Dead Clown - Day 3 of Copper Treatment

Apollo7235

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Hi there all,

This morning, I checked my tanks and noticed my two gladiator clowns hanging out on the bottom of my QT which is pretty normal for them as they are usually asleep when I wake up. I ran to the grocery store a few hours later and when I got home, the male clown was dead.

I began CopperSafe treatment the day before yesterday, so we are currently in day 3. The copper test I ran yesterday (Hanna) showed 1.9, and the test I just now ran showed 1.65. I did top off the tanks last night and I think I went a little heavy on my fish QT, so that is probably the cause of the 0.25 difference. There is a 6-line wrasse and the female gladiator clown in the QT and both seem fine.

Here is the fish:

IMG_0689.JPG
IMG_0690.JPG


Any ideas on what may have happened? I am stumped. All fish have been very healthy and eating great.... I don't get it. Could it be the 0.25 difference in copper levels that killed him?
 

Jay Hemdal

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Hi there all,

This morning, I checked my tanks and noticed my two gladiator clowns hanging out on the bottom of my QT which is pretty normal for them as they are usually asleep when I wake up. I ran to the grocery store a few hours later and when I got home, the male clown was dead.

I began CopperSafe treatment the day before yesterday, so we are currently in day 3. The copper test I ran yesterday (Hanna) showed 1.9, and the test I just now ran showed 1.65. I did top off the tanks last night and I think I went a little heavy on my fish QT, so that is probably the cause of the 0.25 difference. There is a 6-line wrasse and the female gladiator clown in the QT and both seem fine.

Here is the fish:

IMG_0689.JPG
IMG_0690.JPG


Any ideas on what may have happened? I am stumped. All fish have been very healthy and eating great.... I don't get it. Could it be the 0.25 difference in copper levels that killed him?
Neither of those copper readings are yet at full dose, so it was either something that copper doesn’t control (brooklynella for example) or something that kills fast (velvet). Coppersafe takes 72 hours at full dose to really control protozoans.
Continue to check your other clown for rapid breathing.

Edit - I looked at the pics again, the dead clown has tattered fins, so it was getting tagged by something...

Jay
 
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Apollo7235

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Neither of those copper readings are yet at full dose, so it was either something that copper doesn’t control (brooklynella for example) or something that kills fast (velvet). Coppersafe takes 72 hours at full dose to really control protozoans.
Continue to check your other clown for rapid breathing.

Edit - I looked at the pics again, the dead clown has tattered fins, so it was getting tagged by something...

Jay
Thank you very much for the reply, Jay. I will continue to monitor the other two fish.

The correct therapeutic level for CopperSafe is 2.0, correct? I think I had read something by HumbleFish saying 1.5-2.0 is therapeutic, but I’m not sure if that’s outdated.

Maybe the female decided she wanted a divorce? I can’t imagine that the damage is life threatening if it’s just on the fins?
 

Jay Hemdal

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Thank you very much for the reply, Jay. I will continue to monitor the other two fish.

The correct therapeutic level for CopperSafe is 2.0, correct? I think I had read something by HumbleFish saying 1.5-2.0 is therapeutic, but I’m not sure if that’s outdated.

Maybe the female decided she wanted a divorce? I can’t imagine that the damage is life threatening if it’s just on the fins?
No, the fin damage wouldn’t be directly fatal, but there could be other unseen damage. I should add that if the fish died a few hours before you found it, the fin damage might be post-mortem from pods in the tank.
Full coppersafe dose is somewhere around 2.25 and 2.5 ppm. I have to run more replicates to dial that number in a bit better, but for sure it is higher than 2.0 ppm
Jay
 
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No, the fin damage wouldn’t be directly fatal, but there could be other unseen damage. I should add that if the fish died a few hours before you found it, the fin damage might be post-mortem from pods in the tank.
Full coppersafe dose is somewhere around 2.25 and 2.5 ppm. I have to run more replicates to dial that number in a bit better, but for sure it is higher than 2.0 ppm
Jay
I see, that makes sense.

Thank you very much for your help!
 
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Well, I just came home to both the wrasse and the remaining clown dead. I haven't had a chance to pull them out and take a look, but they were fine and eating last night with no visible issues.

I really don't understand what could have happened. Could I have gotten a bad batch of CopperSafe?
 

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Well, I just came home to both the wrasse and the remaining clown dead. I haven't had a chance to pull them out and take a look, but they were fine and eating last night with no visible issues.

I really don't understand what could have happened. Could I have gotten a bad batch of CopperSafe?
Sorry to hear. I can't be certain of course, but you never hit therapeutic levels for copper, so it could have been an uncontrolled disease issue - any rapid breathing in the fish? Then, we were focusing on the copper, and never got around to checking the tank parameters - what is the ammonia at, and what ammonia test are you using?

Jay
 
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Sorry to hear. I can't be certain of course, but you never hit therapeutic levels for copper, so it could have been an uncontrolled disease issue - any rapid breathing in the fish? Then, we were focusing on the copper, and never got around to checking the tank parameters - what is the ammonia at, and what ammonia test are you using?

Jay
Here are the fish:

F89EE3CE-3A96-4262-A079-8A594163791D.jpeg
253EDAD6-DA39-4A55-9689-EA883433EAF5.jpeg


No rapid breathing of the fish that I have seen.

The tank I had them in has been running for a few months and was a very successful coral QT previously; the ammonia has been zero since a week in and I haven’t checked it since. I do have a SeaChem ammonia badge in the tank, though, and it is registering 0.

I just did a 30% water change on the tank before I started copper treatment to give them a good fresh start.

I can test the other parameters tomorrow if I need to, but they’ve always been in the normal range. I have a sponge filter that was seeded for weeks in the tank before I brought home the fish. The fish were great for the few weeks I had them leading up to copper treatment. I also have a HOB filter with an empty floss cartridge on the tank. Temp is 80.2F, SG 1.025. I use RODI water that runs through a TDS meter that registers 0. I hope all this helps.
 

Jay Hemdal

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Here are the fish:

F89EE3CE-3A96-4262-A079-8A594163791D.jpeg
253EDAD6-DA39-4A55-9689-EA883433EAF5.jpeg


No rapid breathing of the fish that I have seen.

The tank I had them in has been running for a few months and was a very successful coral QT previously; the ammonia has been zero since a week in and I haven’t checked it since. I do have a SeaChem ammonia badge in the tank, though, and it is registering 0.

I just did a 30% water change on the tank before I started copper treatment to give them a good fresh start.

I can test the other parameters tomorrow if I need to, but they’ve always been in the normal range. I have a sponge filter that was seeded for weeks in the tank before I brought home the fish. The fish were great for the few weeks I had them leading up to copper treatment. I also have a HOB filter with an empty floss cartridge on the tank. Temp is 80.2F, SG 1.025. I use RODI water that runs through a TDS meter that registers 0. I hope all this helps.
If the ammonia is low, then I doubt water quality was an issue. The fish dying with their mouthed closed tends to rule out gill disease. Sorry, I’m stumped!
Jay
 
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Apollo7235

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If the ammonia is low, then I doubt water quality was an issue. The fish dying with their mouthed closed tends to rule out gill disease. Sorry, I’m stumped!
Jay
As am I.

Oh well, I guess. Between these three dying and my injured goby on her deathbed, I’m thinking I’m going to have to take a break to reflect on whether or not to continue in this hobby. I don’t know if my heart can take another fish death... 4 in a matter of a week is just too many.
 
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Jay Hemdal

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Yes, very sorry to hear. I lose fish also, it is discouraging. I took a break for about 4 years back in the 1970s due to frustration as well.
Jay
 

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