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sick clown fish - hasn't eaten in 3 days

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mattseattle

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Jul 15, 2003
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my clown fish hasn't eaten in about 3 days. i've been doing research trying to determine what's wrong with her and i'm still not sure what i should do for treatment.

i fed the tank some rather large mysis shrimp the other day. my clown fish took a whole one in and the tail was just barely sticking out. that was the only thing it ate that whole meal. since then she hasn't eaten anything. she has been lying in her host anemone since then. i mean she swims around sometimes but not like she did before. today i turned off all the pumps to see if she was weak or what. she doesn't even come to the top of the tank when i open it like she used to. i fed the tank just a little bit ago and still nothing. i read about white stringy feces and tonight i did notice that this is happening. at least i'm assuming it is. it was off white and a tad stringy. took a while to get it all out. pretty wild watching a fish doing this :)

i read about doing formalin dips and adding Pipzine to the food and/or to the dip water. i don't have a QT tank nor have the ability to set one up. So to do these dips I thought I could use my water change container which is a 25 gallon container. also if need be i could use this at my QT tank and just do regular water changes during the course of the treatment.

what do you guys recommend? as far as medications, etc?
 

Alice

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Jul 18, 2003
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I think I'd wait another day or two and see if whatever is ailing her clears up on its' own. You really don't have anything specific to treat for and the stress of being caught and put in the QT may outweigh the benefits from any med you try, especially if it isn't the right med and doesn't address the problem.

If it was an especially large mysis, she may be having trouble passing the carapace. Fish do get constipated.

How big is your clown? Is it big enough to already be a she or is it possibly changing sex? Not all single clowns in an aquarium will change sex, but a good many do. My maroon clown went through some odd behavior and symptoms before she became a female. (No comments from the peanut gallery, LOL)

Keep us updated, Matt.
 

mattseattle

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Alice,
Thanks for the thorough reply. My clown is about 2 - 2.25" inches long. I guess it may not be a she and still may be an it! :) who knows.....but she is the only fish i have except for a goby. both fish i've had for 2 - 3 months and i haven't added anything but a candy cane coral since getting the fish. so i didn't know how a parasite could've made it into the tank.

i just fed her and she ate like a pig again. hopefully it was just constipation. not that i wish that on anyone but it's better than internal parasites, i'm sure. i'll just keep a watch on her/him and see how she does.

thanks again for the information and the help.
matt
 

cdeakle

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Lynnwood, WA
"If it was an especially large mysis, she may be having trouble passing the carapace. Fish do get constipated."

That would have been my guess as well. Used to happen to my female maroon.....
 

mattseattle

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thanks for the help. it seems as though that was exactly what was wrong. she still seems fine today. it's almost feeding time so we'll see how she does today.
 

cwis24

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Feb 17, 2006
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My Clown Fish is experiencing a simiular situation this week
I hope it the same thing :)
 

NaH2O

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cwis24 - Welcome to Reef Frontiers!!!

How long have you had the clown? What do you feed? How long has your clown gone without eating?
 

cwis24

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Feb 17, 2006
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Clown Fish Help

I have a 75 gallon tank, currently i have about 50 pounds of live rock,
A yellow Tank, a hippo tang, a gobi (yellowhead with small blue stripe) and 2 clowns and a hermit crab

Currently i feed the tank dry flakes, sometimes i put in some frozen brine shrimp (but i have not since i got the clowns)

I purchased the clowns last week from my trusty pet store.
They have been great in the tank.
Eating very well from the day they were added. They always swim together and seem to love being with my other fish. (very social)
Eating habits were fine up until last night. (in fact i think the first feeding it ate well but i can not be sure) it was at the second feeding that i noticed it was not intrested in the food. At that point i did notice something dangling from its underbody it was off white and a tad stringy as the orginal poster mentioned.
I took the time to inspect her through the course of the night. It seemed to pick the upper left hand corner of my tank and stayed there. The other fish swam around normally but she did not follow or seem intrested in them (which was abnormal). The dangling thing was gone now.
Before i slept i checked again and there was another dangling thing. This morning i attempted to find her and i did, she was alone in the back upper right corner of the tank behind some rock ( i never check for my fish in the morning so i can not say this is normal or not). I had to run to work but i am concerned. My water levels are good ( i do weekly testing and my last test was on wednesday)
 

steve-s

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cwis24 said:
Currently i feed the tank dry flakes, sometimes i put in some frozen brine shrimp (but i have not since i got the clowns)
Feeding habits in newer fish must be "learned". Foods do not typically float on the surface for these fish in the wild so they will often recognize it for what it is. With clowns though, flake foods are a poor choice as it can lead to internal ailments. Best to stick with meaty gut loaded (veggie matter) foods or blender mush products. A balanced diet of meat and veg is a must for long term health.

At that point i did notice something dangling from its underbody it was off white and a tad stringy as the orginal poster mentioned.
I took the time to inspect her through the course of the night. It seemed to pick the upper left hand corner of my tank and stayed there. The other fish swam around normally but she did not follow or seem intrested in them (which was abnormal). The dangling thing was gone now.
Before i slept i checked again and there was another dangling thing.
Did you notice this from the main body area or from the fish's anus? Is the belly normal size, bloated or thinned? How's the fish's color and breathing?

Cheers
Steve
 

fishcrazee

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Nov 23, 2005
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Iowa
Feed your clown some shelled peas, they love them, and they work to "oil the wheels" and help clean him/her out :D
 

steve-s

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True enough if constapated, it will help. Unfortunately though this could also be a possible internal bacterial infection or parasite so it needs to be determined either way before a treatment choice can be offered. :cool:

Cheers
Steve
 

cwis24

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Feb 17, 2006
Messages
10
Hey EVeryone, thanks for all your help and info

She seems to be doing much better.
I will start the clowns on a better diet this week.

"A balanced diet of meat and veg is a must for long term health"

Would blood worms and brine shrimp due for the meat aspect.?
What are your suggestion for Veg?

Thanks AGain
 

steve-s

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cwis24 said:
"A balanced diet of meat and veg is a must for long term health"

Would blood worms and brine shrimp due for the meat aspect.?
What are your suggestion for Veg?
Those meat choices for this particular species are not the best option. About the only time I would suggest either is as an enticement for new picky/fussy eaters. Brine is more commonly a poor choice unless "home brewed" where quality cysts can be chosen and the brine gut loaded (phyto) before feeding. Bloodworms are fine as an occasional food but be wary of how much/often. Not all fish will be able to digest them properly and can lead to problems. Banners, Bfly's and larger angels seem to do well though.

Mush foods that incorporate both at once are very easy on you and very beneficial for all you fish and secondary feeders within the tank. You can either make your own or buy it. Ocean Nutrition cubes being at the top of my list.

Here's one example <<Whats in your mush>>

Cheers
Steve
 

steve-s

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I would be wary of a bacterial infection. With flake as the primary diet, bacterial contamination is a high concern. Depending on how you store them, how old the product is (production date?) it can happen quite easily.

Keep watch to see if the problem returns or the fish becomes bloated/emaciated for unexplained reasons. I would be cautious here and set up a QT tank if you do not already. Try to make careful observation of the feces if you do notice this again. There is an outside chance this is a worm but I doubt it. If you have the QT already, I would suggest treating for internal bacterial infection proactively. Maracyn II for saltwater, 2mg/gal added daily for seven days with a 25% water change prior to each new dose or Kanamycin @ 0.06grams/gal (¼ tspn/20gal) with the same water changes and added daily for 10 days.

Try to predissolve the med of choice in large cup of removed tank water first. Once dissolved, take a few tablespoons of that and soak the foods in it. Injesting the med is much more effective and will improve the process.

Also be sure you toss any remaining flake foods

Cheers
Steve
 

cwis24

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Feb 17, 2006
Messages
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So last night i tried feeding with some brine shrimp, the clown in question loved it ate a whole bunch so things are looking good
 
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