Dead Citrinis Clown Goby

Albertoinbox

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I got this beautiful citrinis clown goby a couple of days ago, together with a yellow and a green clown gobies. I drip acclimated them for an hour and introduced him in the tank, as I do with all my livestock. The citrinis clown looked ok, he went to the back and perched on a rock.

Bad news.

Today I woke up expecting to see the citrinis clown feeling a little more comfortable after two days and perhaps swimming a bit, but I found him belly up on the sand! Oh no!! Poor guy, what the heck happened?

I had never had a fish die in my tank. I need to know what went wrong to avoid harming other animals.

In my mind there can be only three possibilities:
1. Sick fish
2. Acclimation shock
3. Killed by other fish

1. Cant rule out this one. Never had a sick fish come in so I wouldn't know unless it was apparent. He looked fine.
2. Never had a fish die of shock but this would be my best bet. I drip acclimate in the dark for one hour with a heater and a thermometer to make sure the temperature matches the one in the tank before transferring the fish. Everything is done slowly and in a controlled procedure void of hard light, noise, vibrations, etc...
3. I dont have any aggressive fish in my tank. The only fish that I believe could harm him (just because its big enough) is a yellow striped cardinal I have. Sometimes he pushes my clowns away, but he doesnt dash right in his face like the springeri damsel I had. He might be developing into a bully but I dont think he would kill the fish.

I took some pictures of the dead citrinis clown to try to identify marks of agression but I couldn't recognize any, so I'm posting them here so you guys can have a look and help me figure this out. I never had this fish before, is his belly caved in?

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Cacopepo

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In my experience, I did the same thing... put those 2 same fish together... green clown goby ended killing the citrus..green clown are more aggressive than citrus and more territorial.
 
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Albertoinbox

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In my experience, I did the same thing... put those 2 same fish together... green clown goby ended killing the citrus..green clown are more aggressive than citrus and more territorial.
Thanks for the insight Caco.

Really? The citrinis goby is like 10 times bigger than the green one. At least thats how I got them, maybe the citrinis was fully grown and the green is still small/medium.

Anyway, check this out, it couldn't be. I kept the yellow and green gobies trapped in a breeding box inside the tank because they're too small and I recently lost a yellow clown goby that jumped. I'm waiting for a net top so I can release them.
 

Cacopepo

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Thanks for the insight Caco.

Really? The citrinis goby is like 10 times bigger than the green one. At least thats how I got them, maybe the citrinis was fully grown and the green is still small/medium.

Anyway, check this out, it couldn't be. I kept the yellow and green gobies trapped in a breeding box inside the tank because they're too small and I recently lost a yellow clown goby that jumped. I'm waiting for a net top so I can release them.
Oh, they were still in a breeding box? Then idk... maybe the fish was sick? Did you acclimate them? Now I'm curious on why he died.
 
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Albertoinbox

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Oh, they were still in a breeding box? Then idk... maybe the fish was sick? Did you acclimate them? Now I'm curious on why he died.
Exactly, that makes two of us.

I acclimated them like I described, never had an issue. Kept G5 Radion lights off for an hour when I put them in the tank then on 20% until off for the day.

Update: The yellow clown goby was still for too long inside the breeding box, tried to make him move but he was actually dead! Dangit!!

Now, the yellow goby was together with the green goby in the breeding box but as I monitored them they didn't seem to mind each other. So, I couldn't tell if he killed it but I dont think so. I released the green goby into the tank fearing he could also die in there mysteriously.

Now I'm even more confused.

If it wasn't the acclimation could it be either the transportation or maybe they were sick?

It was the first time I ordered fish from this store: AquariumFishSale.com I noticed their bags had very little water compared to what I'm used to getting from other stores but I couldn't tell if that has anything to do with it.
 
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champyeti

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I've never kept a clown goby (their reputation for nipping sps precedes them) but looking at my other gobies yours does appear to have a very sunken in belly. Most of mine are rather rotund around that area and are like a consistent torpedo shape if that makes sense. I think I have heard of clown gobies starving in captivity for inexplicable reasons. Seems like yours may have come in badly underweight.
 
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Albertoinbox

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I've never kept a clown goby (their reputation for nipping sps precedes them) but looking at my other gobies yours does appear to have a very sunken in belly. Most of mine are rather rotund around that area and are like a consistent torpedo shape if that makes sense. I think I have heard of clown gobies starving in captivity for inexplicable reasons. Seems like yours may have come in badly underweight.
The more I look into it the more I think they starved to death.

Look at these pictures from the yellow clown goby, his belly also looks caved in. What do you think?:
IMG_9336.jpg

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They got here Tuesday 19 around 11:00am. They must have gone in the tank around 1:30pm. Lights went off at 5pm.
Wednesday went by, the 2 small gobies were occasionally "swimming" in the box and the citrinis spent the day on the rock in the shade. They didn't seem to be in their best disposition but I though that was normal due to transport. Thursday (today) 8:00am when I checked the tank for the first time the citrinis goby was dead already. I didn't check the yellow clown goby in the box until a bit later. They probably survived less than 36 hours.

So, if they did starve to death, I ask you:

Would these 36 hours be enough for the fish to starve to death due to something related with my care?

Or did I receive these guys in too bad of a shape for them to survive?
 
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Albertoinbox

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Guess what? Green clown goby is fresh dead! Just found him laying in the sand...

And guess what, he also has a caved in belly!

Check it out:
IMG_9370.jpg


IMG_9369.jpg
 

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Whilst those guys have really sunken bellies it's probably because they were starved before being sent so they didn't foul the water and then haven't eaten since. If it was starvation then ime they would be far more emaciated than that, thin all over the body with the spine showing. Now their condition isn't good and maybe part of the reason for their death, like a weak immune system, but I don't think it's the full story.

If it's the first time you bought from this shop I'd drop them a message to see what they suggest. They could have had a stressful shipping or it could be that the shop runs it's tanks at much lower salinity than you do and the acclimation period wasn't long enough. You mention that there wasnt much water in the bag, how little is little? These species all have a thick noxous mucus covering that helps protect them from predators and i wonder if the stress and small water volume was part of the issue. There doesn't appear to be any physical damage so I would suggest the travel and acclimation is why they have passed.
 
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Albertoinbox

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Whilst those guys have really sunken bellies it's probably because they were starved before being sent so they didn't foul the water and then haven't eaten since. If it was starvation then ime they would be far more emaciated than that, thin all over the body with the spine showing. Now their condition isn't good and maybe part of the reason for their death, like a weak immune system, but I don't think it's the full story.

If it's the first time you bought from this shop I'd drop them a message to see what they suggest. They could have had a stressful shipping or it could be that the shop runs it's tanks at much lower salinity than you do and the acclimation period wasn't long enough. You mention that there wasnt much water in the bag, how little is little? These species all have a thick noxous mucus covering that helps protect them from predators and i wonder if the stress and small water volume was part of the issue. There doesn't appear to be any physical damage so I would suggest the travel and acclimation is why they have passed.
Hi Mort, thanks for your insight.

I think they might have exaggerated on how much they starved them before shipping.

Your observation about how their bodies would show signs of starvation was spot on, so it made me think of an explanation for that. I came up with this, if you took an overweight human on his regular high caloric diet and suddenly stop feeding him anything at all besides water, would he die of starvation before even showing visual signs of emaciation? Maybe just "slimmer"? In other words, I think perhaps they starved too abruptly and too severely to even give time for their bodies to be "consumed" by their organisms before they died.

They could've been in shock even before shipped.

Then if you then take these tiny little guys, starving, and put them in a tiny amount of water and shake the box for a day, its going to be too much. The UPS guy left the box upside down under the sun downstairs, even though it says LIVE FISH and a bunch of caution signs all over the box. But I was on top of it and it stood there for only ten minutes before I got it.

The yellow and green gobies were in about 1 cup of water each. That was enough to keep them submerged because they were in those slim tall small heat sealed bags I usually get loose zoas in. The citrinis was in about twice that much water being he is much bigger. Besides this, they were lose inside the box, as it was too large for such small three bags and there was not enough newspaper padding to hold them in place. The trip itself might not have been the most bumpy though, since it traveled a short distance, but still probably enough to shock them.

Then I receive these animals hanging by a thread and I'm supposed to turn it all around and save them with my miraculous acclimation? Not even Jaques Costeau could have saved them!

Then they die and it was because of my acclimation...of course! No one is expecting to have to perform anything but a correct standard acclimation procedure, which I did, very neatly and carefully by the way. We all understand that they come in stressed, but that should be it.

My water salinity is 0.24

I sent them an email yesterday morning and got no response yet. I sent them an email today morning and no response yet.
 
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Albertoinbox

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That sucks, I have a gcg, don't beat yourself up about it as they look as though they were in poor condition when you got them.
Thanks, I'm glad you guys cleared my conscience.

I just think its cruel to the animals to not ship them correctly, its unnecessary. Things can go wrong but they should do their part regardless, its not that hard. I do mine and the fish do theirs.

They should at least answer my emails.

Its ironic cause on their website they say that they dont give an extended guarantee besides DOA because that will promote "poor care"...
 

mort

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Sorry I just read the last paragraph of my post and it wasn't meant to suggest your acclimation was wrong, simply that the shipping and acclimation combined might have been the contributing factor and there was probably nothing you could have done about it.
As an example I have ordered fish before from a wholesaler and they came in at 1.009 (they claimed much higher) and if I didn't have a qt to quickly drop the sg in there would have been no way I could have acclimated them to reef conditions. If the change was much lower it is still dangerous to go much higher than a few points difference in a hour or so, so it was their sg I was questioning as what is claimed often isn't and I've seen so many fish die because of osmotic shock brought on by this or the associated ammonia spike (which occurs once the shipping bag is opened) by a longer acclimation period.

My guess would still be that they fowled the water and the only way you would have a chance would have been to temperature acclimated, open the bag and drop them straight in with no exchange of water. This method is often used at wholesalers when they know and match the sg but is at odds with everything the average hobbyist is taught. I'm not questioning your knowledge or protocols, it's just something you would find out until you've had a problem.

As to the starvation, you could be right with your insight but you would be surprised how long the average fish can go without food. Sedentary fish like these could easily go a week, probably two before they really began to suffer, it's the higher metabolism fish like anthias that would suffer much sooner but they would again probably be fine for nearly a week.
 
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Albertoinbox

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Sorry I just read the last paragraph of my post and it wasn't meant to suggest your acclimation was wrong, simply that the shipping and acclimation combined might have been the contributing factor and there was probably nothing you could have done about it.
As an example I have ordered fish before from a wholesaler and they came in at 1.009 (they claimed much higher) and if I didn't have a qt to quickly drop the sg in there would have been no way I could have acclimated them to reef conditions. If the change was much lower it is still dangerous to go much higher than a few points difference in a hour or so, so it was their sg I was questioning as what is claimed often isn't and I've seen so many fish die because of osmotic shock brought on by this or the associated ammonia spike (which occurs once the shipping bag is opened) by a longer acclimation period.

My guess would still be that they fowled the water and the only way you would have a chance would have been to temperature acclimated, open the bag and drop them straight in with no exchange of water. This method is often used at wholesalers when they know and match the sg but is at odds with everything the average hobbyist is taught. I'm not questioning your knowledge or protocols, it's just something you would find out until you've had a problem.

As to the starvation, you could be right with your insight but you would be surprised how long the average fish can go without food. Sedentary fish like these could easily go a week, probably two before they really began to suffer, it's the higher metabolism fish like anthias that would suffer much sooner but they would again probably be fine for nearly a week.
Thanks for the lesson, so much precious information in such small paragraphs...thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge with me, I really appreciate it. You wouldn't find this information compiled like that anywhere. This is what is special about this forum. It could take me many years and a lot of running around for me to try to figure this out. You just saved me a lot of time and money, now and for the future. I hope it comes back to you somehow.

How can they keep their parameters so off from average and expect it to work? I wouldn't know what else to do besides a super careful and slow acclimation. I definetly would have never thought about matching just the temperature and dropping them in the tank. If I did that and they died, Im sure they would blame this procedure even though it was my best bet ike you say, and I believe it.

Pretty wild practices in the business. Im just sorry these are live animals and not lifeless objects.

That amount of time you say these fish can survive without food is incredible. I know a human will die if 3 weeks without food.

That brings up another question, how do they know when to start starving the fish for shipping when they dont know when or if that fish is going to sell. And if it does sell they have to ship them out the next day. What if the fish ate that day? Do they just starve them indefinitely hoping it gets sold before it dies? How can they feed the animal and at the same time have it ready to ship? How do they figure this out?
 
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Albertoinbox

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Sorry I just read the last paragraph of my post and it wasn't meant to suggest your acclimation was wrong, simply that the shipping and acclimation combined might have been the contributing factor and there was probably nothing you could have done about it.
As an example I have ordered fish before from a wholesaler and they came in at 1.009 (they claimed much higher) and if I didn't have a qt to quickly drop the sg in there would have been no way I could have acclimated them to reef conditions. If the change was much lower it is still dangerous to go much higher than a few points difference in a hour or so, so it was their sg I was questioning as what is claimed often isn't and I've seen so many fish die because of osmotic shock brought on by this or the associated ammonia spike (which occurs once the shipping bag is opened) by a longer acclimation period.

My guess would still be that they fowled the water and the only way you would have a chance would have been to temperature acclimated, open the bag and drop them straight in with no exchange of water. This method is often used at wholesalers when they know and match the sg but is at odds with everything the average hobbyist is taught. I'm not questioning your knowledge or protocols, it's just something you would find out until you've had a problem.

As to the starvation, you could be right with your insight but you would be surprised how long the average fish can go without food. Sedentary fish like these could easily go a week, probably two before they really began to suffer, it's the higher metabolism fish like anthias that would suffer much sooner but they would again probably be fine for nearly a week.
Guess what, they didn't answer my emails but I have a shipment from them coming in anytime now. I guess its the three guys again! How do you suggest I proceed?
 
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Albertoinbox

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Guess what, they didn't answer my emails but I have a shipment from them coming in anytime now. I guess its the three guys again! How do you suggest I proceed?
False alarm, its just salt from BRS.

I wish...

Still no response from them...unless their customer service is dead I guess their suggestion is that I take it quietly! The latter is more probable since when I contacted them asking to confirm my order they responded in one business day.

I even suggested coming by to pick them up since were in the same city to avoid stress and cost but that didn't seem to help.

I also noticed they raised their prices in the last couple of days.

Who knows, I'll wait until Monday to decide if they give a crap or not.
 

mort

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Guess what, they didn't answer my emails but I have a shipment from them coming in anytime now. I guess its the three guys again! How do you suggest I proceed?
If they do come then the length of time they have been shipped for would determine which direction you go. If you have a qt then I would open one bag and match the qt to that (I would normally just ask the vendor their parameters, match them and then double check before they go in) but if they are going straight into the display it's a little trickier unless they are closely matched.

If the journey has been short then you should be able to acclimate in the normal way which helps if your sg's are more than a couple of points different. If they are different and the journey has been long then you will need to drip acclimate. It's general advise that you shouldn't change the sg by more than .002 a day if possible but if you need to acclimate after a long journey it would be a good idea to use an ammonia binder like seachem prime (but don't if you suspect they have any copper in the water, which again makes communication with the vendor better).


Long journeys are fine for fish but they fowl the water and it's only when we open the bag and you get a ph change, that ammonia begins to be an issue. If the water has been fowled for a while then the normal drip acclimation method sees the fish sitting in a potentially nasty ammonia level for quite some time, which is why most will closely match the parameters and simply net the fish out and pop in their tank straight after a simple temp acclimation.

I think there are some acclimation threads on here and you guys are more used to it than us, unless we have wholesale experience, because our postage of fish is in its infancy. What I post above is probably overkill but you might be able to find a good acclimation protocol that works for you on here. Good luck.
 

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Shipping fish in one cup of water is disappointing. I’ve never seen anything come with that little amount of water. I’m sorry for your losses but I think these fish were doomed regardless of what you did after you received them
 

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Ugh I'm sorry to hear this. I just recently added two citrinis clown gobies to my tank as well, and I noticed they were hesitant to start eating. They've been in since Wednesday and I'm finding I have to feed everyone else then hunt them down to deposit some food near them and away from the frenzy. Might I recommend Blue Zoo Aquatics if you decide to try again? My order was delayed by fedex - got held up in a state between the vendor and myself - and despite 2 days of shipping their water was clear and both fish were active in the bags (very full bags, might I add). Blue Zoo actually reached out to me themselves when they caught the Fedex Delay, and reached out again to check and see how the fish were doing after they arrived a day late. They shipped with a vial of seachem stress guard, and some of the food they're fed at the facility.
 
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Albertoinbox

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Ugh I'm sorry to hear this. I just recently added two citrinis clown gobies to my tank as well, and I noticed they were hesitant to start eating. They've been in since Wednesday and I'm finding I have to feed everyone else then hunt them down to deposit some food near them and away from the frenzy. Might I recommend Blue Zoo Aquatics if you decide to try again? My order was delayed by fedex - got held up in a state between the vendor and myself - and despite 2 days of shipping their water was clear and both fish were active in the bags (very full bags, might I add). Blue Zoo actually reached out to me themselves when they caught the Fedex Delay, and reached out again to check and see how the fish were doing after they arrived a day late. They shipped with a vial of seachem stress guard, and some of the food they're fed at the facility.
Did they come in with a sunken belly? Are they eating normally already??

I got stuff from blue zoo aquatics a couple of times and they are well shipped, I trust them so far. The stress guard sample is awesome.

My first purchase ever was a pair of Picasso clowns from Cultivated Reef that was delayed a day by UPS, they tried to cancel the delivery but it was delivered anyway. They were dead when I opened the box so they sent me another pair. It wasn't their fault but it certainly wasn't mine. I know it sucks for the shop to have to pay for a carrier mistake but they must factor this into their business. Those that will stand by the customer do. Its just the way it has to be with todays logistics.

I try to get my fish and corals from the good guys but usually what I'm looking for is rarely available all in the same shop. I can't substitute what I'm looking for since I have a very small tank so I have to be totally specific on what I get. Every fish that can go in my tank is cheap. I refrain from paying $50 shipping cost to buy a $10/20/30 fish every time. If I was buying $200 and up it would be worth it since I would even get free shipping. I see they got the Citrinis Goby but like I said its too much for too little. I'll have to wait for them to have enough stuff I need in stock to make a purchase.

These guys I bought from for the first time just happened to have three of my possible options in stock.

I avoid to judge and rule things out of frustration, but I believe by now they could have at least replied my emails. I'm not going to call them, as talk is cheap. I write so I have a written statement as proof with a name, an email address, a date and a time in all our interactions (Learn this for life, I took a lot of beating before this became a rule in my life. This only became practical once emails came into existence)

So, as a customer and a fellow community member It is my duty to report this incident to help regulate the market positively. Remember, we the customers are in charge of all businesses, we regulate them, not the other way around. These guys must straighten their act.

So, here it goes, I got the fish from:

Aquarium Fish Sale

Dan was the person who replied to my email when I asked about my order. I replied to his message informing about the incident and just asking for a suggestion and got no reply. So I sent a message through their support email just asking for a position and still no reply.

I never proposed claiming any guarantee or demanding anything or even judging their poor shipping procedure. Which I would like to add that they dont ship in a foam BOX but rather in a set of 6 foam boards put together in a box format, which defeats the purpose of insulation since theres temperature exchange on every side. If they would at least tape it snugly it would improve the efficiency a lot. This surely doesnt help.

Anyway, I believe I waited long enough to decide that they dont give a crap about the fish or the customers, but they do care about money.

I wish they will prove me wrong in the near future. If they do I'll update this, but I wouldn't keep my hopes high.
 
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