View Full Version : Jawfish Suffocating… What’s Going On?

11/08/2010, 03:28 PM
About a week ago, I noticed my Blue Spotted Jawfish swimming around on the sand, away from his burrow. I thought this was a little strange, but figured maybe he was looking for some new building materials for his home. When it came to feeding time, he didn’t seem to be as aggressive at grabbing food as usual, which I also found to be a bit strange.

I went out of town for business meetings later in the week, and returned on Saturday. On my way home, my wife called to tell me that she had completely forgot feed the tank the last few days I was gone. Since they only went unfed for 2 days, I told her that it should be ok. Well, when I got home, I immediately went to feed and found the Jawfish in his burrow and not coming out for food. It seemed that he didn’t have enough energy to stick his head out of his hole to grab food, and he was breathing hard.

On Sunday morning, I checked on him again, and he was laying on his side on the sand and breathing REALLY hard… not looking good. I had to leave the house for the day, and I really expected him to be dead by the time I got home. When I got home he was on his back still gasping for “breaths”. At this point, I considered flushing him because he really looked like he was suffering… fighting for his life, but I decided to give him more time.

This morning he was in the same state… rolling around on his back on the sand and breathing hard. I really can’t believe he is still alive at this point, so I figured I should post to see if there is something I can do. My wife still thinks that she killed him by forgetting to feed, even though I assured her that wasn’t the case. This fish already survived a major tank crash back in July… I’d really hate to see him go this way if there is anything I can do to save him.

Any suggestions or insight would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance… Dave

11/09/2010, 07:50 AM
Sorry to hear that.. The gasping for air could be a few things. Fish in the wild go through feast and famin so it was not that one time you did not feed that did it. But it could have been over a longer period of time. Did he always eat good ?
Is the enough O2 in the water ? I would place a power head toward the top of the tank to create more air. Also did you try placing the food next to him ?
I hope things got better or they do for your Jawfish..
Good Luck

11/09/2010, 08:06 AM
Tank parms would help.

I really like the blue spot jawfish, but have avoided the species as they seem hit/miss with most people on the miss side.

Apparently they need a cooler tank than most people keep reef tanks at (like 76 IIRC) but I'm certainly no expert.

11/11/2010, 09:36 AM
Thanks for the repies, guys. I had to go out of town again this week, and returned yesterday. My wife informed me while I was gone that the jawfish didn't make it... had a feeling this would be the case.

To answer a few of the questions...

I've had the BSJF for 1.5 years with no issues until now. I've also had a Pearly-Headed Jawfish in my nano for a little over 3 years.

The BSJF fish was a pig. He aways ate very aggressively (Rod's Food), even biting at the bottom of my turkey baster when he saw it enter the tank. I couldn't believe some of the big chunks he would go after and was able to consume!

O2 should be fine in the tank. It's an open-top (mesh-top) 120g with 2 overflows and an oversized skimmer. The other livestock (Copperband & pair Rod's Onyx) are as happy as can be.

Parameters always check out fine, but I don't have exact numbers right now. The temps stay between 80-81F, ORP ~300, Phosphate .03, Nitrate 5, Calcium ~400, Alkalinity ~8, Magnesium ~1,400.

11/11/2010, 12:22 PM
Maybe it was just his time to go. He might have just reached the end of his lifespan.

11/11/2010, 12:29 PM
I would throw a air pump w/air stone in the tank. Its not a long term treatment but it could help him turn the corner so you can figure out what is going on

11/11/2010, 12:45 PM
Like cloud said maybe it was his time.. Who knows how old he was when you got him. Plus most gobys I have herd only live around 2 years in captivity .
Sounds Like you did all you could and gave him as best of a life as you could.
Dont stress.
Funny how others are posting what to do. Read all the posts before you replay as his fish has passed away.