Sick Clown

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rileyrayne

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Hey everyone. I asked on other forums but haven't really gotten any help, so I'm really hoping you guys will know what's wrong.


I bought two tankbred false perc juveniles about 5-6 months ago. After about 1-2 months of having them, one of the clowns started hiding almost all day, and when he would come out, he seemed easily spooked and would swim in crazy circles then dart back to his hiding cave. His appetite slowed down, too. I asked for help in many places but no one could pinpoint what was wrong and suggested to do a simple freshwater dip until we could correctly diagnose it, but by then I noticed that the clown was unable to stay upright and would lay on his side, being blown around by the powerheads. I did the dip, waited for a while, saw that it wasn't getting better and put down the fish. No discoloration, no white/black blotches, no physical signs of illness at all - only the spazzed circles and hiding.

Since then everything has been going well with the remaining clown, and I even bought her a new mate who she's been with for about 1 1/2 months. However, today I noticed the older, remaining clownfish is starting to do the circular sporadic movements. I first saw it this morning - she stays in the bottom under the powerhead, comes out every so often but then usually swims in the quick circles/whirls and darts back to the powerhead. I fed her this morning and she seemed to perk up a bit. However, right now (9:30pm here) she's seems to be getting progressively worse - hiding more, doing the movements more frequently and floating more on her side.

So please, if anyone has any idea what could be happening, please let me know. I was told on another forum to do a formalin dip, but would that do more harm than good? Everything else in the tank is fine, water parameters are all good, I'm stumped
 

inuyasha_lover_21

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whats is your salinity,PH, Nitirit, Nitrate and ammonia levels. Also has anything changed with your salinity and temps or PH?
 

lolagurl

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I am no help...but if you still can't find any help, call your local fish store. They would know all about the clown fish ( i hope) if you got it from there. Im sure they would know whats wrong and probably feel obligated to try to help you out..I hope someone with more experience for you replies though :-[..i love clown fish
 
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rileyrayne

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inuyasha_lover_21 said:
whats is your salinity,PH, Nitirit, Nitrate and ammonia levels. Also has anything changed with your salinity and temps or PH?
Salinity: 1.024
PH: 8.0 (I know it's a little low but at least it's been consistantly stable)
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: <5
Temperature: 80F throughout the day, 79F - 79.5F at night

The levels above are stable. I topoff a little every day and make sure the salinity is consistant and the temp never has any drastic swing.


lolagurl said:
I am no help...but if you still can't find any help, call your local fish store. They would know all about the clown fish ( i hope) if you got it from there. Im sure they would know whats wrong and probably feel obligated to try to help you out..I hope someone with more experience for you replies though ..i love clown fish
Actually the two clowns I've had problems with (the current sick one and her former mate) both came from a store I don't go to anymore because I caught them making some stupid mistakes with livestock. The healthy clown I have right now came from my current local fish store  :-\
 

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OK ... Let's start with food. What have you been feeding your clowns ? Have you changed their diet lately ? Do you give them marine vitamins ?
A fish doing circles and hanging out by the powerheads is not a good sign !

How ofter do you do water changes ? What type of water, tap or RO/DI ?
Are there any other tank mates affected, acting the same way ?
 
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rileyrayne

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agsansoo said:
OK ... Let's start with food. What have you been feeding your clowns ? Have you changed their diet lately ? Do you give them marine vitamins ?
A fish doing circles and hanging out by the powerheads is not a good sign !

How ofter do you do water changes ? What type of water, tap or RO/DI ?
Are there any other tank mates affected, acting the same way ?
I feed one of the following foods every day: formula one pellets, spirulina flake, frozen mysis, and enriched frozen brine. I lean more towards the pellets and flake, feed mysis about 2-3 times a week and the brine once every 1 or 1 1/2 weeks. I've looked for multi-vitamins but unfortunately none of my LFS carries anything except Kent Marine C, so I picked up some of that about 4 months ago and dose a little every other day.

I do about a 20% water change every week, never any later than that. RO water with Reef Crystals. The only other tankmates are the younger clown, cleaner shrimp, porcelain crab, snails and hermits and various corals. None of them are acting this way, in fact the only two fish I've EVER had act this way are the two clowns I bought from a place I don't shop at anymore.
 

agsansoo

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OK ... I'm stumped.
If it's not water, food, parasites, bacteria or other meaner fish. ??? What's left ?

What size is your tank ?
Do you have FO , FOWLR or reef ?
 
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rileyrayne

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agsansoo said:
OK ... I'm stumped.
If it's not water, food, parasites, bacteria or other meaner fish.  ???  What's left ?

What size is your tank ?
Do you have FO , FOWLR or reef ?
15 Gallon nano reef, been up for a little over half a year now. The clowns have always gotten along very well, never had a problem with the hermits or corals either, so I'm stumped too. But the fact that the only problems I've had were with two clowns that I got from a different store makes me wonder if it could be the way that the clowns were raised that is causing this? I've heard some horror stories of wholesalers using some bad chemicals to help the growth rate of fish so could it be possible that the fish were exposed to something that effects them like this down the road?

UPDATE: The fish wasn't able to stay upright and continued whirling around and hitting the glass/rocks, so I did an emergency formalin dip and placed it in a quarantine tank and it seems to be doing a little better - it's calm at least.
 

inuyasha_lover_21

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I just think its the store you bought from. Do you know if the fish was tank bred or wild caught?
 

inuyasha_lover_21

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Read this info. I have not bought from this guy as of yet.
 

lolagurl

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I really think..even if the fish store is no good you should call them. Chances are if those clown fish both acted like that they have had the same problem wit their clown fish in their store tanks. If they act like they never heard of your situation before dont listen to their advice. But something tells me they had, meaning a loss of alot of money they probably figured out a answer to these clown fish
 
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rileyrayne

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inuyasha_lover_21 said:
Read this info. I have not bought from this guy as of yet.
VERY interesting info. Problem is both of my "problem clowns" were tank bred, or so they say. They were the last two fish of a large group of about 20. Do you think it's possible that another chemical could have been used on the fish? Or maybe I could have been lied to and they were wild caught? I just have a feeling that some sort of foul play was involved. My healthy clown is from the store I currently go to, tank bred, looks great (no torn/nipped fins, great color) and has always been VERY outgoing.

lolagurl said:
I really think..even if the fish store is no good you should call them. Chances are if those clown fish both acted like that they have had the same problem wit their clown fish in their store tanks. If they act like they never heard of your situation before dont listen to their advice. But something tells me they had, meaning a  loss of alot of money they probably figured out a answer to these clown fish
I'll call them tomorrow and ask, but I got the two fish from them months ago. I stopped going there because - long story short - I realized they couldn't answer nearly any of my questions and they screwed up a livestock order I made with them.


UPDATE: I called the store just a bit ago, talked to the manager, and he said, "I THINK we get our ocellaris clowns from a place in Florida maybe." I asked if he knew the company name and he said "uhh, ORA?" So that already concerned me that he was unsure of where he gets his livestock. Then I nicely explained my problem and asked if any other customers had similar issues and he flat out said that my "poor water quality" is to blame and said that his "business with other customers does not concern me."

I went to the ORA website https://www.orafarm.com/clownfish_species.html and they say "The regular size (1.5 inches) False Perculas sold by ORA are about 6-8 months old, the large size (over 2 inches) are about a year old." So that concerns me because the two clowns I purchased from this place were VERY tiny, I mean a little bit less than an inch. I also remember asking how old they were and an employee said they were "only a couple of months old." The current sick clown is 1 1/2 inches in length and I've had him for 5 months or so?
 

lolagurl

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hmmm..not much help eh? at least you asked. I honestly don tlike people who work at the fish store..how is he now?
 
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rileyrayne

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lolagurl said:
hmmm..not much help eh? at least you asked. I honestly don tlike people who work at the fish store..how is he now?
Still the same - eating but not getting any better. I was searching WetWebMedia.com and FINALLY found someone who was having the same exact issues with one of their clowns, and Bob Fenner (popular marine biologist that answers questions from hobbyists) said it doesn't sound like any disease he's ever heard of, but did say that fish, unlike mammals, can be born with genetic conditions or disorders that don't show up until much later in life and will have to put up with it from there on.

I've asked and searched all over and nothing leads to any specific disease, so I'm guessing that my fish is an example of the above paragraph. But I'm going to hope that this is something that can be fixed and I'll do my best to nurse her back. If she doesn't look any better within a week or shows signs of getting worse I'll euthanize her. :'(
 

inuyasha_lover_21

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Try this site before you do anything.
 

inuyasha_lover_21

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Any updateon the clown?
 
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rileyrayne

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inuyasha_lover_21 said:
Any updateon the clown?
Well she didn't get any better in the quarantine tank and I was out of ideas, but I didn't want to put him down. So I just decided to put him back in the main tank because his mate had been acting very depressed since I separated them. Sounds like a pretty dumb idea, but the fish seems a LOT better (knock on wood).

The first couple of days she was still swimming in crazy circles but for the past 5 days or so she has been acting VERY healthy... The only time she does the movement is when I shut off the daylights and gets spooked, but it only lasts a fraction of a second. She's eating very well, breathing normal, she's able to stay perfectly balanced and she's even swimming across the entire tank - whereas before this whole thing started happening, she basically stayed in her little territory on the right side and wouldn't venture too far from it. Two nights ago she decided that she wanted to swim as fast as she could back and forth from one side of the tank to the other for an hour or two and that was pretty weird to watch but it doesn't seem like anything to be alarmed over.

It's really weird but right now she seems healthier and more active than ever before... So I'm going to keep my fingers crossed and hope that whatever it was doesn't come back.

Thanks for all the help, everyone, and I'll post some updates if anything comes up!
 

inuyasha_lover_21

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Thas good news. I hope I dont jynx it. That is so weird how she got better. I hope everything goes well
 
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