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Cultivated Reef

Firts time using QT on new fish (clownfish rapid breathing)


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I got a 1.5" juvenile black ice/snowflake clownfish from my LFS for a steal last week. Only five bucks more than an occelaris. Anyway, I set up a QT tank so that I can get in the habit of quarantining every new fish.


My setup:


10 gallon tank

HOB filter with filter floss that sat in DT sump for three weeks

50W heater

airstone with pump

PVC for hiding (clown doesn't care for them)

Ammonia Alert


QT process:

Week 1: Prazipro with 1-2 gallon water changes every 2-3 days

50% water change

Week 2: Cupramine

50% water change

Week 3: Cupramine

Off to DT


Ammonia: 0

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: undetectable

PH: 8.0


So the clown has been in for a week tomorrow and he seems to be doing fine. No signs of ich or any other physical issues. He eats like a pig. I have done 1-2 gallon water changes every 2-3 days out of paranoia. The Ammonia Alert patch has never changed from yellow (<0.02ppm). I have been testing for nitrates and ammonia using API tests and both have read zero every time (except the stupid ammonia tests have that infamous light green zero reading some days). It seems odd to me that everything is 0. I have never used the ammonia alert before, so I do not know how reliable it is.


What makes me somewhat worried about the clown is that it seem to be breathing quickly. He opens and closes his mouth just a tiny bit each breath. It generally stays in the same place every day. Right in the middle of the tank about a half inch above the bottom. It goes nuts when I feed it though. What is a normal breathing rate for a clownfish? Does this behavior seem somewhat typical for a clown in a bare bottom QT?

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