Clownfish inflamed gill and rapid opening and closing of mouth

asaharan

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Hello Everyone,

I need some help. I got a clownfish pair (non-bonded) from LFS and had to return the female as it was struggling to breathe even when the other one was okay. Now, the other one also is showing some strange behavior. He is mainly in one spot, a few inches above the substrate. I got him 3 days ago in my new tank from my LFS where he came in as a trade. He is barely eating (feeding him nano reef frenzy frozen). HE also is rapidly opening and closing it's mouth and seems that one of his gills is enlarged. Being a novice, not sure what's happening. Tank parameters are pretty stable. Tested water at LFS and they say nothing wrong with the tank.

Ammonia: 0ppm
Phosphate: 0ppm
Alkalinity: I measured 10dKH, and my LFS measure 8dKH
Salinity 1.023
Temperature: 78F

Any help folks?
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Welcome to Reef2Reef!

Sorry, I couldn’t get your videos to play on my phone, so I’m just working off your description.

The rapid breathing in the absence of water quality issues points to gill disease. However, most of those diseases affect both gills. In your picture, it looks like one gill is involved, that is very unusual, and could mean it is a bacterial disease.

What else is in the aquarium with the clownfish?

Jay
 
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asaharan

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Hi Jay,

Thanks for the reply. I'm uploading the videos and images again if you get a chance to see them. I had another clownfish in there and that also had the same rapid breathing problem almost minutes after putting in the tank and it mainly laid on its side on the substrate. I had to take that one out the very next day and take it back to my LFS. This one is somehow still hiding behind the rocks and exhibiting similar symptoms but its not on the substrate (swimming in the same spot a good 4 inches off the substrate) and it moved around when I changed my rock placement. My LFS told me it just might be stressed in the new tank and asked me to cover one side with a towel for a few days to allow it to acclimate. I have nothing else in the tank as this is a brand new setup.

Thanks!!

Ankit
 

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Jay Hemdal

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Now I'm concerned about something in the tank - you said that the one clown started behaving this way right after you put it in the tank, this is too fast for a disease to be the cause. If there isn't an ammonia problem. then I look at acclimation issues. Many people don't realize that some stores hold their fish at lower salinities and moving those fish to a tank with full salinity needs to be done over a period of days, by gradually raising the salinity of the tank.

It may not be that, as I can clearly see the second clown has one inflamed gill, and water issues would affect both gills equally. I'm not sure what else it could be though - no symptoms here that point to a definite diagnosis.

Is the fish still feeding today?

Jay
 
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asaharan

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Thanks Jay!!

I did the float acclimation and then half a cup of water every 5 minutes in the bag. My salinity in the bag finally reached 1.020 and my tank was around 1.023 after about 45 minutes. I asked my LFS and they said that should be enough. but maybe that was wrong advice. I'll try feeding him today, should I feed anything else from the frozen reef frenzy (pellets or brine shrimp?)

Also, what else can I do, maybe put in fresh RODI water to reduce salinity to 1.020?

Thanks a lot for your help.

Ankit
 
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Jay Hemdal

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No, don’t reduce the salinity now, it won’t help at this point. Let me know if it is fish eating today.
Jay
 
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asaharan

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Hi Jay,

I tried feeding the fish some live brine shrimp but no go. He moves around a bit but breathing is entirely the same. One of the shrimp even touched near the fish's mouth but he shied away immediately. Heard brine shrimp is like candy to this fish. I'm at a total loss.

Thanks!!

Ankit
 

Jay Hemdal

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Hi Jay,

I tried feeding the fish some live brine shrimp but no go. He moves around a bit but breathing is entirely the same. One of the shrimp even touched near the fish's mouth but he shied away immediately. Heard brine shrimp is like candy to this fish. I'm at a total loss.

Thanks!!

Ankit
You are correct - lack of a feeding response is a very serious symptom. Trouble is, there just aren't any other symptoms to give a clear course of action here. The two directions to go would be copper in a hospital tank to treat for protozoan disease or antibiotics to treat for a bacterial gill disease. I'm afraid you may need to just make a guess to decide what direction you go in....

Jay
 
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asaharan

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setup my tank almost 3 weeks back. the fish unfortunately died 2 weeks back. took it back to the LFS and they said its just stress and they couldn't see any disease in the gills. I will be now keeping my tank empty for 6 weeks to be sure on my side before introducing a fish in there. I did a 20% water change as well. I'm bummed but not giving up yet. Any other advice?
 
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