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Old 01-19-2013, 10:24 AM   #1
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Gasping Scooter

I'm hoping someone may have some thoughts on this. I have a Scooter Blenny behaving lethargically and gasping (bottom of tank...though I wouldn't expect a Scooter to spend time at the surface, even if ill). The rest of the community is behaving normally.

The Scooter has been in the tank about 6 months. The system is a little over 2 years old.

Tank: 100 gallon reef with 6" DSB, and one 55 gallon fuge with 6" DSB, and a second 55 gallon fuge with 4 basketball sized chaito balls spinning (for water quality). Scimmer, UV, and so forth.

Community: Bio-load in the reef is light at 4 chromies, 2 clowns, 1 mandarin, 2 scooters, 1 flame angel, 1 engineer, couple cleaner shrimps and some assorted clean-up crew critters. No newcomers to the tank in 3 months.

There is a large copepod population in both fuges and the Scooter has been accepting frozen mysis in addition to the pods for many months, so I think nutrition is probably fine. There is plenty of agitation and oxygenation, so I think O2 is probably fine. Water parameters are all on target, tested twice, 12 hours apart after noticing his behavior. There are no signs of flashing, scraping, or other indications of ich. The UV bulb is not past life expectancy. There have been no signs of aggression in the tank, and the Scooter has no physical signs of damage or disease...No sunken belly, no swollen belly...Just lethargy and gasping for 24+ hours now. Intakes and fans are all appropriately sized. Did a 20% water change ahead of schedule, just for kicks.

I did try to snatch him up for a fresh / methy dip...He won't budge when he sees my hand, but he is zipping off when he sees the net, so I abandoned that for now...Didn't want to stress him further.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:59 AM   #2
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It sounds like you've covered everything. I would have thought nutrition, since you have 3 dragonets competing for food, but after reading your post, this may not be the case. Any new additions to the tank lately? Could it be possible a parasite was introduced?
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:24 PM   #3
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Thanks Doug. No new additions to the tank for 3 months now. I added a second cleaner shrimp at that time. Prior to that was 6 months ago when I added the Scooter and a second Clown. All my fish get a 2 week QT before joining the community.

I agree, my first instinct was either Ich or nutrition. But the mandarin and the other scooter are plump and hunting. I did catch and dip him, even though I can't see any signs of parasites. I then placed him in a 3 gallon hang-on inside the reef and moved a few hundreds pods from the fuge into the hang-on with him. He's way too young for age to be the cause too. He's not hunting now. But his belly isn't suken either.

I don't know...I'm stumped on this one!
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:25 AM   #4
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Unfortunately, the little guy did pass away several hours after my last post on Saturday. Even though the other Scooter and the Mandarin are doing fine and the pod population seems stable, I was still worried about nutrition. A necropsy revealed the culprit. The poor little guy had somehow managed to swallow a tiny Nassarius snail (I had a hatch a few weeks ago), and it was lodged sideways in his throat, past the gills but before the stomach. I suppose this did cause him to starve after all. Very sad!
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:20 PM   #5
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Aww that's to bad. There really was no way you could have figure that out that's for sure. That's the first time I've heard of death by snail.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:36 PM   #6
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Wow...I would have never thought to open him up.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:19 PM   #7
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Fish surgery. Only on AA do we care that much.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:21 PM   #8
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Sorry about your scooter. They're very cute

I've never heard of anyone doing a fish autopsy before. Not sure I could do that, although I guess I did essentially do one on that fetal pig in anatomy class- so maybe I could.
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