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empresto

Clownfish Sudden Illness - Any Ideas What This Might Be?

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So, less than two hours ago, I walked past my tank and everything and everyone was acting normal.  An hour later (about 20 minutes ago), I come back past the tank and find my smaller of my two clownfish lying on the sand with the other one swimming above it and fanning it with its tail.  Never seen that behavior before so thought, 'Hmm... new ritual for them.'  However, then the smaller one starts swimming along the sand bed and kind of bumping into things and acting super weird.  It finally found a spot next to the LR where the flow wasn't strong and has been sitting there ever since, breathing hard.  Other fish are acting normal (other clown and a tail spot blenny).

 

There doesn't seem to be any coloration issues on the afflicted clown, though he is a bit hard to see where he is located.  Seems to be breathing pretty fast, but not that much faster than the other one which is acting more or less normal.

 

Checked main water parameters (SG 1.025, dKh 7.6, pH 8.2, Ca 450, Mg 1240, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrates 0.75, temp 78.4F).  Nothing has changed in my maintenance routine in a couple months.  Nothing new has been added to the tank since September.  A monthish ago I removed some frags and a Blue Neon Goby from this tank to my QT.  Currently there is a bit of purple film algae growing in one part of the sand bed, but I've had that come and go now and then, usually after removing a large chunk of Cheato from the fuge, which was done not that long ago.

 

Anyone have an idea on this one?  Only think I can come up with was some aggression from the other clown.  Thanks in advance!

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It’s pretty unusual for the female clownfish to fan the male with her tail. How close are they in size? Me thInks they might be fighting.

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I have seen similar behavior between submissive male and more aggressive by nature female Clownfish. But I’m not saying that’s what you’re dealing with. If this behavior continues, I would rule out forplay and start worrying. Domination power play might be brutal at times but it ends eventually ..... with sporadical reminding chase, nibble or fanning. 

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Thanks for the responses.

 

That was the only thing I could come up with as well.  Catching him was easy...  I put him in a specimen box so he'd be isolated for a while.  I was also then able to see what I'm assuming are injuries from the female.

 

As for their size, my female is roughly double the size of my male.  I got him in August from ORA after having had the female since February.  They have been in the tank together since September (had him in QT for a couple weeks to make sure he wasn't sick, etc...) and I haven't seen anything more than some jockeying for food at feeding time before this.

 

Looks like he might not make it, to be honest.  He's just lying on his side in the specimen container, breathing pretty slowly now.  You can see what looks like injuries on his head in the first picture.  In the second one, that bit of discoloration you see on the pectoral fin is in the shape of a bit mark and the ends of the fin are quite frayed.  I guess it is always a risk to keep two, even if they are of the right sizes, current genders, etc...

 

At any rate, this went way to fast for it to have been some illness, right?  And the tail fanning of the female seems a dead give away; red handed/finned, you might say.

 

Head injuries

1692957012_WP_20181206_15_09_43_Pro1.jpg.5ae6b88e6367a1e160b20395b94114ab.jpg

 

Fin injuries

204664235_WP_20181206_15_14_48_Pro1.jpg.17616607f7c12279123d9fed191c0295.jpg

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If you have iodine on hand, you might want to give him a dip to prevent chance of infection. If the holding box is at the top of your tank, you can try to place something on top of it to give him some comforting shade. Next 12-24hrs will show if he’s going to make it or not. Then (if he makes it), I would take him back to your LFS or give him away to fellow hobbyist where he might find a less stressful home. 

 

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Brooklynella (and velvet) can kill clownfish pretty quickly, but both should be showing symptoms if that were the case.

 

If he dies, drop the body in freshwater (tap is fine) to check for flukes:

 

1459813183075.thumb.jpg.0519387bdae6b4c9ff7ce9b3e7a5f92b.jpg

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Thanks.  I've been luck enough to never have flukes, brooklynella or velvet in my tanks before.  Are those the flukes in the picture you shared @Humblefish?

 

Unfortunately, it seems he's passed.  No response to stimulus and no gill movement either.  Is it really possible for brooklynella or velvet to go from no symptoms to dead fish in under two hours?  What would I check for on the other one?  I would suppose that the blenny is at risk with these diseases too?

 

I also would find it most interesting to get a disease in the tank when nothing new has been added for 3 months.  Does that happen often?

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@empresto The photo shows what flukes look like in freshwater after they have dropped off the fish.

 

I wouldn't panic and assume disease just yet. It seems more likely that the female killed him at this point. However, many diseases can remain latent and fish can be asymptomatic until something changes which stresses their immune system.

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Thanks for all the help y'all!  Sucks to lose a fish, but helps to have others to talk it through with.

 

I put the body in fresh water and nothing came off, even after about 10 minutes.  All the places that look different than healthy fish could very easily be bite marks/injuries.  Nothing resembling velvet or flukes at all.

 

Meanwhile, my murder suspect who's still swimming happily in the tank is acting like she'd like a treat for her actions.

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So sorry to hear about the loss.

 

I had to separate a pair because the female was brutal. If her mate attempted to not hide in the rocks, he got beat up.

 

She must have been quite the bully cause even the shrimp hid.

 

I traded her in and the Male is very social now and my shrimp actually comes out.

 

My other pair have been great together from the minute they met.

 

It really depends on the fish.

 

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23 minutes ago, empresto said:

Thanks for all the help y'all!  Sucks to lose a fish, but helps to have others to talk it through with.

 

I put the body in fresh water and nothing came off, even after about 10 minutes.  All the places that look different than healthy fish could very easily be bite marks/injuries.  Nothing resembling velvet or flukes at all.

 

Meanwhile, my murder suspect who's still swimming happily in the tank is acting like she'd like a treat for her actions.

Not all females are sweethearts. 😏

Let her die alone as a reward. 

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