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Clownfish suddenly lethargic

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ttabbal View Drop Down
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    Posted: June 05 2015 at 8:03pm
The clown I put in early on was doing great. It would swim all over the tank from day one and ate great. Suddenly it seems lethargic, and not eating well. It's been in the tank for a few weeks without issue.

I don't see any signs of ich or other external parasites or injury. The other fish in the tank and all inverts appear fine. I do have a mushroom coral that appears somewhat unhappy, but that's it. The only recent change was to install some mechanical filtration as I wanted to have the water clear up a bit and while doing that added some AC. I did throughly rinse everything. That was 3 days ago.

Temp 78F
Salinity 1.024 SG
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10-20 (between colors) stays steady in this range
Ph 8.5
Alk 8.3 KH

Those are the tests I have on hand. All parameters have been steady since the nitrogen cycle completed.

I haven't seen any sign of aggressive behavior. Perhaps I'm overreacting, but I want to make sure I'm not ignoring something major.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 06 2015 at 11:54am
Hi Travis,

This is a common situation with new tanks. All the parameters look right but some or all fish are not doing so well.

Patience and not moving too fast to stock a tank is very important in this hobby.

This tank is just about 1-2 months old, right. It's not mature enough to keep many animals. Give it 6 months and more animals will do better. Even then, after the tank is years old, there will be animals that don't last long. That's the nature of keeping these mortal animals in relatively tiny glass boxes, trying to imitate mother nature's immense ocean.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ttabbal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 06 2015 at 12:24pm
Thanks Mark. I pulled the mushroom out and put it in a bag with water.. It seemed to be losing bits and I was concerned about it polluting the water. The clown seems to be improving, so I'll just keep an eye on things. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing some sign of illness or similar. I'm not planning on adding anything else for a while. The only other stuff I was considering was corals, but I'll wait and see how the existing stuff does.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 07 2015 at 4:41am
Mushroom Leather Coral (Sarcophyton) though generally considered very hardy, may infrequently deteriorate fast, even in a good old tank. I recently rescued a huge Sarco from a friends tank. It had lived for 20 years and had at one time been ~18" across and 12" tall. It had not been looking good for a while and in the last month there was a lot of deteriorating flesh, possibly caused by an invasive competing organism. I removed it and gave it a good freshwater dip. It lost a bit more flesh but now seems to be in stasis in my coral farm. I'm hoping it recovers.

In a situation not unlike yours, another Sarco, much younger and much smaller, living wonderfully in it's aquarium, after being recently moved to a new tank, swiftly reached a point of deterioration where it had to be removed and tossed in the trash.

Soft Coral, like leathers and button polyps, are generally hardier than fish. In general, Coral filter the water while fish pollute the water. The way I do things, I gradually stock a good amount of soft coral and only a couple fish in new aquariums, until they reach a point of maturity, 3-6 months down the road, where stony coral can be introduced. It's not easy to describe what that aquarium "maturity" actually looks like, it's just kind of a "sixth sense" that I have acquired over many years of doing this.

Question  Are you using Activated Carbon to clean the toxins from the water that the Sarco left behind as it deteriorated?

Question  Are you saying there is no other coral in your new tank? 

Question  Would you like to post a pic of the tank here, to see if I or others here can see any potential problems?

Just asking because I assume you'd like to help your tank continue growing and maturing properly.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug


Edited by Mark Peterson - June 07 2015 at 4:51am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ttabbal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 07 2015 at 3:53pm


I do have AC in the HOB filter.

I have a few coral frags. A zoa, some green star, and a torch. And 4 individual zoa polyps I found buried in some grape cupulara today. I figure it must be a hitchhiker from one of the small rocks you gave me. I put them on a rock were they can get some light. The corals all seem happy and open.



Edited by ttabbal - June 07 2015 at 3:58pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 07 2015 at 10:28pm
Oh my!
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