Royal Gramma Flashing - Dead Firefish

Prettymuchnow

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Hi all!

I'm a new reefer running a newly established 29 gallon tank.
Last week I had 2 clowns, 1 Royal Gramma and a FIrefish happy in the mixed tank with a small handful of Frags and a beauty of a Goniopora.
I have four hermit crabs and 5 snails as my CUC.
Late last week I noticed the Firefish was Flashing a little bit (Not an overly Concerning amount- but enough to make me google about it) and the next morning he was on the sandbed being eaten by crabs :(

I fished him out and couldn't see anything obviously suspicious about him - There was some fraying on his dorsal fin where the hermit crabs were nibbling at him, no other signs of being bullied or anything. I did read that sometimes these guys can just "Go" when they dart into something they shouldnt but the flashing had me concerned. Up until that moment I was not worried about him at all as he was eating fine and seemed to be in very good condition.

Tank is 3 months old; Fish have been in for two months and the firefish for around one. All healthy and still eating twice a day (Until the one death)

I checked my parameters:
Salinity: 1.26 (Checked with Refractometer)
Ammonia .25 (API kit always shows a little ammonia apparently)
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates:0-5.0ppm
PH: Stable at 8.0

I'm battling my ugly stage at the minute with a lot of algae as you will see in the video's. But my zoa frags are multiplying, my mushrooms are growing huge and my goniopora was doing amazing (Until my Clowns started hosting it 24/7 and its closed much more often now lol). So I feel that my water quality should be OKAY.

Most recent changes to the tank are an in tank UV filter to battle an unsightly bacterial bloom that I had going and a small and cheap hang on back skimmer that I've been using to reduce the nutrients. (This is the source of the micro bubbles you might see in the video's.) I only run these overnight / intermittantly.

I know that micro bubbles can irritate them and can cause flashing. But I had the skimmer off for a few days right before I noticed this and am not sure that it would be the reason. Losing the Firefish is making me panic a little about this too... My Gramma is very confident and I'm quite fond of him/her at this stage... The only other behavioural change is that as of today she/he has started to hang out between the UV filter and the heater that I have in the tank... which is not ideal.... But very cool to see what positions they normally take when hiding in the rocks!

See Image here:

1622090210739.png


Please ignore the casual chat between my wife and I in these clips lol. She was framing a picture off camera:

Flashing (Towards end of clip) and swimming Gramma / clowns.

Flashing only Gramma

If anybody has any advice or can see anything in these video's I would greatly appreciate it. Please let me know If I am overreacting or if I should be worried about this! I havent seen the clowns flash but they're always cuddling up to the Goni so I dont think I would notice...
 
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Prettymuchnow

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hi looks like grabbing food??
Maybe!? I hope so!

I didnt notice this behavior until today though. Unless he's eating the algae up against that wall?! I did just feed some mysis before this was taken to get him to come out for the video which could be contributing to it..

But then what happened to my firefish? Do you think the flashing just incidental to his demise? :(
 
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Prettymuchnow

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So he is still doing this.. I would say he's flashing against that back wall more often. I can't see anything on him thats different to the video I posted. Respiration rate is the same. He's still eating fine but I would say he seems a little less excited at mealtimes? There are microbubbles in the tank that I'm not happy with and it could be irritating him but I can't work out where its coming from.

Only other thing I've noticed is that the flow from my cannister filter has decreased a lot. So I'm going to clean that out again tomorrow and see if increased filtration rate helps..

I really wish I set up a sump now instead. :(

Clowns are doing great and no behavior change there!
 
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So he is still doing this.. I would say he's flashing against that back wall more often. I can't see anything on him thats different to the video I posted. Respiration rate is the same. He's still eating fine but I would say he seems a little less excited at mealtimes? There are microbubbles in the tank that I'm not happy with and it could be irritating him but I can't work out where its coming from.

Only other thing I've noticed is that the flow from my cannister filter has decreased a lot. So I'm going to clean that out again tomorrow and see if increased filtration rate helps..

I really wish I set up a sump now instead. :(

Clowns are doing great and no behavior change there!
What’s the update? Did the gramma have ich?
 
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Prettymuchnow

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What’s the update? Did the gramma have ich?
No change in behavior! No sign of ich or anything. I guess this is just something he's going to do for fun now!?

Weirded out by it all but happy to have a "healthy" tank even if the inhabitants are crazy! :p
 

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