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Old 07-03-2010, 10:53 PM   #1
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Smoke started coming out of fishes gills & mouth - video to prove - what happened ?

I have a pink spotted watchman goby and added an 8lb piece of live rock to my tank earlier today.

I watched the fish go and eat something red or orange off of the live rock, and all of a sudden the fish started smoking through its gills and mouth. By the time I got the phone camera going, I caught the last 10 seconds. In the beginning, there was about 10 seconds additional smoke coming out, which I could not get on camera.

I assume this is some kind of underwater chemical reaction which I thought was going to kill the fish by burning out its insides, but didnt.

Can someone please tell me what happened and their explanation ?

I am hosting this 10mb Quicktime MOV clip on my website so I dont lose quality to show off the smoke. This isnt me promoting my website, this is me asking for help with something interesting caught on camera, as I have been for the last 5 weeks on here since starting a new 54g saltwater tank and getting valid help since I am a newbie.


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Old 07-03-2010, 11:14 PM   #2
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My guess is the stuff it was eating was covering a layer of fish waste. Fish waste can look like that and the fanning of the fins would whip it up.

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Old 07-03-2010, 11:26 PM   #3
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Not speaking from experience here (I'm a freshie) but the way it moves, it almost looks like it is a different temperature/density than the surrounding water, and is creating those pressure/heat waves you see on hot days. Either way a really cool video.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:40 PM   #4
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A day later and the Goby is doing fine. I still believe that it was a chemical reaction, and had nothing to do with changes in temperature, as the rock was in the tank for a few hours.

As for that smoke being fish waste, I do not believe that was the issue as well, considering the magnitude and density of the smoke in the beginning. I have watched the Goby eject food and waste matter out of its gills before, and that type of result looked nothing like what happened here.

This was truly an interesting thing as to what happened, and I am glad that the fish is ok, as I really thought that something was going to burn his insides out.

Ill leave the video up for those to watch, it really was unique.
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:28 PM   #5
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haha, thats crazy. Glad the fish is doing fine.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:39 AM   #6
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It happened again this morning, the Goby started to smoke a little through his gills and mouth, and even though I couldnt record it this time, I can confirm what he did for this to occur.

He nips at pieces of the dark red coraline algae on my 10lb piece of live rock that he lives within (it has a hole through that he calls home).

Appears to be some chemical reaction as he takes it into his mouth. Seems safe and the fish is happy.
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:39 AM   #7
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Like the video....he looks happy
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:16 PM   #8
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Thats very common for any sand sifting goby. It's just expelling the fine particulates of whatever it took in it's mouth. You see that all the time as they sift thru the sand.

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gills, mouth, started, video

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