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question about sick fish

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mykhals

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Messages
6
Location
Seattle
I have two true percula clownfish which have been in my 4 month old tank for approximately 3 weeks. Both of them seem sick, they spend most of the day swimming in one place together and they are not eating from what I can tell. For maybe a week now they are showing white/clear spots and clusters of spots all around their bodies. They look like they have been covered in powdered sugar. I also have two green chromis in the tank and they seem fine, they swim everywhere and they eat well. How can I tell whether they are suffering from ick/ich or from a bacterial infection? I don’t have a separate tank to treat the fish and I don’t want to poison my water with any chemicals or treatments because I have hermit crabs, snails, an anemone, a brittle star and what look like two healthy green chromis. What can I do? Thanks.

Michal
 

john

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 7, 2004
Messages
62
Location
Kirkland
I have a 5gal tank I bought a couple weeks ago you could borrow to medicate them pm me if you need it
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
mykhals - Welcome to Reef Frontiers!!!

Can you tell us a little bit about your system? size, equipment, etc. How are your water parameters? These questions may not solve the immediate need, but we can at least have a look at the system as a whole. If you can get the fish isolated, then you may have a better chance at treating them. Have the chromis been picking on them at all? When did the fish start to look ill (were they eating well when introduced)?
 

mykhals

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Messages
6
Location
Seattle
Nikki,

Thanks for your reply, I have a:

30 gallon (tall) seaclear tank
coralife 2x65watt power compact lighting (the hood has two moonlights)
an ebo-jager 150watt heater
a aquaclear 200 (most of the time I leave it running without carbon)
a bubbler under the gravel towards the back of the tank
about 30lbs of live rock
there are about 6 turbo snails, 3 snails that burrow under the gravel, 7 small hermit crabs, a rose anenome, 2 true percula clownfish, 2 green chromis, and a brittle star with gray and black bands throughout its frame.

As far as my water quality, my testing equipment is vague so I will have to give you approximations, 8.0 ph, 0mg/L ammonia, <.3mg/L nitrite, 0-12.5mg/L nitrate, gravity of 8, my salinity is 1.022-1.024.

About two weeks ago I noticed a white powder like patch on one of my clownfish and, about a week and a half ago that same fish started to show some spots (like sprinkled powdered sugar), about a week ago both my clownfish started to show powdered sugar like spots. The eating for both clownfish has varied, even between these past 3 weeks that I've had them, sometimes they eat well and sometimes they don't. They do not eat right now. On the other hand my two green chromis can't get enough to eat. And no in general the green chromis have not been picking at the clownfish, although a couple times I have seen them somewhat attack the clownfish if they are very near by for a prolonged period of time.

I guess what I want to know is, is there any chance they will heal on their own? What about introducing a cleaner shrimp to the tank, will that help the healing process? Also, how can I tell if I'm dealing with a bacterial infection and not ick/ich? Thanks.

Michal
 

fishermann

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Messages
670
Location
Searcy, Arkansas
You need to make sure your amon. and nitrites are 0, very important as to the fish being stressed. Get reliable test kits for those two things. Secondly if they quit eating altogether they most likely well have a bacterial thing going on. Healthy clowns well kick ich on there own most times but they have to keep eating. If they quit eating you can use Maracyn and Maracyn-two for SALT WATER safely with your inverts and it has Vit B added to stimulate the appitite. I have had good luck with these products and use them in my quarantine tank on new fish. Make sure you treat for the full 5 days even if they improve. These two products are wide sectrum antibiotics and well treat both gram pos. and neg. bacteria and you should see an improvement if not done to late. In the case of bacterial infections time is important. But back to the beginning the most important thing is to make sure your tank is in good order and clowns well not tolerate amon. or nitrites without stress. You should consider a protein skimmer also something like a AquaC Remora hang on one. If you don't like running carbon in your filter run some phosguard and purigen by sea chem. The purigen is a resin and won't remove trace elements like carbon. You can buy it already packaged in small bag. Be really careful about your feeding until you get a skimmer on the tank. Hope this helps.
 

Terry B

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
162
My first suspicion with clownfish is usually brooklynella. I doubt the fish have Amyloodinium (velvet) since the chromis don’t seem to be infected. I doubt that it is a bacterial infection since they are usually not contagious unless the water quality is extremely bad and then all the fish would be infected. Brooklynella can look like a white film or the skin peeling off. Ich (Cryptocaryon) looks more like distinct grains of salt on the fish. You should take a look at this article in my library:

http://www.marineaquariumadvice.com/formaldehyde_friend_or_foe.html

HTH,
Terry B
 
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