Clownfish Issues

BRS

lucas-grimm

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
13
Reaction score
7
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
USA
Hey all, not a brand new reefer and feel slightly embarrassed for having to get advice about clownfish, but I need it. I have a 15 Gallon fluval flex that previously had a brook outbreak and killed off all of the livestock except the coral. The tank ran 3 months fallow with only fish and 1 snail. A month ago, I added a red wild caught mandarin dragonet who has gained lots of weight! She eats flakes, pellets, roe, and mysis. 4 Days ago I added a pair of clowns that I had been looking for, and are my last livestock plans for the tank other than corals. They had not eaten at all. 3rd day comes by and I do the regular 20% water change and my salinity dropped from 1.026 to 1.023. 100% my fault for not testing right before I changed water. I am currently bringing it back up by 0.001 every other day. The clowns have labored breathing and have had it since going in the tank. However after the water change the mandarin also started slight heavier breathing. The mandarin still eats and is still getting very fat. The clownfish on the other hand, will not eat anything I offer. I have tried 2 types of pellets, flakes, mysis, bloodworms, frozen copepods, sushi roe, and have no other ideas. They are captive bred from sea and reef and i’m not sure why they wouldn’t eat anything I offer. It is the 4th day and they still bite food and spit it right out. I have also tried garlic on each of the foods. I dose seachem stability daily, as well as seachem stress gaurd. I added a bubbler to increase oxygen and lowered the temperature to 80-81°. My ammonia is 0, my nitrite is 0, and my nitrate is 0. What are my other options? They show no signs of disease and only have the heavy breathing and no eating. All fish act completely normal and are very active and friendly. Thanks for any ideas.
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

kittenbritches

The Cat's Pajamas
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 18, 2021
Messages
1,538
Reaction score
5,341
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Rocky Mountains
I’m curious what the temperature was before you lowered it. Other than adopting a wait-and-see approach, you could try feeding them at different times?
This is my question, too. Are you intentionally running the tank hot?
 
AquaCave Logo Banner
OP
L

lucas-grimm

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
13
Reaction score
7
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
USA
I’m curious what the temperature was before you lowered it. Other than adopting a wait-and-see approach, you could try feeding them at different times?
It’s been 4 days at this point and i’m really not willing to go past a week with them like this. If things don’t improve i’ll take them back to my lfs until I can figure it out. I’ve tried multiple times throughout the day and closer to night they pick more but still spit everything out.
 

Hurricane Aquatics

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 17, 2013
Messages
357
Reaction score
158
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
TN
Have you checked water parameters? What are they?

What is your flow setup and do you have surface agitation?

How long has the tank been setup and do you have cycled live rock and some kind of ceramic media in the sump area?

After those basics are covered, that is a lot of signs of your previous disease or flukes.
I would jump to that just yet until the above is answered.
 

mermaid_life

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 31, 2018
Messages
470
Reaction score
343
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
San Diego
Can I ask how come you're dosing stability?

Reason I ask is because I know when I dose bacteria, I definitely see my filter floss clog up faster - not from detritus. I'm sure this contributes to lower oxygen levels in the tank.
 

Karen00

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
1,336
Reaction score
1,954
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Toronto
Do you know what they were eating at the store? Have you thought about trying live food like Tigger pods? The reason I say this is that I picked up a bottle Reef Nutrition's live tiggers as supplemental food for a clown goby I got about a week ago. He keeps himself hidden and I was concerned he wasn't getting the frozen mysis I tried target feeding him. Wow, what a difference those live pods have made. I can see him and my other goby zipping around the tank after the pods. The other goby is a Hi Fin and he normally sticks to his rock with his pistol shrimp buddy but not since adding these pods. As for the heavy breathing I don't have anything to offer about that (I'm new to saltwater) but someone mentioned possible oxygen depletion from dosing stability. I would have said possibly from stress but if your mandarin has also started to do the same thing then it's probably not that.
 
Click to watch best scape method in 5 easy steps!
OP
L

lucas-grimm

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
13
Reaction score
7
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
USA
Have you checked water parameters? What are they?

What is your flow setup and do you have surface agitation?

How long has the tank been setup and do you have cycled live rock and some kind of ceramic media in the sump area?

After those basics are covered, that is a lot of signs of your previous disease or flukes.
I would jump to that just yet until the above is answered.
My salinity swung recently from 1.026 to 1.023 and over a day or two i’ve brought it up to 1.024 and i’m slowly bringing it back up. Ammonia is 0 as the test strips show, however I was told it could be possible they dont pick up on very small amounts of ammonia. That is why I added a bottle of dr tim’s and dose seachem stability just as a safety measure. Nitrite and Nitrate are 0.

When I added the mandarin about a month ago I exchanged the stock pump to an eheim 1.0 that is pointed towards the surface. I also added a standard hugger air pump for extra agitation.

The tank has been running for around 7 Months now, and I used caribsea liferock and Live sand. There is a ton of media in the back chambers. 2 of the standard ceramic bags made for the tank however you only get one with the tank, so I bought another one.

I don’t believe it’s flukes as I didn’t see any when I freshwater dipped them. (My lfs quarantines fish and I dip as an extra precaution). There is no flashing or darting around at all.
 
OP
L

lucas-grimm

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
13
Reaction score
7
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
USA
Do you know what they were eating at the store? Have you thought about trying live food like Tigger pods? The reason I say this is that I picked up a bottle Reef Nutrition's live tiggers as supplemental food for a clown goby I got about a week ago. He keeps himself hidden and I was concerned he wasn't getting the frozen mysis I tried target feeding him. Wow, what a difference those live pods have made. I can see him and my other goby zipping around the tank after the pods. The other goby is a Hi Fin and he normally sticks to his rock with his pistol shrimp buddy but not since adding these pods. As for the heavy breathing I don't have anything to offer about that (I'm new to saltwater) but someone mentioned possible oxygen depletion from dosing stability. I would have said possibly from stress but if your mandarin has also started to do the same thing then it's probably not that.
I believe frozen mysis. I haven’t tried live pods, but i’ve tried hatched brine which I think are very very similar. I am culturing live pods and will try it once they show better breathing.
 

ShadowMan

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 7, 2021
Messages
53
Reaction score
87
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Surrey
Maybe try a more reliable test kit, rather than the rest strips, as heavy breathing could be a sign of high Nitrites. You could also try adding in an air pump or improve your surface agitation to get more O2 in
 

Wyvern

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 6, 2021
Messages
344
Reaction score
331
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Pinellas FL
My clowns are incredibly broken. They have almost 0 feeding response and just gyrate in a corner all day, but they are plump and growing.

My only thought is they are eating pods all day, I seeded the tank before I had fish, and 3 months later there are pods ALL over the glass.

As others mentioned oxygen, 15 gallons ain't much and any uneaten food is going to turn to ammonia and lower ORP.

Also, higher temp lowers oxygen, increases speed of decay and raises metabolism which leads to higher levels of Ammonia produced, which lowers oxygen, which stresses fish, which leads to less food eaten, which leads to more ammonia, which...
 
OP
L

lucas-grimm

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
13
Reaction score
7
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
USA
As others mentioned oxygen, 15 gallons ain't much and any uneaten food is going to turn to ammonia and lower ORP.

Also, higher temp lowers oxygen, increases speed of decay and raises metabolism which leads to higher levels of Ammonia produced, which lowers oxygen, which stresses fish, which leads to less food eaten, which leads to more ammonia, which...
Lowered the temp and going to vacuum the sand as maybe there are some food particles dissolving. Going to bring it from 79 to 76. As the heater is preset for 76-78 however because of the lid it retains heat. I use a heater controller on my other tank and think it’s time to get a 2nd one.
 
Lazy's Coral House

Hurricane Aquatics

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 17, 2013
Messages
357
Reaction score
158
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
TN
My clowns are incredibly broken. They have almost 0 feeding response and just gyrate in a corner all day, but they are plump and growing.

Lowered the temp and going to vacuum the sand as maybe there are some food particles dissolving. Going to bring it from 79 to 76. As the heater is preset for 76-78 however because of the lid it retains heat. I use a heater controller on my other tank and think it’s time to get a 2nd one.
Lucas,

Set your temp at around 78 and don't worry about it. I wouldn't vacuum any sand until you're certain about the water quality as that can throw a new tank into another bad place when it's that small.

Unless your tank is filthy and you've over-fed a ton, I wouldn't vacuum too much sand. Maybe just stir the junk up and siphon it out with a water change.
 
OP
L

lucas-grimm

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
13
Reaction score
7
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
USA
Lucas,

Set your temp at around 78 and don't worry about it. I wouldn't vacuum any sand until you're certain about the water quality as that can throw a new tank into another bad place when it's that small.

Unless your tank is filthy and you've over-fed a ton, I wouldn't vacuum too much sand. Maybe just stir the junk up and siphon it out with a water change.
exactly what i ended up doing. The tank is very clean, however i definitely over fed trying to get them to eat, along with the mandarin eating i throw in a bunch of food in a small dish that she picks off during the day.
 

Hurricane Aquatics

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 17, 2013
Messages
357
Reaction score
158
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
TN
exactly what i ended up doing. The tank is very clean, however i definitely over fed trying to get them to eat, along with the mandarin eating i throw in a bunch of food in a small dish that she picks off during the day.
Good job, let me know how the clowns are doing in a few days.
 

ShadowMan

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 7, 2021
Messages
53
Reaction score
87
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Surrey
I'd get the simple API Saltwater Master test kit, super easy to use and will help you know what your basic parameters are easily.


If you've been overfeeding, then I'd think these are higher than your strips are showing
 
OP
L

lucas-grimm

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
13
Reaction score
7
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
USA
Good job, let me know how the clowns are doing in a few days.
Update! Sorry it took so long. Both clowns stopped heavy breathing around a week after the first water change. They eat a ton and I feed them every 2/3 days until they are full, however they peck at pellets in my mandarins food bowl sometimes. Tank is super clear, and all the corals are fully extended and colored! I’m adding a reef glass protein skimmer for a little bit of skimming along with more oxygenation. Thanks for all the help!
 
AquaCave Logo Banner
BRS

Why don't you have a NANO REEF in addition to your larger reef tank?

  • Money

    Votes: 15 7.3%
  • Space

    Votes: 19 9.3%
  • Time

    Votes: 46 22.4%
  • Other Limitations

    Votes: 19 9.3%
  • I DO HAVE ONE!

    Votes: 106 51.7%
GTA Reef
Top