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Old 10/22/2018, 10:40 AM   #1
Nemosmom1
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Join Date: Feb 2018
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Please help, clownfish breathing hard, stays near bottom of tank

Hi,
I've had my clownfish for a couple of weeks. I did a water change last night and noticed this morning that he was lying on the bottom of the sand bed. Have never seen him do this, so it scared me, thought he had passed. He's been eating with a healthy appetite, and I feed him mysis and sometimes a little bit of sprirulina brine, always with selcon and garlic added. About a week and a half ago, I noticed he would flash his fins and body on things in the tank, so I bought something that the lfs recommended, Fishkeeper. He stopped flashing. I haven't seen any spots on him to indicate disease other than his heavy breathing, poor little guy. I have a 12 gallon tank that I'm ready to use as a quarantine, and have cupramine on hand. Not sure what he has exactly, but would it harm him if I gave him cupramine if I'm unsure of his diagnosis? I want to do something to ease his pain. . .


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Old 10/22/2018, 09:13 PM   #2
Louis Z
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Yes . I would use cupramine but in a separate tank . Hopefully you have the test kits to measure copper levels . Some ramp cupramine dosing upwards rather than a full dose on first dose. . Watch ammonia levels


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Old 10/22/2018, 10:29 PM   #3
Nemosmom1
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Thanks for your reply. Yes, got the 12 gallon set up by bringing over one of the sponge filters from the established tank, as well as half of the water in the established tank. Dosed the water before I added him. I called around at several lfs, but no one had copper kits. One of the employees where I bought him from said to dose him 1.5 ml for 12 gallons, then wait 48 hours, dose again, and then if he needed after the 48 hours, to dose again. Will have to ask him again. Am brand new to this. I really hope he pulls through, I thought I was doing everything I could. Will try feeding him tomorrow.


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Old 10/23/2018, 10:36 AM   #4
Nemosmom1
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Unfortunately the little guy didn't make it. I'm not sure what exactly he had. One day he was fine, then the next morning was the morning I saw him hovering on the bottom of the tank. This is the second clownfish that I had that this happened to. I just started this year, but I believe I'm not cut out to take care of these little guys. Don't want to go through this again, so I may have to sell everything, no room to keep the two tanks.


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Old 10/24/2018, 01:39 AM   #5
Louis Z
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Sorry to hear your decision . I hate to see new marine aquarists discouraged because of disease. Overtime you get seasoned with treating fish but there is a learning curve. I can say I have lost many fish along the way and still do, but my success rate is better now . I try to purchase clowns from vendors that sell captive raised clowns . Sea and Reef or ORA are good companies to look for . I have local fish stores that order from them since they are wholesale suppliers only. I find when they place an order and arrival time . I get them as soon as they come from the shipping bag before they touch the LFS stores tanks . ORA often ships in small bags which I really like. That way I just purchase the fish in the shipping bag . These fish have always come in disease free if they are straight from the breeders.


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Old 10/24/2018, 01:53 AM   #6
Nemosmom1
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Well, when I wrote that, it was probably my initial reaction, because it's so discouraging when you think you're doing everything you possibly can, only to have the little guy die on you. Took the passing of my first clown, Nemo pretty hard, and it took about 10 months before I was willing to try again. Unfortunately, Buddy ..my second clown passed. Thinking over his symptoms, I think he had velvet. I thought it was ich at first, because he was flashing on items in the tank. The second I saw that, I picked up something from the lfs called Fishkeeper which they claimed worked wonders on fish. .on the bottle it says it treats ich, and other external parasites. Followed dosing instructions, and he was healthy. Then, one morning, I found him hovering on the bottom of the tank, breathing rapidly, with no spots or anything. The thing is, sometimes I'd look at him at night, and noticed tiny little spots on his fins, but wasn't sure if that was sand grains from him kicking up the sand or spots. However, the day that I moved him to a quarantine tank dosing him with cupramine. . is the day I unfortunately realized he had velvet, probably. (He would shy away from the light, seemed really sensitive to it). And even if I had access to the medication for velvet (will have to make sure I have it on hand if I decide to continue in this hobby), it would have been too late. Still have to take some time to think if I want to continue or not.


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Old 10/24/2018, 02:03 PM   #7
Nemosmom1
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r
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louis Z View Post
Sorry to hear your decision . I hate to see new marine aquarists discouraged because of disease. Overtime you get seasoned with treating fish but there is a learning curve. I can say I have lost many fish along the way and still do, but my success rate is better now . I try to purchase clowns from vendors that sell captive raised clowns . Sea and Reef or ORA are good companies to look for . I have local fish stores that order from them since they are wholesale suppliers only. I find when they place an order and arrival time . I get them as soon as they come from the shipping bag before they touch the LFS stores tanks . ORA often ships in small bags which I really like. That way I just purchase the fish in the shipping bag . These fish have always come in disease free if they are straight from the breeders.
Thanks for the tip about buying from fish stores that order from ORA. Hopefully I could find stores around me that do. If I choose to continue, (and I can't find a store that orders from ORA or similar)is there harm in treating a fish for velvet if you're unsure if that's what he might have? Before I went to sleep, I checked on him and,he was swimming very erratically (vertically, that is, backwards too), and shied away from the light. I'm guessing he had velvet? Initially a week and a half ago, he started flashing and I saw what looked like tiny white dots on his fins, but wasn't sure if he had ich? So I treated the tank for five days with a product the lfs recommended called Fishkeeper. They had good reviews on Amazon, too. No more spots, and he stopped flashing. Of course, recently one morning, it was sudden when I found him on the bottom of the tank, hovering and breathing hard. By then, it was too late, but I tried saving him. I've been reading threads for the different diseases, but wish there was a chart for easy reference.


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Old 10/24/2018, 09:02 PM   #8
Louis Z
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Unfortunately , I recommend to have a full medicine chest of the following formalin , general cure , copper and the appropriate test kit . Cupramine needs seachems test kit or Hanna checker . Chloroquine phosphate . You need to familiarize yourself with Brooklynella, Velvet, Ick, Uronema, Flukes. Understand the Tank Transfer Method and understand Freshwater dips and Formalin dips . I hate to scare you away but this is the dilemmas we face. Any new acquisition has to be treated prophylactically from the getgo, they need to be in Hospital tank (not in display tank) being treated then put under quarantine for a month in A separate tank (not in display tank ). In addition you have to check ammonia levels daily in the Hospital and quarantine tanks . So to answer your question yes I start treating with meds as soon as I can . There are others that say not to but I have lost so many fish with just a few days of delay . Sounds like you treated but a cyst stage persisted in the tank . It matured and hatched starting the reinfection phase all over again. The cyst stage are tough to endure a lot of things we throw a them. For example when cleaning a tank and rocks/pvc pipes I use a 40:60 Clorox/water ratio to disinfect followed by freshwater rinse followed by 6% vinegar wash and final rinse and dry .


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