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Old 04-21-2015, 12:33 PM   #1
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Dying clowns

I bought a few new fish for my 130 gal saltwater system along with a few new corals. I introduced two false perculas and two tomato clowns to the tank along with three emerald crabs. I had one false percula already in the tank before the new additions. I also introduced a large leather, 3 hammer corals, a small toadstool coral a pulsing Xenia and some green star polyps. All corals are doing fine. One of the false perculas died right away, which I figured to be transportation stress. However, yesterday a second percula (the one that I've had several months...not a new addition) was swimming in circles, unable to use his right pectoral fin...almost as if paralyzed on one side, and he croaked last night. Is there any problem with perculas and corals that may cause them to be stung and killed?


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Old 04-21-2015, 12:48 PM   #2
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I bought a few new fish for my 130 gal saltwater system along with a few new corals. I introduced two false perculas and two tomato clowns to the tank along with three emerald crabs. I had one false percula already in the tank before the new additions. I also introduced a large leather, 3 hammer corals, a small toadstool coral a pulsing Xenia and some green star polyps. All corals are doing fine. One of the false perculas died right away, which I figured to be transportation stress. However, yesterday a second percula (the one that I've had several months...not a new addition) was swimming in circles, unable to use his right pectoral fin...almost as if paralyzed on one side, and he croaked last night. Is there any problem with perculas and corals that may cause them to be stung and killed?


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need a little more info.
did you order them online and that is what you mean by "transportation stress"?
what acclimation procedure did you follow?

was there any other symptoms besides not being able to swim properly, any marks, blemishes, rash from a sting, heavy slime production, any possible parasites, etc.?

and I'm not 100% sure, but I suspect you will run into aggression issues with that mix of clowns as they get bigger, especially the tomato clowns.

That is also quite a large addition to the bio-load of the system all at one time, are you keeping tabs on water quality to see if you encounter any spikes?
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:29 PM   #3
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Mail ordered the livestock...and yes, it is a bit of a large bio add, but the tank was sparsely populated. There was some aggression at first, but they quickly stopped fighting one another. The crazy part is that the fish that was showing aggression (the original specimen) is the one that died. All clowns are about 1 to 1.5 inches in length.

All water parameters are near perfect. I bumped up the ph with a buffer just before adding the new fish due to a slight drop (r/o water tends to drop my ph over time) but only from 8.0 to 8.2. Also, I recently added a chiller, bringing my temp from 82 down to 76 over the course of about three days.

The body of the fish seemed normal...no injuries, or altered coloration, etc...just the right pectoral fin not moving, and the tendency to swim in right handed circles. I drip acclimated and temp acclimated the new specimens, but since the clown I'm concerned about was not a new addition, I don't think that has much bearing.


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Old 04-21-2015, 02:03 PM   #4
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the only thing that raises any alarms is the ph adjustment, but the paralysis of one side could be sting of some type.
No rash or evidence of a sting?


about the ph;
bumping it up .2 in one go is rather drastic and if the clown was completely acclimated to that ph it could be reason for stress.
I believe the recommendation is not more than .1 change in 24 hours.


Also what time of the day did you test the ph? it is typically lower first thing in the morning when, so if you tested it then and increased it, by evening it could have gone up to 8.4 or thereabouts and that could have been the stressor.


you should ideally check ph at differing times in the day/night cycle to get a feel for the normal swings your system may encounter and get an idea of what the average ph is throughout the day.
conversely you can setup a refugium on an opposite light cycle to help balance ph over the day/night cycle.

Why did you adjust the ph anyway, 8.0 is well within the acceptable range for fish/coral.


the temp adjustment isn't that drastic over the course of 3 days, a little quick, but I doubt deadly, so you can probably rule that one out.
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:36 PM   #5
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I did the ph test in the evening around 5 PM, and I use 8.2 as my set point since that is what my buffering powder sets at...my temps went up this spring and I was evaporating 2-3 gallons a day off the system, hence the addition of the chiller. Thanks for the info on the ph...I didn't realize a 0.2 change was too much. Good to know.
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:42 PM   #6
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Honestly there's no reason to buffer your ph, it's perfectly fine as is. Chasing a perfect number leads to problems more times than not. I'd also be concerned about having tomato clowns with occs, though a 130 might allow enough territory for them both


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Old 04-21-2015, 07:10 PM   #7
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was this tank ever cycled don't sound like it
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:59 PM   #8
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was this tank ever cycled don't sound like it
"However, yesterday a second percula (the one that I've had several months...not a new addition)"

I'm assuming it cycled a while ago.
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Old 04-21-2015, 11:09 PM   #9
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one must never assume I'm still skeptical
a full set of parameter readings would help a lot we need numbers
not All water parameters are near perfect ! this don't help us help you
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Old 04-22-2015, 03:58 PM   #10
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well my assumption is based on what they communicated,
whereas your assumption/skepticism is based on what?
why not just call the guy a liar?
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