Clownfish dying

conniet
  • #1
Hi
I have a 20 gallon salt tank, have had white specs floating in the water for a while now, did almost full water change 1 1/2 weeks ago new filters and all. the water tests are all good no ammonia, no nitrates etc but woke up to one dead clown yesterday morning and another little fella dead this morning with 1 more looking weak at the knees. Tank population was 4 small clowns and 1 blue damsel. The clowns appear to be breathing hard, open mouths, no evidence of white substance on their bodies. I had a LTA up until 2-3 weeks ago but removed him do to some disturbing behavior which I thought he was dying.........gave to BIL who has 55 gal. tank and he is doing fine there. Anyone can help ?? Can email me directly at Thanks
 
fishrule101
  • #2
Maybe the clowns fought each other. You do have to many clowns for a 20. How is your SG?
 
conniet
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I had the water tested again this afternoon and everything is withing normal range........got home to find one more clown dead....now there is only 1 blue damsel and 1 clown. Have had the tank set up since April with 5 clowns and 1 damsel but the clowns are dying withing the last 2 days.
 
Tumbleweed
  • #4
Have you made any recent changes to the tank? What are the numbers for the readings? What is the water temperature?
 
Shawnie
  • #5
I'm sorry for your fishies dieing but cleaning EVERYTHING may have put it into a minI cycle...I'm no sw expert, but don't trust your LFS for telling you the water is good....I'm sure some sw experts will help a lot but I'm thinking the full cleaning of the filter etc may have done more harm then good
 
conniet
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Thank you Shawnie I think you may be right. I have had these small white particles floating for weeks now which even with the water change didn't go away, almost looks as if it is snowing in the tank?? They said at the LFS to make a water change about once a month ?? Is this normal. My BIL has a 55 gallon tank has had it set up about 8 months or more I don't think he has ever done a water change like I was advised to do. With the exception of his choco chip starfish eating things his fish do great
 
sgould
  • #7
IMO, once a month is not often enough for a water change. I think at least every 2 weeks, but I actually prefer weekly. What kind of filtration are you running on the tank?
 
Tumbleweed
  • #8
I do a weekly 10% water change in my tank. As for the snow you might have excess calcium in the tank which causes that problem. I would purchase a salt water and reef test kit so you can test teh water your self. Get the numbers for what your water actually is.
 
mollieMollie
  • #9
I couldn't e-mail but I can tell you here! It could possibly be parasites. If you could send in a picture it might help! P.S. sorry about your fish
 
Shawnie
  • #10
sorry for your fishies passing ...I'm not a sw person but I'm thinking you changing out the filters and cleaning too much might have put you into a cycle which caused ammonia or nitrites..not having any nitrates means it maybe not have cycled to begin with....and the white specs might be from the water not having enough movement..I'm sure a sw expert will be along and have more info...
 
varder
  • #11
sorry for your fishies passing ...I'm not a sw person but I'm thinking you changing out the filters and cleaning too much might have put you into a cycle which caused ammonia or nitrites..not having any nitrates means it maybe not have cycled to begin with....and the white specs might be from the water not having enough movement..I'm sure a sw expert will be along and have more info...

I think the same as Shawnie said, the tank might have not cycled, testing the water should help you determine if it has cycled or if it has even started.

I hope everything turns out fine!!! Good luck!
 
fot80
  • #12
I have a recent fluval evo 13.5 build. The tank has fully cycled. I initially had 2 clownfish and a diamond goby (after a fishless cycle). The first clownfish lasted a week, and the second lasted 2. After another two weeks, I added two more. They both died within two weeks. This time, I noticed ich. I set up a hospital to try to save the fourth one, but was unsuccessful. The goby has survived all this time with a healthy appetite, good appearance, and normal behavior. I can't see any ich on him, but his color would probably mask any signs of ich. Also, none of the snails or crabs seem to have died. Ammonia is testing 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 5-10. Ph has been hovering around 8.2 with little fluctuation in either direction. Temperature has been steady at 78 + or - a half degree or so. I have only used ro water. I have not tested phosphates yet, as I have added no corals yet, but I am running phosguard as well as chemipure blue. Also, I have not tested oxygen as I don't have a kit yet (just ordered). But, I am running an air skimmer, plus I have the nozzle aimed to break the surface a bit. I doubt oxygen is an issue, but I did notice the clownfish staying to the top, but I believe this is because of the ich.

Is the ich alone killing my fish, or is there a source in the tank that makes them more susceptible to the ich? I have heard so much conflicting information. One source of information I keep hearing is that if I have an otherwise stress free andhealthy tank (parameter wise), the fish will fight off ich or not get it in the first place. What am I doing wrong!? I have assumed that these deaths are entirely due to ich. I have moved the goby to the hospital tank and running the primary tank fishless for a month.

I forgot to mention that I've been keeping my salinity at 1.025 and have been doing weekly 10% water changes using reef crystals. Alkalinity has been testing around 150.
 
Nathanandben
  • #13
I have a recent fluval evo 13.5 build. The tank has fully cycled. I initially had 2 clownfish and a diamond goby (after a fishless cycle). The first clownfish lasted a week, and the second lasted 2. After another two weeks, I added two more. They both died within two weeks. This time, I noticed ich. I set up a hospital to try to save the fourth one, but was unsuccessful. The goby has survived all this time with a healthy appetite, good appearance, and normal behavior. I can't see any ich on him, but his color would probably mask any signs of ich. Also, none of the snails or crabs seem to have died. Ammonia is testing 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 5-10. Ph has been hovering around 8.2 with little fluctuation in either direction. Temperature has been steady at 78 + or - a half degree or so. I have only used ro water. I have not tested phosphates yet, as I have added no corals yet, but I am running phosguard as well as chemipure blue. Also, I have not tested oxygen as I don't have a kit yet (just ordered). But, I am running an air skimmer, plus I have the nozzle aimed to break the surface a bit. I doubt oxygen is an issue, but I did notice the clownfish staying to the top, but I believe this is because of the ich.

Is the ich alone killing my fish, or is there a source in the tank that makes them more susceptible to the ich? I have heard so much conflicting information. One source of information I keep hearing is that if I have an otherwise stress free andhealthy tank (parameter wise), the fish will fight off ich or not get it in the first place. What am I doing wrong!? I have assumed that these deaths are entirely due to ich. I have moved the goby to the hospital tank and running the primary tank fishless for a month.

I forgot to mention that I've been keeping my salinity at 1.025 and have been doing weekly 10% water changes using reef crystals. Alkalinity has been testing around 150.
I am no Saltwater expert but I would look into water flow, and I'd do more than a 10 percent weekly water change. From what I have read, water flow is very important and so is live rock.
 
fot80
  • #14
I have a circulation pump in the tank to aid in the flow of the tank. There seems to be a decemt amount of flow. Also, I have 20 pounds of live rock and 2 onches of live sand.
 
thesoulpatch
  • #15
Nart stella1979 Nanologist Culprit LJC6780
 
Nanologist
  • #16
Have they all come from the same source?
 
fot80
  • #17
Have they all come from the same source?
3 did from liveaquaria.. Fourth one was from petco.
 
Culprit
  • #18
Hmmmm it could be weak stock. Are there local fish stores near you because I would trust them far more then liveaquaria or petco
 
fot80
  • #19
Hmmmm it could be weak stock. Are there local fish stores near you because I would trust them far more then liveaquaria or petco
There are. I will wait a month however. I do know that my tank has ich. From what I've read, 4 weeks without a host will kill ich. Then once I buy clownfish, I'll keep them in the quarantine tank for 2 weeks.

Ev
Hmmmm it could be weak stock. Are there local fish stores near you because I would trust them far more then liveaquaria or petco
Even with the ich, I must be doing something wrong.
 
Nanologist
  • #20
It sounds like the first ones brought in ich and generally most livestock shipped are well stressed by arrival, so they didn't fare well to fighting it off.

Regardless, I would go ahead and let the tank go fallow for 8-10 weeks while you treat the goby for ich in a QT.

There may be nothing wrong with your system besides the ich having the supply of weakened/stressed clownfish. Stressed out fish are high at risk of getting ich.

You're not the first to get stressed clownfish with ich from either of those suppliers. Hopefully you got a refund for some still under the 14 day guarantee.
 
fot80
  • #21
Thanks for the advice. This hobby can be aggravating. My guess is that it being so cold outside weakened the fish during shipping. Then the ich multiplied like cockroaches with two weak hosts. From what I've read, gobies are super strong so he's not a good indicator one way or another of what's wrong. So 10 weeks should be enough to kill the icu with no host? I'm not going to be running medicine in the primary tank since its going to be a coral tank down the road. Freshwater, saltwater, brackish.....seems clownfish have been my biggest challenge.
 
stella1979
  • #22
Good advice already, but I just wanted to say I'm sorry you've had such bad luck. It can really turn people off the hobby so I'm glad to hear that you are persisting. The plan to let the tank go fallow and qt the goby and any new fish sounds like a good one. I agree with Nanologist though, the fallow period should be about 10 weeks, and quarantining should be for a month. Gobies are resistant to parasites, so he is not a good indicator. I would wonder about his ability to carry ich back into the display tank though, so I would research further and probably treat him for ich anyway.
 
fot80
  • #23
Good advice already, but I just wanted to say I'm sorry you've had such bad luck. It can really turn people off the hobby so I'm glad to hear that you are persisting. The plan to let the tank go fallow and qt the goby and any new fish sounds like a good one. I agree with Nanologist though, the fallow period should be about 10 weeks, and quarantining should be for a month. Gobies are resistant to parasites, so he is not a good indicator. I would wonder about his ability to carry ich back into the display tank though, so I would research further and probably treat him for ich anyway.
I'm going to pretend he's an asymptomatic carrier and quarantine him. I will maybe use cupramine for 2 weeks and then monitor him. My first saltwater tank is a clown goby tank and those guys are hardy! Plus, I find them cute.
 
Nanologist
  • #24
Almost forgot to say it also helps to turn the tank temp up to 83-86 to help speed the ich's life cycle up. Even higher to 89 if there's no major CUC or anything.
 
fot80
  • #25
Almost forgot to say it also helps to turn the tank temp up to 83-86 to help speed the ich's life cycle up. Even higher to 89 if there's no major CUC or anything.
I do have some hermit crabs and snails. I don't know what the max temperature would be for them. No shrimp or emerald crabs. I do want to keep most of them alive as I feel they will keep a cycle going.

Forgot to ask. Snails and crabs shouldn't keep the icu alive, correct?
 
Jesterrace
  • #26
You mean the ich? If so, then no. It require fish gills to survive for any length of time. I feel your pain as I had a Male Melanurus Wrasse that got ich and died about 5-6 weeks ago. He went really fast but my other two fish (young Melanurus Wrasse and Diamond Watchman Goby) have been fine. I did feed them some Kent's Garlic for a couple of weeks to try and boost their immune systems. I agree that a dedicated LFS is best. Too many things to wrong in shipping and if you have a dedicated LFS they tend to do things like use copper in their holding tanks to help keep ich to a minimum.
 
SecretiveFish
  • #27
... So 10 weeks should be enough to kill the icu with no host? I'm not going to be running medicine in the primary tank since its going to be a coral tank down the road.

Unfortunately, you need to leave your tank fallow for 12 weeks. I jumped the gun (advised to do 12 weeks) and added my fish back to the display tank after 10 weeks, and the ich came back quickly. I then had to remove, retreat, and leave the tank fallow for 12 weeks. That time the ich did not come back.

I'm going to pretend he's an asymptomatic carrier and quarantine him. I will maybe use cupramine for 2 weeks and then monitor him.

I definitely would treat and would advise using a half dose of Cupramine for 30 days. IMHO it would not be worth risking re-infecting your tank after leaving it fishless for 12 weeks!!!

In case you did not know, NEVER use Prime with Cupramine (I didn't know and killed one of my fish). I did the recommendation on the bottle and the ich came back. I asked for help on reef central, and experienced people said to do the 30 days at half dose. The ich did not come back in the treatment tank after this.


Even with the ich, I must be doing something wrong.

I don't think so. It seems like you are being sold weak animals that can't survive any infection or subsequent treatment. EVERY time I have gone into Petco, the marine fish have ich. I would strongly advise not to buy anything from there. Ich can be transferred even on a snail or coral (I got marine velvet from a coral frag) so do not buy anything from tanks showing symptoms.

Don't give up! You can get this figured out. If you can't find local sources of clownfish, I would check out the captive bred ones on cultivatedreef.com. I have purchased lots of fish from LiveAquaria with mixed results. Sometimes the fish come in and do well but other times not so much... The 2 ocellaris clowfish I have were captive bred ones sold by LiveAquaria, unfortunately lost both of their mates so they are singles. One got too cold during shipment and died shortly after.

Gobies are one of my favorites! They look like grumpy old men.
 
fot80
  • #28
Unfortunately, you need to leave your tank fallow for 12 weeks. I jumped the gun (advised to do 12 weeks) and added my fish back to the display tank after 10 weeks, and the ich came back quickly. I then had to remove, retreat, and leave the tank fallow for 12 weeks. That time the ich did not come back.



I definitely would treat and would advise using a half dose of Cupramine for 30 days. IMHO it would not be worth risking re-infecting your tank after leaving it fishless for 12 weeks!!!

In case you did not know, NEVER use Prime with Cupramine (I didn't know and killed one of my fish). I did the recommendation on the bottle and the ich came back. I asked for help on reef central, and experienced people said to do the 30 days at half dose. The ich did not come back in the treatment tank after this.




I don't think so. It seems like you are being sold weak animals that can't survive any infection or subsequent treatment. EVERY time I have gone into Petco, the marine fish have ich. I would strongly advise not to buy anything from there. Ich can be transferred even on a snail or coral (I got marine velvet from a coral frag) so do not buy anything from tanks showing symptoms.

Don't give up! You can get this figured out. If you can't find local sources of clownfish, I would check out the captive bred ones on cultivatedreef.com. I have purchased lots of fish from LiveAquaria with mixed results. Sometimes the fish come in and do well but other times not so much... The 2 ocellaris clowfish I have were captive bred ones sold by LiveAquaria, unfortunately lost both of their mates so they are singles. One got too cold during shipment and died shortly after.

Gobies are one of my favorites! They look like grumpy old men.


Wow! I have a green clown goby and there is no better way to describe his demeanor and look than a grumpy old man! Thanks for the advice. I'm fairly new to saltwater, but have been doing freshwater for years. One thing I am to blame for is not having a quarantine tank! I just set up a freshwater and saltwater quarantine tank. I'm starting to think I will isolate ALL new arrivals in the quarantine tank prior to them going into the main tank. Thanks for the advice or running cupramine. I will do exactly as you describe.
 
Jesterrace
  • #29
I agree with the comments here about petco. Every saltwater fish I have seen from there looks absolutely horrible, the tanks look nasty and the live rock is infested with creepy crawlies (not all of them good). That and many other LFS are actually cheaper. I saw a sick looking purple firefish with very faded colors at Petco that they wanted $40 for. I went to my LFS and got a beautiful vibrant colored Purple Firefish for $25.
 

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