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Old 04-25-2003, 10:16 PM   #1
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Sick Percula clown

My clown, who has been in the tank for only about 4 weeks, is not happy.
He took a few days to come out from hiding and begin eating but then seemed totally happy, ate well, chased the damsels, generally 'clowned' about.
But a couple of days ago he began just sitting on the bottom of the tank for hours on end and hasn't fed since. Today he's even worse, apparently gasping at the top of the tank. He's got absolutely no other signs of disease - no spots, no slime, no apparent itching, his body looks perfectly healthy - he's just hanging on his side gasping - what can it be?
I've tried even putting an airstone in the 90 gallon tank - of course with no results.
Water quality is good - Amm:0, Nitrite:0, Nitrate 2.5, PH:8.2, temp: 79F.
Any ideas?
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Old 04-25-2003, 10:19 PM   #2
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Gasping usually is a result of low oxygen. What kind of water movement do you have at the surface? An airstone might not aid in getting enough o2 into the water.

If at all possible increase the surface agatation of the water by positing the powerheads to make the surface ripple. If you have a glass top then remove it.
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Old 04-25-2003, 11:06 PM   #3
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Well, it appears I was too late....
My clown just died.
But, what I need to know is why?
I've tested every **** thing I can in the water - the damsels, marble star and shrimp are all healthy and eating well.
I have 3 Aquaclear 402's stirring up the water well plus a prizm pro skimmer.
What did I do wrong???

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Old 04-25-2003, 11:11 PM   #4
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Have you added any new fish lately? Was the clown wild caught or Tank Raised? My first suspicion is Brooklynella hostilis, they signs are the same as you describe, although you should have seen some excessive slime coating and possibly sloughing of the skin cells, this would be most common in wild caught clowns.
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Old 04-25-2003, 11:24 PM   #5
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I feel for your loss, I too have had a bad experience or two with clowns. Mine were pretty active however, I never got them to eat, which is about the same as you describe in the latter, I believe that mine had a disease, however, in the gills. Not so much visible outside. I have heard of this before. I think what happens is no matter what, the fish suffocates. It sounds horrible and I believe it is for the fish, but unfortunately, it is hard to detect, and from what I have heard and read, it is too late at that point for recovery. Again, my condolences for you loss and please don't give up on clowns, they are cool...Many people have them and successfully.
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Old 05-07-2003, 12:04 PM   #6
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I've actualy had this same thing happen to me recently. The clown was tank raised (according to the LFS anyway) and appeared happy and healthy for weeks.. then his swimming became more of a struggle than his usual flowing movement. He was almost vertical when swimming, like he was struggling to stay afloat. He would occasionaly settle to the bottom of the tank and looked like he was gasping for air. He wouldn't eat and the other fish in my tank were all fine.

now my concern, if this was a disease, what can I do to protect the other fish and critters in my tank? Could it have spread to them?
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Old 05-07-2003, 09:19 PM   #7
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now my concern, if this was a disease, what can I do to protect the other fish and critters in my tank?
Not much, short of tearing the tank down and disinfecting it with bleach.

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Could it have spread to them?

Possibly, although if it had, you would have noticed by now. Without the telltale mucous production and skin sloughing, I doubt it was brooklynella and most likely was a bacterial infection of the swimbladder. Almost all bacterial infections are secondary to something else and are not a problem for healthy fish, however stress that fish and it could succumb.
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