Help diagnosing clownfish

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Hi.

quick back story - ordered 2 clowns online (never again) the larger one had obviously something wrong with it as the fish was breathing heavy straight away, swam with its head in the air and it’s Gills we’re opening wide and would often swim in to the RFG. Being a noob to disease and illnesses I initially though it was stressed and it would settle down as the smaller clown looked normal. My water Params were 0 ammonia 0 nitrite 2.5 nitrate, salinity 1.024 and float acclimated for 40mins. These were the only fish in the tank.

6 days later the large clown deteriorated quickly sitting at the bottom of the tank breathing hard but still trying to swim but would eventually go back and start resting again at the bottom. I quickly set up a qt tank and did a fresh water dip but the fish died about 30mins after the dip. I didn’t see any flukes.

I moved the remaining clown in to the Qt as I noticed he had white stringy poo. While being in QT as advised by LFS I started treatment with praziquantel and seems to be getting worse. He has now started breathing heavy, flared gills, will not touch food and hovers in one stop facing towards the surface breathing heavy. (Similar to the dead clown) He every so often flicks his head like if you poked a hamster in the side. It’s fair to say I’m out my depth now and exhausted by it and I still haven’t got a clue what’s actually wrong. I’m based in the UK so all these treatments I read about are difficult to find, also I have 2 spare pumps facing straight up so the water is plenty oxygenated. Many thanks

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Jay Hemdal

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Welcome to Reef2Reef.

At first I thought the issue might have been ammonia toxicity and/or acclimation issues, but the timeline doesn't add up. Based on the elapsed time, i would say that the fish have velvet, Amyloodinium ocellatum. Unfortunately, it kills quickly, and even a proper treatment may fail. Copper sulfate is the treatment of choice. A freshwater dip may buy you some time, but be forewarned that at late stages, a FW dip may just hasten its demise.

I see you are in England, so this message will likely reach you too late to do anything today, and the fish probably won't make it overnight - sorry!

Jay
 
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Welcome to Reef2Reef.

At first I thought the issue might have been ammonia toxicity and/or acclimation issues, but the timeline doesn't add up. Based on the elapsed time, i would say that the fish have velvet, Amyloodinium ocellatum. Unfortunately, it kills quickly, and even a proper treatment may fail. Copper sulfate is the treatment of choice. A freshwater dip may buy you some time, but be forewarned that at late stages, a FW dip may just hasten its demise.

I see you are in England, so this message will likely reach you too late to do anything today, and the fish probably won't make it overnight - sorry!

Jay
Hi jay

thank you so much for your reply. My fish is still alive this morning still doing the same thing, floating in it’s spot. I have ordered some copper power from America but it’s gonna be a few days until it arrives unfortunately. My heart sank when you mentioned velvet. I’m sure you will correct me on this, I was under the impression that velvet kills quickly. My clown has been ailing in qt now for 5 days and would of been exposed to the parasites for 2 weeks would he not of died a lot sooner? Or atleast shown some physical signs? Or is it more of a slow build up until it’s too late?

I also may of made a fatal error if this is the case. I moved some fish into the display where the clown came from to make room in my qt tank :/
 

Jay Hemdal

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Yes, I misunderstood, I thought the second clowns symptoms developed after five days. If it has had this issue to some degree since arrival, then ammonia burn/acclimation issues would still be a possibility. Ordering copper from the US is so slow....but maybe there isn’t a disease issue here after all?
Do you know how long the shipping took?
Jay
 
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Docker Head

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thanks for your reply, yes I have thought about ammonia poisoning. They were shipped over night and arrived early in the morning and I took them straight out. They were also in separate big bags.

So just to clear up the timeline. The bigger clown came with obvious breathing difficulty’s and was swimming weird as soon as I put it in the tank, it died after 5 days. I then put the 2nd clown who looked okay when the other clown died in to the QT as precaution. Since being in qt he has now developed the heavy breathing and floating at surface facing towards it hasn’t eaten for 3 days.. will swim up to food but then return.
 

Jay Hemdal

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Hmmm, I'm still confused - the second clown was fine until you moved it into the tank where the first clown died? How long was it there before symptoms developed?

Jay
 
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Sorry I’ve probaly not explained this very well. But yes that’s correct. So the fish started with white stringy poo the day he went in to the quarantine tank but was still eating.

Day 2 started treating praziquantel.
Day 3 breathing started getting more rapid and started hovering tail heavy near the surface and stopped eating and this has been continuing over the last 2 days. Still has stringy poo.
 

Jay Hemdal

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The rapid breathing is a symptom of either a gill disease, or a systemic internal infection. Trouble is, it could also be both! Gill disease is usually protozoan, so copper. The internal infection could be protozoan or bacterial....too many options for me to give a clear course of action.
Jay
 
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Thank you so much for trying to help. I knew it was a long shot as I can only describe what I can see! It’s almost like it just can’t be arsed to live.

I removed the medication and did a water change today and I’m just going to see what happens. Checked on him earlier and he was sat at the bottom asleep. I heard prazi can suppress feeding so if I can get him feeding again that’s a start.
 

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