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Old 01/02/2018, 11:31 AM   #1
Laurenb17
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Help diagnosing black spots on clownfish

Yesterday I noticed a few dark spots on my clownfish's head. She is a black snowflake and the spots are on her first white stripe. When I checked on the tank today she had several more of these dark patches on her head, meaning they appeared overnight. She is eating and acting normally. The male clownfish in the tank does not have any of these patches. I have coral in the tank so it could be sting marks, but am also concerned something else is causing it because they are on her head rather than body. Would someone be able to help me figure out what is causing this?

Some background info: Water quality tests yesterday showed 15 ppm of nitrates, nitrites and ammonia were 0 ppm, ph is 8, salinity 1.025, temp 79. Did a 30% water change yesterday of the tank, which is 10 gallons.


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Old 01/02/2018, 12:09 PM   #2
JustinM
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Do you have a nem or any stinging coral in the tank? Could be hyper-melanization.


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Old 01/02/2018, 02:05 PM   #3
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Yes. I added a BTA a week ago, and a hammer coral a few days ago. The clowns have not shown interest in either and I have not seen them swim near the hammer and bta. They could have checked them out at night when I wasn't watching though. My male clown has been pecking at one of my coral for the past couple of weeks, but does not have the same spots. I'm not sure what kind of coral it is, so I don't know if that could've stung the female as they hang out around it somewhat often, but do not appear to be hosting it. I've attached a video link of the male biting the coral.


https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_d7...ew?usp=sharing


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Old 01/02/2018, 02:13 PM   #4
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That is a green trachyphyllia. It’s possible that they are rubbing when you don’t see them and are being stung. Watch it closely to make sure it doesn’t worsen, if it does we may need a mild antibiotic like bifuran. Are they able to be caught and placed in a qt?


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Old 01/02/2018, 02:40 PM   #5
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The only tank I have available to set up a QT is a 3 gallon. I'm a college student who brings my tank back and forth over break, so I could only run the QT for the next 2 weeks while I'm home. The bta has tucked itself up in the rock for the past few days, so I don't think the clowns are able to reach it. I'll make sure to watch them closely. Is bifuran safe to use with inverts and corals? I really appreciate your help.


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Old 01/02/2018, 03:44 PM   #6
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No it needs to be dosed in a qt. Clowns are pretty hardy. Just keep an eye on it.


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Old 01/02/2018, 05:56 PM   #7
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The clown now has white spots all over her and is slightly less active. The white spots won't show up on camera and are very small. It doesn't seem like ich to me because it was so sudden and the spots are tiny and almost look like bubbles. Whatever she has seems to be progressing fast and I'm worried I'm going to lose her.


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Old 01/02/2018, 06:25 PM   #8
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In that case, you’re looking at marine velvet. You need to set up a qt or move your inverts to another tank. Both clowns will need treated and fast. You will need to freshwater dip your fish for at least 3 min and no more than 5. After the FW dip, they will need an acriflavine bath and then they will need moved into therapeutic copper rather quickly, or if you have access to CP, that is better.

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-0...ture/index.php

Some of the info there is outdated but RC doesn’t allow me to link you to another site with a plethora of great info on treating this. You need to act fast, or you are correct in more than likely losing him. I’m sorry.


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Old 01/02/2018, 08:08 PM   #9
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Alright. I’ve set up a qt for the clowns. Did freshwater dips and will treat the qt with acriflavine. I could not find copper at the lfs today so will go to another tomorrow and treat the tank. Should I do a 100% to get rid of the acriflavine before adding copper? I figured dosing the tank with acriflavine would be better than doing nothing all night. Hoping all ends well once I get copper


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Old 01/02/2018, 08:35 PM   #10
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Don't treat the QT with the acriflavine. It is better administered as a bath. If you use cupramine, make sure to use a salifert or better yet, the seachem copper test kit. If you go the route using coppersafe, you can use the API copper test kit.

I am hoping this isn't velvet but how you are describing it, it sure sounds like it. The fallow time for velvet is 6 weeks so make sure to not cross contaminate during that time. Also watch for secondary bacterial infections.

Did you notice how the fish were breathing before the FW dip? I am wondering if they seem to be breathing better.


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Old 01/02/2018, 08:54 PM   #11
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Ok. I'm preparing an acriflavine bath now. The male, who showed no symptoms is still breathing normally. The females breathing has improved but is not back to normal. She now seems less active and is only staying in one spot in the tank, occasionally dipping onto the sand bed, and making a lap around the tank every once in a while. They are both still eating and swim to the top of the tank when I approach it as they normally do.


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Old 01/02/2018, 09:04 PM   #12
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Also, I have to tear down my tank to head back to college (a 3 hour drive) in two weeks. Should I bring the qt tank along and set it up in my dorm to continue treatment? I usually put everything in a couple 5 gallon buckets, but can make sure to have a new one for just the clowns.


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Old 01/02/2018, 09:59 PM   #13
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This is what I would do. With velvet, you can get away with treating for 14 days(they have to be at therapeutic levels for 14 days), if they are moved to a sterile tank(all equipment too).

When you are getting ready to move, break your qt down and sterilize it, everything. Set it back up when you get to your dorm and observe them for the rest of the time. Let your DT run fallow for the remainder of the 6 weeks. If no more symptoms arise, place them back in your qt.

For a sterilization to work, run a couple tablespoons of bleach to a gallon of water, throw all your equipment in with it. It'll need to run for a few hours then drain it. The only way to make sure no parasites are left is to have it 100% dry(this is very, very important). Use a blow dryer, it'll speed it up immensely.

Give this a quick read too!

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=2423604

If space is limited, it may be better to just keep the fish in therapeutic copper for 6 weeks.


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Old 01/02/2018, 10:45 PM   #14
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Alright. I might just use copper for the full 6 weeks to be safe. I’ll also use an antibiotic to combat any secondary infections. They are already looking better after the bath and are now in the qt tank.

Now my only concern is that they have to spend the next few weeks in a 3 gallon. They are not being aggressive and prefer to stay next to each other. I usually add a drop of garlic to the water when I feed them. Should I continue this while in qt as it can help their immune systems?


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Old 01/03/2018, 05:59 AM   #15
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Do you have an ammonia alert badge?


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Old 01/03/2018, 09:33 AM   #16
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No. I can grab one though. Going to another lfs or two to get copper and some antibiotics. The clown is already looking better. The spots on her head are much less noticeable, and the white spots are gone except for 2, maybe this is not velvet? She appears stressed in the tank and keeps swimming quickly along the glass. I couldn't find pure acriflavine last night so I used API Fungus Cure, which contains the same amount of acriflavine per packet as 1 dose of acriflavine ms.


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Old 01/03/2018, 10:39 AM   #17
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Posting a picture is best to allow us to help. Can you try to get one?


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Old 01/03/2018, 10:41 AM   #18
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Ich and velvet spots do look very similar in the beginning. The lifecycle of clever is much quicker so then dropping off much faster is common. It would be safe to assume that the FW dip helped immensely whether it is ich or velvet.


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Old 01/03/2018, 11:46 AM   #19
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I went to 5 different stores and the only copper I could find was Kordon Copper Aid and an API Copper test. I tried to get a picture, but the female is swimming pretty frantically and won't eat, I assume she is stressed. The black around her face and between the first two striped looks lighter in color now. Here's a pic and video;

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GlD...ew?usp=sharing




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Old 01/03/2018, 11:46 AM   #20
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Here's the pic

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ug...jPJ9qsTvak0X-H


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Old 01/03/2018, 12:26 PM   #21
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The API kit will work with Copper Aid being that it is chelated copper. The therapeutic level for chelated copper is 1.52.0 MG/L. If you are seeing spots, I would still treat them. The only difference is if it is ich, the fallow period is 76 days rather than 6 weeks with velvet.

I can't see much from the picture or video. Have you googled pictures of saltwater ich and marine velvet and compared pictures? We want to make sure it is either ich or velvet. I would hate to see you treat for velvet and you do 6 weeks fallow, just to see the spots come back.


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Old 01/03/2018, 12:35 PM   #22
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I can't see much either because of how fast she is moving. She has calmed down a bit though since adding the copper. I added half the recommended dosage on the bottle to start, and will test later to see what the level is. I ordered coppersafe on amazon as well.

It looks more like velvet than ich. I don't see the bumps that are pure white as seen with ich, the spots are more like tiny flecks like in the pictures of velvet. I read that velvet can also cause a color change so that could be why she had darker spots on her head and why she appears a bit lighter now.


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Old 01/03/2018, 12:37 PM   #23
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I went back and looked at the spots in the first picture, you can see a cluster of them. You haven't noticed any mucous or excess slime have you? I am definitely leaning towards velvet, especially if there is no excess mucous/slime.


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Old 01/03/2018, 12:41 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurenb17 View Post
I can't see much either because of how fast she is moving. She has calmed down a bit though since adding the copper. I added half the recommended dosage on the bottle to start, and will test later to see what the level is. I ordered coppersafe on amazon as well.

It looks more like velvet than ich. I don't see the bumps that are pure white as seen with ich, the spots are more like tiny flecks like in the pictures of velvet. I read that velvet can also cause a color change so that could be why she had darker spots on her head and why she appears a bit lighter now.

Lets just stick with what you are doing for now. Things should improve as you are already seeing. If things turn for the worse again, do another acriflavine bath and we will need to treat for brook as copper does not treat it. One thing at a time for now


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Old 01/03/2018, 12:41 PM   #25
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I swabbed her yesterday to check for slime and didn't see anything. I think ich starts on the fins and slowly progresses to the entire body. She went from perfectly fine to covered in spots the next day. The dark spots appeared about a day before the white spots. Im curious if it's caused by velvet because it cleared up after medication, or if it was just a sting.


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