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Old 12-29-2004, 04:41 PM   #1
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Ammonia poisoning?

I put two juvenile clowns in my 20 gallon two days ago. today they started hovering just above the sand with their fins clamped and gasping. I suspect ammonia poisoning but my tests say ammonia is at or very close to 0 (could be wrong). Any other ideas? Should I transfer them to a QT?
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Old 12-29-2004, 04:48 PM   #2
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the exact same thing happend to me. they were right on the sand bed and gasping, yet all my levels were good. i didn't have a quarantine tank to put them in and they died within a day. ide get them to that quarantine tank as soon as possible.
there are a cupple of explinations for this. 1: if they were wild caught with cynide it could be cynide poisening. ive heard of fish being ok for a time then dieing because of the residue cynide in their body. 2: it could have been harmed by something in your tank, posibly a mantis shrimp.
i never found out what happend to mine, i hope the come out alive
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Old 12-29-2004, 04:51 PM   #3
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any chance of having the LFS test your water for you so you would know for sure? That would be one way to rule it out.
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Old 12-29-2004, 07:11 PM   #4
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the fish were at the LFS for over two weeks and they were fine there. There is no fish store around here that can test for the water. I made three measurements, one with my un-used ro/di saltwater, one with my tank water, and also a test using my friends test kit to compare. It was hard to tell but it seemed that I had a slight ammonia spike, but .25 ppm maximum. Should this make the fish behave like this? Will they survive these levels?

Just some other observations of their behavior: The fish were fine yesterday and have seemed to atleast have started the pairing process. They don't seem to be deathly ill but only slightly stressed. They sometimes perc up (no pun intended) and swim around for a moment or two before returning to the bottom (the larger one does this more often that the small one). they also seldom leave eachothers side. Is it possible that this is part of the pairing process?
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Old 12-29-2004, 07:47 PM   #5
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Also, I have at least 30 lbs of live rock in my tank. Shouldn't that be sufficient for bio filtration. My only livestock are my two very small clowns, a dozen tiny blue legged hermits and a few hitch hiker emerald crabs. ???
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Old 12-29-2004, 08:04 PM   #6
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the exact same symtoms hit my tru perc clown fish. this is wierd, i thought mine was a freak occurence, im really interested to see what happens.
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Old 12-29-2004, 08:39 PM   #7
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i transferred him to my friends QT that he already had established...If they recover there I'll take it as a sign that i need to cycle my tank for a stronger nitrogen cycle. If they don't recover ????

My sister also got a fish from the same tank. It seems to be doing fine.
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Old 12-30-2004, 08:21 AM   #8
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Do some large water changes ASAP, just be sure to check temp, sg, ph. This will relieve the fish and lower the ammonia level. Is this a new setup?
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Old 12-30-2004, 09:14 AM   #9
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My clownfish swim at the bottom of the sand and even rest on the sand because they didn't have an anemone or havn't chosen to host anything. I have one Ocilleris Clown that sleeps on the sand. He doesnt move but just sits there with fins tucked in and just breathing. But when the lights go on its on the move and comes toward the surface for some food. It could be normal behavior too. How old is the tank and was the LR cured before you put it in.

What are all your tank specs?
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