Clownfish, staying near sand bed (certain spot) and breathing heavy occasionally. Please help identify the cause if you can. Videos linked.

starghost-out

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Hi, I've had my first clownfish, two of them, for 3 weeks now. Nitro and Nissan.

I dosed prazi, metro, and have given both clowns melafix since getting them, as Nissan was injured from being housed with aggressive fish previously and I was nervous about parasites.

Nitro, the smaller clownfish has seemingly had some trouble swimming. I thought fish bladder problems maybe or a strong flow. I changed the flow of the water when he was displaying similar behavior in a different area of the tank and he seemed to perk up after doing that, I also removed some new decor I had added that I thought may have stressed him at that time.

Now he is back on the floor as of yesterday, so far just in this area of sand, and seems off but I'm not used to their behaviors yet so I don't know if this is something to worry about. The flow is pointed to aggravate the surface water, paired with an air stone, so I don't think it would be O2 problems… I did just swap the protein skimmer and heater for better rated ones. Could that be causing anything? Could it be stress from changes?

He's eating enthusiastically and swims around with the other fish occasionally. He also goes back to his sleep spot (in the base of the rock behind him) for bedtime. The fish have been twitching to each other but last night the other fish seemed to be pushing him away at their host spot before they finally settled for bed. She’s nipped at him and pushed him a bit before but I’ve never seen her chase him or any intense fighting. The larger clown has tattered fins from her previous living condition and so far I haven’t seen any on the male. He is spending a lot of time in this spot in the sand, the majority of the day. Though he does swim around occasionally and spend time swimming near his rock, which he is doing as I type this.. still I'm concerned.

I just noticed before posting he has some fin/or scale on his belly sticking out more than normal it looks like… in the last video I tried to get a good shot of it.


My water parameters:

ph- 8
salinity- 1.022
ammonia- 0
temp- 78 f / 25.5 c
nitrites- near 0
nitrates- 2-5ppm (API kit, hard to tell)
phosphate- .26 ppm
alkalinity- 13.3 ppm

I’m working on slowly fixing my levels that are out of range.

They also have some tankmates:
2 blue knuckle hermits
1 blue leg hermit
3 camel shrimp
2 emerald crabs

Here are the videos:

Behavior from yesterday

From today
https://vimeo.com/632356975

Tattered belly fin?

What can I do to help my fish?
Thank you for your time.
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Hi, welcome to Reef2Reef!

The clown is negatively buoyant, so there is something wrong with its swim bladder. Under inflation of the swim bladder is rarer than over inflation, but it does happen. I don’t the cause and there is no proven cure except that in some cases it resolves on its own. It could be genetic or developmental, neither which is treatable. Some fish can live ok with this condition.
Jay
 
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starghost-out

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Welcome Starghost. Sorry about your troubles, beautiful clowns!

Is your tank brand new? Looks to be.
Thank you!
Yes, I started a few months ago with live rock and dry rock to get it going and have been trying hard to get things right with lots of research. I think mostly the troubles may be from basing my clown choice because I felt sorry for their previous living condition. I would get them all over again though!
 
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Hurricane Aquatics

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Thank you!
Yes, I started a few months ago with live rock and dry rock to get it going and have been trying hard to get things right with lots of research. I think mostly the troubles may be from basing my clown choice because I felt sorry for their previous living condition. I would get them all over again though!
If you can, get a box of MarinePure Ceramic Bioballs and put them in your sump. All might not fit depending on the size of your sump, but you don't need that many. Then pick up a bottle of Fritz Turbostart 24 hr nitrifying bacteria and pour that in the tank. That will clean any ammonia still sticking around .

The ceramic balls don't need to be washed so leave them in there. You can rinse them gently if they ever become super dirty, which they shouldn't.

Yes, unfortunately, designer clowns are hit and miss. I also had a pair that suffered from an unknown illness and died. Don't let it discourage you.

Glad you are researching and learning. It's the best way to progress.
 
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starghost-out

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If you can, get a box of MarinePure Ceramic Bioballs and put them in your sump. All might not fit depending on the size of your sump, but you don't need that many. Then pick up a bottle of Fritz Turbostart 24 hr nitrifying bacteria and pour that in the tank. That will clean any ammonia still sticking around .

The ceramic balls don't need to be washed so leave them in there. You can rinse them gently if they ever become super dirty, which they shouldn't.

Yes, unfortunately, designer clowns are hit and miss. I also had a pair that suffered from an unknown illness and died. Don't let it discourage you.

Glad you are researching and learning. It's the best way to progress.
I appreciate the advice, I'll try those out!

I'm sorry to hear about your pair that passed. I figured it may happen when I got them but I still wanted to try to give them a good life. I'm definitely going to keep going. Thanks again!
 

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