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Old 11-18-2005, 11:33 AM   #1
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Nemo sick, no cause detected, help!

Hello All,

I have a couple questions...

My ocellaris clown is obviously in distress. He's laying on the rocks, which is so not normal for him, and he's gasping pretty bad. I can see no ick or any other indication of illness. He's very large, maybe he's getting old?... I checked water perameters last night: Nitrates - 20, Nitrites and Ammonia - 0, PH - 8.1 (this has always been normal for my tank), SG - 1.024 (normal for my tank). I checked calcium to see if there was a sharp change, but no... it's 420, same as last test.

My protein skimmer is not working properly, I just received my Aqua C, but haven't hooked it up yet.

Is there something else I should be checking? I use RO/DI water for changes, no other fish look sick but here's something else... I have a flasher wrasse in the same tank, he's missing. I've searched the rocks with a flashlight and can't find him. He "left" for a couple days once before and just showed up again, but this time I'm suspicious. Also, my royal grama died a couple weeks ago and no explanation on that. Oh, yeah, the serpent star had issues recently, he was curled into a ball on the sand for a couple days, but he recovered from whatever was stressing him. I'm thinking something is going on, but can't find anything.

The gramma and Nemo were from a friend who had them for about five years. Could they just be dying natually by age or is that silly? I want answers so I can take steps to protect my fish, but I'm at a loss.

One more thing, how in the heck do you all catch sick fish to move them to the QT when they have so many placed to hide in the reef? I can't catch Nemo without moving a bunch of rocks and distrubing the tank, but I sure hate to have a fish die in there and put the other fish at risk.
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Old 11-18-2005, 01:52 PM   #2
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Update: Nemo came out and I was able to get him into a net and he is now in the QT. I looked closely and can't see anything on him. He looks fine except for the gasping and not swimming around. Should I treat him with anything now that he's in the QT?
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Old 11-18-2005, 10:30 PM   #3
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The only symptoms you've noticed are rapid breathing and listless/little movement? Is that gasping at the surface or haging in the water with it's mouth open?

Any signs of red marks, faded color, excess slime coat, bloating and so on? Anything you can see no matter how minor will help.

For now I would simpley watch and observe, there's not much to go on. Be sure you maintain the water quality in the QT as high as possible. Could be after a move like that (how long ago?) it could be some sort of stress or environmental concern/adjustment.

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Old 11-19-2005, 04:51 AM   #4
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The only symptoms are the laying around, gasping in the water, not at the surface and little movement. No red marks, color looks normal, no excess slime coat. His tummy looks a little chubby, but I wouldn't say he's bloated.

I did add Mardel Copper Safe to the QT on the advice of the lfs. They recommended I pick up a general antibiotic, like maracyn, but I did not add that yet. I read the package and it says the maracyn helps with rapid breathing and secondary infections, but I didn't use that because the lfs did not recommend and they closed so I could not ask. They said it may be parasites so that's why the told me to use copper safe, although I can't see any parasites.

I know that some of the Mardel products can be used concurrently. Do you know if it is safe to use the maracyn with the copper safe? The copper safe does not state it helps with rapid breathing, but that's what the lfs recommended.
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Old 11-19-2005, 05:21 AM   #5
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How do his gills look? Do they look a little inflamed? Clowns are hardy animals but they often get overstressed and come down problems from transporting especially if they are wild caught. I had my first pair die from brookynella.

The best thing IMO is to provide them with good water quality and observe.

Maracyn is a great broadspectrum medication. If you feel necessary, you might want to add atleast a half dose to the QT.

As far as using the 2 meds together, I would assume they would be OK. Steve-s probably has a definate answer for you. Good luck with your clowns. HTH
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Old 11-19-2005, 01:31 PM   #6
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Maracyn is fine to use with copper meds but be sure you get the SW variety and the Maracyn II not just Maracyn. The Maracyn II contains vitamin B12 that will help the fish health and feeding response. If needed, it should be used at 20 mg/10 gal (2mg/gal) for at least 7 days with a good sized water change before each new dose. ½ the dose would not show any possitive results.

My main concern here is the use of a med (copper) for what appears at this point to not be clearly defined as a parasite. Copper Safe also being a chelated form of copper is affected by many things so poisoning is a very possible situation.

Please relay how the tank is set up (any substrate/rock at all), the use of ammonia detoxifiers, any resin materials, what dosage you hav used, estimated water volume and what does the copper test kit indicate the level to be?

Cheers
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Old 11-19-2005, 11:15 PM   #7
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Thanks guys for the advice. Let's see... I'm on my way to get maracyn II and a copper test kit.

The QT tank is a 10 gal tank with a couple fake plants and a fake cave thingy (I believe it's made of resin if that's what you're asking) and I used a cupful or so of gravel from my main tank when I initially set it up, so it has substrate. No ammonia detoxifiers are being used and I've used two teaspoons of copper safe, instructions say 1 teaspoon for 4 gallons.

Update: I used the treatment yesterday afternoon, it's Saturday evening here now and Nemo is actually swimming around. He looks quite a bit better than he did yesterday. To look at him today, I would not think he was even sick. Yesterday when I put him in QT, he was hiding in the cave structure, would not come out and was gasping pretty bad. Today, he's out investigating his new surroundings and he's breathing, but I wouldn't say gasping.

Here's a pic of him today. I have a couple more questions... should I leave him in here for the full month of the treatment period? And... the Saltwater Aquariums for Dummies book says, "Substrate is not used in the quarantine tank." I used gravel to put some beneficial bacteria in to process ammonia and nitrite. Was that correct or incorrect? I couldn't see just sticking the water in and expecting the nitrification process to happen.
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Old 11-20-2005, 03:40 PM   #8
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The "gravel" will depend on any calcium in it. If no CaCO3 substances are in the tank, copper concentrations will not be as greatly affected. Otherwise it is still not a good idea as it does make water quality worse due to the build up of uneaten foods and detritus.

One serious no no here is you've administered a potentially toxic treatment without a means of verifying the actual levels. Please be sure you get that test kit ASAP and post the results. Copper should never be used for a month. Chelated forms at 14 days and amine based Cupramine at 21 days. I think in this circumstance what you are seeing is coincidental. There is too much information missing to say one way or the other if copper helped or simpley the move to the QT alone.

Cheers
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Old 11-20-2005, 05:09 PM   #9
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Steve,
I tested the water with a Red Sea copper test kit. The level is .4. Instructions say it should be at least .3 to be effective against parasites. It does not explain whether or not .4 is safe, according to the lfs I just called, it is. But your opinion counts, so let me know what you think. I noticed the test is for the measurement of non-chelated copper, so I don't know if the test is even accurate. The coppersafe is chelated, so I'm going to another town to another fish store to get a test kit. Geez! Somtimes I HATE Petco!

It would have been nice if the lfs would have explained this a little bit better. They just told me their test is for chelated copper. Steve, I really appreciate the help, I'm learning a lot from this site with each new experience.
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Old 11-20-2005, 07:15 PM   #10
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Okay, I got a Mydor test kit, supposedly for chelated and non-chelated. I tested the water and the level is 1.5. The instructions say 1.0 - 2.0 is effective and over 2.0 would be toxic to the fish. That's where we're at now. Nemo looks okay. He's not worse than he was, if anything he's better. He ate a little tidbit today and is coming out more.

Comments? also, have you used Mydor test kits before?
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