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Old 06-20-2003, 09:50 PM   #1
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Acclimation of Percula Clown fish

I purchased a Clown fish (Percula) today for my 55G set up. The tank is relatively new, started in April, and has two damsels (Domino and Yellow tail). The Clown fish was live caught, despite my efforts to find a captive bred at a LFS in my area, and has been in the tank for about 5 hours. I realize the little guy is probably stressed but his behaviour seems strange. He appears healthy (alert, colorful, fat) but has been in the front, bottom corner of the tank with is nose buried in the corner right were the silicone sealant is, and has not left this area yet. He does not even hide when you put your hand or face right up next to the tank. The damsels have not bothered him. I have about 90# of LR for him to hide in but he just sits in the front corner.

Should I be concerned?
Should I do anything?
Just wait for further acclimation?
Should I have bought two? I have read conflicting advice on this.

Thanx for any suggestions.

PS Water Change done two days ago and parameters are as follow
NH3/NH4- 0
NO4- 0
NO3- 5
pH-8.1
Temp-81.8
Salinity- 1.024
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Old 06-20-2003, 11:03 PM   #2
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your readings look ok for water quality. How did you introduce the clown into the water?
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Old 06-20-2003, 11:48 PM   #3
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Acclimated the fish by keeping in bag for 30 min and adding aquarium water at 10 min intervals. Then removed fish did a 1min Methylene Blue Freshwater dip, rinsed in aquarium water in a bucket and then into the tank.
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Old 06-21-2003, 01:10 AM   #4
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sounds like a GOOD acclimation to me. i just drip for like an hour then into the tank they go.
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Old 06-21-2003, 09:54 AM   #5
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Well he has moved from the front corner to the back corner but still remain in the corner with his nose pressed to the silicone. He does not appear to be interested in feeding at all. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-21-2003, 10:05 AM   #6
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hmmm I'm kinda stuck. Your acclimation sounds ok to me (although I'm unfamiliar with the "Methylene Blue" dip and rinse steps you mentioned but there's a lot i'm not yet familiar with.

I had a puffer that exhibited very similar behaviour but that was simply how he "rested". Any time I approached the tank he swam up and interacted with me and fed eagerly.

What was tank at the LFS where you got him like?

Being that he was live caught perhaps he is just stressed from yet a third "capture" and transport?

but what to do to help him now, I am uncertain. You may want to ask for this discussion to be moved into the "Sick Fish" forum. You may get better answers there.

Keep us posted (btw what are you trying to feed him?)
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Old 06-21-2003, 10:14 AM   #7
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What was tank at the LFS where you got him like?
Looked OK to me, but I am somewhat of a novice. There were two other Percula in there along with three large Yellow Tangs. All of them came in the day before. All were moving and feeding (brine)
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(btw what are you trying to feed him?)
I was feeding some flake food this morning but the Damsels never let any of it even sink below the surface.

Quote:
You may want to ask for this discussion to be moved into the "Sick Fish" forum. You may get better answers there.
Agree? How do I do that? The reason I put it here is beacause I did not think he was sick but rather I did something wrong in acclimation since I am a novice, but maybe he is sick.
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Old 06-21-2003, 10:51 AM   #8
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Question, is this a captive bred or wild Clown. The hardest thing for me was the getting them to eat for the wild caught. Captive bred are raised eating... I feel for you because I have gone through 4 of the wild ones and they died from starvation...I am not saying this to scare you so, I hope I don't...It is just nature and they do this... One thing also, is too many acclimations. could be stressed to no end. If they came in the day before, they were acclimated. Then you bought them and they were acclimated, then placed in preventative poison, and then placed in your tank. It is a lot for them to go through...A lot of people put a deposit on clowns here in the LFS, because if they stay in the store for a week and are eating good, then they seem to have a better chance in your tank...

It is frustrating and sad to watch them stare at the corner of the tank and swim or waddle up and down, and not be able to do anything about it.. I feel for you.

remember that just because a fish doesn't respond to it's new surroundings right away, doesn't neccessarily mean it won't snap into it and take over the whole tank as it's home..
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Old 06-21-2003, 11:31 AM   #9
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just a thought could you purchase a small coral for it to host in just saw a thread the other day that someone has a clown hosting zoos
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Old 06-21-2003, 11:41 AM   #10
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your environment seems good. I agree with timbo that I never buy a fish that has not been at the LFS at least two weeks. My LFS wont even sell fish until they have been in a QT tank with mangroves at least a week. I know it is too late now, but good info for the future. Good luck, hope he is ok. Live aquaria sells captive bred perculas.
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Old 06-21-2003, 09:34 PM   #11
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Lesson learned. I also think I won't be doing business with this LFS anymore. Pity since it is the only one within 15 miles. I am going to call tomorrow and see if they will take the Clown back and maybe check out Live Aquaria.

In case it helps anyone think of someting innovative here is a video of the behaviour. http://home.nc.rr.com/ncwire/My%20Pictures/
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Old 06-21-2003, 10:52 PM   #12
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oh my gosh that is so sad
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Old 06-22-2003, 04:07 PM   #13
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I watched the video, he does not look sick to me. I would be interested in another opinion. It seems like he just does not know where he is. Keep an eye on the damsels to be sure they do not bully him. Does he have some hiding places?
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Old 06-22-2003, 08:59 PM   #14
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Update: He has started to move around a bit and has now moved to the back of the tank behind some rocks; however, he still remains relatively stationary in a spot and does not explore the tank yet. For some reason the damsels don't seem to bother him and he has even chased the yellow tail damsel a couple of times. A good sign I think!! I am feeding them flake food and have not seem him feed yet. I tried to mash some of the wet flake food into a small rock and dropped it right where he tends to stay but he showed no interest.

Any suggestions on how to get him to feed or how to target feed so the damsels do come in a gobble everything up?
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Old 06-23-2003, 02:20 PM   #15
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I hope someone has an idea, because (I hate to tell you this) but I have personally never got one to eat well that was wild caught. Maybe someone has some ideas?
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Old 06-23-2003, 02:36 PM   #16
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the only thing I can think of is the flake food. Being wild caught it may simply not recognize it as food. Get to your LFS and pick up a package of brine shrimp. Your damsels will eat this as well (mine goes nuts when i put them in the tank) You might be ok with frozen, but being that it's wild caught it may be more interested in live brine shrimp. My opinion though, would be not to worry about it if you can only find frozen.

I agree with the others, he looks quite active, not sluggish just, perhaps, confused or desperate. Understandble given what it's been through in probably the last month or so. Chasing the other fish and moving around the tank some is deffinintly a good sign. He's active. Now we just need to get him to eat. try the brine shrimp and let us know how that goes.
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Old 06-23-2003, 09:52 PM   #17
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I bought some live brine shrimp and he did eat, another good sign He seemed more active, as did the entire tank, after the shrimp were consumed. Although this brings up a couple of other questions.

1) what is the best way to feed brine. I just dipped the net in the bag from the LFS and dumped in the tank and this ended up being way to much
2) How long will they live in the bag from the LFS?
3) should I do anything to keep them alive longer?

I also bought some frozen and will try that once I use up the live.

I am much more optimistic for the little fella now and thank for the help/suggestions.
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Old 06-23-2003, 10:42 PM   #18
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that is great news!

as I have never had the opportunity to use live brine I'll have to defer to others that have. I would imagine they don't take much to keep alive... actualy... see this thread, http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=4664 for a recent discussion on the same topic

As far as scooping them out of the bag, I would imagine for the brine thats really all you need to do. You don't expect them to live much longer than being dinner so don't worry about how you introduce them to the tank. They probably won't live long in the bag, see the above link, I would suggest at least a 1-2 gallon tupperware container with heater and airstone should be fine, give it a water change once in a while and I have heard you can feed them flake food just fine.

*shrug* like i said I've never had them my self so I hope this all works for you.

I'm just happy your clown is now feeding!
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Old 06-23-2003, 10:45 PM   #19
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Well, I have heard brine is not very nutritous, but might need some more feedback on that.
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Old 06-24-2003, 03:59 AM   #20
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Indeed, brine doesn't have much nutritional value at all. Get him started on that (as you are) and then move him over to more substantial foods like formula one, prime reef, etc. soaked in a good supplement (I soak my food in Selcon once or twice a week.

Regardless, it is good to hear that he is doing better. The trip from collection---distributor---LFS---your tank is quite stressful and most fish need several days to even begin acting normal. He should be waddling around just fine very soon.
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