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FAQs about genus Chromis Damsel Disease/Health

Related Articles: Chromis Damsels,

Related FAQs: Chromis FAQs 1, Chromis FAQs 2, Chromis Identification, Chromis Behavior, Chromis Compatibility, Chromis Selection, Chromis Systems, Chromis Feeding, Chromis Reproduction, Damsel Identification, Damsel Identification, Damsel Selection, Damsel Compatibility, Damsel Feeding, Damsel Disease, Damsel Reproduction,

Chromis dying in QT        3/31/15
Good morning!
<And you>
On March 10 I placed 5 Chromis viridis in quarantine (30 gallon, running at 28 gallons, 35ppt salinity). Prior to placing them in QT all fish went through a 5 minute pH and temp adjusted freshwater/Methylene blue dip. They received two treatments of PraziPro at 5 day intervals. All was fine for about a week and a half, then one died overnight. A few days later I lost a
second, and this morning a third. All seemed completely healthy the night before.
<Mmm; well might have been, and be still... I suspect that the sequential losses are/were due to "simple stress". This Blue Damsel doesn't "like" being collected, deprived of solid cover (hide amongst branching/arborose stony corals); nor much crowding in quarantine. I'd expedite the remaining and any further ones you get through quarantine. Perhaps even skipping the process if the animals looked good to begin with (post dipping)>
Since I'm dealing with Chromis and there have been issues with them having a Brook relative, I began treating with Rid-Ich as a bath
<I would NOT do this. MUCH too toxic>
(with StressGuard and antibiotics for secondary infections) after the two treatments of PraziPro - the first two fish died before beginning treatment, the third during the night following the fourth day of treatment. (Rid-Ich is a 15% Formalin solution with malachite green,
<Yes; am aware>
as I can't get my hands on 37% formalin, and this was described in an advanced aquarist article as a useful Brook treatment).
<Better to use CP/Quinine>
In each case I have seen no sign of distress or disease in the fish, with the exception of the second, who was resting upright at the bottom of the tank in the morning, before dying a few hours later. I have seen no wounds, no external discoloration, no labored breathing, all have had good appetites. Is this potentially a capture and transport issue catching up to these specimens, or am I missing something I should be looking for?
<MUCH more likely as you state... capture and transport>
I'm loathe to continue treating with Formalin unless it's likely to cure the issue.
<Worthwhile in specified cases... always toxic>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Chromis dying in QT        3/31/15

Thanks Bob. Thank you so much for putting up such a great resource.
<Welcome! BobF>

Re: Goatfish and Chromis Quarantine Questions    12/11/12
Thanks for your reply, Bob.  Two of the Chromis came DOA, and another two went within a couple days.  Of the remaining eleven, all are eating and acting normally (minimal aggression), but two have sores on their flanks (photo attached).
<Mmm, very bad... this looks like a time and again "break-down syndrome" in Chromis; most often ascribed to bacteria... Please read here:
I don't (really) know what the root/primary cause is... sometimes it seems
to just be fomented by bickering/fighting twixt members in a group. Other times, the whole tank, batch/shipment will succumb almost en masse>
  I'm feeding them about five times a day and have been doing ~15-20% water changes every other day or so (mostly due to the goatfish...more below).  Can you recommend any additional treatment other than high water quality and lots of food?
<Mmm, maybe the usual Spectrum pellets (of small diameter) and lacing same w/ a Furan compound... do search on WWM re these>
My growing concern is the goatfish.  I've read everything I could find on WWM re. Mullids, and this guy certainly did arrive ready to go...He stirred up a giant and persistent sandstorm of detritus/mulm in the quarantine tank (an established, but fallow 65 gallon) upon arrival which necessitated all the water changes, but hasn't been interested in any prepared food.  He's left pellets, Mysis, blood worms, and frozen formula one pieces on the sand and has only eaten pieces of table shrimp on a few occasions...Today, he showed no interest in the shrimp either.  I know a couple days without eating shouldn't be a huge deal, but since he's stopped searching the sand/rock for food, has a slightly concave abdomen, has scratched on a rock, and may be breathing a bit heavy (short video linked here <http://youtu.be/o8PV9eZjqP0 >...I'm not sure how fast standard goatfish respiration should be), I'm a bit concerned.  Any guidance here?
<I urge patience. This fish is likely eating what it finds here and there. I have rarely seen one die from starvation. Again, the Spectrum brand is incredibly palatable... most all fishes take it w/ gusto>
Thanks again.  I'm looking forward to introducing these ALL guys into my main tank in a healthy state.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Re: Goatfish and Chromis Quarantine Questions    12/11/12
Hi again.  I just wanted to follow up (off the record, I guess) and note that I have indeed read the documentation on Chromis and saw a few similar-sounding instances of sores on Chromis, but none had pictures (which is most of the reason why I included mine).
<I thank you>
Anthony suggested, "Furazolidone and Nitrofurazone mixed meds at double strength daily for 5 days.
<I do concur... better by far getting these cpd.s inside the fish... via feeding here>
A large jar of Jungle brand Fungus Eliminator crystals should do the trick nicely in QT," but I wanted to seek a second opinion on this course of action, especially considering the fact my QT is not the standard 'sterile hospital' tank, what with the live rock/sand, LPS, GSPs and all...
<See WWM again re coating dried foods w/ these mat.s... The piece on Ana Aki (Aeromonad infections) of Koi especially. BobF> 

Re: Goatfish and Chromis Quarantine Questions       12/11/12
> Ana Aki (Aeromonad infections
<Yes. B>
Re: Goatfish and Chromis Quarantine Questions       12/11/12

Haha, apologies for the mis-mail.  I intended to forward rather than reply.
<No worries. B>

Re: Goatfish and Chromis Quarantine Questions     12/14/12
Hi Bob,
<Hello Paul>
I just wanted to let you know that the goatfish died overnight the day before yesterday.  Although I didn't see any marks/sores similar to those on the Chromis, he sat under an overhang the whole previous day.
As far as the remaining nine Chromis go (the two with visible sores died over the last couple days), I was unable to find a Furazolidone and Nitrofurazone product in a form that could be mixed into their food (since I don't want to treat the whole tank), so I got some *Nitrofurantoin (Seachem Focus) *powder instead as it was the only similar compound my LFS had.
<This will do>
 There's currently one who may be developing some discoloration on his flank...It's my intent to combine the medication with their food indefinitely.  Do you think I should also treat the tank with the Furazolidone/Nitrofurazone?
<Not w/ the Focus product, though I would use Furazolidone first if it was available>
What do you think the chances are that these sores are the result of parasitic infection rather than your suggested.  I have some ParaGuard that I can dose.
<I really don't know; as stated before, this "breakdown syndrome" has mainly been ascribed to "stress" and bacteria; mainly Vibriosis. Treatment for parasites w/o knowledge of their presence is unwarranted; toxic, more stressful>
My continuing thanks to you.
<I would have you download (buying analog is expensive) and read over Ed Noga's (2d ed.) Fish Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment, if you have time, interest. Bob Fenner>

Lesion on blue green reef Chromis     11/13/12
I know the pic is not great, but any idea what this might be?
<... likely a physical trauma/injury... But bad news... such "nicked" Chromis almost always perish in short order>
  Seemed to show up quickly. I've dealt with ick and marine velvet, fairly sure it's not one of those. 58 gallon tank: two clowns, a fire fish, and three Chromis. Tank has been running for years. Chromis added about a week ago. Fish is eating well, not hiding, very peppy. Thanks.
Tim Silver
<It may be that the Clowns or other Chromis are picking on the one. Read here:
Bob Fenner>

Raised white lesion    7/15/12
Ugh, so I have all my fish in quarantine due to an Ich outbreak and am towards the end of the third week. The first two weeks I put them through a Cupramine treatment. My hospital tank is a 30 gallon and the stock includes a mated pair of Ocellaris/Percula hybrids,  1 Blue Reef Chromis, a Mandarin Goby, a bicolor blenny, and a small Two-Spot Bristletooth Tang. All are eating well, mostly Selcon-soaked Mysis & Brine.
This morning I noticed a raised white lesion just behind the Chromis' right eye. It is quite a bit larger than I have historically seen an Ich parasite marking to look, but I am far from an expert. I admit that the images I've attached make it look almost like 2 spots, one above the other, but in reality it looks like one raised mass. Unfortunately there was a possibility of cross-contamination as my daughter thought it a good idea to grab a piece of Gracilaria from the sump of the DT for the tang in the hospital tank.
It was removed as soon as I saw it several minutes later, but the damage was done.
Any recommendations on my next course of action would be sincerely appreciated. I can start another Cupramine treatment, but I was unsure if that would be the best idea considering they just went off of it a week ago.
Thanks a ton,
<This is very likely a secondary infection of sorts from a physical trauma... most likely a snag w/ the Ctenochaetus. I would not further treat. It should heal on its own w/ good care, time going by. Bob Fenner>

Green Chromis group, hlth. f' ' – 05/12/12
Dear WW Crew,
I've had a group of 6 Green Chromis living for about a year in 180 gal Reef Tank.
<A good number in a good-sized volume>
  No excessive bullying is observed within the group, and none of the fish have injuries. A couple of months ago the smallest Chromis was observed staying near the top of the tank and looked very thin. She was put into quarantine and appeared to be blind.  After that she was never observed to feed properly while in quarantine, and died several weeks later. About 21 days ago the next smallest Chromis in the group was observed in a similar situation, with concave abdomen, and was put in quarantine, where she is observed to feed, but hides most of the time. She does appear to be able to see the food and eats what floats by her. The 4 remaining Chromis in the Display Tank remain fat.  Ammonia and Nitrite are zero, water is changed weekly around 5%, a moderate bio-load of Corals and about 20 Small to medium size, peaceful fish which are fed twice daily.  I am unsure whether to keep the thin Chromis in quarantine, as she has already been for 21 days, or to move to another tank with no other Chromis.
<Better to move back>
 Although she is eating daily, she has not lost the concave abdomen.  My question is, would this be a common occurrence with Chromis groups,
<It is not uncommon; and am at a continuing loss for a useful explanation.
T'were these occurrences close to times of (wild) collection, I might guess that there was some sort of parasitic or infectious involvement... T'were it due to bullying (usually does involve the smaller individuals first)...
A nutritional deficiency of some sort?>
 and perhaps curable by feeding and relocation of the smallest fish, or does it seem to fit the pattern of a pathogen such as mycobacterium? 
<Not the latter, no; unless this is just some sort of co-involvement. Do try small/ish Spectrum pellets as a staple w/ your Damsels... perhaps the foods/feeding...>
thank you,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Damsel Compatibility... not    3/15/12
Howdy, I bought two yellow tail damsels (species recommended by Salty Dog as my first fish).  One is bullying the other making him stay up in a corner
<Very common behavior>

 (got them last Wednesday, so it's been a week).  I want to check on what the pet store said which was that what MIGHT happen is the bully will become the female and they will become a mated pair.
<Not likely. The one will cause the others demise>
  So one question I have is that if this does not happen, should I remove one of the fish?
<Yes I would>

 I have a 28 gallon bow front tank by the way.  My other question is, as I was reading through your articles and FAQs on damsels, I came across the Talbot Damsel and would like to add one to my tank.  I only have the yellow tails so far.  Thanks for the info!  Paul
<The Talbot may be sufficiently "different" to get along w/ the single Chromis. Bob Fenner>
Re: Damsel Compatibility, hlth.    3/15/12

Thanks for the response, that's too bad.  Well, if I'm going to move one out anyway, the one that gets bullied has some discoloration on his lips.
<I see this... very bad... Mouth damage in small fishes often leads to death>
I didn't notice it in the pet store, but I did right after putting him in the tank.  They seem more clear then white, but the pics show up white.
There is also slight white around both eyes that was not there before.  If you think it's a disease I'll take him out now, but the pet store thought it was an injury, so I've just been waiting for it to heal.  Thanks.
<Is very likely due to injury... BobF>

Urgent- something wrong with Chromis 2/3/12
Hello WWM Crew
<Hello Melanie>
I have a problem with one of my Chromis. Overnight it developed a black spot inside its stomach. It's eating and swimming fine and everyone else seems fine. It is only visible on the left side of it, I have attached a picture but its terrible but I did circle the area this spot is in. please let me know what you think it might be and the treatment for it.
<Photo is not resolved enough to even see a black spot, at least with my old eyes. Based on your description, I'd just observe for now. Likely a bruise.
James (Salty Dog)>
Thank you, M

blue/green Chromis. Hlth.. & stkg/sel f' 6/25/11
Hello all, firstly id like to say, Bob Fenner your book the conscientious marine aquarist is amazing, I live in Lincolnshire, England, GB and of all the books I have (which is around 20) yours is the one I come back to time and time again, fantastic, (I wanted to shout that by the way) I enjoy your knowledge and expertise but enjoy tour humor as well. so in a way I have paid you LOL, oh sorry for shouting, LOL.
<Thank you for your enthusiastic acknowledgement Jennie>
I currently have one 45 gallon tank that's been setup for 18 months though I inherited it 6 months ago so never did the cycling, fish stocking etc, (though I did go through a mini cycle when we got the tank, we did keep all the water etc but did do a water change, but the tank came with fishes, live rock, corals etc, as we enjoyed it so much we decided to do are <our> own tank (75 gallons) so 5 weeks ago I set it up with 40 kg of live rock, sand etc, then 14 days ago as the reading read, (and had been for a over a week, I have always tested daily, I enjoy it) ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5 (now gone down between 0-1) PH 8.3, copper 0, phosphate 0, SG 1.025, KH 10 (160ish), and calcium 450, all the results have stayed the same and I do test daily, so I brought 5 Chromis, when getting home I had noticed that one of the Chromis had got pop eye in one eye, (the lady that netted them was more interested in going on her break than the wellbeing of the fishes)
<Ahh, a good idea to employ two nets... one for each hand... to herd would-be captures rather than chase them relentlessly; possibly, in this case damage them.>
the fish stayed hiding for 2 days where it then came out one night swam round in circles erratically, then went belly up, I took this as stress, then day three 2 more fish just went in to hiding even though the day before where eating, swimming well etc and then a day later also went belly up, on investigation I had noticed that one had a strange white stuff around its mouth, nothing on the other one, so Im know left with 2, that was 10 days ago, now my other 2 at the moment doing very well, please note they where the smallest of the group, they feed well, but don't swim together (Im taking this as there is only 2 and they are babies) they have a wonderful mix of good quality food, and eat all that I give them, (good children) so my question is, did the other fish pass on due to 'breakdown' and stress from netting etc?
<Yes; likely so. This genus of Damsels do "die like proverbial flies" from shipping/transport stress at times>
are my other fish going to make it?
<Seem to be>
(please can you get your crystal ball out for me) and I have a yellow watchman goby waiting in my QT tank and wondered when it will be safe to put him in as he is doing amazingly and been in there for over 3 weeks?
<I would place this Goby w/o hesitation>
(I went to a ten times better LFS, and will never be going back to the other store again, also the other one I've found has my next fishy waiting in there QT tank at the store so I can then further QT him again before he goes is).
look forward to a reply from one of you wonderful people and thank you for such a brilliant website.
From Jennie Bailey
<Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Chromis Consult 6/14/11
We are new to the hobby and anxious about our green Chromis fish.
We are in a situation where 5 Chromis have been in a 10-Gal QT for 2 weeks.
<Yikes... very stressful for them to be thus crowded>
They are crowded and water quality has been poor for pretty well all of that time.
<I'd be moving them to the main/display tank>
Frequent partial water changes have helped, more recently transferring in main tank water, though I understand water changes further stress the fish.
<Better than uber pollution eh?>
We have also added a sand airstone and have been adding Prime, Stability and more recently Stresszyme. We have enjoyed some success, with pH still being a struggle (pH last night 22:30 = 7.8 again; tonight 23:15 = 8.0), but Nitrite dropping to <0.25, and Ammonia dropping to 0 (peak readings over this last week were pH=7.8 [lowest] and Ammonia=0.6 then Nitrite=1.5). Nitrate has been holding fairly steady at 5.0.
<... move them>
True to their reputation, the Chromis appear to be sturdy and hanging in there, but...
- After a week, several fish developed patches of discolouration. Based on WWM & LFS consultation, we guessed this is due to stress and water quality.
<I agree>
- One fish, the smallest, has started in the last two early evenings to hold position and twitch. WWM search results discuss twitching as possibly being a part of courting, but mostly this fish is on its own (tonight it appears a medium-sized one may be interacting, though). The other possibility we saw mentioned was, surprise-surprise, water quality - or perhaps flukes.
<Mmm, much more likely due to "burning" from the water quality>
- Another fish, the largest and most dominant, has also more recently developed red/brown pits on its face - photos attached.
<Yes... part of the sensitive Lateralis System... "Neuromast Destruction"... from water issues>
Today it also suddenly has what looks like some damage where its left pectoral fin connects to the body (He spends most of his time running around being a bully, so perhaps a wound from the spiky plastic plant?).
We see no cloudiness in eyes and we have been guessing it is the water and not likely flukes.
<Is not>
All of them are eating and we have varied their diet somewhat between flake, frozen brine shrimp (loaded w/omega), and frozen Mysis shrimp- the latter two of which we sometimes soak in fat [Selcon] or vitamins [Zoe]. We use a net to remove excess food and also fish excrement.
We regret crowding these guys in, but what's done is done. Now that additional symptoms have emerged after water quality improved, we are nervous about letting them sit out another 2 weeks in quarantine.
1) Do the symptoms sound to you to be something other than stress/water quality?
2) Is it urgent to move them?
3) If we move them to the main tank, what do we risk overlooking at only halfway through quarantine; what other measures should we take if moving them is urgent to reduce likelihood of them bringing anything with them into the main tank (e.g., freshwater dips)??
<An intermediate pH adjusted FW dip is a good idea>
FYI, the main tank is 55-Gal and has no fish yet - we started with two big bags of live sand and ~55 Lbs live rock several months ago, resulting in a current healthy population of bugs (copepods/arthropods - the first fish to make it to the tank we figure will have a feast at their fin-tips), and a great many other invertebrates, to which we added more inverts. It reads steady week after week: pH at 8.1-8.2 and Ammonia=Nitrite=Nitrate=0. We only had some trouble with Calcium and Alkalinity being lower than desired and have taken steps to improve (adding A & B daily, Kalkwasser now and then, Magnesium a couple of times a week, and recently we switched to the higher-quality salt).
<Good... these actions bespeak of understanding on your part>
We are using a filter, skimmer, and two powerheads - no sump [yet], nor refugium [yet]..
Many thanks in advance for your advice!
Guy & Heide
<A pleasure to "converse" with folks that have "done their homework", are intelligent and compassionate. Life to you, Bob Fenner>

Re: Chromis Consult
Many, many thanks!
The smallest fellow this morning is far more listless, not interested in
What about acclimation, or is it best to just dip in f/w and drop in the
display tank??
Heide & Guy.
<Acclimate... then dip, placement. Bob Fenner>
Re: Chromis Consult 6/14/11
Hm, apologies for the email clutter..
I thought some more and realized best course of action is likely acclimate, acclimate, acclimate THEN f/w dip, then display tank.
I'm happy to be releasing them from purgatory!
Sure hope they all make it..
<Me too. BobF>

Chromi/s with small brown bumps 1/6/11
I have a blue green chromi with some small brownish spots near his eyes.
<You have good vision>
They are shaped like ovals but are too small for me to determine if they are raised. Also, further down his body he has smaller spots.
In some places there are small lines of these spots between the scales.
The back half of the fish has no spots. Right now he is in a 10g QT along with 2 ocellaris clowns because I have been treating them all with Cupramine for crypt for nearly a month. Other than these spots, he seems completely healthy, and is moving/breathing/eating well. I've had these fish for about 6 months.
Param.s: temp 79, pH 7.8, ammonia 0, nitrite 1 ppm,
<Dangerously toxic>
nitrate 5 ppm, copper 0.3 ppm
Thanks so much,
<... might be Trematodes/flukes... http://wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmdisflukef.htm
Could be treated for... but I suspect these have a complex life cycle... no intermittents in the main display... So, I wouldn't treat for myself. I would be moving these fishes soon, as their current circumstances are too
debilitating. Bob Fenner>

Re: Chromi with small brown bumps 1/7/11
Hi Bob,
I've taken a closer look at the problem fish from some different angles, and it looks like the spots near his eyes are actually pits that protrude into his body, rather than bumps.
<Could be... are these pits similar in pattern on either side of the head?
Are you familiar w/ the lateralis system of fishes?>
I've never seen him scratch against anything and I watch him closely/often. Any ideas?
<All sorts>
The black spots he has further back on his body are flat, so I'm wondering if they are unrelated.
Thanks so much,
<I suspect there is not likely much "wrong" going on here. There may be some "Neuromast destruction" (HLLE...) in evidence... but this is about "par for the course" and if it becomes more pronounced, can be addressed: Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/HLLESWCauseF.htm
and the linked files above if unfamiliar>
P.S. If you get me a PayPal address, I'll treat the crew to a round of Guinness once the fish are all healthy and back in the display.
<Oooh yes! It's posted at the bottom left of every page on WWM. Danke, BobF>

Chromis cyaneus, Blue Chromis dying: Chromis Health\Disease Little useful information: 10/1/2009
Hello Crew, I am at my wits end!
<Hi Chris.>
While I have been trying my hardest to search for a viable answer on my own, I have not yet found one. I have not even found one remotely close explanation to my Chromis cyaneus deaths.
I have ordered these fish from three different places, Blue Zoo, Petco and Petsolutions. Every time it's the same thing, fine for about two weeks and they start dropping like flies. I have tried to meth blue them and tried to just leave them alone, still, death. I have had them with fish and alone and poof, gone. I had a set of them in a tank with my fat powder blue tang (which I hear are sensitive fish) and the Chromis croak.
<Hmm... how big is this tank? Water testing results? Are you Quarantining?>
I am in fear that they are being poisoned by cyanide, but, hoped that since I got them from three different places, at least one distributer would have some from a cyanide free supplier, or is that visa versa?
<Blue Chromis are tropical west Atlantic\Caribbean fish, cyanide poisoning is unlikely.>
Is there any info as to why they croak? I heard they were supposed to be a fairly hardy fish?
<They generally are.>
I also keep hearing the coined words 'don't ship very well''¦..really?
<Depends on the method of shipping\etc>
I am trying one more batch which I should be getting in no later than Friday. I am going to try to get some real ocean water form the store and put them in that.
<That should not make a difference assuming the water quality in your tank is good.>
I am also going to assume they will not be eating for at least a few days, so, as soon as I get them in, what should I do with them?
<Normal dip\quarantine procedures.: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm >
Should I skip the meth blue dips?
<I would not.>
Is/are there any vitamins I can add to their tank water? Any other tips? Preferable salinity, temp, classical/rock music for this variety?
<Normal sea water - pH 8.2 - 8.4, salinity of 1.023 - 1.025, no ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate less than 20ppm>
What can I do to make sure they survive?
<Have a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chromis.htm >
Thank you so much in advance, Chris

Green Chromis death: Likely toxic water 8/23/2009
<Hi D'Ann.>
I have a new (8 days old), 55 gallon tank with 60 lbs of live sand and 70 lbs of live Fiji rock. (one live rock is from Haiti).
<Welcome to the hobby.>
All water test are perfect or better.
<Better than perfect? Actual numbers would be helpful. This is a very new tank and things change very quickly.>
The fish store says it is probably cycled already.
<Water tests would confirm or deny this.>
Added yesterday: 2 peppermint shrimp, and 2 frags. 1 Kenya tree and 1 that I do not remember what it is.
<We'll call it the mystery coral for now...>
From day 3 I had 12 hermits and 12 snails. 1 Mex turbo. The Green Chromis I put in day 3 or 4.
<Too fast.>
All was well and good. Day before yesterday one Chromis did not come up to eat. After I found him I saw he was struggling. I decided to take it out when He swam upward in a spiraling fashion and then down and laid beside a rock.
<This was a big clue something is very wrong. Test your water immediately.>
At that point the perfect looking fish was obviously about to die. I took him out.. He died in a glass of sea water in 13 minutes..
Yesterday all was good. they are active and happy. Eating well. No other fish in the tank.. They know they are safe. SOO! This morning, again, one was slow to emerge after the lights came on. But he did come out in 5 minutes and is still out. He has not eaten, seems to be breathing fast.
<Another clue.>
There are no signs of disease; bumps, discolorations, fin prob.s, etc. THE ONLY thing I can tell you is he has light clearish poop trailing from his vent. (The others never wear their poop.)
<Something in the in the water is poisoning the fish, and I suspect it is nitrite.>
Now after 1/2 a day like this, his color is slightly mottled to a lighter color at top of head, and aft the line of the eye. I figure this is because he does not feel good and his color is starting to show it. The water is
still showing perfect; but the alkaline is at 10.5 this morning. My fish guy says that is not a problem. NO ammonia.
<How about Nitrite or Nitrate? Also, how are you filtering this tank?>
Hardness is OK too.
Any ideas?? I do not have another tank.
<Get yourself a good test kit and test the water yourself. You definitely have something toxic in your water.
As a reminder, ammonia needs to be 0, nitrite = 0, and nitrate < 20. Do have a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/toxictk.htm and here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm >
Thanks. D'Ann

Re Green Chromis death: Likely toxic water 8/24/2009 <<RMF>>
<Hi D'Ann.>
I have a new (8 days old), 55 gallon tank with 60 lbs of live sand and 70 lbs of live Fiji rock. (one live rock is from Haiti).
<Welcome to the hobby.>Thanks.
All water test are perfect or better.
<Better than perfect? Actual numbers would be helpful. This is a very new tank and things change very quickly.>
PH8.1 .... Alkaline 190-220. ... Nitrite 0.0 .... nitrate 0.1...
Calcium 370 going up every day. Ammonia 0.0
The fish store says it is probably cycled already.
<Water tests would confirm or deny this.>Yes, I think they do... my test an the shop's.
Added yesterday: 2 peppermint shrimp, and 2 frags. 1 Kenya tree and 1 that I do not remember what it is.
<We'll call it the mystery coral for now...>Right.
From day 3, I had 12 hermits and 12 snails. 1 Mex turbo. The Green Chromis I put in day 3 or 4.
<Too fast.>Probably; but man it's' exciting and when the water numbers say what they say i felt so confident, ya know?..
<<I do>>
All was well and good. Day before yesterday one Chromis did not come up to eat. After I found him I saw he was struggling. I decided to take it out when He swam upward in a spiraling fashion and then down and laid beside a rock.
<This was a big clue something is very wrong. Test your water immediately.>
I did. the whole time i tested like a compulsive disorder person... ..
At that point the perfect looking fish was obviously about to die. I took him out.. He died in a glass of sea water in 13 minutes..
Yesterday all was good. they are active and happy. Eating well. No other fish in the tank.. They know they are safe. SOO! This morning, again, one was slow to emerge after the lights came on. But he did come out in 5 minutes and is still out. He has not eaten, seems to be breathing fast.
<Another clue.>Yep
There are no signs of disease; bumps, discolorations, fin prob.s, etc. THE ONLY thing I can tell you is he has light clearish poop trailing from his vent. (The others never wear their poop.)
<Something in the in the water is poisoning the fish, and I suspect it is nitrite.>Would it not make the others sick too? I guess in the morning, I will know, and I will document to you what happens.
<<Other life would almost certainly be, show to be mal-affected>>
Now after 1/2 a day like this, his color is slightly mottled to a lighter color at top of head, and aft the line of the eye. I figure this is because he does not feel good and his color is starting to show it. The water is still showing perfect;
He died.. but the alkaline is at 10.5 this morning. My fish guy says that is not a problem. NO ammonia. 0.
<How about Nitrite or Nitrate? Also, how are you filtering this tank?>
Hardness is OK too. bio balls-- a wet /dry for a 75 gallon with a 3100 Rio and a Number 3 power head that make things move pretty good. The other end has the overflow and drain to the wet/dry. Plus all the live sand and the 70 lbs or so of live rock. Actually I was charged for 90lbs all said and done!!! Seems impossible but i didn't want to skimp.
Any ideas?? I do not have another tank.
<Get yourself a good test kit and test the water yourself. You definitely have something toxic in your water.
As i said. I have my own stuff to test with and the store backed it up. I will stay with you to let all know what happens. Thanks MikeV.. Love to you and yours. D'Ann
PS: Light are out, but, the 6 Chromis left are eating, seem happy, are kissing?? and doing dances tonight. what up with that? I hope tomorrow they are so happy... D
<<I suspect the one Chromis had "something wrong with it"... either a genetic/developmental component, or some sort of internal damage... Perhaps it was simply/also, the "odd fish out" here... Chromis viridis are very social animals... develop strong, predictable patterns of behavior in the wild and captivity... One's who can't or won't "do the dance" with their fellows, are doomed>>
As a reminder, ammonia needs to be 0, nitrite = 0, and nitrate < 20. Do have a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/toxictk.htm and here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm >
Thanks. D'Ann
<<Welcome. BobF>>

Blue/Green Chromis with mystery fungus/parasite... no data, reading 5/15/09
I have something wrong with my Blue/Green Chromis. I've had three die already in the last week and one of them had this fungus on above the eye which got bigger and bigger until the fish expired. Now I've had 2 more expire without signs of this problem and two more with it. Any idea what it could be and what would be the appropriate action?
<? Not given the lack of information... no; nothing specific comes to mind>
As you can see by the video one of them has something wring with it's jaw and the other one has this "fungus" above it's eye. It only has affected the Chromis.
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/damseldisfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Chromis deaths 2/24/09 Dear All, <Carolyn> Blimey, it never rains but it pours - currently I have 3 green Chromis in QT and am praising the day I set up said QT... two days ago I bought 5 Chromis to add to the 3 already in my 600l system, however one died in the bag on the way from the LFS. <Yikes....> 24 hours later one more died with no obvious cause - no lesions, no signs of common parasitic infections. Before it died however it seemed unable to swim properly went off food and appeared to be breathing rapidly, temperature in the QT is 26C, salinity 1.024, no ammonia or nitrite and nitrate undetectable (the QT has only been up and running 24hrs at this point and one water change already done). This morning one of the remaining Chromis has a lesion on its back and another (the smallest) appears to be off food, breathing more rapidly and appear to be passing white, stringy faeces. Could this be Chromis break-down syndrome together with a possible intestinal parasite? <Is the syndrome... of unknown, variously speculated causes... Perhaps resultant collection damage, simply handling stress... Maybe Mycobacterially mediated (DO wash your hands if they've been in the tank, and DON'T put them in if you have a cut), or....? No known specific treatment that works> The QT is very small (a mere 35l, 6 gallons) <Very small for a shoaling group> so I keep a close eye on the water parameters and do daily water changes with fresh water matched in temperature and salinity - I'm also soaking their food in garlic. Is there anymore I can do for these poor fish? <Highly doubtful... once this process occurs, even in wholesale settings, this genus perishes like Dipterans (flies)> I hate to see them dying at such an alarming rate. All the best, Carolyn <Contact your source/LFS... I suspect there's are going as well. Likely you've read here, but if not: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chromdisfaqs.htm
Bob Fenner>

Re: Chromis deaths 2/24/09 Dear Bob, Many thanks as always - the three in QT are still with us so keeping them as happy as possible is my current priority! Best wishes, Carolyn <Please do make it known if they continue to survive, what their disposition is. BobF>

Re: Chromis deaths 3-4-09 Dear Bob, <Carolyn> Chromis update - the fish with the lesion did indeed die about 3 days after the photo was taken, however one of the original 5 has survived a full 2 weeks in QT and appears to be feeding well. <Ah, good> The problem I now have is when or if I should add him to the two established Chromis in the display tank - technically he still needs several weeks in QT, however if obviously stressed by being alone (hides all the time, very timid). My fear is that he'll be bullied to death by the others in the main tank even though he is larger than the other pair, however after losing so many am loathed to buy more Chromis knowing that they may meet the same fate. As I see it my options are: 1. leave him in QT for the full 4 weeks, then add him and hope... <Mmm, I'd do a mod. of this... see below> 2. add some new Chromis to the QT, <Mmm, no... too likely to have more troubles... behavioral, perhaps pathogenic> having first moved the tubes etc around and removed the surviving fish to reduce any potential territory issues, leave all fish in QT for 4 weeks before adding to the main tank 3. return him to the LFS so he can be in with a shoal <Mmm, maybe> As always, your advice would be gratefully received, Best wishes, Carolyn <Though it's going to be a challenge (two nets... maybe a friend with another)... I'd catch out, contain the existing Chromis in the display tank in a floating plastic colander... for a few days to a week... while the new Chromis (in QT presently) gets acquainted... Bob Fenner>

Green Chromis QT Question - Handholding requested! 10/12/08 WWM Crew, Thanks for a great site and all the incredibly useful information! I am a beginner and am setting up my first reef tank. I have cycled my main tank (75G) with 70 pounds live rock, 3 inch sand bed. Water tests: pH 8.2, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5-10. Canister filter used for mechanical and chemical filtration and an Aqua Remora Pro skimmer. Based on your articles I have set up a 20G QT tank. I live in Montana with no ready LFS, so ordered my first fish which were delivered 3 days ago: one tank bred false percula, a six line wrasse, and 6 green Chromis. All underwent FW dip in reverse osmosis freshwater (78 degrees) with baking soda to pH of 7.8, about 1.5 mL 37% formalin in the 1.5 gallon dip, and enough Methylene blue to turn the water pretty dark blue (about 4 mL). All fish did just fine in the dip for 10 minutes, with many small white things floating in the dip when completed. <Excellent protocol and reporting> All fish have been feeding well with no active breathing. None had marks on them when I transferred them from the dip to the QT, and I was very patient and gentle (and lucky) with no trauma when netting them. After day 1, one of the Chromis developed a red spot on its left side which has now doubled in size by day 3 (pic attached). <I see this> After reviewing your site I'm guessing this is 'Chromis break-down syndrome' from rough handling somewhere along the way. <Unfortunately, I do concur> Additionally one of the other Chromis died today with no odd markings except possibly some bruising around the lips. Water quality in the QT also seems fine with pH 8.4, Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5. The clown is a little territorial and does nip at the Chromis from time to time as they swim by his PVC pipe, and I am wondering if the space is too tight for this bunch in the QT all together. <It is in any real length of time, yes> Now to the meat of my question: if the Chromis with the mark is going to wither away in front of me, should I go ahead and move the remaining 4 Chromis to the main display tank to avoid any crowding in the QT and the possibility of being exposed to anything the sick Chromis might have? <Mmm, given what I know, what you have related... I myself would do this> I was thinking of moving those four and leaving the clown and wrasse for another 2-3 weeks in QT - does this sound reasonable? <Eminently so> I want to do right by these fish and limit losses if at all possible. Thanks so much for your help! Adam
<Thank you for sharing Adam. Bob Fenner>

Green Chromis Losing Scales 9/24/08 Hi there! First of all, whoever came up with this website was brilliant! <Mmm, well, a few of us here do like Guinness...> I have searched far and wide on the Internet and have never found a sight as informative as this one. ( And you're going, "Yeah, yeah. If I only got a dime every time someone coined that phrase." :) <Or a nickel after currency devaluation> First of all, I have a ten gallon saltwater quarantine tank. I bought four Chromis and a royal gramma <Mmmm> about three weeks ago. Water parameters are great, and everyone is happy an eating me out of house and home...well not really, but you get the picture. I feed them copepods, squid, Mysis shrimp, formula 1, Angel formula, and they absolutely LOVE the freshwater tropical fish flakes I feed them. (I have actually found that the saltwater and freshwater flakes have very similar ingredients)Recently, I noticed that three of them are losing scales. <Yes...> I was thinking that the loss of scales would be caused by pecking order disputes, but their hierarchy has already been established. Any ideas? <I do fully suspect this is inter- and perhaps with the Gramma jammed in there, intra-species aggression...> Though many say they are hardy, I have read that they are usually captured roughly. Do you think this may be the cause? <Doubtful. Most such damaged specimens don't "make it" this far> (Btw, the gramma looks great, not a scratch on her!) <Here's a clue> Thanks for your valuable opinion! Brielle <I would move your acclimation, introduction procedure forward and place all these fishes in your/their main display. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Sick Chromis? Data? Reading? 8/1/08 Hello there, WWM Crew! I've got a rather puzzling question for you guys (or maybe just Bob.) I can't find the answer elsewhere, so I'm turning to you guys for help! <Ok> Anyway, I've got an Orange Line Chromis. <A single individual? This species (Acanthochromis polyacanthus) is social... needs to be kept in a group> (I'm not sure of the scientific name. This is just the name that was on the tag on the tank when I bought him.) I've had him for over a year with no problems and he's always been in great health. Just the other day, though, I noticed he had a rather large (maybe swollen) abdomen. He also occasionally swims at an angle and it seems as if he's almost straining to stay swimming. He only does this for a few seconds though. It happens every so often, but it seems to be getting worse and happening more often. All my water parameters are perfect and he's in a 45-gallon tank. So, I don't think it's the size of the tank or water quality. Please help me save my poor Chromis. :( Thanks, WWM Crew. <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/chromdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Chromis Disease 4/26/08
Hi Bob, I hope you can help me on this one. Every time I buy a blue/green Chromis it develops this disease on his body. Can you identify it and what can I do to cure. Thanks you very much, Joe <This is a "break-down" syndrome... borne of poor/rough collecting, holding. Avoid batches that any of this shows... Shop elsewhere. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/chromdisfaqs.htm and the gen. Damsel Disease FAQs files. Bob Fenner>

QT, Chromis wounds, and a dead Jawfish - 3/21/08
Hi crew! Thanks again for your continuous work on this wonderful site. It is truly an invaluable tool in the hobby/obsession. Kudos. <Thank you> I recently moved from a 29 gallon to a 90 gallon. I was fortunate to obtain a free 3 inch established substrate from a friend who cures live rock and have since added another inch of substrate from the 30 gallon and another 1-2 inches of coarser substrate, which has been mixed (total 5-6 inches deep, all aragonite). The sand is also filled with small pieces of live rock, dead SPS, and shells. I currently only have about 40 pounds (50 pounds more curing in my buddy's curing setup) of live rock, but this live rock has been active in an aquarium for over 2 years, and is extremely porous and has great size to weight ratio. The 90 gallon tank has only been running for about 2 months and I added the fish (1" Royal Gramma, 3" yellow headed Jawfish, 1.5" Ocellaris Clown) and invertebrates (2" fire shrimp, 1" Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, 1" Peppermint Shrimp, 3/4" Randalli pistol shrimp, and an unknown number and wide variety of sized Nassarius snails, Astrea Snails, Blue Legged Hermits, and Turbo Snails.) from my 30 gallon almost two weeks ago. My water parameters have been consistent since cycle completed; 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0-5 nitrate, 0 phosphate, 1.024 salinity, 420 Ca, pH 8.3, mid range alkalinity. <Okay...> Since then I have turned my old 30 gallon into a bare bottom QT which now contains 5 small Blue-Green Chromis, <Mmm, may not be supportable...> which leads me to my first question. One of the Chromis has a maroon colored spot (approximately 2mm diameter) under his pectoral fin on the right side. None of the other Chromis have this and all five appear healthy (schooling, eating, swimming, alert to my presence). <Good> I suspect this is a bite wound, though the paranoia is screaming bacterial or protozoan infection. Is there something I can do to speed up healing of said wound, <Mmm, nothing practical, nada I would> if it is in fact just a simple bite wound and not something else? Is it safe to assume that if all 5 fish appear healthy after 4 weeks of QT (day 5), despite the wound still being present, I can add them safely to my display tank or should I wait until there is no sign of the wound (who knows how long it will take to heal)? <I would go ahead and move these Chromis> Can I add the remaining four Chromis after QT period is up or should I wait until I feel safe adding all 5? <All> All Chromis were given freshwater dip's prior to being introduced to the QT. The main reason for my question today is regarding my recently deceased yellow headed Jawfish. I introduced him as the third and final fish in my 30 gallon (after Ocellaris and Royal Gramma), and it was doing great. As all my substrate in the 30 gallon tank was sugar fine and only 3-4" deep the Jawfish never managed to dig vertical burrows, though he certainly tried in every corner of the tank, and after some time of making 1-2 new burrows a day, finally settled under a piece of live rock where it dug a burrow which it remained close to, but ventured quite far during feeding. Over all I was surprised on how active it was and how much I was able to see and enjoy this fish. On a side note the Jawfish and the pistol shrimp lived together in a shared burrow system for a while. The Jawfish was the second fish to be introduced to the new tank, after a 3 day test with the Ocellaris which had no impact on my water level what so ever (short test time, but substrate and live rock were very well established). This is where the Jawfish ran into trouble. It spent all it's time under the rocks and made no attempt to dig his burrow and not once did I ever see signs of digging (apart from the den of the pistol shrimp) in the time the Jawfish was in the new tank. shortly after it stopped eating, then the heavy breathing started. At this point I moved him to the QT (grabbed it with my hand, no resistance) after a freshwater dip (fearing Ich or velvet), which it clearly did not appreciate. It lived in the QT on bare bottom with a good piece of dead SPS for cover for two days before it died. Before going belly up the Jawfish would either lay still on the bottom breathing heavy, or he would attempt to swim (most his tail was pretty limp and it's fins were frayed and torn) t through the surface of the water. After reading the Jawfish FAQ's I am leaning towards stress related death. Does this seem like a reasonable assumption? <Yes... I would guess perhaps something... it ate. Perhaps a too-toxic worm of some sort... A necropsy might reveal...> Environmentally the new tank was designed for the Jawfish, leaving large areas open at the short sides of the tank. Is it likely that the move stressed him out or is it likely that I have a greater problem with my tank such as Ich and velvet? All the other fish seem great, even the ones I added before (2 2-3" Firefish, 1 1.5" wheelers goby, and a ¾" ocellaris) the Jawfish became sick. Is there anything in my tank that could have stressed out the Jawfish? <Mmm, nothing "jumps out"... the Alpheid... but you state the Randall's and the Opistognathid were familiars> I have never seen the Royal Gramma harass the Jawfish, however the clown was opening his mouth to the Jawfish on the first day, but never after. <These hail from related/congruent habitats in the TWA... not likely a/the problem here> I was planning on adding a Bicolor Blenny, some small Gobies, a McCosker's Flasher Wrasse, and an Allan's Damsel, and some more inverts, but I suppose that is on hold. <Mmm, I would not be hesitant here> Do you think it is safe to attempt another Jawfish? <Yes... perhaps even two... for interactions sake> I am considering adding another 1-2 inches of coarser substrate and adding a blue spotted Jawfish instead. Any recommendations regarding compatibility or pointers to reduce stress for this species would be greatly appreciated. <Mmm, do keep the tank well-covered... tremendous "jumpers"> Another side note: I wrote to you guys a few months ago regarding a pistol shrimp (Randalli) and Yasha goby pair getting separated and the pistol shrimp got sucked up in a filter and lost both his claws. Pistol has regrown both claws and is wrecking havoc on my blue legged hermit population, <What they do> however the Yasha was never seen again. I love this little guy. A hardier invert is hard to imagine. Any chance the pistol shrimp and the Wheeler's goby might pair up? <Yes... patience> Thanks again for the help and I apologize for the LONG e-mail. Sincerely, -Jonas <Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Chromis with swollen gill - foreign body in it. what should I do? Nothing but read -- 03/13/08
Hi All/Any, <Josana> I've got a Blue/Green Chromis (in a 55G tank with a Valentini puffer, and some live rock, a turbo snail, a few crabs and too many hitchhiking pistol shrimps) He's been fine since we got him (mid August last year) - the only one of 4 to survive more than a week from purchase. <... Mmmmm> Last week he rubbed up against an anemone (i assume), <... What anemone?> and got slight bruising and irritation on his left side, which dissipated by morning, so i don't think that has anything to do with this. <This?> I got home last night after the lights had gone off, but yesterday morning he was fine and scrabbling for food. i did notice last night that one piece of rock had been dislodged from its usual place, <How?> which i fixed up this morning This morning he didn't come out for breakfast - instead hid behind the rocks at the back of the tank. When i came home tonight, he was around the side behind some rocks, but I could see immediately that his left side gill was very swollen, and he was breathing fast, but not having any problem staying afloat/ swimming. I immediately did a water test, and a 20L change (test prior to change showed pH8.4, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 40ppm nitrates, <Too high> sg1.023) <Too low> I've spent a while sitting at the side of the tank (which is right up against a cabinet, so very limited viewing), to try and see what was going on, without much luck, but he's come out to the front of the tank a couple of times briefly. I managed to see that he seems to have something stuck in his gill - just below the line of the side fin, there is a small dark (brownish) thing that almost looks like an arrowhead < (and probably only about 2mm high x 3mm visible width). it sort of reminds me of a burr like you'd find in the bush. The swollen gill flesh doesn't look bloody or anything - if anything, reasonably white (though darker behind that - which i think means I'm actually looking in behind the gill into his body cavity?). <Likely so. If the gills or supports are damaged, fooled with much at all... doom> i tried putting some food in while he was at the front, and he had a tiny bit, but then retreated again behind the rock, with bottom lip quivering. He does NOT look happy. (Puffer is doing fine) Unfortunately I don't have a camera at the moment, and i don't think that i could get a picture of this anyway. I don't know if i should try and catch him and investigate/remove the 'burr' (using tweezers?), <I would not> or leave it and hope it will work its way out. (though i know from when we got them that they don't like nets at all, and can pull their scales off in them. this would probably also involve dismantling the Liverock) That's assuming that it is just a piece of something, not a parasite...??? I assume that if it is something non parasitic, he might have backed into it.? Thanks in advance -JoS <... Can, could only guess... given the description, data offered, no pic... I would do nothing... but read re the Anemone, et al... Bob Fenner>

Re: Chromis with swollen gill - foreign body in it. what should I do? -- 03/13/08 Well, I'm pleased to say that this morning the Chromis is up and about, eating tentatively, with no visible swelling or protrusion. The only noticeable signs from the ordeal are his more-than-normal skittishness, and a string of white faeces that was there when I first saw him - which I attribute to a day and a half without much food. If there's anything that you do suggest re keeping an eye on him, please let me know. (I'm hoping this wasn't some sort of predator/ parasite working its way inside him!) Thanks, -JoS <The previous... Reading. BobF>

Re: Chromis with swollen gill - foreign body in it. what should I do? 3/14/08 Thanks for the feedback Bob. <Welcome Josana> Re the early loss of the other three Chromis: emailed you about that back then. was due to a combination of net trauma and bad tap water used in quarantine. <I see> The anemone: Aiptasia (sp?). there's a couple in there. hard to get rid of as Im sure you know. especially with a messy puffer... <Ah, yes... and they can be problematical in stinging other livestock> Re the rock dislodging - no solid idea, since i wasn't home to see it. its only a small, fairly thin piece of rock resting at an angle between a few others. We thought it was fairly secure, but i suppose if bumped from the wrong angle it could have tipped forward. May have been fish or crabs <Takes a great deal of force...> Happy to report per the other email that the Chromis appears to have made a full recovery. He's now back to his normal character, breathing and eating habits. Thanks again, -JoS <Ah, thank you for this follow-up. BobF>

New Blue/Green Chromis with a spot... reading 3/1/08 Hi, I have a new 175L tank, has been cycling since 1-19-08. The water temp is 81F, 28C (natural house temp), Nitrite, Nitrate, Ammonia are all 0 and the pH is 8.2. I added a 3.5kg live rock and two blue/green Chromis 6 days ago, they have been going fine until 2 days ago I noticed a little white spot on the larger one and now I looks a bit fleshy, still white around the edges and pink in the middle, almost seems to be under the scales, but is very hard to get a good look at because they swim so fast! what can I do, can you please help me out? Thanks Belinda <... A very bad sign... this Chromis is "breaking down"... Go, read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/part2.htm toward the bottom of the page... Re: Damsel disease, Chromis disease. Bob Fenner>

Sick Green Chromis - help identifying illness 1/20/08 Hi All, <Rana> I'm hoping one of you is on email this morning! Looking for your invaluable advice. I believe we got a pair of diseased Chromis from the LFS. <Happens... many damselfish groups, particularly this genus "come in bad"... damaged, challenged, and die in droves...> Starting a new tank (30 gal), the LFS guy recommended we put in a pair of green Chromis as a starter - <Mmm, this is a practice I don't encourage... and old-timey approach to establish "cycling"... too likely to present/cause troubles, as it may have here... possibly introducing hyperinfection...> after the live cured rock and sand (and bacteria pack) went in. <These would have been fine w/o the Chromis...> 30 gal tank, nothing else in there but live rock and live sand - levels are zero/trace of ammonia/nitrite, ph about 8.1, nitrate <12.5 mg/L. Protein skimmer, powerhead installed. <Good> One Chromis (pictured here) was a bit smaller than the other and both seemed healthy at first. After a day, the larger was picking on the smaller. <Very common behavior> After 4 days - the small one is in VERY bad shape with what looks like an apparent open red/pink wound and trailing skin. <I see this> The LFS I have to say was very unknowledgeable /unhelpful after seeing the pics so we took the risk of saying it's aggression and moved the large Chromis into our established 14gal nano with Cardinal and Ocellaris Clown, to give the small one a chance. <I hope this does not prove to be a mistake...> The little Chromis died (total 4 days in our tank, same day we took the other Chromis out), bigger Chromis now in the established tank - after 24 hours - it's not using a fin one side and the scales look raised and skin looks "peeling" and turning pink in color. Area is to the rear of gills (not gills) near fin on the side of the body. <...> Any advice on what this is? We have the sick Chromis out and will take to LFS shortly <Is dead already, little doubt> but very concerned about having contaminated the healthy Ocellaris clown, Banggai Cardinal and Randall Goby. <You should be concerned> Help identifying this and what action to take (if any)? Thanks as always, Rana (up early on the computer) <Me too... in Hawai'i... Not much "to do" at this juncture, but stay observant... The Chromis likely died from some aspect of "rough handling" in the course of their capture, being moved about... But did "pick up" some sort of bacterial growth (maybe, possibly something else...)http://wetwebmedia.com/infectio.htm... and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Chromis Disease?.. More Than Likely Banged Up 12/12/07 Hello! <Hi Matt.> I am back again, asking another, (probably obvious), question. I recently returned my vicious blue damsel and picked up 3 little Chromis damsels to help liven up my tank a little bit. However, after a while in the tank, one of the Chromis fish has suddenly come down with a strange illness. I've searched for quite a few hours trying to figure out what it could be with mixed results. First, let me describe exactly what is going on. The smallest of the fish appears "dirty" in tone, and has random blotches of regular toned scales scattered throughout. These spots are not white, but rather the normal light blue/green color that most green Chromis fish have. The fish is moving about fine, has no signs of accelerated breathing, is showing no signs of aggression, eating normally, (in fact, eating a little bit more avidly than the other fish I've got!). It is not rubbing against anything in a manner that would suggest Ich, and still stays with the others in a small group when moving about in the tank. I'm a bit puzzled as to what could be wrong; whether it is possibly a sickness, something that happened as a result of the methods of capturing the fish, stress, etc. I've been closely monitoring the water quality, testing almost daily, and have tested with practically no NH3, NO3, or NO4. The pH is roughly between 8.0-8.4, and the temperature hovers between 78 and 80 degrees F. So, I would be very surprised if this had something to do with water quality. If it were stress, I would expect the fish to stop or at least be more wary of eating and hanging around the other fish in the tank. I've attached two photos which are of pretty poor quality, but they capture the condition well enough for me to send them in as supplements. Should I quarantine this fish or allow it to stay in my tank until it begins getting antisocial and stops eating, if, of course, if that ever happens? <Matt the photo file is too large, can you downsize to a few hundred Kb and resend? I do not have the time to download large photo files so I did not see the pics. By what you describe, I'm guessing it is just signs from rough handling and/or another fish in your tank hit on him a few times. Do resend and we can get a better idea of the problem.> Thanks for any help! <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Matt

Urgent marine advice needed. so many mistakes, so little time... Chromis... -- 09/08/07 Hi guys/gals, I've been up all night reading through your FAQs, and I've got myself in an awful tizzy. Apologies in advance for the very long email, but I want to make sure you've got as much info as possible Background (please don't yell at me): My partner and I started last October with a 60L tank (15Gal), FOWLR (+ Hitchhikers - crabs, pistol shrimp). Our only fish was a Valentini Puffer (Puffy- yeah, i know, original!)- <Needs more room... Oh, I see this directly below> we shortly realised that the tank was too small for her, but have only now been able to upgrade. The tank was also getting an anemone infestation due to Puffy's messy eating and inadequate filtration. So, start of August, we bought a 220L (55Gal) Cube (AquaOne brand), and intended to use our 60L as a quarantine. <Better...> The tank has crushed coral sand and a Jaubert cavity, and the filter/ sump is an AquaOne Marisys. We have about 23kg (~50 pounds) live rock, which was bought in 2 halves, a week apart. It had been cured at the store, looked and smelled healthy. Puffy was moved over within a couple of days of the 2nd set of rock being added. Ph was 8.3-8.4, Ammonia and nitrite were 0 and nitrate was 10ppm at the time. <Good...> The following weekend (mid august), I was away, and my partner purchased 3 hermit crabs, and a cowry. <Mmm, food> (Puffy has never shown the slightest interest in the crabs in her old tank, and is an incredibly good natured fish). The following day, he purchased 4 blue/green Chromis, which had been co-habiting a tank with another, larger, Valentini. The idea here was to acclimate Puffy to the presence of other fish, as she'd been so long without company. He put the Chromis directly into the main tank, as the quarantine tank had not been set up (still had the old live rock in it). So, the Problem(s): After putting the Chromis in the tank, 2 developed bruising. <Likely, oh, I see this below as well> We figured that this might have been to do with their violent reaction to being netted, but thought we should do our best to quarantine them anyway. So the quarantine tank was prepared (or so we though), and the Chromis were once again caught, and transferred. A couple of days later, and after some evidence of bullying, one of the Chromis with the bruising started to develop rapid breathing and stopped eating. We checked the water and there was 1.0ppm Ammonia. we did a water change (mixing our own from tap water... yes, i know now...), and it didn't help. Eventually we checked the tap water and to our horror found that it already had ammonia in it. We freaked, read all about chloramine, and went back to our LFS to pick up some sea water. But we also moved the Chromis back into the main tank (we'd had them for a week by this stage), thinking that it would be better to get them out of the ammonia. The fish exhibiting breathing problems lasted another couple of days, but then we found him dead one night. The other fish (including the other bruised one) seemed fine. When we extracted the dead fish, I examined the body, and it did indeed seem that the bruise was in the same area as some missing scales (and therefore probably caused by netting trauma). That was about a week and a half ago. A couple of days ago though, another of the Chromis started showing breathing problems, was hiding behind the rocks, and wouldn't eat. He was also being bullied a bit by the other two, (who regularly have their dorsal fins raised, and seem also to be butting tails with each other a lot). Water parameters were 8.3ph, 0ammonia, 0nitrite, 15nitrate. We found him dead this morning. I couldn't see anything particularly wrong with him (there were a couple of darker scales, but they were fairly consistent with night time colouring). So, I've been reading through your chromdisfaqs page and came across a disturbing possibility that this is Velvet (see 3rd from bottom). I haven't noticed any of the fuzziness associated with it though. <Is not Velvet... I assure you... if so, all your fishes would be dead> The other 2 Chromis are fine... so far, but then again the 2nd one only started having problems after the 1st one had gone. Solution?: As horrible as it sounds, my main concern is Puffy (obviously I don't want the remaining 2 Chromis to die either, but if it comes down to the choice... ). The only thing is, I don't know what to do about it. I thought about moving her to the QT, but if it is velvet, then presumably our QT is also infected from the week that the Chromis spent in there (I assume it would also be in all the filter material, so to clean it out we'd essentially have to start with a completely un-cycled tank (new water, new filter material, no live rock/ substrate)). I also don't want to risk treating the QT with copper with her in there (I've read on WWM that it can be done with puffers, but that it's risky), but due to the speedy nature of the problem, would want to act ASAP... Also, if it's not velvet, and is just bullying, then we'd be putting her through unnecessary stress, and back into a small tank that we don't have any good way of keeping good water quality in without any Liverock... Please help! (I don't know if you normally reply by email, or just post onto the site, but if possible, could you please reply by email so I know as soon as you've replied?) Thanks so much -Jo <We do respond to all directly... I fully suspect as you state that the larger part of the source of mortality with these damsels is/was trauma... before you received them. Some batches of Chromis do "just die" easily... likely resultant from the vagaries of collection, holding, shipping... and your system is very new... and not really large or a good-shape for these Damsels... I would NOT treat the tank... Nor really add any more Chromis spp. Do wait a couple of weeks... and re-formulate a stocking plan, chat with your stockists... Cheers. Bob Fenner>

Sick Chromis 7/21/07 Hi Guys, <Howdy> I hope you can help - I tried RC and no people seem to be able to assist me. In order to keep this short, I have a 145g reef aquarium - Berlin style - set up since 1 June 2006. There is 80kg of LR, and for all the gory details here is a tank build and stocking summary: http://reef.gamma.za.net/home/145g_reef_tank/ <Okay> On the 10th of September 2006 I bought 5 Blackaxil Chromis and placed them in my QT tank. One died as it was bullied by the other. After 4 weeks I moved the remaining 4 to my reef tank (did a hyposalinity treatment on them). About 6 months ago I lost one Chromis, then on the 16th of June 2007 I lost another one. About three days ago I lost the second last one. The last two first showed some weird growth on their fins and some skin damage - when moved to QT both died within 9 hours. I now only have one Chromis left - very healthy and no signs of the weird growth. I do not understand why these two fish died. I also recently (2 weeks ago) lost my Rock urchin which had been with me for 8 months. I tested my water parameters and all were fine - temp at 26C, SG at 1.0255, pH at 8.10 - 8.20, NH3 = NO2 = NO3 = 0 mg/L, P <= 0.008mg/L, Alk = 6dKH, Ca = 380mg/L, Mg = 1580mg/L (I know this is slightly high - I dosed some Tropic Marine BioMagnesium to raise Mg to 1600mg/L to try and kill Bryopsis - as TWallace on ReefCentral mentioned it worked for him. It did not work for me. I did this 2 months ago). <This might be a contributing cause to your fish loss> Below is a picture of the second last Chromis hours before he died. Please can someone (a) help diagnose the disease, and (b) help me understand why my livestock is dying? <Mmm, were you able to look at the material on the fins under a microscope? No way to tell from the image or your proffered information what this is... But likely a mix of environmental and? issues. Bob Fenner>

Chromis Eat Too Much? Other Fish Don't Get Enough? ...Environmental Problems 7/7/07 <Greetings Mich here.> I have a 6-month-old 20 gal. marine tank and I'm definitely still in the learning phase. <Yes, hopefully we are all still learning!> After setting up and cycling the tank, I added some live rock, a blue damsel and a striped damsel. The damsels did very well and ate eagerly. I added 2 peppermint shrimp to eat the Aiptasia anemone that had sprung up, and within a few days that was all gone. <Glad to read of your success.> I replaced the damsels with a coral beauty, a Firefish, and more peaceful damsels (3 green Chromis) a few months ago. <In a 20-gallon tank!?!? WAY OVERSTOCKED!!!!> After removing the striped and blue damsels, the shrimp were a lot less intimidated, and are usually out in the open. <OK.> I've since started feeding the shrimp one "crab pellet" each, which they love (they eat it right out of my hand). pH is consistently between 8.2-8.3, but Nitrates have been tough to keep low (they're always between 10-15 ppm), despite feeding only once/day and in small amounts. <That's because this tank is highly overstocked.> In fact, I feed such little amounts and the fish feed so aggressively, I sometimes wonder if they're getting enough! <Possible.> I have a large filter that moves a lot of water (50 gal. model) plus a small power head, but no protein skimmer. <This could help. Regardless, you have too many fish in much to small of a volume!> I need to clean the algae off the tank walls every week. <Likely related to excess nutrients.> I have added a few snails to eat the algae, and they lasted for about 2 months, but eventually died. <Your nitrates are elevated. Environmental issues likely at work here.> Unfortunately, the coral beauty also died within a week of contracting Ich, which it got right after I mistakenly moved around the live rock that was embedded in the sand/gravel during a cleaning. <No, moving rocks did not caused the Ich. Akin to saying you will catch a cold if you go outside with out a coat. The Ich is in you system now. You need another tank, for quarantine/treatment and should allow your main tank to go fallow for 4-6 weeks. More here and the many related links in blue: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/treatmen.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm > The Firefish survived that OK, but died about 5 weeks later very suddenly (within 12 hours of not looking good, he was gone). The green Chromis have always been total chowhounds. They eat 90% of what I put in (frozen omnivorous, carnivorous, Mysis, etc.). Very little ever got to the coral beauty or the Firefish. <Lack of food was unlikely the issue here, more likely the environmental conditions.> I'd like to put another coral beauty or flame angel in the tank, but I'm worried that the Chromis will continue to dominate the feedings. <You should NOT put a Flame or a Coral Beauty in such a small system, it simply is not big enough.> Should I remove them before adding anything? <You are basically maxed out with the Chromis. I would not add anything more to your system. You have several issues to address. In my opinion it is foolish not to employ a QT tank. You would be wise to invest in a hospital/QT tank. Or use what you have and consider a larger system. You are walking a dangerous line here my friend. Your system is very small. It doesn't sound like you are regularly QTing new livestock, you are overstocking this small system and you could use more knowledge/understanding about disease processes. I encourage you to read, learn and apply what you have learned. Mich>

Re: Chromis Eat Too Much? Other Fish Don't Get Enough? ...Environmental Problems 7/12/07 <Greetings! Mich here again> Thanks for the helpful info. <Welcome!> I've read through the articles about Ich, and they certainly make sense. I am bit confused however, between the advice in those links versus the advice I got from the LFS about Ich and how to treat it. <OK.> The advice in the links you sent discuss the various ways to kill off the parasites in order to keep the fish from getting Ich. The LFS guys told me: - virtually all tanks have the Ich parasites in the water. <It is difficult to remove entirely from the system.> - a healthy fish has a natural level of immunity against the parasite; it's when the fish is stressed or has an otherwise weakened immune system that the related-related white spots appear on them. <Any time the immune system is weakened there is an increased potential for illness or disease. However the parasite must be present in order for the disease to occur.> - by disturbing the live rock that was deeply embedded in the substrate, I had released a lot of (bad) bacteria into the water, which when coupled with the rather large water change I did at the same time (~25%), probably stressed out the coral beauty to the point where the poor fish couldn't fight it off anymore. <Environmental stress can certainly have a negatively impact on the overall health of the most any living creature, but the parasite caused the disease process.> The reason this seems to make sense is that I had the coral beauty and the other fish for a good 5 weeks or so before the cleaning and they were perfectly healthy: clear eyes, reactive when I walked up to the tank, etc. I hadn't added any other fish or other animals during the 5 weeks. It was only after disturbing the rocks embedded in the substrate that the coral beauty suddenly became ill. I know the white spots can take a while to show up, but that would be an amazing coincidence that they showed up after 5 weeks, and within 24-48 hours of my aggressive cleaning. <This could have been the proverbial straw that broke the camels back... The environmental conditions were far from ideal and this may have tipped the scale, The parasite may have been present in your system at sub clinical levels, is if indeed this was Ich that killed you fish, it is still present in your system, but the parasite is the causative agent.> All the other fish never showed any visible signs of Ich before or since, even 8 weeks after the coral beauty died. The Firefish died very suddenly (within 12 hours of initially looking like something was wrong) around 4-5 weeks after the cleaning, but never had any visible white spots. It didn't seem to me that it was Ich related, given the short interval of illness, and the lack of white spots. <OK.> So the thing that's puzzling me is if I never got the Ich parasites out of my tank, why didn't the other fish ever show any signs of it, especially the Chromis which remain healthy and symptom-free? <The Chromis are generally more tolerant of inhospitable conditions and the others may just have better resistance than the fish you lost.> Thanks again for all your help! <Welcome! Mich>

Chromis deaths, paucity of info. -- 06/13/07 Good Afternoon, <And morning> I have a SW tank w/ a small (apprx. silver dollar sized) Mono and small GS Puffer and about 5lbs of live rock (will be adding more shortly). Along with Adequate filter and power heads, etc. The 2 fish were both slowly (over the course of a month) changed from Brackish (spec. grav. 0.010) to SW spec grav 0.021) They are both healthy, active, eat well, show zero signs of aggression, zero signs of disease (that I can see). The problem is as follows: I added 3 blue/green Chromis to the tank. They were slowly and properly (according to the FAQ section, my experience, and LFS recommendations) and looked extremely healthy. They were active, ate flake food readily, seemed to get along with the other fish very well, and were vibrantly colored. No signs of aggression on either side. I watched the tank quite a bit last night to be as sure of this as possible. The problem is that this morning, 2 of the fish were dead. There were no visible signs of disease or being attacked by the other fish.. and all water parameters are as close to perfect as possible. Do you know of any obvious reasons they would be dead already? It seems very fast for them to not live. Thank you Eric <Mmm... likely too-stressed/damaged poor-initial health stock mostly at blame here... But, could easily be largely pushed by some aspect/s of water quality... Which you don't mention much re... Nor the size of the system, nor its filtration... I'd be reading on WWM re. Bob Fenner>

Re: Chromis, hlth./sys. -- 06/14/07 Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. As for the parameters, all were at/near zero, (ammonia=0, nitrites=less than 20ppm, nitrates=0) <Mmm, these last two factors are flipped> Ph was a bit high (correct) at 8.3. <Mmm, not high> The temperature is consistent at about 77 degrees. I actually have a few additional questions. My tank is a 20gal high (yes I know, it's VERY small.. I realized this after the 100's of dollars in investment and time (it's weird but most SW beginner's I've talked with originally think a smaller tank is better to start out with than a larger one. Too bad it's the opposite that's the truth) anyway... so my "plan" is to have a total of 3 Chromis in the tank, and that's it). <Not likely enough room for this genus' species...> However, I am planning on upgrading the tank soon. <Wait on the stocking then> (and will use the 20gal as a QT tank)... As for the questions, how big should the mono be before it's absolutely necessary to upgrade his tank size? <Mmm, might I ask reciprocally, how much money do you need to have before buying a new car? Does this sort of "order of events" bear affinity for you? Your needs (and your Monos) may supercede your means...> (I will be giving it to a friend of mine that wants the mono)... Also, Can I add live rock slowly to the tank? 1-3 lbs at a time? <Yes... posted> Also, in an attempt to "aerate" the sand (I thought sand was troublesome in that it can create anaerobic spots, but I learned through much reading that the anaerobic problems usually were in a sand bed of at least 1.5" (mine is under 1") but less than 4''. I have been lightly moving the sand around about 1 time per week. After reading that I really shouldn't be doing this, I will stop, but will that increase the cycle time significantly? <No> As you can see, I'm a beginner with SW tanks (experienced with FW, but this is my first trial with SW), and read this website as well as many other's.. I really research a lot, and definitely appreciate the help a great deal! Thanks again, Eric <Am glad to share with you. BobF>

Pt.3 Bioload and stocking Q's 4/26/07 5/2/07 Thanks again for the response. <I'm all yours.> When I mentioned that I will be putting them in all at once I meant that I will be buying all five of the Chromis at the same time and then putting them into the DT together. <Ahh... Then I think you will be fine with adding five little Chromis all at once, when the time comes.> That's why I was wondering if 5 Chromis in a 10 gallon QT tank is too much. I will be spacing them out for six weeks (how long I will be keeping them in QT before putting them in) but with the clowns and Chromis since I am going to be buying more then one of each I assumed that it would be OK to put each group in together. Is this wrong? <You are right on the money,. I just need to pay better attention to what I read. -GrahamT>

Green Chromis with white blotches? No useful info. 2/24/07 Hi, I recently got three green Chromis. They all seemed fine, then one of them developed kind of like white blotches on his body, almost like he lost color in certain spots. The next day they got reddish and the day after he died. He was also having trouble breathing. The same thing happened to the second one. We are now left with only one and he has been doing fine until today. He too is developing the blotches which are again white like he's loosing color. It is only visible under certain light but you can also see faint bits of red under the white (if you really look for it). I've researched different diseases but nothing looks or sounds similar. Pleeeeease help!! By the way, when I won't back to the pet store to purchase more Chromis, two of them had the same thing going and we basically got told they were not well, so we didn't get them .They weren't able to tell us what it was. Anything you can think of? <Mmm, well Chromis species do take a beating at time in the process of collection, holding, transport... and subsequently die in droves... missing scales as you related... Do you have no other livestock though? These losses could easily be the result of a myriad of "bad environmental" influences... You do have water test gear? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/toxictk.htm and the linked files above... till you get the gist of what sorts of information, events I'm referring to. Bob Fenner>

Re: Green Chromis with white blotches? 3/3/07 I actually went back to the store where I got my Chromis because I wanted to take it in for them to look at him. My water quality is great by the way. The guy at the store explained that green Chromis get this disease and that even he isn't sure how to treat it. He has tried all kinds of meds but nothing works. Once they get that white blotch/ stripe they just die a couple of days later. <I have seen this at wholesalers, yes> He assured me it wasn't anything I was doing, since their systems are up to par and they get it there too. It may be from handling but as far as he knows it is not treatable. <Do agree with this statement> It also seems to be contagious for only the Chromis ( I have a couple of clowns, a cleaner shrimp and some snails and they're all doing great). So, for anyone that may have the same problem, there may not be much you can do. Thanks for the help. Please let me know if you can think of anything. As I said, it's not a water quality issue. <I do think this condition may well be resultant from collection... Chromis almost always live in/near Acropora and other arborose stony corals that they immediately dart in and amongst the branches if threatened... Most are caught by some means of anesthetizing or poisoning the area or removing this coral to the surface (Yes, not good for the coral or fish), and shaking it out... Bob Fenner>

Blue Green Chromis Dying 1/8/07 Bob, <Leslie here this fine evening> Searched FAQs. Found a few regarding the red spots (look like internal bleeding) on Chromis. We turbo started our tank and bought 2 false clowns and 4 b/g Chromis. One of the Chromis got a red spot - and very quickly - one would die another would get it - until it wiped out all four of them. Clowns are still alive and doing great and a blenny too. This was 5 weeks ago. We test the water weekly at the store - everything is great. 90 Gal Tank with about 14 lbs of live rock - with a refugium. We just bought another 6 b/g Chromis from another store Friday night. Same thing - one died Saturday - one is at the door of death - and I can't get to him Sunday - probably dead today - three of them I scooped out - not taking any chances - rather loose the money - than loose other fish. One seems to be healthy no spots and swims with the clowns. Whatever it is - it only seems to bother the b/g Chromis. Clowns are still fine and our lawnmower blenny is still fine. As well as several invertebrates (snails, crabs, shrimp). Do I need to worry about treating my water to avoid infection on other fish. <It's not really advisable to treat the main tank. Sick fish are best treated in a hospital or quarantine tank.> Or where these fish already doomed somehow? <Not necessarily. However I would keep a close eye on them.> Any input is highly appreciated! Brian <It is always a good idea to do some extra water changes when there has been a problem like this in a tank'¦.. 'dilution is the solution to pollution' as it has been put in quite a few other articles. This goes for pathogens as well. You could place UV on the tank for a while. One of your best ways to avoid problems like this in the future is to quarantine all new additions for a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks. to avoid problems like this. Please do have a look at the following links for some insight into how to keep your tank healthy'¦.. The Three Sets of Factors That Help Determine Livestock Health http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm Quarantine of Marine Fishes http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm Quarantining Marine Livestock http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm HTH, Leslie>

Blue/Green Chromis 9/3/06 Dear Crew: Thank you so much for all of your help and I have yet another question that I can't find the answer to. I have 3 Green Chromis in my 55 Gallon Tank. I had a Coral Banded Shrimp that I removed because he was harassing them. <Yes... Stenopids can/will eat fishes they can catch...> It has been a week since I removed him but today I noticed that one of the Chromis has most of his tail missing. My fear is that it is tail rot. <Mmm... unlikely as a "stand alone" problem... that is, what is the root cause?> I have searched the Internet and can not find any pictures that look similar. He is eating fine and his color is great. Do you think this is just signs of aggression? <Possibly> As always your help is very appreciated. Thank you, <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/damseldisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Chromis jaw issue 8/23/06 I just bought three green Chromis damsels 3 days ago and one of them has a different looking lower lip. I might be a little paranoid cause it's a new tank and my first saltwater, but it doesn't look right. Any idea what it may be? The other two do not look anything like this one in the lip area. 55gal, 35 lbs LR, 20 hermit crabs, 10 snails, a few small feather dusters, and the 3 new damsels. Thanks, <Mmm, looks like this Chromis viridis got its lower jaw caught in a net, or ran/swam into something... Bob Fenner> Re: what is this thanks, so should I just let it heal? I was worried it might be something parasitic. thanks again for the quick response! <Mmm... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chromdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. BobF>
Re: what is this 8/24/06 Bob, Here's an update for you: The suspect green Chromis that I asked about the other day still has the lower jaw issue going on, but it doesn't seem to bother it any. On the other hand, it has developed a white bump (could be considered pimple-like as another inquiry listed) on the center of it's back just forward of the dorsal fin. This also doesn't seem to be bothering it any. Any additional comments on the new pic??? <Nope> Now for the interesting turn of events: One of the three fish had started hanging out under the backside of the live rock about a day and a half ago. <Common beh.> Except for the fact that it didn't come out to eat (I could see it taking bites as pieces floated by), I didn't make much of the behavior. This morning I could not locate it behind the rock where it might have taken me a second or two before. I came home at lunch and now after work and it is still nowhere to be found. I moved a few of the rocks on the top to see a little better and possibly flush it out but still nothing and I can see most of the way behind the rock. I think it's gone??? No fish parts floating around at all. I have the top open, but they don't seem to be that fidgety that they would jump out (and I have dogs so no evidence on the floor). I suppose it could be tucked way back in a hole I can't quite see, but that would be really interesting??? <Please read on WWM re the genus Chromis, Damsels in general. Bob Fenner>

Green Chromis... beh. dis? Sys? No useful data 7/31/06 Dear WetWebMedia Crew; <Brendan> I added 4 green Chromis to my tank several days ago (4) and they were doing just fine until this morning. One of them has stopped schooling with the others and is staying under a rocky overhang out of the light, which from what I understand is a possible sign of illness. <Of some sort, yes> He also has hugely swollen lips with his mouth wide open, and only swims in place at approximately a 45 degree angle. <Not good> He has no other signs of illness, no spots that I could see or messed up scales or cuts of any kind. He was just fine in the store and was fine until this morning. So I was wondering: what is the matter with him, is it contagious, and what should I do? Your advice would be dearly appreciated. Brendan <... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/chromis.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Blue Damsel - Danger? 5/12/06 Dear WWM Crew - Hello from Central Florida.... <Hello from rainy Chicago> We have searched for an answer to our dilemma on all sites we could find with FAQ's on Blue Damsels to no avail.... So, our query is this -- our Blue Damsel has suddenly sprouted a 'growth', for lack of a better description, on his back. It looks like a whitehead pimple. Is this dangerous? He eats and swims quite normally....hmmm....can you help? <Hard to say without a picture, but I would guess Lymphocystis, Google this and see if it fits.> Mark and Tom of Lakeland, FL. <Chris>

Stocking question/ sick fish (Chromis) 4/14/06 Hello WWM crew, before I begin let me say that the service you provide for us hobbyists is greatly appreciated, you do a great job so please keep up the good work. <Am trying...> Currently I have a 100 gallon long aquarium with built in skimmer box, a 20 gallon refugium harvesting Chaetomorpha, and a 30 gallon sump containing a Euroreef skimmer CS135. I have roughly 150lbs of live rock, and maybe 80lbs of aragonite sand. In terms of lighting I have 2 13K 250 watt PFO halide pendants, 260 watts of compact fluorescent supplemental lighting, and 2 moonlights. System has been running for 14 months and water quality is good (salinity <1.024>,ammonium 0, nitrite 0, nitrate <undetectable>, phosphate <undetectable>, alkalinity <2.9meq/l>, calcium<350ppm>, temp is kept between 76-78 degrees Fahrenheit. I use Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Test Kits for everything. My fishy friends include a 4" hippo tang, 3" Kole tang, 2 false perculas, a sixline wrasse, and 3 Chromis damselfish. In terms of invertebrates I have a 5" Tridacnid clam, a Brittlestar, a gorgeous BTA ( I know...bad....but I'm determined and resourceful), and frogspawn and hammerhead corals which grow and split continuously. I change 15 gallons of water weekly, and feed a mix of Mysis, krill, blood worms, and Spirulina. I have a couple of questions and will enumerate them for simplicity. <Good, and sounds good... except for the mis-mix of cnidarians thus far> 1.) In terms of stocking, Have I overdone it? <Just not done it right... I would likely remove either the Scleractinians or the BTA> Right now I don't notice any aggressive behavior among the fish. I was interested in adding a flame angel, would this be a bad move? <Should be okay here with the mix, crowding> 2.) One of my Chromis is refusing food and seems to either hang around the filter box or end of the tank. I don't see any signs of external parasites or disease and the other fish don't seem to be harassing it. I have owned him for almost a year now and am quite attached. I was planning on just moving it to my 10gal QT tank and hoping for the best. Is this okay, is there any kind of medication I should attempt? <I would not medicate this animal, nor likely move it. Try "other" foods. It may "just" be "old"... Bob Fenner>> Darkening Chromis 12/21/05 Hi Crew, I recently purchased thirteen green Chromis to start off the system in my 330 gallon tank. They all looked great except for one who was missing his upper lip and an 1/8 of his right pectoral fin. <... such "cut" damsels should be avoided... all in a batch> This didn't seem to be a problem as he was active and feeding well. Today I noticed that he is almost completely tinted a smoky black color (he looks like he is dirty). His eyes are also brown or black, even in the iris. <Good descriptions> I am feeding the school an enriched flake food that helps prevent color loss and he has been eating just fine. One of the others also appears to be beginning to be darkly tinted and I don't want it to spread. Is it anything I need to be concerned about? <Oh yes... whatever predisposing factor/s are at play (likely rough handling, starvation... possibly cyanide or other toxic capture technique...) may spell the end for this group of Chromis... Only time can/will tell. You can read more re Damsel, Chromis Selection, archived in the FAQs on WWM. Bob Fenner> Help - Losing Chromis 12/9/05 Hi there, <Hi Matt!> Got some Chromis, had them for about 2 months, I then noticed that the stomach of one was indented.. very thin. <Starvation for one reason or another...> <<Chromis are often (not always) collected with cyanide. Cyanide destroys the gut lining of fishes, disallowing ab/adsorption of nutrients. This effect can take many, many months to present. Thus, the fish eats, but starves to death, much like King Midas. A read through the Industry Forum of reefs.org will net much information, with contributions from many experts in the field. Marina>> Two days later I found him in the sump. He was the biggest of 5 in a 105 Gallon system. <Just too weak to avoid the overflow.> Last night another of the Chromis was swimming poorly. Today I found him in the overflow.. barely alive due to stress. He has now died. <Sad. Might be time to re-evaluate your foods and feeding routine.> I believe I have a Mantis shrimp in my tank due to a clicking and there are a heap of shells and bits of rock that are being removed from my rocks. <Sure sounds like it.> The only things in the tank are a Brittlestar (small) two Clowns, an anemone, a couple of blennies, two small tangs and some snails. At night the clicking is insane but no matter how hard I try...and I have tried a lot. I have never seen what is causing the clicking. <Yeah, almost certainly a mantis.> When we first put the rock in we caught a thumb sized Mantis shrimp and last night I saw what looked like a straw sized millipede crawl out of a rock where the clicking originated. <Did this 'millipede' have little bug-eyes on stalks? If so, that's a mantis. If not, might have just been a Bristleworm.> Could my Chromis be the target of one of these guys? <No. The Chromis' died from starvation, either because of issues with your foods or routine, or internal parasite. The mantis is most likely eating snails.> It is really hot in Sydney and my tank is sitting at between 80 and 84 F. Having said this the anemone is ok and in my experience they're usually the first to go when water quality and heat are the culprits. What you do think? <84f is pushing it, but livable. Don't let it get any hotter.> Regards - Matt <Happy Holidays, Lorenzo>

Chromis in Trouble... just crowded 9/19.5/05 Dear WWM and Thank You! <Welcome> One of our little blue green Chromis fish isn't doing well. After a recent move from a refugium to a NanoCube (24 G) it has begun swimming vertically more than horizontal, not eating and seems to look stiff in its lower body front fins...as if some paralysis there. Also rapid breathing. No spots visible on fins. Its 4 other comrades (all Chromis) are fine (all moved at about the same time). <Social "disease"... this is too small a volume...> Could a bristle worm have stung it? We have a few of those fellas in the nano. <Not likely... they need more room... likely will die off one by one in a similar way...> PS There was a death in our NanoCube of a yellow headed sleeper goby for no apparent reason last week so I temporarily moved nano fish to our refugium. We did a 5 G water change in the 24 G nano, then after we checked water parameters (all fine), returned the fish. (1 tiny percula, 4 tiny and one medium Chromis). My only intervention thus far (48 hours ago) was to return sick Chromis to refugium, where he sat on the bottom and looked worse so I put him back with his friends. Hindsight I shouldn't have handled him this much but the fish let me catch him very easily. On a positive note, its been 4 days and though not eating the sick Chromis is more active today. <Good... but would still remove all but two, or move all to much larger quarters... at least sixty gallons> Please help if you can any advice greatly appreciated, Teresa <Bob Fenner> Re: Chromis in Trouble 9/20/05 Thank you Bob... some comments below... > Chromis in Trouble > Dear WWM and Thank You! > <Welcome> > One of our little blue green Chromis fish isn't doing well. After a recent move from a refugium to a NanoCube (24 G) it has begun swimming vertically more than horizontal, not eating and seems to look stiff in its lower body front fins...as if some paralysis there. Also rapid breathing. No spots visible on fins. Its 4 other comrades (all Chromis) are fine (all moved at about the same time). > <Social "disease"... this is too small a volume...> We considered that - but the four Chromises are small - all 1 inch or less. <<Doesn't matter here>> The one that is not doing well was the first one I moved, I wonder if I injured it when I transferred him? <<Possibility>> The others show absolutely no signs of trouble. We moved the sick one to a 10g quarantine, and is about the same - swims as if he's blind, can't see him eat, etc. > Could a bristle worm have stung it? We have a few of those fellas in the nano. > <Not likely... they need more room... likely will die off one by one > in a similar way...> > PS There was a death in our NanoCube of a yellow headed sleeper goby for no apparent reason last week so I temporarily moved nano fish to our refugium. We did a 5 G water change in the 24 G nano, then after we checked water parameters (all fine), returned the fish. (1 tiny percula, 4 tiny and one medium Chromis). > My only intervention thus far (48 hours ago) was to return sick Chromis to refugium, where he sat on the bottom and looked worse so I put him back with his friends. Hindsight I shouldn't have handled him this much but the fish let me catch him very easily. On a positive note, its been 4 days and though not eating the sick Chromis is more active today. > <Good... but would still remove all but two, or move all to much larger quarters... at least sixty gallons> > Please help if you can any advice greatly appreciated, > Teresa > <Bob Fenner> <<Am still of the same opinion... need more psychological room... BobF>>

Chromis, nano-cube, social disease/crowding 9/21/05 Dear Bob, <BJ> Many thanks for your assistance re: blue green Chromis fish in trouble. Gosh, well its getting late and I'm still wondering what to do with this fish, if you have any other advice in light of new events...I just want to make sure I've done everything I can for this little fella! You said you thought it was a social problem with our NanoCube 24 gal... I forgot to mention its is well established with lots of live rock but perhaps 4 fish was too much. <Is> (Remember we had a mysterious death of a yellow headed sleeper goby previously.. but prior to all's been well for 6 months). So I moved the baby Chromis to QT. I started standard Copper tx because I wanted to do something. I feel so helpless! The symptoms: not eating, paralysis of lower fins and hiding in the corner, vertical swimming... point to a possible parasitic infection or bacterial. Some symptoms overlap so diagnosis can be confusing. <Yes> Well 3 days of treatment the baby Chromis started swimming in circles nonstop! Have you ever seen such a thing? <Yes> What to do? Adverse rx to Copper? <Likely so> SO I returned the fella to the refugium of the big tank (!00 gal w/ 20ish gal refugium) thinking this is best place with best water quality. Now.. two or three days later, still not eating, still swimming in circles like its gone crazy. So please Bob, <Not much to actually do... but hope> Is there anything else I can do? The waiting is hard. Actually I didn't know if he would survive this long not eating but we added vitamins to the QT water and have made your special "Mash" recipe with vit.s always feeding our fish the best we can! (Thanks for that wonderful recipe by the way! All our fish love it!). <I do hope it helps here> We are speculating on this fish as to probable causes now that he is alone in the refugium. Could it be I should've persevered with the copper... and or treated for bacterial (which in most cases is secondary)? <No... I would've likely done what you did> Should I just leave it alone and keep praying? <I would> Sidebar... my husband says he could've accidentally injured it in initial transfer ...so this could be some sort of brain injury? <Possibly... happens> Why does he keep swimming rapidly in circles? <Perhaps such behavior in the wild bewilders predators> Perhaps a fish can get enough nutrition through vitamins and food in the water while he recovers from whatever it is. Anyway, SO sorry to bother you again Bob. You are such the expert and I'm such the worrier. What would you do if this was your fish? <Nothing different> How can I repay you for your time.... <You have, by sharing your concern> You may find this interesting. "Banana Wrasse Advocate" We have a banana wrasse in the big tank who is just beautiful, and is actually an advocate for new fish! Honestly she swims interference when there are tank disagreements, took a small lipstick Naso under her wing and repeatedly swims with her and brings her food. Chases other fish away so the new one can eat. She sits on the bottom of the sand sometimes and watches our every move.. even seem to be watching TV! What a great fish! A real sweetheart! Always seems to be smiling.... <Call this one "Bob"> Fish are the most wonderful creatures. Very calming and relaxing to have around. All have their own personalities. Well Ill stop rattling on. Thanks Bob again. for any advice you may have. You are a real gem and your website is such a blessing! The Mora Family <Bob Fenner>

-Blue Chromis massacre!- Hi Again, I thank you for your time and web site, it helps me so much. I have a maintenance company in Bakersfield, Ca. In my home I have a 80 gal, 40 gal and a 10 gal tank used as a holding tank for new fish for my customers. Three weeks ago I bought 10 blue Chromis and within one day all had died with red blotches on them and some with Popeye. <Ouch, was the system tested before fish addition and once the problem started?> So I started moving the rest of the fish away from them and treated the tanks with MelaFix, to no avail. Within three days all fish were dead. since them I have done a 80 % water change, and put each tank on my LifeGuard mechanical system for about 45 minutes each, it also has a U.V. in it. <This won't accomplish much> I waited three more days and entered 3 two striped damsels, in each tank. day two the 10 gal tank as no fish left, the 40 as 1 fish left and the 80 as two fish left.. In each tank has little live rock in them and the tanks have cycled two month ago. <For them to still be cycled, they had to have a constant ammonia source (like fish) in there ever since the cycle. If there was no detectable ammonia or nitrite, the pH was fine, and there was no blatant horrible shipping stressor or other catastrophe, you got bad fish.> All levels were normal and still are. <Well, if this is the case, then the fish you bought were likely doomed from the get-go. Again, you may want to test your salinity, temp, pH, ammonia, nitrite and make sure that no possible contaminants could have entered the water.> what is one to do ? <Large water change, PolyFilter (in case of chemical contamination), and potentially letting it go fallow (no fish) for a month to eliminate the chance of reoccurring disease. I hope this helps! -Kevin> Le Roy @ Advanced Aquascaping

- Blue/Green Chromis - We recently restarted our 65 gallon tank (after some much needed repairs) and decided on 4 blue/green Chromis as our starter fish. All 4 were bought at the same time at the same store. Within a day, the smallest fish developed a red bruise like spot just in front of his tail. At first we thought it was a small bite but within hours it turned into what looked like some sort of internal rupture. We tested for water quality and everything looked good. He was next to dead the next morning so we scooped him out. We replaced him with another b/g Chromis and the next couple of weeks went along without incident until this past Tuesday the next smallest fish developed the same spot. We have been testing regularly and doing all the necessary water changes and everything is fine. <If you are cycling the tank with these fish, then you shouldn't be changing water until the nitrogen cycle is complete. Changing the water will only delay the completion of the cycle.> He lasted a couple of days but we scooped him out this morning. These fish show no other signs of distress and eat and swim around normally until the very end when they have increased respiration and go into 'hiding' mode. <Hopefully they have many places to hide, yes?> Any ideas as to what this may be? <Low man on the totem pole perhaps... live stock compromised before you got a hold of it... toxic water conditions... there are many possibilities.> We are reluctant to start thinking of buying any other fish until this can be resolved. <Considering that you are using these fish as 'starters' you've got to expect some attrition. Do keep an eye on ammonia and nitrite as these are toxic to the fish.> Cathy <Cheers, J -- >

Crazy Chromis! We have a 100 gallon tank that recently developed a horrible algae. The closest we can figure is it's a brown diatom (?) algae. <Usually eradicated by using RO/DI as source water...Silicates tend to cause this problem> We have "vacuumed" the algae off of the rocks and done about a 25 gallon water change at each vacuuming. We got another 30 gallon tank for the Chromis because they turned white, hovered straight up in a corner, and acted as if they were having seizures. <That's not good...Lots of possible causes, ranging from some water chemistry issues to an infection of some sort...Do a little research on this...> Our tank finally cleared, with little algae left in the tank, so we took everything "back home." Much to our dismay, within six hours the Chromis were back in their corners, acting spastic. Why are they doing this? They are the neatest fish, so calming to the tank, (and to me,) I hate to see them this way. This is our first saltwater fish tank, and we are definitely learning a bunch. Any thing you can tell us would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, Anne <Well, Anne- I'm thinking that you may have measurable ammonia or nitrite levels in the water...Do check this out, and take appropriate actions (water changes, etc.) to correct.. Regards, Scott F.>

Chromis (1-13-03) Do blue Chromis keep their intense color when they grow up? <If fed the right foods and kept in good conditions they should hold their color just fine.> or will they get drab the way damsels do? how large will they get? <Well we just had some traded in at the store that are about 4 inches long and I suspect they are fully grown. Cody> thanks! Beth

Chromis Quandary Hi Crew, <Hey there, Scott F. here with you tonight.> Continued praise for your excellent work. A few questions for you: <Alright...ready!> I purchased 3 green Chromis and 1 Ocellaris clownfish from my LFS about 4 weeks ago and placed them in a 20 gal QT tank. <Excellent procedure. Glad to hear that!> After 2 weeks, I noticed that one of the Chromis was constantly harassing the other two, so I removed it from the 20 gal QT and placed it in a 12 gal QT (by itself). Everything appeared to be OK until one of the 2 Chromis (in the 20 gal QT) died about 2 wks. later, from what seemed to be tail rot. The 2nd Chromis (in the 20 gal QT) also showed signs of tail rot but the clown fish seemed fine. I treated the fish in the 20 gal QT with Furanace and the 2nd Chromis now seems to be OK and its tail is growing back. The aggressive Chromis in the 12 gal QT did not show any signs of tail rot and was not treated. Questions: 1) How much longer do I need to quarantine these fish (i.e., 2 fish in 20 gal QT and 1 fish in 12 gal QT) before I place into my 72 gal display tank? <If it were me (and I have done this before), I would start the clock again. Meaning another 3 weeks in the QT for these guys just to make sure that everyone is healthy. I know it's not fun, but it's the correct way to do it, IMO.> 2) If I do not need to quarantine the Chromis in the 12 gal QT for an additional period of time, should I put it in the display tank or will it become territorial towards other fish once I add them to the display tank. (Note: the display tank does not currently have any fish). Or should I return the aggressive Chromis to the LFS and try to exchange it? <Great insight and interesting question. As you know, these fish can occasionally become rather territorial, particularly if they are the first fish in the new tank. I would either add this fish when you add the other fish (i.e. three weeks as discussed above), or exchange it for a more docile specimen. However, you will still have to quarantine, of course. And, there is no guarantee that the fish that was docile at the LFS will remain docile in your tank!> Also, I would like to move into phase 2 of my stocking plan and buy the following live stock (for quarantine): -3 Peppermint Shrimp -2 Cleaner Shrimp -1 Blood Fire Shrimp -3 Green Chromis -1 Yellow Tang -1 Watchman Goby -1 Algae Blenny <Very nice choices assuming that your tank is large enough to accommodate all of your animals.> Questions: 1) If I move the two fish currently in the 20 gal into the 12 gal tank (with or without the aggressive Chromis), can I then use the 20 gal QT for the new live stock (after performing a 100% water change in the 20 gal QT)? <Sure, it will, after all, still be a quarantine tank and you can treat as necessary in that tank. Of course, do be mindful that the inverts do not tolerate medication if you have to medicate your fishes while in quarantine. In other words, I wouldn't quarantine inverts and fish together.> 2) Is this too much live stock to quarantine in a 20 gal tank at the same time? <I would say that is pushing it a bit. Go slowly and get a couple of fishes at one time. The tang, in particular, need a significant amount of space and good water quality. Be mindful of this.> 3) Will the new live stock be compatible in the 20 gal QT during a 3-4 wks quarantine period? <With the exception of the inverts and perhaps, the tang, you could probably combine these animals without incident. Keep an eye out on those Chromis.> 4) After performing a 100% water change, will the 20 gal QT be safe for invertebrates (after the prior use of Furanace in the tank)? <Yes, but I would recommend running a Polyfilter and/or activated carbon for a few days prior to adding the inverts just to make sure that you get any residual medication out of the system.> Thanks for your help, Ade <My pleasure Ade. BTW.. if you have a moment, check out Conscientious Aquarist, Issue 2, online now on WWM homepage. Regards, Scott F.>

Air bubbles and fish spots... Hello crew! I just want to say thank you for all the time and support that you and your crew provide to these questions. I've been looking online for the answers to these questions, but I can't find the answers to my specific questions. First, I have fine air bubbles returning to my tank clouding the water. I know, don't say it; I have spent days reading the past FAQ's. My particular problem is that periodically (every 20 minutes or so), a surge of bubbles enters the tank. It's like the air is building up in the pump, then it spits it out. <Yikes, not good... can be dangerous to your livestock... there is an intake leak... somewhere... that you should look, listen for and fix... a spray bottle of water, a length of tubing... for spritzing on lines, fittings, the pump volute... and the tubing for listening for intake "hiss"...> I have siliconed all my joints before and after the pump and still microbubbles. I don't have bubbles entering the sump so it is not coming from there. I'm really out of ideas as where this air is coming from and how to solve the problem. <With someone helping, try pressurizing the line (blocking the discharge/s...) you may see water seep to shoot out of the intake source... otherwise try wicking a napkin/paper towel along the entire intake line... for water> I have a 150 gallon with 100 sump below. Second question is not a problem, I'm just curious if you have seen this before and what it is... At night, I often use the flashlight to see all the different life forms emerging. I have six green Chromis and when I shine the flashlight on them, they have large 1/8 inch spots on the fish. During the day, they have no spots and they are healthy. Disease free for months. Have you observed this before? Normal? Should I be concerned? Thanks for your input in advance. Dan <Likely what you observe, describe well here are "nocturnal markings"... changes in the fish themselves that may aid them in the wild in avoiding piscivorous predators. No worries. Bob Fenner> Tail rot (wherefore art thou causes?) Hello Mr. Fenner, I have just introduced 3 green Chromis damsels back into my system after leaving the system fallow for a month due to an Ich problem. After 36 hours the tail of one of the damsels is nearly gone and the base is pink and irritated looking. What could this be? <Bunk quality Damsels plus stress likely...> They were quarantined and received a dip of freshwater and Methylene blue just prior to reintroduction. The other two look and act fine. thanks Steve B. <This one "got nicked" somewhere along the line... Take a look on the Damselfish pages on the site www.WetWebMedia.com and read the "Selection" area on the general Pomacentrid piece... many Chromis and other damsels lost in the early introduction phase. I would NOT "treat" this system per se... with chemicals, but would consider adding a biological cleaner. Bob Fenner>

Blue Devil Damsels Hello again, Thanks for getting back to me so quickly regarding my clownfish and coral question. I forgot to ask you about my blue damsels. One in particular I have had for about 4 and a half years. She seems to be fine, but within the past few months, I've seen something quite peculiar. I saw her floating belly up and assumed she had died, but as I neared the tank, she sprang up and swam away. I've witnessed this countless times now. She stops swimming, her fins become erect, she flips belly up and drifts with the current and a second later she's alert and swimming around. Like she had a mini seizure or something. Any ideas? <Mmm, this sort of "strange behavior" could be due to fatty degeneration inside the specimen (and hence spatial disorientation), some specific diseases (like Whirling), but in this case more likely due to "play"... A note here: simply going to the surface of the water is a "novel" experience for this species in the wild (they would be eaten almost of a certainty), so it's not so surprising to find that one/they might adopt other seemingly bizarre behaviors...> Lastly, both my blue devils (especially the older one) seem to change color when stressed. When the older one becomes defensive or aggressive, she gets white patches throughout her body. When the fish she is threatened by leaves, her color automatically returns. I've started to notice this with my younger blue devil also. Any thoughts about this? <This happens. Good observation> Sorry about the lengthy message. Thanks, Ben Mendez <No worries, be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Chromis viridis - blindness Hello Robert, Recently, one of my green Chromis went blind. In my desperate search to learn the reason for this, I have only managed to find two references, your mention of it on WetWebMedia, and the observations of a one DBW (aka: "the Caretaker") of www.ozreef.org. <Ah, excellent company... and good searching on your part> At any rate, I was hoping that you might be able to provide me with more information regarding this condition. How does it arise? Do I need to worry about the other members of the school contracting this disability? Is there a cure? Etc....etc....etc.... <In damsels this sort of complaint generally stems from either nutritional deficiency or disease (parasitic, infectious). There is some chance that this animal has age as a co-factor going against it as well> At this point, the blind Chromis seems to have stabilized and seems to be getting enough to eat despite the increased difficulty for it to actually locate its food. Needless to say, I'd love to see it recover and any help/info you can provide would be most appreciated. <Do try adding a vitamin and iodide preparation to these fish's foods ahead of offering. If the nutritional component is at play here this may effect a reversal. Good luck my friend. Bob Fenner> Best Regards, Steve Rider (a concerned reef keeper in Munich, Germany)

Chromis viridis Bob, one of my most favorite SW fish are the Blue/Green Chromis. (Chromis viridis) Small, peaceful, hardy and oh so beautiful. (a very under-rated fish IMHO). <Agreed. I have a nice cover shot on this month's Das Aquarium magazine of a trio> How long do they live usually? <Probably a handful of years in captivity... do know of a few instances of 7,8,9 year old individuals> I have seen very large 3 to 4 inch "Big" blue/green Chromis! I have had mine 10 months and bought them around 1inch. They have not grown very much in that time so I am wondering at how long will it take to grow them into the whoppers I have seen. <Not just a matter of time... as you likely know> They eat everything I feed them (a very varied diet for sure) and they eat often. I just thought there would be more growth by now. Water perimeters are excellent, food is varied and tank conditions seem as good as could be. Slow growers or am I not doing something right? <Very large systems, water movement, lack of metabolites in their water, almost continuous feeding... are some of the predominant factors. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/optgwth.htm Bob Fenner> Zimmy

Chromis growth Hi Bob, I read the post from the guy who had the green Chromis for 10 months with no growth. <Ah, wish there was some easy way to retain alls email addresses...> I have three for over a year and they have tripled in size. They almost jump out of the tank when they see me coming at feeding time. <Very well trained!> My wife calls them piranha, as they always attack the food first. When I got them they were under an inch and now they are pushing three inches. I always wondered how long they lived. Happy to hear I should have them for at least four more years. On another subject, how long do cleaner wreaths live? <Genus Labroides wrasses generally don't live for long in captivity, but the ones that do "make the transition" to aquariums have been known to live for a handful of years> I have had one for several months it is always very active, and constantly cleans the other fish. It is right behind the Chromis come feeding time. I have read some of your posts and it appears people have trouble keeping them. Do you know the reason? <A combination of phenomena... if I were to try listing the more important ones: shipping, holding trauma, collection damage, mouth damage totally (from bumping into tank sides, bags, nets...), "stress", a paucity of "customers"...> I really like the little guy and want to make sure I can keep him in top health. Thanks for your continued support in this challenging hobby. <You are welcome my friend. Thank you for your continuing participation and sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Six-line wrasse Long time no email, been super busy... <I see> Just an FYI in case you are interested, but the Chromis didn't last long. I had ocellaris clown at the same time as the Chromis (didn't mention that last email) that is doing real well now. I think I've figured this out. The only thing the Chromis would eat were this frozen brine shrimp product, which I think was bad for the fish. <As an exclusive diet, yes> The ocellaris would eat flake food. So for a week, this would be the case, Chromis only eating the frozen brine shrimp (I tried Formula One and Two and they ignored it). <Many good foods to try besides these> Both Chromis died shortly afterwards, no marks or cysts or any weird behaviour the night before. I'm now thinking they pretty much starved or had a bad reaction to this food (which I fed to all the other fish that died). I thought because they ate it so readily, that it was fine. But I now notice that anyone eating only flake food lives just fine, the rest die. Does that make any sense? <In some situations, yes> I've since thrown that brine shrimp stuff away and now make sure that the pet store feeds them flake at least before I buy (paranoid now). Thanks -Jack <Some degree of paranoia is healthy in many/most human circumstances... Bob Fenner>

Red Spot on Chromis Hello team! <whaaaasssupppp, Jesse? Anthony Calfo here> I have a newly setup 75G tank (about 3 weeks old) which I'm currently cycling with 7 Blue-Green Chromis (they've been in there for about 10 days). Presently, the ammonia level has just peaked and is starting to be converted into nitrite. The fish have been very active and healthy (brilliant color, great body shape, etc), and had been at the pet store for several weeks before I got them. I feed them flake food twice a day (about as much as they can eat in 2.5 minutes), substituting frozen brine shrimp once every three days. They all eat voraciously. Aside from chemical levels due to cycling, the tank parameters are decent: 1.023 sg, 8.3 pH and 79 degrees (since I could not get it cooler due to heat given off by my MagDrive pump, I just set the heaters to 79 and keep it there). <all fine> The levels have been solid; there's been hardly any amount of fluctuation at all. My only source of concern, and as far as I can tell my only big mistake, is that I didn't do enough research before aquascaping the tank. As a result, I have several large pieces of lace rock in there. I've been contemplating taking it out, but have yet to decide whether or not this is necessary... <may not be necessary> Anyway, last night, I noticed a small circular red spot directly beneath one of the gills on one of the fish. It has grown slightly as of this morning. After reading just about all of your FAQs, it looks like a sore caused by bacterial infection of a wound. However, I have not noticed any damage before this. <whether infectious or caused by mechanical damage... do watch carefully... medicated food might be therapeutic. Water changes wont delay your cycle if you do not disturb the substrate...consider this> Also, I don't know how the damage could have occurred, since all of the fish are very peaceful with each other... The only source of strife at all is that, despite my best efforts, my cats like to sit on top of the tank and hang over the side looking in. The fish seem to be getting used to it, but they still get spooked when a cat first jumps up there. <yes... a bad habit that could have run one into the rockwork> Do you have any thoughts on what this spot might be or what I can do to help the fish? <too hard to tell yet> I'll be beside myself if something I've done has caused them any harm Thanks for your help and for your website; it's without a doubt the greatest source of information I've found! - Jes <water changes and medicated food for now. Observe for three to five days, if worse be prepared to remove the fish to a QT tank for meds. Best regards, Anthony>

Chromis Hello Crew, <cheers, friend> I recently purchased a small school of 8 green Chromis. They currently sit in a QT. After initial observation I noticed one had a sore or bruise on its side so I quickly isolated this one and returned to my LFS for an exchange....no problems. <they are sensitive fishes to handling> This morning on the fourth day of quarantine I noticed two other fish with the same sores as the one returned. But they seem very healthy swimming a close tight circle and are eating flake food. <hmmm... some concern here for the contagious expression of hemorrhagic septicemia... highly contagious. It runs its course quickly if evidenced: all will be fine or all will be dead within a week if so> When purchasing there were several bruised fish swimming among the good. My question is could these bruises be because of the fish nipping at each other? <not at all likely to this extent> the bruises are reddish with the scales slightly lifted or missing. What should I do? Treatment? <yes... lets hope that it is a mild bacterial infection. Try Furazolidone and Nitrofurazone mixed meds at double strength daily for 5 days. A large jar of Jungle brand Fungus Eliminator crystals should do the trick nicely in QT> Many thanks again. Regards, Dennis <best regards, Anthony>

Injured Chromis, Carpet Anemone, Corals Hey Guys salutations!.... <Salute!> I have a 150 gal reef tank with 3 Maldives clowns, 2 carpets, various SPS's, a school of 8 Chromis, and an Asfur. Today I noticed one of the Chromis' having one side of its scales ripped off by its gills. Its still active and eats with the school but is it a disease of some sort? <tough to say but unlikely... if so it may be quite a condition. Fears here of a Septicemia. Without a clear photo were speculating here> The Asfur does magnificently disperse the school periodically in a fit of rage but I have yet to see him actually nip at one. <statistically he'll succeed one day if he hasn't already...Ha!> My other thoughts are that I have lost 2 Chromis' to the carpets, I guess they stupidly float in there at night or something because on the afternoon after the disappearances my carpets spit out a meatless carcass of bones that suspiciously look like the frame of the Chromis. <indeed> Could this particular Chromis somehow brushed the side of its face against the carpet causing some blisters? <possible... but carpets are so potently aggressive I would expect a kill> Everything seems normal, but I will make a water change today just in case. Give it to me straight...thanks!!!! <OK... separate the anemone and other cnidarians (SPS corals and the like)... its a long term recipe for disaster (3-5 year plan). Noxious chemical warfare and the motile nature of the anemone> Oh yeah any good clubs to join in the Los Angeles area? <Absolutely... MASLAC at http://www.maslac.org/ I'll be speaking there in two weeks :) several other clubs in neighboring areas... SO CAL reefers, San Diego, etc> Regards, Dennis <best regards, Anthony>

Red Spot on Chromis Hello team! <whaaaasssupppp, Jesse? Anthony Calfo here> I have a newly setup 75G tank (about 3 weeks old) which I'm currently cycling with 7 Blue-Green Chromis (they've been in there for about 10 days). Presently, the ammonia level has just peaked and is starting to be converted into nitrite. The fish have been very active and healthy (brilliant color, great body shape, etc), and had been at the pet store for several weeks before I got them. I feed them flake food twice a day (about as much as they can eat in 2.5 minutes), substituting frozen brine shrimp once every three days. They all eat voraciously. Aside from chemical levels due to cycling, the tank parameters are decent: 1.023 sg, 8.3 pH and 79 degrees (since I could not get it cooler due to heat given off by my MagDrive pump, I just set the heaters to 79 and keep it there). <all fine> The levels have been solid; there's been hardly any amount of fluctuation at all. My only source of concern, and as far as I can tell my only big mistake, is that I didn't do enough research before aquascaping the tank. As a result, I have several large pieces of lace rock in there. I've been contemplating taking it out, but have yet to decide whether or not this is necessary... <may not be necessary> Anyway, last night, I noticed a small circular red spot directly beneath one of the gills on one of the fish. It has grown slightly as of this morning. After reading just about all of your FAQs, it looks like a sore caused by bacterial infection of a wound. However, I have not noticed any damage before this. <whether infectious or caused by mechanical damage... do watch carefully... medicated food might be therapeutic. Water changes wont delay your cycle if you do not disturb the substrate...consider this> Also, I don't know how the damage could have occurred, since all of the fish are very peaceful with each other... The only source of strife at all is that, despite my best efforts, my cats like to sit on top of the tank and hang over the side looking in. The fish seem to be getting used to it, but they still get spooked when a cat first jumps up there. <yes... a bad habit that could have run one into the rockwork> Do you have any thoughts on what this spot might be or what I can do to help the fish? <too hard to tell yet> I'll be beside myself if something I've done has caused them any harm Thanks for your help and for your website; it's without a doubt the greatest source of information I've found! - Jes <water changes and medicated food for now. Observe for three to five days, if worse be prepared to remove the fish to a QT tank for meds. Best regards, Anthony>

Sick Chromis I have a green Chromis that is having some trouble swimming/breathing. As per Scott F.'s advise I have moved him to a qt tank. I now have some additional questions. First of all since he is having trouble swimming should I leave the powerhead off to give him a break? or would the reduced flow rate be worse? <I'd keep the powerhead on, maybe at reduced flow, to keep some circulation going in this tank. In fact, if the powerhead offers an aeration feature, I'd utilize it.> He hasn't developed any white spots, but I wanted to do something. I went to the LFS, and got a pH so that I could match the pH for a freshwater + Methylene blue dip (I also bought the Methylene blue), but upon returning home I realized that I had bought another saltwater pH kit and therefore had no way to test the freshwater's pH. I felt stupid, but wanted to do something so I did a saltwater + Methylene blue dip. I know this won't be as effective as freshwater + Methylene blue, but it's better than nothing, right? <Sure- the antibacterial properties of Methylene blue will still work in saltwater.> After the dip (which went well at 15 min.s with no signs of stress, for him or me; not bad for my first dip) I could see tiny particles laying on the bottom of the bucket. Could these possibly be the parasites that have infested my little buddy? Or would they be too small to see with the naked eye? <Well, hard to say...If it is Cryptocaryon, it's unlikely that you'd see the actual parasites...but you never know. The material could have been body slime or mucus, or some type of precipitate. But you never know!> Oh, also the LFS was out of copper and doesn't sell copper tests, I was informed by the owner that he doesn't believe in testing (too bad he's the only one reasonably close to me) <YIKES!! With "friends" like this...yuck...> So, I am looking online, could you recommend a good test kit brand? Also are there better brands of copper? Or is copper just copper? <I like Cupramine by Sea Chem, and CopperSafe by Mardel. Both are good quality, IMO. As far as a test kit for copper, most of the ones that I have seen on the market are pretty good, IMO. Now- I like copper, but I wouldn't rush to use it unless you are certain that you're dealing with a parasitic infection. Some fishes do not do well with copper, such as pygmy angelfishes. Anyways- with your fish- be sure to keep up good water quality during his quarantine, supply high quality food, and observe closely. With time, and a little TLC, this guy can make it! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>> Thank you for your time -Luke

Re: sick Chromis thanks once again for your help. i had 3 green Chromis in my qt, and all was fine for over a week. then one day i noticed one wasn't schooling or eating and breathing rapidly in the corner. then next day it was dead. <Sounds like Amyloodinium. AKA velvet> the other 2 were ok for a day more. then the same thing happened to another one. now its been 3 days since the 2nd died and the last one seems to be fine. eating a lot and swimming fine. no white dots or fuzzy stuff <Definitely velvet> and no visible isopods, the fish looked perfectly normal, just rapid breathing and sitting in the corner. i dissected the 2nd one and didn't see anything that looked like a parasite (with my crappy magnifying glass). any idea what this is? <Definitely and obviously (from your description), velvet> could it have been something they had or did my qt tank have something? i have a bi-color blenny that lives there full time and he seems fine through the whole event. <He's a really tough critter> or could they have had something all along that just got the best of them after a few weeks. they were eating and very social for the 1st week. my water parameters in qt check out fine too. if you do have an idea what it is, can you recommend a dip / medication? my thoughts were flukes, but since the 3rd seems ok, i didn't know how contagious they were? thanks again, Neil <This is just as contagious as Ich. Please sterilize your tank before adding more fish. Check our disease files at Wetwebmedia.com There is detailed information about treating this and other diseases. David Dowless> <P.S. I'm a former North Carolinian from Fayetteville! UNCP graduate!> Neil A. Jacobs Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences North Carolina State University

Sick green Chromis? Dear WWM crew, <You got Cody today.> I have a 29 gal. reef tank with (in order of their acquisition) 3 green Chromis, 1 orchid Dottyback, 1 bar goby and 1 coral beauty angel. Since adding the Coral Beauty, one of my green Chromis hangs out in the top corner of the tank, has lost coloration and does not seem "happy". His fellow Chromis come over to him and seem to try to nudge him into swimming with them, which he does occasionally, but mostly he just hangs out in the top corner of the tank. The fish are all healthy and my water has been tested by the pet store. The fish does not appear to have any signs of illness, but is obviously not feeling well. Can anyone help with what I should do? Should I take him out of the tank or get something to shield him from the rest of the fish? He seems to be ok physically... he eats a bit, looks a little thin to me... his fins are intact, although one is slightly ragged. I wonder if he is stressed from the new (Coral Beauty) fish, who is much more aggressive than any of my other fish, chasing the others about, but I do not know what to do for the poor little guy. Thanks, Diane < This tank is too small for the coral beauty and he will need to be removed. After the coral beauty is removed the Chromis should recover with good feeding and water conditions. This tank is already pretty well stocked as it is. Cody>

- Quarantine Issues - <Good morning, JasonC here...> I'm not sure what happened to this Green Chromis. He has been in the QT for two weeks and I noticed yesterday that he was swimming slightly off kilter. The QT is 10 gal with a bio wheel filter. The water specs are: Temp 26C (in the past two days it has ranged from 28 to 25) Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 0 Sp G 1.023 (was up to 1.027 a couple of days ago but I've been adding freshwater to bring it down) I do 20% water changes every other day with water from my main tank (same water specs but 27C). I thought he might have had HLLE because I could make out a black line from his head along his side to the tail. I noticed the line two days ago. He had not been eating as well as the other Chromis in the tank. The LFS told me that is such a small QT I should only feed them once every three days and only so much as they could eat in 3 minutes. <There is some truth to this - 10 gallons is a small system, and the salinity and temperature fluctuations will be more drastic in a tank of this size. Always be very careful to minimize the impact of such changes.> These are/were my first fish and I would sure like to keep this last one alive. <At this point it's probably safe to put the remaining fish in the main tank. The loss of this one Chromis was probably incidental, in other words not your fault, and now you know why quarantine can be useful.> I did notice that they looked a little blotchy but after I turned the canopy light on their colour came back so I figured it was nothing. This is the post mortem picture not sure if it helps. Jim <Sorry about your loss, but you are certainly on the right road... onward. Cheers, J -- >
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