perrin and co. well. Good folks> I have attached a picture to try and convey this much easier but don't know if it will be good enough as far as resolution. The spot looks elongated in picture but it is a true circular almost cyst-like nodule. Thank You, Greg <Mmm, this fish looks fine... I would NOT treat it/them chemically... but wait/see here as you've been doing. May I ask, is that a clay flower-pot in the tank? I would remove this... it may be contributing to the problem here. Bob Fenner>

Maroon clown ailments, induced    2/14/07 Hello crew, thanks for all you're calming advice and knowledgeable insight. <A pleasure to serve, share>   My 4 year old maroon clown has been through some stressful times lately due to owner neglect and damsel fish harassment.  I have a 35gal reef tank and have removed the too large damsel <Good... this tank is too small...> while getting maintenance under control.  Parameters as follows:  ph 8.0, SG 1.024, NH3, nitrite 0, nitrate 0-5ppm.  Now, after the cleanup I noticed the clownfish's bottom lip turning white, some fin rot and excessive scratching on his home brain coral.  All signs of damsel harassment I thought. After 3 days of this I noticed 3 white dots 1mm diameter, larger than ich, looking like they were coming from under his skin at the forward part of his belly and 1 between his eyes.  Not being one to panic, I panicked right away and rushed to set up a QT and headed to my LFS who gave me Metronidazole <... for?> which I used every day in feedings and in the water every other day for a week.  I started hypo as well to 1.012.  The dots disappeared as soon as he was in the QT after a stressful net chase. <Use two nets...> The fin rot disappeared after treatment and no more scratching but his 4 face barbs are sticking out more than normal and the RH ones look damaged with white puffy wounds on the very ends with small 1mm white cottony strings trailing from the tips. <Mmm... all this reads as environmental in cause/effect> The bottom lip is still white with black specs and the area around his mouth is lighter than normal.  No rapid breathing, no gill protrusions, no lethargy and eating has always been normal.  Wound is too small to tell if it looks cauliflowerish.  1 month of QT has passed and I am bringing the SG up slowly but there is no change in the barb/lip ailment for better or worse.  The metro killed the bio filter and the ammonia peaked to .6 for 2 days and remained at .3 for 9 days so I think I may have stressed the poor fish more through panic on my part. <Yes> Through all this he has eaten well and is as active as normal.   I have read so much on your site that I think he has every disease listed. <Heeee! What is this called for Psychology students? Where you begin to believe you're exhibiting symptoms of all sorts...?>   I don't want to put him back in the display tank until the barb wounds heal.  I look forward to your advice.     Thanks for your time -- Jay <I would do what you can to improve the permanent environment and re-place this Premnas. Maybe a purposeful cleaner organism... like a Lysmata sp. shrimp will both service the Clown and serve to spiff up your interest in the hobby. BobF> Re: early stages of disease on clownfish? - 8/10/2006 Hi, I sent you this mail a while back. The clownfish recovered without treatment, very quickly... but I'm mailing again because you didn't respond and I wondered if I'd followed the wrong procedure or something when mailing you? <Mmmm... did get this one... We have had definite "issues" w/ not getting all our mail though...> I'd like to know how to successfully get in touch with you so that I can ask questions in future. I love the site and would like to be able to take part. Best regards, Derek <This is the address... Cheers, Bob Fenner>   ----- Original Message -----    Subject: early stages of disease on clownfish?   Dear WWM crew, <Derek>   1st of all, what a wonderful website, your FAQ section is a goldmine for a beginner such as myself. Thank you. <Welcome>   Unfortunately I couldn't find a post on the FAQ that exactly fitted my problem, so I hope you'll be able to help me directly. Many thanks in advance.   I've had a Maroon Clown for nearly two weeks. It eats well, and seems healthy and happy in its behaviour, but today I've noticed very small patches on it; they look like faint white rings, the largest of which I have managed to capture (though not very well) in the photo I'm attaching. The faint white ring can be seen on the side of the clown's body, between the middle and tail stripe, just below the top edge of the body. The other side of the clown has 2 or 3 of these, but very small. I'm pretty sure these have appeared within the last day or so as I remember looking recently and admiring how perfect the clown was. Previously the only thing I could see on him was a slightly torn pectoral, that he had when I got him (or her). Now, besides these small rings, I think his face is beginning to look a bit 'dusty' (pictured in another attached photo). <Ahh, not here>   Please can you help? Any idea what it might be and what I can do about it? I may be worrying about nothing but to me these things don't look normal. I have a general medication 'Oodinex' but don't want to start adding medication into the tank unless it's really needed. Or do you think I should, just to be on the safe side? <I think you did the right thing by not-treating, over-reacting here>   Over the past couple of days the temperature here in the UK has soared...it's been a struggle to keep the tank much below 84/86 F without any heating on,  and an air con unit near-by, I imagine this won't help things. Also the clown may be stressed or have been though some stress because I had to remove an Anemone that was really not doing well, though <Yikes, likely so> if anything he eats more and looks less stressed in the way he acts, since the sickening anemone was taken out a couple of days ago. (I do have one of those imitation anemone's I could try but I wonder if that'll just stress him more). Again I have to say he hardly seemed to notice it go, but I thought it was worth mentioning as a possible factor anyway.   FYI - My tank is 40Gallon corner unit. Currently housing 1 Maroon Clown, 1 Leopard Wrasse, <Wow! A Macropharyngodon species? Not easily kept, particularly in such a small system> 1 Cleaner shrimp, 1 Boxer Shrimp Small orange/pink starfish and the usual hermits and snails. Also some small corals. About 15kilos of Live rock, live sand, Skimmer, Powerheads, canister filter. Water conditions - Ammonia 0, Nitrate/nitrite undetectable, PH 8.2   I hope you can help and look forward to your reply.   Best Regards,   Derek <Bob Fenner>

Male maroon clown treatment  7/15/06 Crew- <Craig> After months of trying, I have paired my maroons. They have been paired for about 4-5 weeks (meaning the female has allowed the male in the BTA with her without agonistic behavior). However, he has developed some ick that will need treatment if it does not clear up in the next 2-3 days (has had a dozen or so spots on his body - but not on eyes fins, etc - for about a week now). <The system itself has been infested... I would not "treat" the one-fish... perhaps try a meaningful cleaner...> If he needs treatment in QT, generally how long can he be separated from the female before they "unpair". I really would hate to have to go through the pairing process again. <Bingo> Would it be prudent to just do freshwater dips? Would dips in formalin produce better results? <No sense dipping, returning to the system...> As always, thank you for your time Craig <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnrfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

What's wrong with my clownfish? In too small, changeable a world   4/18/06 Hello, Thank you so much for such an amazing website.  It has been a great help to me, and as a new aquarist I am so grateful to have this resource!  I have thoroughly read all the clownfish info, including the disease faq, and haven't found an answer to this question.  First my tank info: specs I know offhand: 10 gallon tank (set up about 5 months ago), about 7 lbs. live rock, live sand, BioWheel filter (with a bag of phosphate and silicate remover in it for the past month) <Small marine tanks are the deuces to keep stable, thermally, chemically... and the use of chemical filtrants here may well have "thrown" your system off> , tiny "Rio 180" powerhead, heater. nitrates: ~20 (it was consistently at 0 until I added the blenny, <What species?> so I blame it on all his poop; I added a couple more snails and crabs and got more live rock since then, it's decreasing now) salinity: 1.022 <I'd keep this near 1.025. Match new water outside...> pH: 8.3 temp: 81 F livestock:  2 green Chromis (tiny ones, about 1"), <Can't live in a ten...> a bicolor blenny (about 2"), <Also...> a maroon clown (about 1 1/2"), <Definitely...> 2 blue-legged hermits, 1 scarlet reef hermit, 3 Nassarius vibex. I bought this clownfish about three weeks ago, after drooling over her (him?) <Her> in the LFS for the previous three weeks (looked great at the store, no abnormal behavior).  She has been great, eating voraciously, and getting along well with her tankmates.  I read that it is normal for clowns to sleep "sideways" up in the corner of a tank, which mine has done since I got her (she snuggles up above the powerhead!).  She has, up until last Friday, always swum normally.  The problem is that on last Friday morning, she started swimming sideways and hasn't stopped!  She struggles to stay upright and level but her belly keeps floating her to one side, and eventually she does a 360 (sometimes many 360s), which makes her flip out a little and swim like crazy for a second afterward, bumping into things.  She sticks herself between rocks or between the rocks and the glass to stay upright, but can't stay still for long, so it keeps happening.  She also will try just swimming against the bottom corners of the tank to try to stay upright, but she ends up doing spins on her head because her belly keeps flipping her upside-down.  She hasn't decreased in determination over the past three days (she is struggling 24 hours a day - I don't know how she does it!!), and still eats well (between flips).  I am always surprised when I come home to see her still wiggling like crazy, trying to stay upright. I have found info on swim bladder dysfunction - but only that there is not much you can do for it but they may learn to compensate, enabling them to live fairly normal lives.  I don't know if I could stand watching her be this crazy all the time!  I can't see how she could keep this level of compensation (if you could call it that) much longer. The only other symptom (?) I have noticed is that her gills on one side are sticking out a little more than on the other side, but that might just be from all the heavy breathing because of the work she has been doing.  I hope it's ok that last night I moved her into one of those mini "floating tanks"  (the kind that float in your main tank, used to keep baby fish from being eaten) so that she wouldn't keep beating herself up against the live rock.  (I am ashamed to say I don't have a QT!) Is there anything I can do for my little fish?  I would hate to lose her! Also, a P.S. if you will - upon adding my scarlet reef hermit crab, my aggressive little blue-legged hermit ripped off one of his legs and stole his shell (how rude!).  The scarlet reef hermit seems to be doing fine, and has even molted since the incident.  Will he grow back the stolen leg? <Should> Thank you so much, Stephanie <Remove the chemical filtrants, get a larger system. Bob Fenner> Maroon and Gold striped Clown ... env., dis.    4/10/06 I am very thankful to have found your website. There is very little   information on maroon and gold striped clowns in general and even less on their illnesses. I have a 30 gallon tank with a maroon and gold striped clown, <Will need more room...> a  lawnmower blenny, a common blenny, an engineering goby and a yellow  tang. <Need more room now> The tank has been established for a little more than a year and I  have had the clown probably 11 months.   Last month, the filter leaked and I lost all but two inches of water over the course of a few hours. <Yikes!> I purchased RO water and added salt to it and refilled the tank. After it was filled again I checked salinity levels and found   that they were much too low, so I added salt by hand. testing after each handful until the salt levels were at a good level. <... should mix together outside the system...> Two days after that I noticed a pair of bumps that looked like blackhead pimples on the clown's body toward the dorsal fin. Maybe a week after that  it went away and I attributed it to the clown scratching himself against the  live rock as he was forced deeper and deeper towards the bottom of the  tank.  All was well this morning, but this evening when I checked him I  noticed that the gold stripe on him was losing color. Almost like paint peeling  from the walls. The patches are dark in color, and it seems almost as if he  is molting. <Of a sort, yes> I went to my fish store and their advise was A) Leave him  alone, or I will kill off the whole reef tank, <This is so>   or B) flush him or I will  kill off my other fish. <No> I am very fond of "Felix"  <so named because of his habit of  "cleaning"> and I hate both options. He is eating very well, as I fed him  some "formula B" tonight. He is swimming well and is not acting any differently  than he usually does. But I am obviously concerned. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.   Oh I did neglect to  mention that I had the water tested and it is at "perfect levels" per my fish  guy.   Thank you for your time! Marcia Watters <Just "stress" and chemical burning here... let time go by, get a larger system... Bob Fenner>

Re: Maroon and Gold striped Clown  - 4/11/2006 Thank you very much for your advise.  I will investigate a bigger tank and in the meantime, I wanted to let you know that as quickly as this morning he   was looking much better. <Ah, good> I want you to know I have bookmarked your website and i will check back frequently just for the joy of learning.   Again thank you for your help Marcia Watters <Is a joy! Thanks for the follow-up. Bob Fenner>

Dying Maroon? Anemone interaction, poisoned with "med.s", panic    4/3/06 I'm afraid by the time I get a response back, it may be to late.. but even so, I need to know how to prevent or fix this in the future and really want to know the cause I've had a maroon clown fish for about 1 1/2 months Tank bred Very healthy I got her an anemone, <Not necessary...> and she hosted immediately. This is the ONLY fish in the tank. Here's a breakdown of the last 4 days.. day 1. Gave her a breakfast of Mysis, she looked great, ate well, and was acting her usual self lunchtime... was biting anemone, had white funk on her bottom lip, and a dot or two on her fin (more of a weirdness than ick would look) I thought she may have gotten stung. <Likely> I kept an eye on her and she was very lethargic, just laying in the anemone (she's a wiggler) she knocked the white stuff off her lip, but it looked sore. She wouldn't eat (very strange indeed for her) I started a qt tank (didn't have one running, and no bio filter) I used tank water, and lowered the SG to 1.020, caught the maroon and acclimated her to the QT just in case day 2. wont eat anything. her chin, and above upper lip both looked sore. At this point I started looking for answers on RC, and my LFS. Didn't look like ick.. but kinda did at the same time. There was 1 white dot on her body right before lights out day 3. Her fins started to fray at the very tips, wont eat, tried garlic extreme, and all her favorites. ammonia was up so I did a water change. treated qt tank with CopperSafe, and MelaFix that night. Day 4.. today...  there is small holes through all her fins, her cheeks (below eyes) are very swollen, it seems like she has red splotches on her yellow stripes, she's swimming very close to the surface,  and the kicker... White stringy poop. Now, Ill clarify.. I've  always watched her poop  and its always the same normal brown way it should be. Today, white. I've been treating her for body bacteria and with copper and this is a sign of internal parasites right? <No, not necessarily> I don't know what to do to help her, I can't seem to get help anywhere and I'm a newbie of 5 months. other than helping her and telling me what this could be.. what causes this? <... a guess: too much change, too fast... the anemone, exposure to copper, the "fix"...> Is it stress, or something that just happens? Is my main tank infected with... whatever it is? <Not likely pathogenic> I have no other fish, do I need to wait a month or more to add any fish? <I would> (Not even wanting to think about another fish right now, but I don't want to put anything else in danger!) It doesn't look good for my little maroon, and if it gets much worse for her, I may just put a stop to her suffering. But I want to help her. I don't see the next 24 hours being pretty :( Hope you can help shine some light on my little fish and help me understand what went wrong. She was very healthy, then within an hour she was acting weird and had the white lip,. I'm home all the time and watch her closely. <... Time to send you to read: http://wetwebmedia.com/maroonclnart.htm and the linked files above. BTW, your English is atrocious here. Generally we would just send this back for correction. Do review our policy on sending correspondence... learn to/use your spelling et al. checkers. Bob Fenner> Maroon Clown problem/dorsal 01-01-05 Crew, Hope you all had/have a great holiday. <As I hope you did also.> My maroon clown is rather hurt and I am at my wits end.  Something 'got' her dorsal fin about 2 weeks ago - the first 3 spines are damaged.  I have done a quarantine.  I have swabbed it with hydrogen peroxide.  I have done a mild MelaFix additive for bacteria.  Now the two front spines are showing to the body.  Is there any hope?  I would hate to have her in pain and how the heck do you tell?  I am unsure if it will recover the tissue at this stage.  She is swimming and eating albeit alright but wow, that must really stink.  No other fish is damaged or has issue so I believe it must have been a wound?  I did capture a 7" long fire worm that had lived through curing and misting for critters (how I don't know as I wire brushed every hole...). <I doubt the worm is to blame. Your best bet will be to feed her well and let her body do what it does best and heal. Fish are very good at recovering and regenerating from this type of injury. Just keep her water clean and the wound free from fungus. Travis> Would appreciate your help and take care!

Re: Maroon Clown problem/dorsal 01-03-05 Travis, Thanks! <Glad to help.> I believe you are correct about it not being the fire worm but I do multiple visual inspections daily of each Lifeform and it was just almost overnight - a little fuzzy then blam, no tissue.  Scary. I am trying to keep her feed with a varied diet in small quantities multiple times a day, soaked in vitamins.  Increased iodine a little and still mild MelaFix.  Have to stop that and use carbon now as skimming is not really possible with Mela, unless you want 12 cubic meters of foam in your living room. She was not doing well in the quarantine without her 'host' (large anchor hammer) so placed her back in main tank - figured if she was too stressed or too far gone, better to make her comfortable as possible.   <I agree with your choice. They will heal much better when they are comfortable and the water quality is usually much more stable in a reef tank.> Much better attitude.  She decided to try out a hitchhiker Condy and loved on it Very Aggressively when back in the tank.  So much in fact, it freaked, detached and was blown or bowled onto .... the hammer coral, ensuing nasty warfare before I noticed (about 1/2 of the entire Condy is badly damaged and one whole segment of the hammer is fried).  Both are in their respective corners licking their wounds, figuratively. <Glad to hear the clown likes the arrangement, but sorry to hear about the damage to the coral.> So, apologies for raving - do you believe under good conditions the tissue will actually return and the front part of the fin will grow back?   <Yes, as long as the spines were not removed and there is tissue there to heal and regrow.> It is heartbreaking to see the spines when she swims about.  A few articles I have researched state that at the level her injury is (basically bare cartilage to the body), it would not reform.  However, there are areas where it appears to be congealing over between the fins but am not at all sure if it is tissue growth or other fungal/bacterial item and have been loath to continue swabbing at them if it might be growth. <If it grows quickly or is fuzzy swab it off. The tissue will heal more slowly.> This is a 'test your love and commitment to the hobby' week - fans on hood going bad, canister filter slow leak, hermit ate a sleeping Chromis, snail popped guard off powerhead and got innards suck out , the clown fin problem, the worm, my subsequent allergic reaction up and down my forearm to the worm and now the anchor and the Condy.  LOL (not really but beats crying). <Ah, the joys of reef keeping... Don't worry, we all have those weeks and the nasty fire worm rash from time to time. It is the in-between times that make it all worth while!!!> Thanks for the input and I apologize for freaking out a bit. <You're welcome and don't worry we all need to vent. Travis>

Re: Maroon Clown problem/dorsal 01-04-05 Crew, Travis.. No more ultra whiney mails :)  I apologize again.   <No need to apologize.> Based on the last mail, a couple reaffirmations if you would be so kind. = do you believe under good conditions the tissue will actually return and the front part of the fin will grow back? <Yes, as long as the spines were not removed and there is tissue there to heal and regrow.> ===>New> There is only minimal tissue on the actual front two dorsal spines. Still the same diagnosis? <<Yes, odds are better that you will see regrowth rather than bare cartilage.>> = A few articles I have researched state that at the level her injury is (basically bare cartilage/fin spine to the body), it would not reform the remainder of the fin.  However, there are areas where it appears to be congealing over between the fins but am not at all sure if it is tissue growth or other fungal/bacterial item and have been loath to continue swabbing at them if it might be growth. <If it grows quickly or is fuzzy swab it off. The tissue will heal more slowly.> ===> New> It doesn't appear to grow quickly, the same amount.  I can't tell if there is real tissue growth yet.  It is fairly difficult and pi*ses her off to capture and swab her, being back in the main tank.  Would a light powerhead whoosh detach any unwanted material or do you have any other recommended method of 'light swabbing?  Perhaps a quick long distance drive by swab under moon lights when she is asleep? <<I would let her be. Swabbing at this point will more than likely inflame and damage tissue.>> Update: Hammer Coral: 1, Condy: 0 (RIP)  After two days, the hammer doesn't even have a mark left.   <<Wow, I would have thought the hammer to be the underdog in this case.>> The Condy simply continued disintegrating, but not until it somehow latched onto the Gramma (still had clinging tentacles/nemat - never saw anything like that before) who then became a rather expensive late night hermit snack.... geesh...  I hope that's all for at least a couple of days.  I seem to have a tank of mayhem -- with picture perfect environmental conditions.... well, not perfect but better than my LFS..... :). <<I hope you are blessed with less exciting times for awhile.>>

Maroon Clown Cheek Spine 12-02-05 Hi all, <Hello> Just a quick question. First off, tank parameters: 55 gallon standard rectangular aquarium. Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate 0, pH 8.3, temperature steady at 79F.  Equipment includes Aqua C Remora Pro skimmer, Emperor 400 power filter, one Aquaclear 400 gph powerhead and 2 Maxijet 295 gph power heads and 4 X 110 watts VHO lamps.  Stocking includes: 1 Scopas Tang (2"), 1 Niger Trigger (2"), 1 Lawnmower Blenny (3"), 1 Yellow tail damsel (1"), 1 Maroon Clown (3"), 1 Pencil urchin, 1 Long Spine Urchin, 1 Coral Banded Shrimp, 1 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, a, believe it or not, healthy Sebae anemone and an assortment of hermit crabs and snails.  I know for the fish I need a larger aquarium, that is my next big buy, a 150 or 190 gallon setup. Now that all of that is out of the way, my question.  The Maroon Clown is doing great and loving the anemone. Just a few days ago I noticed that one of her cheek spines was a little white on the end, I figured maybe it was just damaged by the constant sand and gravel landscaping she does, so I thought no more about it. Well for the past few days the white appears to have spread all the way up the spine, to jus below the eye. The only conclusion I can come to is either she is continually irritating this area by substrate excavation, or she has possibly had a run in with the Long spine urchin. I have Googled this topic to death with no results. I you have any insight it would be appreciated. Sorry, maybe this wasn't just a "quick" question. <My best guess would be irritation. If it is fuzzy there may be a fungal infection that may need to be treated. Either way, I would not worry much about it unless it begins to bother her.> <<I'd like to add that water quality and good nutrition are going to be your fish's best friends here.  Marina>> Thank you ever so much, Mike <You're welcome, Travis>

Maroon Clown, disease? 8/20/05 Bob, <Justin with you.> I've read so many of your articles/faq's, but have not been able to find one with this issue: so here goes. My maroon has a small whitish growth protruding from the base of his belly - just in front of the middle stripe. He's been around for a long long time and always been somewhat quirky. Last few  months (probably since a couple water changes ago when i rearranged the decor) he's been hanging at the top water line - usually vertical, and swims sideways. Does not seem in distress and eats ok for him. Accept for the this little growth his body is clean. 30 gal fish tank, only other fish 6-line wrasse.  1019-20, 76 degrees Any guesses??? <I would guess based on everything you have said that it is lymphocystis, the equivalent of a wart on a human, it is ugly but is not dangerous.  They go away on their own with high water quality.  Otherwise it may be a tumor of sorts though this is doubtful unless it continues to grow.  Keep the water quality as high as possible.> <Justin (Jager)> Maroon Clown is Vertical 8/6/05 Hello from the AZ desert- I have a relatively new (3 months) 300 gal tank. After cycling, damsels & a yellow tang, we just received an 8" queen angel, a 5 " powder blue tang and a 3" maroon clownfish.  After 24 hrs, they seem to be adjusting well, except the clown.  Though they all ate well, last night, it chose a far wall of the tank and has been in a vertical swim position it seems all night and this a.m.  Is this normal stress? <Likely so... could be a puncture/wound from decompression...> What else might I watch for in the event a problem is percolating? <Not much else to do, or that I would do... Bob Fenner>

Maroon Clown Popeye and odd behavior 7/14/05 Hello, I have two maroon clowns, one is yellow striped the other is just a regular white striped. I have them both in a ten gallon tank with live sand and about 8 lbs of live rock, along with a few various inverts. The salinity of my tank is about 1.022 and the water is changed regularly. The two clowns have been getting alone quite well, they follow each other everywhere. They also are hosting a clay pot which I placed in the aquarium. <All sounds good, but inverts generally do better at natural salinity levels (~1.025).  Also, 10 gallons is quite small for a single maroon clown, let alone a pair.> The problem is that while the other clown appears to be fine, the yellow striped maroon seems to be disoriented. When and if it tries to swim, it speeds around in circles all over the tank. Most of the time however it lies on the bottom either upside-down or on its side not doing anything. It doesn't seem to be gasping for air and I can't see any visible injuries on it. I have noticed that both its eyes are severely bulged. Is there anything I can do? Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you, Alex <Popeye is commonly caused by physical injury.  A bump or a scrape can inflame the orbit causing it to bulge. However, when injury is the cause, it is usually isolated to one eye.  When Popeye occurs in both eyes, it is usually an infection.  I would remove the sick fish to a hospital tank.  Unfortunately, the fish is probably doomed.  I generally don't recommend the use of antibiotics, but in this case a broad spectrum antibiotic may be indicated.  Be sure to put a small amount of household bleach into any antibiotic treated water before pouring it down the drain.  This will prevent any antibiotic resistant bacteria from being released into the environment.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

Clown Going Down, Or Just Hanging Around? (Sick Clown?) Attached is a recent picture of my 2 year old (female) Maroon Clown.  She's been quite happy until recently (last spawn approximately 5 days ago) in our 75G tank. I recently purchased a "clean up crew" to help knock down a hair algae battle I've been having.  The crew was added on Wednesday and consisted of the following items 100 Turbo Snail [Astraea], 100 Sm Blueleg Hermit, 100 Nassarius Snail, 12 Cerith Snail and 2 Emerald Crabs.  I also added two Lettuce Nudibranch. <Let's hope that they can help out!> Today, I noticed that both the female (picture) and the male clown are developing "light" spots on their skin.  Checked all water parameters and they seem fine (sg=1.024,nitrate < .5, nitrite = 0, ammonia = 0, ph=8.2). Without being sure of the cause, I went ahead and started running carbon this evening, but was hoping that you might have a better diagnosis. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance. Sean <Well, Sean, there is nothing wrong with running carbon or other chemical filtration media (like Poly Filter) on a continuous basis. As long as they are replaced regularly, your system will benefit from their use. As far as the clown is concerned, it's hard to tell from the picture what this is. Could even be some type of pigment migration or a minor abrasion. If the fish is in apparent distress (i.e.; heavy breathing, scratching, sloughing off mucus or body slime, laying on the bottom, refusing food, etc.), then you may be dealing with a potentially serious parasitic problem, such as Brooklynella or Amyloodinium. However, if your fish seems to be otherwise acting normally, eating well, reacting, etc., then this may be nothing to worry about. Sometimes, not rushing to treat is the best course of action! I'd continue to observe the fish. If it begins to decline, or develops any of the other symptoms that I mentioned, then it would be wise to remove the fish to a separate aquarium for observation and/or treatment with a proper medication. Hopefully, given continued good care and water conditions, your clown will be just fine! Feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns> Regards, Scott F.>

Mystery skin issue on Maroon Clown... Hi Bob,      Thank you SOOOO MUCH for the vast array of knowledge you have made so readily available to us mini-reef geeks in training!!! I've benefited greatly from this site. <Ah, good. Our intent> So here's my situation; I've had my maroon clown (captive bred, supposedly) for about 3 months now, about a month and a half ago I discovered a small white patch at the base of it's tail fin on it's body.  There are some small bumps on it's skin as well.  The tissue seems to be stable in that area, and has not affected any other part of it's body, the worst part (in appearance) is shaped like a line running vertically from top to bottom, but it does not seem to be a lesion, rather a scar (!?)  The fish swims, breathes and eats just fine... I have freshwater dipped it twice (about three weeks ago), after the second dip it's fins frayed (sp?) pretty badly.. At this same time, my newly introduced Eibli Angelfish was also picking on the maroon (just for that day!?).  The maroon found a good escape route through the liverock, and the two now get along fine, the maroon's fins have healed, but this patch of white w/ small bumps is still there on the maroon's skin!? No better, no worse, after a month!?! What could it be? <Likely simply a healing scar as you speculate> None of the other fish (a "brown" tang, bi-color blenny, and an Eibli Angelfish) have shown any signs of infection at all.  Any insight would be greatly appreciated. THANKS! Mariah <If there is room, no objection, I would add a cleaner organism... a Lysmata shrimp, Gobiosoma Goby... this will help in cleaning the wound as well as lowering stress. Bob Fenner> Mysterious bump, growth on a Maroon Clown Hi, I have two Maroon clowns which I acquired within about a month and a half ago. I have a 55 gallon fish only tank with green Chromis, Bar gobies, dragonet, crabs. I noticed that a small bump resembling a white cyst was forming behind the fishes left fin. It has been the same size for weeks and the fish seems to be healthy. Do you have any idea what it might be? <A tumorous growth of some sort... virally mediated...> It doesn't behave like anything I have seen in the books. It doesn't seem to be spreading, it just stays the same. The other fish are fine. See attached picture. I was told a cleaner shrimp might be of use. Thank You Randy <Might be... worth trying for sure. Bob Fenner> 

Maroon Clown Disease/Injury I have Maroon clown, that I've had for years, with some white fuzz or thick mucus at the bottom of one of it's gill plates. It's acting normal, not having breathing difficulties and eating fine, and none of the other fish (Eiblii angel, Orchid Dottyback, Yellow Watchman Goby) are having any problems. It could be an injury because the Maroon clown gets aggressive with attacking objects in the aquarium like the heater, snails, hermit crabs, and moves little rocks around. <Yes... a good speculation> I also have an Emerald crab that could have pinched the clown and an urchin that could have skewered the clown if it tried to move it. Please let me know what you think. I hope I described the circumstances well enough for you. Thanks. <I'm in agreement with your guesses... and hope that your fish will stay healthy. Bob Fenner> 

Sick maroon clown? Hi have read your clown fish FAQs and found them very useful have had a maroon clown for the past 2 weeks. he is roughly 2 ins long. it took him 2 days to settle down in the tank. I have both the long tentacle as well as club anemone,  <wow...it is going to be tough to keep two species of anemone in the same tank in the long run (2-5 year picture)...one usually succumbs to allelopathy (chemical warfare) that is definitely occurring between them, albeit quietly> the clown seems equally comfortable in both. at first he fed very well eating both pellets and flakes. for the past 2 and 1\2 days however he hasn't eaten anything. he hangs around the anemone at the bottom of the tankard refuses to come up during the feeding time. he is the only clown in the tank, other inhabitants include damsels and a wrasse. externally there seems to be no problem (looks healthy, no parasites velvet or anything). am very worried please advice. thank you Adi.  <I'm afraid that it is tough to diagnose without any symptoms. Do consider a medicated food (Tetra) if an until you see improvement or decline for a change of treatment. Anthony Calfo>

Re: diagnosis for a sick clown Anthony, thanks for the advice/I do have a quarantine tank, but, luckily the lesion disappeared as suddenly as it appeared and she's eating/behaving normally so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!  <wow! very fortunate and unusual... do consider at least following up with a week of medicated food (Tetra) to play it safe... fine for all fish as well)> Would have been hard to catch her with 70# LR in a 46! <not at all... many tricks and tips for the asking. Could have caught that fish within minutes... Psychology my dear Watson! Anthony Calfo>

Maroon clown is cured! Anthony (or Bob, or Steven, whatever is applicable :), I thought you might like to know that the little guy is now swimming quite normally.  <excellent... love to hear success stories!> I went back to my dealer and he said he didn't have a problem with taking the fish back, but first to try catching him and keeping him close to the bottom of the tank with a colander or a plastic cup with holes in it. He said the pressure might cause him to spit up any more bubbles that were in his system causing him problems. I was skeptical at first, but I figured it was worth a try.  <interesting... me too> I cut a few holes in a plastic cup and used that to keep the clown trapped about 3" off of the bottom of the tank. I left him like that for about 2 1/2 hours, until I noticed that he was orienting himself in more of a head-up instead of a tail-up position. He swam up to the surface, spit up a couple of bubbles, and he has been perfectly normal ever since!  <we'll take it any way we can get it (smile)> Well, he still sleeps lying on his side, but I can deal with that :). I just thought I would get back to you and let you know in case you ever got any more e-mails from people with a similar problem. If you know why this worked, I'd be interested to hear that as well! Thank you SO much for your time, Laura Rushing <ingested bubbles are common with boxfish/puffers but not much else. I really can't explain it as a common occurrence, but I'm delighted he's on the mend just the same. Kudos to you for your efforts! Anthony>

Maroon Clowns Hello once again and thank you for the reply to my previous email! My three maroon clowns are in a 10 gallon quarantine tank (two of them have apparently paired up, the third is separated by a breeder trap). I am concerned about their health, though. Two days ago, the female lost her appetite (only ate small bits of food that passed by her rather than going after them) and her dorsal fin was clamped. <hmmm... clamped fins do often prelude a pathogenic/parasitic infection> I was told to give her a fresh water bath, which I did but it did not help: <a good idea but we cannot expect immediate results daily dips for several days in a row are most effective> she hid in a corner and pretty much stayed still at a 45 degree angle to horizontal (head up). The next morning she had small patches of whitish slime (?) on her sides which had increased in number within a few hours. Also, she had a spot on her left side, just below the back dorsal fin (about 3/16th of an inch in diameter, she is bright orange and the spot was just a little lighter orange). I gave her a salt bath (1.030 specific gravity for 8 minutes).  The slime disappeared right after the bath and by evening she became slightly more active and more horizontal, but still not eating. This morning there were a few tiny patches on her, I repeated the salt bath (all three fish for about 5 minutes) and the slime went away again.  <unusual... and unlikely is effecting the parasites. Some incidental response no doubt but ride it out> She did a bit of swimming around today, but now she is laying down on the bottom of the tank, heavily breathing and rocking back and forth. I have noticed just now that the orange spot has turned into a ring (the light color has increased to 1/4 of an inch and the center is dark, it looks like a target. <Formalin or Quick Cure is needed to help cure this infection> I use Instant Ocean salt and the specific gravity is 1.021. I also have a 9 watt CSL Double helix UV sterilizer on the tank just in case. I had my water tested today (after a 20% water change yesterday and 40% the day before). There were small traces of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates, and pH was on the "low side of normal" (this is a new tank, and I imagine the water would have tested much worse two days ago before the water changes). I changed another 25% today after the test. The water quality may have been the culprit, <yes, agreed... but good sleuthing> but I now have a very sick fish that I do not want to lose, so PLEASE HELP ME !!!!!!!! And one more question: would it help if I put an anemone in with the sick fish?  <absolutely not... besides the light wouldn't keep the anemone alive... 9 watts is modest to say the least> (I have a decent size green bubble anemone in another tank with a maroon clown, I would hate to deprive him of it but if it would at all help the sick fish I would do it). I am looking forward to hearing from you guys! Thank you sooo much! Julia. <best regards>

Disease? hi, I'm afraid my maroon clown may be coming down with something... I'm just not sure what. <sniflly sneezy coughy weezy?> it seems that all the diseases people have written about on WetWebMedia are either growths (cauliflower) or dustings on the body. I have noticed a little hypo pigmented white spot about 3mm in size at the base of the front part of his dorsal fin. this spot is not an ulcer or a growth -- <not even a goiter or a goombah?> it just looks like his skin there has lost its color. he (smaller of the pair=male... right?)  <correct> is eating well, active, and swimming in his usual areas in the tank, no heavy breathing visible. is this a disease?  <alas... too general of a symptom but if it is truly an artifact of pigmentation, then I suspect it is not pathogenic and at least not contagious. Still... isolation would be the best move (to QT for observation)> here is a quick water check: SG = 1.023 Temperature = 78 pH = 8.4 Alkalinity = 3.5 Calcium = 460 Ammonia = 0 (free) 0.1 (total) Nitrite = 0 Nitrate = over 50 (always seems to be no matter how many water changes I do...) Phosphate = 0 <overall very fine... not much to complain about> I've been looking for pictures that match my spot in question, and I can't seem to find any. do you know any good archives of sick fish pics that I can cross reference?  <no but you can find live cultures of most diseases at my LFS...hehe. In all seriousness. The most current and definitive reference on fish pathology is by Noga... see if you can browse a copy. Big and appropriately priced and worth the investment for many aquarists> thanks.-Todd <kindly, Anthony>

Maroon Clown fish Hey Guys <<And hello to you, JasonC here...>> I have a 2.5-inch maroon clown fish that has started to get a chalky white film on his body and has been rubbing its self on the rocks frequently. <<Uhh-ohh...>> There are 5 other fish in the tank that are not showing any sign of the same symptoms. My questions are what do you think this is from if it is an ailment how do I cure it and do you think it could spread to the other species in the tank? <<Well... clownfish in captivity quite often come down with a funk known as Clownfish Disease, of all things... it's rather common and also quick to take effect and often doesn't bode well for the fish. You will need to take rapid action to deal with this if you want to save the fish. Do read the following URLs which will detail the problem and course of action: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clndisfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm As to your other question about the problem spreading... there is always that chance. Don't waste any time dealing with this and quarantine this fish.>> Oh also this fish's stripes have not yet changed to a gold color like the guys at the fish store said they would is this a problem or is this fish supposed to have white stripes? <<I have seen these fish in both white and yellow strips - not 100% sure why this is, but my guess is it will depend on the broodstock if captive raised or perhaps the region it was collected if not.>> Thanks Jason <<Cheers, J -- >>

Re: Maroon Clown fish Hello again, <<And hello to you...>> I had read about marine ich both symptoms and cures it was my first suspect for this situation. "I do not want to argue with your expertise". However this fish is not showing signs of this disease he acts more then fine other then the white chalky tone and his persistent rubbing. <<The chalky tone and persistent scratching are both what I would consider serious preliminary symptoms. The ball is in your court now.>> There is no sigh of him gasping or staying towards the top of the tank, in fact he is very persistent in staying in his territory and not letting any other fish in the area. The only time that he comes near the top of the tank is when I feed flakes to the lot of them. So would the diagnosis still lean towards marine ich? <<I was never leaning toward ich [Cryptocaryon irritans], but towards Clownfish disease [Brooklynella hostilis] which is a combination of problems of which ich is not one of them, but still parasitic.>> Jason <<Cheers, J -- >>

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

Yellow Striped Maroon Clowns re-do >Hello Marina, I am correcting my son's e-mail to you and adding some information.   >>Hello Adriana, thank you, and let's see if we can sort this out. >He is very concerned about his tank and although I don't think an e-mail can solve the problem I will make the attempt to correct it and add the information you might need.  Hope that you might be able to guide him in correcting this problem so that he can enjoy his tank. >>I do, too. >Re: Question on tank raised yellow striped maroon clown fish >Hello, I was wondering if you could help me with my poor fishes. I purchased 5 yellow striped maroon clownish from a Marine Aquarium shop and have been having problems with them.  Of the 5 fishes I purchased, only 3 remain.  Two are not eating.  They seem to have trouble swimming.  All they do is swim in place and or sit on the floor of the tank.  If they try to swim it is a struggle, they open and close their mouths and gills as if they were stressed - this is only happening to two of the remaining 3.  The other one swims fine, eats fine.  The two smaller ones don't look good, two have died.  And the other 2 (smaller ones) still look bad.  I had a 45 Gallon salt water which contained 1 fire fish, live rocks, and a Maroon Clown.   >>They do seem stressed, and I am guessing at a couple of options here, if they were koi I would say they were suffering from ammonia burn, low oxygen saturation (though reading further on I doubt this), or pH shock (which shouldn't be occurring several days later--it kills quicker than that). >I had these fishes in the same tank for 3 years without a problem.   >>You had a VERY low "bioload" in that tank, far better that way.   >I recently upgraded to a 125 gallon aquarium, housing live rocks, live sand and what was sold to me as an iron stone.   >>Uh oh, I don't like the sound of "iron stone".  Please remove it immediately. >The bioballs from the 45 gal. wet/dry were transferred to the larger system and I added some new ones to fill in that section.   >>I would do the same, and allow for "seeding" (growth of bacterial culture) before adding too much stock.  This is causing me to lean towards ammonia burning of the gills.   >The wet/dry is powered by 2 - 2500 Rio systems and I have installed a protein skimmer, which my previous tank did not have.   >>FYI--the larger Rio pumps have an AWFUL reputation, I strongly suggest you replace those (Mag pumps are quite popular and reliable) with other pumps.  When a Rio goes it goes out with a BANG, and quite often pollutes everything within the system. >The water from my 45 gals. was transferred to the new tank and did water changes as the fish place told me going through my old filter and transfer to the new tank....time consuming, but I got it done. >>Not sure what, exactly, they told you to do here.  It seems to me that all you really needed to do was use the water (not recommended, but it can be done) from the previous system, and add water to the new to fill properly.  Water changes at this point makes little sense. >Transferred my two fishes, and they died--one the same day (the fire fish), the Maroon Clown died two days later.   >>I would surmise that a good portion of your nitrifying bacteria died off, and I am quite suspect of those Rio pumps.  A 125 system should have enough volume to "buffer" the quick buildup of nitrogenous wastes (ammonia, then nitrite, then nitrate) that would kill these fish. >Upon making the change, we kept the salinity at 1.20 - 1.21.  The pH seemed to be fine, took the water in to be tested at the local store and was told it was okay. >>I HATE that.  What, exactly, is "okay"?  They should be telling you what your EXACT readings are, and I wouldn't be surprised one bit if they're using a cheap, old test kit, too.  I strongly suggest you go online and purchase a quality, fresh kit--I like SeaChem best, but also Salifert, or even LaMotte ($$ for LaMotte, but you get what you pay for).  Then test your water and know yourself what the exact parameters are.  Log this, and log all tests (great science stuff, too) to keep a handle on things. >Had some bristle worms and was told that might be killing my fish - so I fished them out.   >>Oh dear Lord.  No, bristle worms do NOT kill your fish.  They are an indicator that you have an excess of available nutrients in the form of detritus and other physical matter.  This lends credence to the idea that there may be a water quality problem causing trouble for the weaker fishes. >I took the water in to be retested the next day and they told me to add Bacter Vital.  I also added Reef builder which is supposed to raise the alkalinity.   >>If your pH is not changing, and you aren't keeping any invertebrates that require calcium (reef building minerals) availability, there is little use for this.  If your pH is low, then additives will only help in the short-term, and it will drop again, causing further stress and death (pH shock kills very quickly, btw).  A better "fix" would be to use crushed coral, or aragonite sand (I think the crushed coral would serve your purposes better, let's leave the more complicated issues for later).  The coral would help tremendously, and wouldn't require regular additions, unlike this Reef Builder additive.  I am wondering if you're experiencing a daily change of pH, as little as .1 (that's two tenths of a point) can easily stress fish enough to kill weaker individuals.  Stop using this additive. >They told me to wait 3 days and bring in a sample to be tested so I can add fishes to recycle my tank.   >>Oy!  It is no longer "in vogue" to cycle the tank using fishes.  If one were to cycle using fishes, one would be much better off using properly quarantined, and acclimated black mollies (a brackish fish that "swings both ways").  However, what is much better (on your pocketbook and on the fishes) is to cycle using a bit of raw shrimp or some fish food create the nitrogenous wastes that the bacterial cultures will require to get going.  Oy.   >Water was taken in - tested okay.   >>Again, just the term "okay", they're not telling you what your actual readings are, which *should* be "okay" because you haven't begun the cycle yet.   >Purchased 5 tank raised clowns - now down to 3. >>Too many at once, even with the media from the previous tank. >I purchased the 5 fishes on Saturday, July 19th in order to recycle my tank instead of purchasing the damsels.  Some of these fishes were swimming in place at the bottom of the tank at the shop, when they were fished out, I don't know if these were the ones hovering at the corners.   >>You must observe all fish you plan to purchase for several days at least, then they must be quarantined to avoid infecting your display tank with anything.  More on this another time, though.  However, if they were behaving this way, this shop had no business selling you these animals for a new tank. >I called the store, they told me to bring a sample of water tomorrow for testing.  I did not quarantine them, due since I did not have any fishes in that tank to start off with. >>This is not why we quarantine.  More on that another time. >My tank has glass tops which I keep closed and have 2 -  4 ft. lights which I was informed needed to add additional lights.   >>Why?  If you're not keeping any photosynthetic invertebrates (which I would strongly doubt, their care requirements are much more stringent), then you only need enough light to see them and to simulate daytime.  This shop is more interested in getting your money than ensuring your success. >The water system was tested and the salinity level is 1.22.  Any information you could give me would greatly be appreciated.  Thanks, Jon >>This is the only hard number you were given.  If you possibly can, DO get your own test kit as suggested above.  Also, make best use of this site.  (And keep a dictionary close at hand, I keep TWO!) >P.S. Marina, I have gone on several web sites trying to find out information on this "iron rock/stone"  which my son purchased.  He did this to add to the tank so that the fishes could have room to hide from other fishes.  Any info on this? >>From what I can find on it  (a real pain when Googling this stuff!  You get all KINDS of hits that have nothing to do with actual ironstone rock) it is a substance I would NEVER put in a marine tank.  It can be found in areas or in association with limestone (calcareous because it is usually ancient reef formation), but the potential for mineral leach, by my assessment is HUGE.  I would rethink the wisdom of following this shop's advice, some of the things you've told me lead me to believe that they are to fish shops what part changers are to automotive repair--people who don't necessarily know what they're doing, but know enough to try and throw a "fix" at it, and it's always one that costs you money.  If you're not using crushed coral for a substrate, please do so, it will provide BOTH alkalinity (in terms of water buffering capacity) and alkaline pH readings.  No other additive is necessary.  Remove the ironstone immediately, get more live rock (but not from that shop!), stop using the additives they've sold you, go online and buy a quality test kit, as well as some good books on the subject.  I will first point you towards Bob Fenner's "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist", as it is well-written and easily understood by most.  I'm very sorry your son is having these troubles, and the best way to get a good handle on them is to take charge yourselves and don't leave the important decision-making to folks who have a vested interest in your pocketbook.  Best of luck to you, Jon.  Marina

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

Maroon Clown in Need Hi, <Hello! Ryan helping you today> I have a sick maroon clown that I need help with. The local dealer, who has been quite helpful and seems knowledgeable, has run out of ideas. <I see> A couple of weeks ago I noticed that the clown looked dirty. His white stripes had turned brownish, as had the rest of his body. Several days later he developed a bump on his body between his tail and second stripe.  The bump is almost like a pimple, but it's pointy and somewhat asymmetric, almost like something is trying to poke out toward the back of his body. <OK> But it doesn't look raw or inflamed. Other than the color and the bump his behavior is pretty normal, though he's shy. He's eating regularly, not scratching or swimming erratically, etc.  He's presently the only fish in the tank.  I've done several water changes and all the levels look good (they did  even before I started the water changes). Any ideas/pointers? I'd greatly appreciate any help. <Body ulcer would be my guess.  These are caused by bacteria or chemical reactions, and are often related to water quality as well.  You mentioned that all the levels look good, is that a change?  It could be a stress response of some kind.  Keep water quality high, and keep him closely monitored.  If this breaks the skin, it will need to be treated.  Please, research quarantine procedures and don't medicate the display tank.  If you do a search on the FAQs, you'll see plenty of success against bacterial infections...time and patience usually win.  Best of luck! Ryan> thanks - jc

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