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Old 02-05-2006, 01:11 AM   #1
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Sick ocellaris clown

I have two ocellaris clowns (juvenile) in my 29 gal. The tank has about 40# of LR and the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all at zero. The only other inhabitants are a pair of peppermint shrimp, a skunk cleaner, and a number of snails and hermits. The (slightly) larger of the two clowns has been in the tank for about three weeks now. He has been eating ravenously until yesterday when he did not eat at all. He skipped the daily meal again today and I noticed his gill function was a bit faster than normal. I don't have a QT tank, so I transferred him to the bucket I use for mixing salt water. Assuming that this is a parasitic infection, I added copper to the bucket (Aquarisol from my FW tanks). My questions are:
1) Was this a wise choice of action?
2) Is the copper treatment the correct course of action or should I be trying something else?
3) How long should this continue?
4) Rather silly, but when this is all said and done, will it be safe to resume using this bucket for mixing water?

Thanks in advance,
Chris
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Old 02-05-2006, 09:35 AM   #2
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It was best to isolate the clown. As of using your mixing bucket with copper...that you may need to replace. It's hard to completely remove copper, so a different bucket for mixing salt water would be best to avoid any residues going into the tank.

Copper treatments should be done according to the bottle's directions. Some brands may have different treatment doses and time variances for treatment. Watch for any other signs of illness. If the condition persists after treatment then change the medication.

Elevated gill function could be a sign of several different things. Was the clown being chased by the other clown? Did you notice if the skunk cleaner had paid any extra attention to the sick clown? That itself would be a good sign of external parasites. Being you've had the clowns for three weeks, it's hard to imagine it would have a parasite problem. Those things generally show up within two weeks of aquiring the animal, but anything is possible I've learned in this hobby. What does the poop look like?
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Old 02-05-2006, 11:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I picked up a mixing bucket today. As for the questions: he was never harassed by the other clown. The only agression I had ever seen between the two was at feeding time, but it was the other way around and appeared mild at that. I never observed the kind of cleaning behavior I have heard described, but it did seem that the skunk was a bit more interested. Any time the shrimp came near the clown, the clown would swim away. It is a bit difficult to respond to the last question (disadvantage of being in the bucket I suppose), but the best I can say is that it is similar in color (brown) to before he appeared ill, but it appears softer in texture.
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Old 02-06-2006, 01:04 AM   #4
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The reason for that last question is because white or red stringy poo is a sign of internal parasites.

Soemthing you could do is perhaps use two meds. Both at half dose. One parasitic such as the copper and half dose of an antibiotic. Full doses of both may be too much for the fish to handle. OR...after treatment with the copper, switch to an antibiotic to kill off any infections.

Good luck and keep us updated
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Old 02-27-2006, 11:31 PM   #5
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Sorry for the delayed reply--I was being a bit superstitious thinking that something would go wrong after I posted the positve results. In any case, the clown is eating ravenously again and back in the main tank. Thanks again for your help.
Chris
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Old 02-27-2006, 11:40 PM   #6
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Great to hear!! If you ever need any help...we're here
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