View Full Version : Maroon Clownfish Emergency

04/28/2008, 06:44 PM
I have had a maroon clownfish for nearly 3 years and it has been eating great and grown a few inches. Suddenly today I saw its colour was very dark and it was unable to maintain its position in the water and rolling around. It has a scratch but it doesn't look very deep. It is throwing up the food it ate today and getting stuck to powerheads and overflows and has suddenly developed some white patches but they dont look like ich. have no idea what to do at this point

other fish: (none of these are agressive towards the clownfish, he is usually the agressor)

indian triggerfish
yellow tang
purple tang
richmond wrasse
harlequin tuskfish
zebra eel
a rabbitfish that was removed a few days ago (do stings take a few days to show symptoms?)

he also has a large rose anemone

Any immediate suggestions of what to do or how this happened would be great, thanks

04/28/2008, 09:58 PM
Has anything changed with the tank lately? Have you added anything new?

04/29/2008, 12:15 AM
If the maroon was stung by your rabbit, AFAIK you'd see an immediate reaction, as with a bee sting on a human. The scratch makes me wonder if the maroon didn't end up on the losing end of a fight with one of the tangs -- their spines are nothing to mess around with and can easily rip another fish open.

Rolling around in the water usually signifies severe illness IME -- I've never seen a fish that's disoriented and so weak it sticks to powerhead intakes survive. Whatever happened, she needs to be isolated right away. My recommendation is to get the fish out of the display and into a hospital tank ASAP -- use at least 50% water from the main display (treat it as a water change for the display) so the fish isn't stressed by a change in water parameters.

I'd leave the lights off, keep current low-medium (but make sure there's an airstone or plenty of surface disturbance for oxygenation) and otherwise make the hospital as stress-free as you can. If you see signs of bacterial infection, administer antibiotics. If she looks too far gone to save, the kindest thing you can do is euthanize her -- clove oil from the pharmacy works well (it's like an anesthetic; it knocks fish unconscious in small doses, and larger doses can be used for putting them to sleep). If I need to put a fish down I add 1/2 tsp of clove oil to a gallon of tank water (in a container you're not going to reuse). Once the fish is unconscious/expired, I remove it along with a little water, and freeze it solid inside a small bag.

04/29/2008, 05:35 PM
Thanks for the comments

Well fortunately the maroon clown has gone back to his anemone and has been sitting in it since last night. He is moving around much more than yesterday but a lot less than usual. All unusual marks on his body are gone but it still has that very dark colour, the stripes are almost invisible. He also lies sideways a lot so he has not regained his balance yet.
I have kept the lights off to reduce stress but do not have a readily available hospital tank. The clown is doing better now than it was last night though

Here is a bad picture of his coloration now:

This is what he looked like before:

Has anyone seen anything like this before and if so, what may have caused it? Nothing had been changed in the tank and everything else is doing great so it probably isn't a water issue.

04/29/2008, 06:51 PM
It looks like the above pic is the color of very mature females, they get almost black. but its weird that its stripes are gone, usually they stay the same or turn dark yellow. that is really weird. i hope she pulls through!