Clown Fish stopped eating with heavy breathing for 3 days after adding new pump and hose

Blueskys001

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Hello everyone,

I have a clown fish who for some reason stopped eating and tomorrow will be 3 days. This is what worries me more and what didn't realize until recently looks clear rapid breathing and a strange "yawning" motion which the clown will open its mouth wide every 15-20 seconds. The problem started after I added a stronger pump and replaced my old one. New pump is more powerful 24/V DC that uses less power and I'm near certain gives off less heat because of it. I used new tubing for the pump which is vinyl and Teflon tape/plumbers tape. To be safe before adding the pump to the tank I ran about 10 gallons of water through the pump and hose/none chlorinated.

The fish looks healthy in appearance but doesn't seem to moving as much and only stays laying in her anemone which is what she pretty much did 24/7 but now not leaving to come up for food. When I go to the tank the fish will come to the bottom of the glass and look me in the face as usually but breathing hard and go right back into the anemone. I've seen this clown fish stop eating after moving the rocks around for a day (which is normal for this fish when anything is disturbed) but never has the clown gone so long without food. The day before the fish was eating like a happy shark.

This is a C line Clown and 12 years old. My setup is a 75 gallon and 20 gallon sump. The fish is a bit hard to see but I don't believe the gills are inflamed at least not yet but I'm guessing they soon might be with that breathing... All corals seem fine. I seen a a star fish on the glass and baby snails out too. All water parameters are the same and haven't changed. No new fish or any corals or anything added in years. The flow has increased by about 40% but above where the fish is and not much where the fish stays at the bottom with her anemone. (Anemone is fully open and looks fine)

The steps I've taken

1. Make sure nothing had fallen into the tank. (1 metal clamp did break which I found but the broken piece fell behind the tank (I believe and not in the tank) I checked the best I can without removing everything in 2 out of 3 chambers also it would be small.

2. I added to 2 fresh bags of chemepure blue 11oz

3. added extra air this morning.

Please if anyone else could help or chime in because I'm not sure what else to do because I would think the sensitive invertebrates would be showing signs of illness or dying off but so far that is not the case. Any suggestions and how long should I wait before I really start to worry? (Well already worried.) Taking a photo of the fish wouldn't be easy.

Thank you for any and all help.
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Hello everyone,

I have a clown fish who for some reason stopped eating and tomorrow will be 3 days. This is what worries me more and what didn't realize until recently looks clear rapid breathing and a strange "yawning" motion which the clown will open its mouth wide every 15-20 seconds. The problem started after I added a stronger pump and replaced my old one. New pump is more powerful 24/V DC that uses less power and I'm near certain gives off less heat because of it. I used new tubing for the pump which is vinyl and Teflon tape/plumbers tape. To be safe before adding the pump to the tank I ran about 10 gallons of water through the pump and hose/none chlorinated.

The fish looks healthy in appearance but doesn't seem to moving as much and only stays laying in her anemone which is what she pretty much did 24/7 but now not leaving to come up for food. When I go to the tank the fish will come to the bottom of the glass and look me in the face as usually but breathing hard and go right back into the anemone. I've seen this clown fish stop eating after moving the rocks around for a day (which is normal for this fish when anything is disturbed) but never has the clown gone so long without food. The day before the fish was eating like a happy shark.

This is a C line Clown and 12 years old. My setup is a 75 gallon and 20 gallon sump. The fish is a bit hard to see but I don't believe the gills are inflamed at least not yet but I'm guessing they soon might be with that breathing... All corals seem fine. I seen a a star fish on the glass and baby snails out too. All water parameters are the same and haven't changed. No new fish or any corals or anything added in years. The flow has increased by about 40% but above where the fish is and not much where the fish stays at the bottom with her anemone. (Anemone is fully open and looks fine)

The steps I've taken

1. Make sure nothing had fallen into the tank. (1 metal clamp did break which I found but the broken piece fell behind the tank (I believe and not in the tank) I checked the best I can without removing everything in 2 out of 3 chambers also it would be small.

2. I added to 2 fresh bags of chemepure blue 11oz

3. added extra air this morning.

Please if anyone else could help or chime in because I'm not sure what else to do because I would think the sensitive invertebrates would be showing signs of illness or dying off but so far that is not the case. Any suggestions and how long should I wait before I really start to worry? (Well already worried.) Taking a photo of the fish wouldn't be easy.

Thank you for any and all help.
If there are no other fish in the tank, you can't use them as a benchmark (like if they were ok, you can more easily rule out communicable diseases). The fact that the invertebrates are all fine tends to rule out water quality issues. Adding aeration rules out low dissolved oxygen. The only other common cause of this (since it is an older fish) is some chronic condition, very often mycobacteria. This "fish TB" isn't treatable and we mostly see it in older fish. There is a slight chance that with the sudden onset and the yawning, that it could have gotten a bit of gravel stuck in its mouth - rare, but it does happen. This is also a sign of gill flukes, but unless you've added new animals to the tank in the past 45 days or so, that isn't it.

Jay
 
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Blueskys001

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If there are no other fish in the tank, you can't use them as a benchmark (like if they were ok, you can more easily rule out communicable diseases). The fact that the invertebrates are all fine tends to rule out water quality issues. Adding aeration rules out low dissolved oxygen. The only other common cause of this (since it is an older fish) is some chronic condition, very often mycobacteria. This "fish TB" isn't treatable and we mostly see it in older fish. There is a slight chance that with the sudden onset and the yawning, that it could have gotten a bit of gravel stuck in its mouth - rare, but it does happen. This is also a sign of gill flukes, but unless you've added new animals to the tank in the past 45 days or so, that isn't it.

Jay
Thank you for the reply Jay.

I would like to do everything I can to save this fish been my friend now for 12 years. My thinking is moving things around the stress caused the issue. There is a long thread if you check under my name about 2 years ago the fish had some sort of bacterial infection and most here gave the fish up for dead.

The clown had some sort of bacterial infection and I threw everything at it but in the end the Furan 2 seemed to stop the issue. That episode the fish was in a great deal of distress though, had been losing color, scales, inflamed red gills... Really rough shape. Right now I'm look at what looks like a brightly colored fish that seems to be lethargic and hasn't eaten now for 3 days. I notice today the breathing does seem to be more normal though. I'm wondering if I never fully got rid of the bacterial infection as you mentioned "chronic."
Right now I can't find Furan 2 in stock on Amazon or locally can you recommend something else?

I plan to use the coctail https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/dosing-the-trifecta.386582/#post-4690865
Which I used last time and plan to use again if the fish isn't eating by tomorrow.

Thank You
 

Jay Hemdal

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What is the fish’s respiration rate currently at? I just don’t see anything indicating that a shotgun antibiotic course is indicated here.
Jay
 
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Blueskys001

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What is the fish’s respiration rate currently at? I just don’t see anything indicating that a shotgun antibiotic course is indicated here.
Jay
Jay,

Thank you for your help and quick response. I love this Clown fish it has been with me for a large part of my life and there is another thread where everyone watched it come back practically from the dead with 6k views.

I'm wondering how long this fish can go without food and something is definitely wrong in the behavior but like I said this clown fish's entire life it barely wanted to ever leave its anemone and slept all day on its side like in my photo. Can sometimes fish just look interest in eating for days?

I made this video and I apologize for not having the best phone. The clown is sump and there is nothing on the skin that is only coralline algae. I can take another video if you like and towards the end of it I'm able to zoom in on the fish and head/gills a little bit better. Breathing has slowed down some and the wide opening motion of opening the jaw fully repeatedly has either stopped or slowed too.


Please tell me what you think.

Thank you
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Hi Jay,

I was able to get a much clearer video the breathing has slowed down some and the wide opening motion of opening the jaw fully repeatedly has either stopped or slowed too.
The clown still seems to be breathing at around 120 bpm, so much faster than it should be. Can you move it to a treatment tank? If so, you might consider giving it a 5 minute FW dip (just to see if that provides temporary relief) and then dose with antibiotics. I still don't think it is an external bacteria, but I don't have any other possible treatments for you to try.

Jay
 
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Blueskys001

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The clown still seems to be breathing at around 120 bpm, so much faster than it should be. Can you move it to a treatment tank? If so, you might consider giving it a 5 minute FW dip (just to see if that provides temporary relief) and then dose with antibiotics. I still don't think it is an external bacteria, but I don't have any other possible treatments for you to try.

Jay

I drove 1 hour to find the only box or Furan 2 I could find. Amazon prime was out and local big names no longer carry it. Seems they switched to API General Cure.

I'm going to hitting the fish with what they call the bomb on of cocktails on here. Furan 2, Kanoplex and Metroplex.

My guess is the fish was already sick and probably rubbed it's gills on a rock when disturbed?

The store clerk had a good look at the video and didn't think it wasn't flukes but a random bacterial infection. On 5/5/2021 I had the fish in the hospital tank by the morning (I took water from my main display so no major shock) and then hit with all 3 medications.

I can see the gills on the fish look puffy, swollen but not red like the last time this had a serious bacterial infection ( that fish was basically dead if you check the thread) but this time something is different there is like stringy white flesh that hard to describe or photo under the gills. Maybe it is because the fish is breathing rapid and hard that I'm getting a better look into the gills I'm no sure but there is some bloating around the gills.

After putting the fish from one tank to another it was swimming well but obviously some what stressed from the move and swimming more (burning more energy) and hasn't eaten in 5 days now to be exact. The fish is basically just laying at the bottom of the tank swimming back and forth occasionally in a 20 gallon. There are some large PVC pipes in the hospital tank and an extra air pump besides the power head overhead.

The breathing is around 110BMP. I have no idea why this fish will not accept food. While I was at the fish store I bought 3 large snails, and 4 emerald crabs, all doing fine and survived. I don't think the water is poisoned from the pump and hose I added but I do think somehow that obviously making the change stressed the fish out the was the very last day she ate. I have no clue why this fish is refusing food or breathing hard but I read gill infections are the hardest to diagnose. I've heard of people force feeding a fish with a syringe but I don't think I I want to go that far.

Jay or anyone with any other ideas, please let me know. I'll buy any medication to sooth the girls or help the situation.


Also could a mod add emergency tag and or the clown fish group please?

Thank You guys for any advice.
 
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Blueskys001

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I'm on the 3rd day for the bacterial treatment so far no improvement if anything the fish is getting worse slowly. Does anyone think I should add Paraguard, melafix or Primafix? Those are the only other treatments I have on hand currently.
 

Azedenkae

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After reading through everything, I have a bit of a different suggestion. I'll take the risk of being massively wrong here.

I would suggest adding the clownfish back to the original tank, and stop medicating.

I understand the potential for pathogens to infect the fish due to stress, but I think it is a very low likelihood. Especially given how long the tank has been set up, and honestly, given the experience from two years ago, how resilient your fish is.

I don't know what might be causing the stress or the fast breathing, but I just think in this case whatever might be causing the issues, well you've done enough to deal with it with the chemipure. If you want, you could do a bigger water change just in case it removes whatever may be antagonizing the fish, but given the fish was still breathing heavy in a hospital tank, I am unsure if that's the case.

So yeah, if it was me, I'd let the clown back in its home and leave it be as much as possible and hope for the best. Feels like that would be just as good of a solution as trying to actively do something, which may unnecessarily stress the fish in this situation.
 
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Blueskys001

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After reading through everything, I have a bit of a different suggestion. I'll take the risk of being massively wrong here.

I would suggest adding the clownfish back to the original tank, and stop medicating.

I understand the potential for pathogens to infect the fish due to stress, but I think it is a very low likelihood. Especially given how long the tank has been set up, and honestly, given the experience from two years ago, how resilient your fish is.

I don't know what might be causing the stress or the fast breathing, but I just think in this case whatever might be causing the issues, well you've done enough to deal with it with the chemipure. If you want, you could do a bigger water change just in case it removes whatever may be antagonizing the fish, but given the fish was still breathing heavy in a hospital tank, I am unsure if that's the case.

So yeah, if it was me, I'd let the clown back in its home and leave it be as much as possible and hope for the best. Feels like that would be just as good of a solution as trying to actively do something, which may unnecessarily stress the fish in this situation.
Any ideas on what might have caused the gills to swell? The store clerk also noted this. Also since you have a clown fish in your photo I'm guessing you a good bit. How long can one go without eating? Also if I put the clown fish back in its home should I take any precautions to give the clown a fresh water dip to remove any medication on its skin? As the clown will most likely go straight back into the anemone and I wouldn't want that to die either.

Thank You
 
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Azedenkae

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Any ideas on what might have caused the gills to swell? The store clerk also noted this. Also since you have a clown fish in your photo I'm guessing you a good bit. How long can one go without eating?

Thank You
Mine went for about a week initially without eating. Maybe a bit more.
 
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Billldg

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I would help, but fish diseases are my weak point. @Jay Hemdal , you have been very helpful, is their anything else that can be done.
 

zalick

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I have a 12yr old clown. A few months ago it’s behavior changed noticeably and it stopped eating. I think went maybe a week without eating, certainly more than 3 days. I was worried. No other obvious signs of illness and no rapid breathing like yours. She did start eating again and become more active than she’s been in years. She also seems to have grown a bit.

this is just to let you know that a lack of eating itself for this short time is not a death sentence.

clearly the rapid breathing in your case indicates something else different.

hope she pulls through.
 

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The only thing I noticed was the gills look a little swollen. I don’t know anyone who knows more about fish treatment than @Jay Hemdal. Can you try putting the old pump back on? I also wonder if the change in pumps maybe could have caused a mini cycle? Did you check ammonia and/or nitrite.

I did lose some fish a few months back and the only thing I could figure was fish TB. It only hit my older fish and they looked perfectly fine otherwise. I don’t think that there is a treatment for it though.
 

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Watching the video again, does the left side (her right) lip look a little off? Not sure if I’m imagining it or if it’s real. Eating something odd may explain it. If she did eat a piece of gravel (or something else), will she be able to dislodge it @Jay Hemdal ?
 
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