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Clownfish spitting out food

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Eric1493

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Test with frozen mysis or frozen artemia as @JaykS suggest. If they still spit out and if they get lethargic, daker colouration and shy - look for stringy white poops. if all of these indications happens (spitting out/not eat, lethargic, dark colouration, shy, hiding and stringy white poop) - it could be an acute infection of flagellates from the family hexamitidae. The only thing that will help in that case is drugs based on metradizonole (or its derivatives). It can be administered as bath and your aquarium seems to be without other lifeforms - it means that you can treat in the aquarium. However - your fish seems to have their natural colouration and do not hide - I doubt it is a hexamite infection. If you treat with metradizonole like drugs - be aware that it will also wipe out your fishes natural gut fauna (it is effective against the normal gut bacteria too). When you restart the fish after that treatment - it is important to use food that is very easy to digest like frozen artemia and in very small amounts in the beginning. IMO - this is a treatment that should be done only if you are sure it is a hexamite like infection - not as a safety treatment.

Sincerely Lasse
After looking at her again, her colors appear much lighter not darker, compared to her old pictures and the other clown. Shes also constantly opening and closing her mouth. Her mouth still looks very white. Does this contradict it being hexamites?
 

Jay Hemdal

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After looking at her again, her colors appear much lighter not darker, compared to her old pictures and the other clown. Shes also constantly opening and closing her mouth. Her mouth still looks very white. Does this contradict it being hexamites?
I've been lurking, rereading the posts, trying to come up with something for you. The odd thing in this case is that the fish still have an appetite (as evidenced by them taking food in) but then they spit it out. Anorexia in fish usually manifests itself by the fish simply not having any interest in food.

The newer symptom of rapid breathing is worrisome. Can you get me some idea as to how fast the respiration rate is? Try counting its breathes for 15 seconds and multiply by 4 to get gill beats per minutes. I have a database of normal respiration rates that I can try and compare that with.

As was said, definitely try other foods. Mysids are a good choice, but you may need to cut them up with a razor to ensure they are in small enough pieces. Even try flake foods, again, small enough pieces.

Jay Hemdal
 
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Eric1493

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I've been lurking, rereading the posts, trying to come up with something for you. The odd thing in this case is that the fish still have an appetite (as evidenced by them taking food in) but then they spit it out. Anorexia in fish usually manifests itself by the fish simply not having any interest in food.

The newer symptom of rapid breathing is worrisome. Can you get me some idea as to how fast the respiration rate is? Try counting its breathes for 15 seconds and multiply by 4 to get gill beats per minutes. I have a database of normal respiration rates that I can try and compare that with.

As was said, definitely try other foods. Mysids are a good choice, but you may need to cut them up with a razor to ensure they are in small enough pieces. Even try flake foods, again, small enough pieces.

Jay Hemdal
I think the symptom of rapid breathing was only temporary in the morning. I’ll get a number for you, but she seems to be breathing normally now.
 
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Eric1493

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I've been lurking, rereading the posts, trying to come up with something for you. The odd thing in this case is that the fish still have an appetite (as evidenced by them taking food in) but then they spit it out. Anorexia in fish usually manifests itself by the fish simply not having any interest in food.

The newer symptom of rapid breathing is worrisome. Can you get me some idea as to how fast the respiration rate is? Try counting its breathes for 15 seconds and multiply by 4 to get gill beats per minutes. I have a database of normal respiration rates that I can try and compare that with.

As was said, definitely try other foods. Mysids are a good choice, but you may need to cut them up with a razor to ensure they are in small enough pieces. Even try flake foods, again, small enough pieces.

Jay Hemdal
It’s really hard to tell, because she moves a lot and her gills barely more, but I’d say a bit less than 2 beats a second, maybe 80-100 per minute. Before her gills were beating very fast and far outwards, but evidently, it has stopped. She is still opening her mouth and closing it frequently. At first, I suspected flukes as her face is discolored and her eye looked kinda weird (probably me being paranoid). She is currently staying below an arch in a low flow, low light area. She seems kind of skittish, but still swims up when I stop the flow To feed. She doesn’t swim towards power heads and isn’t spooked at all by light. She still looks less bright, almost a pinkish color instead of orange, but it’s a very subtle change. However I can’t tell if her skin has changed color or if it’s a mucous coat.
 

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It’s really hard to tell, because she moves a lot and her gills barely more, but I’d say a bit less than 2 beats a second, maybe 80-100 per minute. Before her gills were beating very fast and far outwards, but evidently, it has stopped. She is still opening her mouth and closing it frequently. At first, I suspected flukes as her face is discolored and her eye looked kinda weird (probably me being paranoid). She is currently staying below an arch in a low flow, low light area. She seems kind of skittish, but still swims up when I stop the flow To feed. She doesn’t swim towards power heads and isn’t spooked at all by light. She still looks less bright, almost a pinkish color instead of orange, but it’s a very subtle change. However I can’t tell if her skin has changed color or if it’s a mucous coat.
Just as a frame of reference, 80 to 100 gill beats per minute is about normal for a small clownfish. Here is an excerpt from my upcoming disease book:

A note on respiration rates
Aquarists are warned throughout this book about rapid breathing in their fish as a symptom of potential problems, yet few know just what “rapid” is. Obviously, fish kept in warmer water or those with gill disease will respire more rapidly. Actively swimming fish respire faster than sedentary ones. Less obvious is that larger fish respire more slowly and, in some cases, high ammonia levels will cause a fish to respire more slowly than normal. While there is some difference between species, (Chinese algae eaters will breathe twice as fast as any other fish their size) most tropical fish of the size kept in smaller aquariums should breathe at a rate of between 70 and 120 gill beats per minute. Relative respiration rate is the most important value – capturing the respiration rate of your fish when they are known to be healthy, gives you a baseline to compare to if you later suspect a problem. Not having this baseline data is an issue for newly acquired fish, so using the information below may serve as a secondary reference.

Fish may exhibit a variety of respiration forms in addition to the actual rate itself:

Mouth open respiration – may be a sign of gill disease or toxic compounds in the water.
Rapid, shallow respiration – may be signs as above, or just a result of high activity level.
Coughing – a result of high levels of particulates in the water, or gill parasites.
Gasping at surface – usually seen in freshwater fish under low oxygen conditions.
Slow, deep respiration – may be normal, or a sign of ammonia toxicity.
Slow, shallow respiration – normal for most fishes.


Jay Hemdal
 
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Eric1493

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Just as a frame of reference, 80 to 100 gill beats per minute is about normal for a small clownfish. Here is an excerpt from my upcoming disease book:

A note on respiration rates
Aquarists are warned throughout this book about rapid breathing in their fish as a symptom of potential problems, yet few know just what “rapid” is. Obviously, fish kept in warmer water or those with gill disease will respire more rapidly. Actively swimming fish respire faster than sedentary ones. Less obvious is that larger fish respire more slowly and, in some cases, high ammonia levels will cause a fish to respire more slowly than normal. While there is some difference between species, (Chinese algae eaters will breathe twice as fast as any other fish their size) most tropical fish of the size kept in smaller aquariums should breathe at a rate of between 70 and 120 gill beats per minute. Relative respiration rate is the most important value – capturing the respiration rate of your fish when they are known to be healthy, gives you a baseline to compare to if you later suspect a problem. Not having this baseline data is an issue for newly acquired fish, so using the information below may serve as a secondary reference.

Fish may exhibit a variety of respiration forms in addition to the actual rate itself:

Mouth open respiration – may be a sign of gill disease or toxic compounds in the water.
Rapid, shallow respiration – may be signs as above, or just a result of high activity level.
Coughing – a result of high levels of particulates in the water, or gill parasites.
Gasping at surface – usually seen in freshwater fish under low oxygen conditions.
Slow, deep respiration – may be normal, or a sign of ammonia toxicity.
Slow, shallow respiration – normal for most fishes.


Jay Hemdal
Based on that, it seems she is performing “mouth open respiration”. I am running chemipure blue and am reading 0 ammonia, so i doubt I have introduced toxins/ ammonia. Additionally, the other clown seems fine. Is it likely she has some sort of gill disease? If so, what disease? I could get a video if that would help.
 

Jay Hemdal

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Based on that, it seems she is performing “mouth open respiration”. I am running chemipure blue and am reading 0 ammonia, so i doubt I have introduced toxins/ ammonia. Additionally, the other clown seems fine. Is it likely she has some sort of gill disease? If so, what disease? I could get a video if that would help.
A video probably won’t give us any additional insight. A good sign is that the other clown is symptom free, else with the pale color and rapid breathing I might worry about Amylodinium. I hesitate to suggest antibiotics (in the event it is bacterial gill disease) because of difficulty in guessing at a proper antibiotic to use. Sorry, I don’t see a clear course of action here.
Jay
 
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Eric1493

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A video probably won’t give us any additional insight. A good sign is that the other clown is symptom free, else with the pale color and rapid breathing I might worry about Amylodinium. I hesitate to suggest antibiotics (in the event it is bacterial gill disease) because of difficulty in guessing at a proper antibiotic to use. Sorry, I don’t see a clear course of action here.
Jay
No problem. I definitely have Far from your experience, but it doesn’t seem to be velvet. There are no small spots, and they are not hiding from light and don’t seem to prefer higher flow. Would you say velvet and bacterial Gill disease are the main possibilities at this point? Would it be worth it to do a freshwater dip to see if it’s flukes? Is a fungal infection possible? Sorry for all of the questions, I’m just kind of lost on what to do. Thank you in advance!
 

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No problem. I definitely have Far from your experience, but it doesn’t seem to be velvet. There are no small spots, and they are not hiding from light and don’t seem to prefer higher flow. Would you say velvet and bacterial Gill disease are the main possibilities at this point? Would it be worth it to do a freshwater dip to see if it’s flukes? Is a fungal infection possible? Sorry for all of the questions, I’m just kind of lost on what to do. Thank you in advance!
I’m thinking bacterial gill disease. Could be flukes I suppose, but I’d expect both fish to be affected, at least to some degree. If you can do it easily, a FW dip wouldn’t hurt. External fungal infections are very rare in marine fishes.
Jay
 
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Eric1493

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I’m thinking bacterial gill disease. Could be flukes I suppose, but I’d expect both fish to be affected, at least to some degree. If you can do it easily, a FW dip wouldn’t hurt. External fungal infections are very rare in marine fishes.
Jay
I see. If it is bacterial gill disease, could you give me some ideas for treatment? What antibiotics would you recommend?
 
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Thank you for the extensive information! I will definitely look for those signs. Out of curiosity, if it is hexamita, what is the survival rate for clownfish?
If it is - which I´m not sure off - IMO - you can treat it with success - however - I have no experiences of "hexamite-like" infections in clownfish - but a huge experiences of these infections among african algae and aufwuch feeding cichlids. In general - if treatment is started a day or two after total refuse to eat - its normal a high survival rate.

As I know - there is no 100 % evidences that this type of diplomonad infections really exist among our reef fishes but the disease is known from other salt water species - often referred to as a Spironucleus caused disease. (all of these names can be referred to as "hexamite-like" organisms) IMO - this organisms is a part of the normal gut flora but can - during some conditions - cause a disease. IMO - most of fishes known for this type of disease are algae or aufwuch feeders with long intestinal systems. The infection can give different symptoms in different species. The hole in head diseases among Discus fish is believed to be a diplomonad infection. There is discussion about it by I know of experiences that treatment with metradizonol based drugs is effective. IMO Head and Lateral Line Erosion (HLLE), Lateral Line Erosion (LLE) and Lateral Line Disease (LLD) surgeon fishes can be caused of this type of infections even if it not always can be found any known diplomonads in infected fishes. However - as said before - you normally find these organism in the normal gut flora and stress, wrong food and bad husbandry (in general) will IMO change these organisms into pathogenic organism even for some saltwater species.

I´m sorry that´s my answer is partly of topic but for me it is important to give the whole picture because only you can observe your fish and make wise decisions based on inputs from other persons. you have to put together the information given by me, Jay and others and compare with what you see in your aquarium.

Your aquarium is new with new mixed saltwater. IMO - the water can be too "aggressive" (because it lack many biological molecules that protect the slime system of fish) and create zones there normal non pathogenic bacteria can propagate and cause infection. The gills are often part of the fish there the slime defence can be put out of order. As Jay suggest - a bacterial gill infection can be your problem. IMO - if you can get your fish to eat with frozen adult artemia or mysis - your clown will probably manage this by itself. To have the fish to eat - that would be my primary task. One tip is to use frozen freshwater black mosquito larvae - I have not meet many fish (fresh or saltwater species) that can resist this temptation.

I am running chemipure blue
I´m not familiar with this product but according to the their website it will remove things in the water that I normally want in a new started aquarium in order to make a better environment for my fishes.

Sincerely Lasse
 

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I see. If it is bacterial gill disease, could you give me some ideas for treatment? What antibiotics would you recommend?
If you move the fish to a QT, you could try dosing with a broad spectrum antibiotic for gram negative bacteria. Trouble is, even if you do that, it will take 5+ days to work, and sometimes the fish don’t have that long. I’m not really sure what hobbyist product to suggest, perhaps F uran 2?
Jay
 

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To me doesn't look like your fish have any disease. Normal behavior so far, overreaction kills more fish than actual disease. Have you tried Flakes or Frozen food? Clown are very resilient once I neglected a tank with 2 clows that were feed like every 2 weeks.

Based on your pictures your tank look very young, if you recently introduced the clowns to the tank give them time to adapt. Important to have more than 1 kind of food available at any time. I have formula 1 flakes, pellets, veggie pellets, nori and frozen LRS. And altern them every day and feed 2 different everyday.
 
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If it is - which I´m not sure off - IMO - you can treat it with success - however - I have no experiences of "hexamite-like" infections in clownfish - but a huge experiences of these infections among african algae and aufwuch feeding cichlids. In general - if treatment is started a day or two after total refuse to eat - its normal a high survival rate.

As I know - there is no 100 % evidences that this type of diplomonad infections really exist among our reef fishes but the disease is known from other salt water species - often referred to as a Spironucleus caused disease. (all of these names can be referred to as "hexamite-like" organisms) IMO - this organisms is a part of the normal gut flora but can - during some conditions - cause a disease. IMO - most of fishes known for this type of disease are algae or aufwuch feeders with long intestinal systems. The infection can give different symptoms in different species. The hole in head diseases among Discus fish is believed to be a diplomonad infection. There is discussion about it by I know of experiences that treatment with metradizonol based drugs is effective. IMO Head and Lateral Line Erosion (HLLE), Lateral Line Erosion (LLE) and Lateral Line Disease (LLD) surgeon fishes can be caused of this type of infections even if it not always can be found any known diplomonads in infected fishes. However - as said before - you normally find these organism in the normal gut flora and stress, wrong food and bad husbandry (in general) will IMO change these organisms into pathogenic organism even for some saltwater species.

I´m sorry that´s my answer is partly of topic but for me it is important to give the whole picture because only you can observe your fish and make wise decisions based on inputs from other persons. you have to put together the information given by me, Jay and others and compare with what you see in your aquarium.

Your aquarium is new with new mixed saltwater. IMO - the water can be too "aggressive" (because it lack many biological molecules that protect the slime system of fish) and create zones there normal non pathogenic bacteria can propagate and cause infection. The gills are often part of the fish there the slime defence can be put out of order. As Jay suggest - a bacterial gill infection can be your problem. IMO - if you can get your fish to eat with frozen adult artemia or mysis - your clown will probably manage this by itself. To have the fish to eat - that would be my primary task. One tip is to use frozen freshwater black mosquito larvae - I have not meet many fish (fresh or saltwater species) that can resist this temptation.


I´m not familiar with this product but according to the their website it will remove things in the water that I normally want in a new started aquarium in order to make a better environment for my fishes.

Sincerely Lasse
Thank you for the information! I think they look a little better today, so no medication planned. The garlic is arriving in the mail, and I will stop by my LFS and pick up some mysis of mosquito larvae if they have it. I was not aware of Chemi-pure's harmful effects. I will remove it and replace it with regular carbon. Thank you for the tips!
 
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Eric1493

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If you move the fish to a QT, you could try dosing with a broad spectrum antibiotic for gram negative bacteria. Trouble is, even if you do that, it will take 5+ days to work, and sometimes the fish don’t have that long. I’m not really sure what hobbyist product to suggest, perhaps F uran 2?
Jay
Unfortunately, I don't have a quarantine, and getting one isn't really practical for me. They look better today though, so I will just focus on getting them to eat. If it progresses, I will definitely consider the Furan-2. Thank you for your advice!
 
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To me doesn't look like your fish have any disease. Normal behavior so far, overreaction kills more fish than actual disease. Have you tried Flakes or Frozen food? Clown are very resilient once I neglected a tank with 2 clows that were feed like every 2 weeks.

Based on your pictures your tank look very young, if you recently introduced the clowns to the tank give them time to adapt. Important to have more than 1 kind of food available at any time. I have formula 1 flakes, pellets, veggie pellets, nori and frozen LRS. And altern them every day and feed 2 different everyday.
Yeah, I definitely tend to overreact lol. I will definitely pick up some frozen and maybe flakes later today. Thanks for the information!
 

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I was not aware of Chemi-pure's harmful effects. I will remove it and replace it with regular carbon. Thank you for the tips
For the books - I´m not sure that Chemi-pure is harmful or not. My only concern is based on their web page - it is not a product I would use in a newly started aquarium with the properties they describe there - but I can be wrong - it has happens before.

In general - Do not do too many changes the same time - just take it carefully. I do not know if it would be better to take it out or not. You can start with taking out half of it.

Sincerely Lasse
 
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For the books - I´m not sure that Chemi-pure is harmful or not. My only concern is based on their web page - it is not a product I would use in a newly started aquarium with the properties they describe there - but I can be wrong - it has happens before.

In general - Do not do too many changes the same time - just take it carefully. I do not know if it would be better to take it out or not. You can start with taking out half of it.

Sincerely Lasse
Ok, I will take out 2 of the 4 packets then, and replace them with the normal carbon. Just one last question and probably a stupid one, both of my clowns are opening and closing their mouths. Just constantly opening and closing, probably less than a millimeter. Is this normal behavior? I feel like they've been doing this ever since I've had them.
 
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