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Old 05-13-2006, 01:05 PM   #1
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Black patches on clown

FOWLR tank. 75g. almost 3 months old.

Got a clown (have had for almost 2 months) that today has some greyish-brown patches on his left side. Not sure what this is, it seems too patchy to be ich or black ich. Fish wasn't quarantined because he was in the first batch in the tank 2 months ago.

These aren't sharp-edged spots, like ich or black ich, but fuzzy, like smudges, with soft edges. It doesn't seem raised or bumpy, just a discoloration.

The other clown isn't showing this.

He's behaving and eating normally.

They both do seem to be a little darker than usual - that could just be lighting, but their top half, over the last couple days, seems darker, like they look when I first turn on the lights in the morning.

Perhaps something fungal?

Specs: pH 8.2, Ammonia/Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10, temp 80, sg 1.023

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Old 05-13-2006, 02:16 PM   #2
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Does your clown hang out in a coral by chance? It could just be melanin from coral burns (not sure it's actually a burn but that's my interpretation). My clowns took to a large patch of zoo polyps and after a few months, you couldn't tell they were orange fish anymore. They looked like black percs. I've since moved them out of the reef and it took a long time but the colors are back to normal. Just a thought.
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Old 05-13-2006, 02:25 PM   #3
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No coral. Sorry, I didn't specify its a FOWLR tank.
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Old 05-13-2006, 02:28 PM   #4
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I'm sorry, I don't know then. It could be fungal but hopefully one of the more experienced will be able to help. I hope he/she recovers.
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Old 05-13-2006, 02:37 PM   #5
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I also failed to mention that its eating and behaving fine - its usual hyperactive self, wiggling around the tank like usual.
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180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
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160 pounds aragonite
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2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
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Old 05-14-2006, 11:47 AM   #6
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It does appear to be melanism as Fluff suspected. It is commonly caused by a chemical reaction to hosting corals/anemones but has also been linked to nutrition in a small way.

What do you feed these guys on a regular basis and how often? Any aggression from tanks mates?

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Old 05-14-2006, 11:13 PM   #7
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Hi, Steve. No aggression towards the clowns at all - everybody loves them (the other fish, that is!)

They're feed a good mix of frozen mysis, occasionally flakes, brine, frozen frozen enriched brine, frozen spirunlina enriched brine, and a frozen "seafood blend" with shrimp and all sorts of stuff in it. I try to mix it up.

Fed 3-4 times a day (to satisfy all the different appetites). They eat well.

BTW, Steve, I lost the anthias. I moved him into quarantine, and he was okay for awhile - but overnight he didn't make it. Water checked out all fine. I think he was just too far gone, and hadn't eaten in days. The paraguard, even though overnighted, too an extra day to get here. At least now I've got some.
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:30 AM   #8
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Sorry to hear about the Anthias. In keeping with that, your sure these are simple black areas? Can you get a clearer/focused picture than the one above?

On the foods, ease up on the brine. Try mush type foods like Ocean Nutrition or make your own. The mysis is fine but the clowns need a more balanced diet of meat and veg.

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Old 05-15-2006, 11:33 AM   #9
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They're not even black - just darker patches. Pretty dark, but not really black.

They're VERY hard to see, this guy is always on the go, and wiggling, as clowns do.

Another pic from today, below - at least you can see the spots a teeny bit better (or not).

I did find an aiptasia on a rubble rock piece - some of the rock from that batch is in the tank. Is it possible that the clown is rubbing on an aiptaisia and getting burned?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg clown2_294.jpg (47.7 KB, 13 views)
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:15 PM   #10
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Funny (maybe not) but some of my fish have a similar issue especially my arc eye hawk. This started to occur even before I added corals so I doubt it was a sting but maybe the aiptasia. HTH
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