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vanishing jaw fish


Virgil Ann Maderich

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Virgil Ann Maderich

Hi,

I have a 21gal via aqua with a 10gal sump. My pH is 8.1 (afternoon), temp 75*, nitrates nearly 0, salinity 1.023.

I have had a yellow head jawfish in my tank for about 2 years. He has thrived and grew to nearly 4 inches. He has been sharing his burrow with a high fin banded gobie for about 6 months. About a week ago he didn't come out for breakfast (I feed hykari mysis enhanced with vibrance, kent zoe and garlic).

I saw him at the mouth of a secondary hiding place and he appeared to be breathing rapidly. He did not come out and eat. Since that time I have not seem him at all. He had disappeared once before for a few days about a year ago so I wasn't that concerned at first. Also, the mouth of his tunnel seems to be rearranged from time to time. The gobie appears every few days to eat. I'm not sure if the jawfish has died inside his tunnel and I don't know what to do. To access the tunnel I would have to remove much of my live rock and to be quite honest, I am grossed out about finding a fish that size dead after a week. Do Jawfish come out before they die? If not, how much damage would it do to the tank if the critters took care of him?

I also have an orange spotted blennie and one seahorse in the tank. They seem fine.

Also, my pumping xenia is taking over the tank. Could it be depleting something from the water which might have stressed the jawfish?

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fish n' pets

Have you tested for ammonia? If the jawfish is dead, you would have had an ammonia spike, and since your other fish (and seahorses are really sensitive) and xenia are fine, i don't think that is the case. I seriously doubt the xenia is depleting something from the water that would stress out a jawfish. He could, however, be sick. To catch him, you might have to poke around to get him out, then net him and put him in an isolation tank before it spreads. I am not really sure, though. The gasping makes me think that might be the problem, though.

 

 

If you do want to make your xenia smaller, you could frag it, then sell it!

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Virgil Ann Maderich

I will check for the ammonia today.

Nothing has really changed in my tank that might have made him sick. Tomorrow I will poke around for him, though his burrow his so deep that I can't imagine where he might be. Does anyone know if jawfish come out when they are sick and dying? Other posts I've read regarding jawfish have mentioned that when they get sick they come out. I don't think I will ever put another fish in my tank that hides. He has been great fun but this episode has been pretty stressful.

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Cuba Libre

Does your tank have an open top? My jaw fish has jumped out a couple of times (I've always managed to out him back in in time).

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Virgil Ann Maderich
Does your tank have an open top? My jaw fish has jumped out a couple of times (I've always managed to out him back in in time).

No, I actually made a top for it after I lost the cutest scooter blenny. As I haven't seen him in over a week I'm sure he is dead or nearly so. It is frustrating that I can't even see a part of him anywhere! I can't imagine what might have happened to him. He was very healthy until this disappearing act. As much fun as I had with him, I think I am done with jawfish.

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Virgil Ann Maderich
If he's still alive you can send him to me ~_^ :P

If he's still alive, it's a miracle I think as I haven't seen him in 10 days. I did check my ammonia levels and they are fine. My hi fin banded gobie is loving this, though. He is now always at the front of the tunnel looking for food. Truthfully, the gobie would disappear for weeks at a time but I don't think the jawfish will be as lucky!

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DementedLullaby

I'll be hoping for the best :). I hope the little guy is okay! I just love jawfish they're so cute!!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Grandfinale03
Does your tank have an open top? My jaw fish has jumped out a couple of times (I've always managed to out him back in in time).

 

 

I agree about the open-top. I know I was going to buy one when I had a bigger tank but didnt have a canopy yet, and my friend told me about how his died by getting startled and jumping out of the tank. Hopefully he's in a burrow though. Good luck!

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