View Full Version : Royal Gamma

09/07/2017, 04:03 PM

This is my first time posting after visiting a while and just wanting what is best to help my fish. I have a 55-gallon aquarium that has been set up for 3 months. It is stocked with:

2 Ocellaris Clownfish
1 Green Chromis
1 Flame Hawkfish
A few blue hermit crabs and snails
(I had 1 flame angelfish but it died of a similar condition a few days ago). Water was just tested and the ammonia/nitrites are at 0 ppm. The Nitrates are at 20 ppm.


1. How old is this aquarium? 3 months

2. If less than six months old, what is ammonia level? 0ppm

3. What is SG of this aquarium? How measured? 1.022 - I use a refractometer

4. When was the last fish added to this aquarium?
3 weeks ago

5. Was it quarantined? If so, how? And how long? Was it prophylactically treated? How? No

6. If you are using a copper based medication, which one? How often do you measure level? When? None

7. If you are using hyposalinity, how did you calibrate your refractometer? I have not used hyposalinity.

8. Please describe in detail, the appearance of the fish? If there is one or more pimples, are they lumpy? What color?
I am familiar with ich from fresh water and it does not look like ich, but the fish has slowly lost its fins. Its colors have begun to fade. My wife and I both have been staring at it for 2 days and it looks like it has some particles on it, but it doesnt look like freshwater ich. I can not tell if it has a second film over it or not.

9. Please describe the behavior of the fish as best you can. Is it acting reclusive? Is it always up towards the top of the aquarium? Is it avoiding light? How active is the fish?

The fish was hiding against a rock. It is listless and will go on its side.

10. Is the fish eating? What?
It has stopped eating. The flame angel also stopped eating. The angel had the exact same behavior (it just hid as much as it could and its fins were starting to fray/become ragged and disappear)

Thanks for reading this, I took the jump into salt water after owning freshwater for 3 years and I thought I was ready but this just stresses me out and I hate feeling like a terrible fish keeper!

09/07/2017, 05:18 PM
Here is a picture of him. https://imgur.com/a/N6Ava

09/07/2017, 05:46 PM
My first instinct says brooklynella, with a possible secondary bacterial infection. I would move him to a QT and treat with metroplex and kanaplex (Or furan-2). If you can get acriflavine (ruby reef rally or API fungus cure), I would give him a 45-minute bath en route to QT.

If it is brooklynella, all of your fish will need treated and the display left fallow (fishless) for 6 weeks.

There is also a possibility this COULD be marine velvet, which would require treatment with copper. Other signs of velvet are light sensitivity, swimming directly into the flow of a powerhead, labored breathing, and a fine, powdery "dusting" of spots- usually too numerous to count.

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09/07/2017, 07:25 PM
Thanks for the quick response! Neither him nor the angel were averse to light, it just seemed like they were trying to stay away from anything and everything, they also did not try to swim into a power head. When the angel died he did not have a coating of anything on him (from the pictures I have seen of velvet in the later stages it looks like it would be fairly obvious that is what it is). I have a 28 gallon tank next to the 55 I can turn into a temp holding area. Should I just set it up and treat all the fish as a cautionary measure? I realize treating fish without knowing the root cause is not the best approach, but seeing that the hawk fish has already started to lose some color this evening and his fins have begun to deteriorate I am concerned that it will just keep spreading.

09/07/2017, 07:41 PM
I personally treat all incoming fish prophylactically with copper, praziquantel, and sometimes metroplex. Because I'm paranoid. Fish don't always exhibit "typical" external signs of parasites. Especially with the prevalence of sub-therapeutic copper in the supply chain these days, which can mask obvious symptoms. And velvet is so fast-acting sometimes that it can smother a fish's gills before any outward symptoms manifest.

In your case, at the very least it sounds like an aggressive bacterial infection. I do think antibiotics are in order. You can even dose all three together (metroplex, kanaplex, furan-2) as a wide spectrum antibiotic. Dose every 48 hours after a 25% water change for 10-14 days.

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09/07/2017, 07:50 PM
What part of Pa are you in? Just assuming the pa in pamusicman is pa lol

09/07/2017, 08:48 PM
I felt like I had salt water fish under control when I took this step, clearly, the potential for the disease was not overstated in this forum and others. I was originally from PA, Scranton/W-B, but moved to MD for a music teaching job!

09/07/2017, 09:02 PM
Question: How do I get the PH of the water up without having sand or rock to push up the ph? Our natural PH is too low for saltwater fish and my understanding is to not use rock/sand when I quarantine for medications.

09/08/2017, 11:24 AM
Question: How do I get the PH of the water up without having sand or rock to push up the ph? Our natural PH is too low for saltwater fish and my understanding is to not use rock/sand when I quarantine for medications.

Having adequate oxygen exchange (power head aimed at the surface + extra airline for good measure), and sometimes opening a nearby window, is all I do...

I'm in York, so not too far off :)

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09/08/2017, 01:58 PM
Your salt mix should bring the pH up to a level that's fine for the fish.

Also less CO2 will help, so open some windows, oxygenating the water, power heads towards the surface as ngoodermuth has said will also help.

My pH usually runs around 7.8 and when I go on vacation it goes up to 8.3.

09/10/2017, 08:52 PM
Thanks all, unfortunately, I lost the gamma and the Hawkfish, but the 2 clownfish, green chromis, and gobby are being put into a quarantine tank to get all medicated up. My question is if the disease is a bacteria (potentially) if I can not put the medications into the display tank due to invertebrates will bacteria eventually die due to not having a fish host or is potential that it goes dormant or something and could be alive weeks without fish in the tank? I wouldnt want to put my medicated fish into an environment that is not safe.

09/11/2017, 09:56 AM
Yes the bacteria will starve itself out. I do not know how long it needs to be fallow though. My wife knows a lot about bacterial infections, I will ask her and see if she knows.

09/12/2017, 06:54 AM
This is what I gathered from my wife:

The main importance of antibiotics for fish is to help them build up their immune system to fight off the bacteria and running the tank fallow to minimize the amount of bacteria in the tank.

There really is no known amount of time to run fallow for bacteria. Just make the fish healthy and they should be able to fight off most bacteria in the tank.

Hope this helps!

09/12/2017, 12:49 PM
I will add, that bacterial infections are almost always secondary to parasites (or injury) Since you are removing the fish to QT anyway, I'd consider giving one a freshwater dip to check for flukes, and possibly treating all with copper or cp prophylactically for ich/velvet.

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