Urgent Clownfish Lying on side, unsure of what's wrong

Discussion in 'ASAP' started by Dr. Bergeron, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. Dr. Bergeron

    Dr. Bergeron Peppermint Shrimp

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    When we got home from work today, one of the clownfish was lying on it's side next to a rock. It's breathing seems to be erratic. Every minute or two he charges out from his spot to swim next to the other clown for a bit, and then goes back to lay down. I checked him for signs of excess slime, discoloration, white spots etc, and he doesn't seem to have any of these brooklynella symptoms at all.

    Params:
    temp 81.3 (always keep the tank between 80-82)
    SG: 1.027
    Amm: 0
    nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 0
    PH: 8.0

    Other clownfish in the tank is behaving normally staying near the same area as the downed clownfish.

    Blenny is also acting normally.


    Does anyone have any ideas of what to do? I have formalin here if needed. I don't want to stress the fish out by trying 100 different things though.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2010
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  3. liegeofinveracity

    liegeofinveracity Coral Banded Shrimp

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    ...the night time... is the right time...
    this just started today? i'd leave him be for now. if he goes down and stays down i would put him in a qt tank and take it from there, is there anything in there that could have stung him? my foxface royally messed up a sailfin tang(accidently) and the tang was acting as you described.. he recovered eventually
  4. Dr. Bergeron

    Dr. Bergeron Peppermint Shrimp

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    Nothing that I know of is in the tank that could have stung him. This did just start today sometime while we were at work.
    Someone was here around noon and said that the clownfish were swimming around fine. So this happened within the last 6 hours.
  5. liegeofinveracity

    liegeofinveracity Coral Banded Shrimp

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    my first thought was a swim bladder problem but if hes swimming normally when he does move thats probably not the case,lets hope not atleast because thats pretty much it for him if it is a swim bladder thing,does he look "sick"?(other than the breathing) or normal and just laying on the bottom
  6. Dr. Bergeron

    Dr. Bergeron Peppermint Shrimp

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    I'd say he looks normal but is just laying/half floating on the bottom. Should I try to put some food in the water to see if the clowns react? Maybe that would be a good indicator of how sick the fish is?

    Any idea what could cause a swim bladder problem, if that was the worse case scenerio?
  7. liegeofinveracity

    liegeofinveracity Coral Banded Shrimp

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    i dont know what causes it specifically and myself have never had a saltwater fish that seemed to have a problem but i did lose a few freshwater fish over the years.n i think(this is a guess) that its kind of like when a dogs stomach twists up,the advantage being you can take the dog to the vet and have it fixed. if his swim bladder was damaged he would be swimming sideways/upside down/listless and it would be noticable,
    i cant see any harm in trying to feed him but other than that i'd cross my fingers and hope for the best, the only other guess i have and its a longshot is that these clowns are engaing in some type of mating activity? mine(tomato clowns) do some pretty silly stuff sometimes before they lay eggs.or something spooked him
    (my cat lives to sare fish)badly and he smacked himself petty good into the glass or a rock or something,if the heater is in the tank he could have burned himself...there could be a lot of explanations,, sorry i couldn't be more help and i hope the little guy recovers
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  9. Dr. Bergeron

    Dr. Bergeron Peppermint Shrimp

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    Thank you for the advice. I did put some food in and the other clown and blenny ate some, he also got up from the bottom and grabbed a mysis, and then slowly swam/sank back down to the bottom and went back to on his side in the same spot. So he has an appetite... but... not much of one. Normally both clowns are the marine equivalent of hungry hungry hippos so this is a bit disconcerting.
  10. Yellow Tang

    Yellow Tang Bubble Tip Anemone

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    I never had good luck with Ocellaris
    have maroon
    I hope it passes
    best of luck,
    Griffin
  11. liegeofinveracity

    liegeofinveracity Coral Banded Shrimp

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  12. d0ughb0y

    d0ughb0y Astrea Snail

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    my occelaris digs a hole in the sand and sleeps at night laying down flat on its side. he is a new addition to the tank and the larger occelaris still would not allow the smaller one anywhere near the anemone.
  13. tigermike74

    tigermike74 Panda Puffer

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    A higher SG will mean heavier filtering through their gills, lower O2 levels in the water, which results in stress on the fish. Having warmer water also means less dissolved O2 in the water. I think all of these things collectively are too much for him. I would suggest slowly lowering your SG down to 1.023 to see if it helps. Good luck with your little guy.
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  15. Dr. Bergeron

    Dr. Bergeron Peppermint Shrimp

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    I actually have true percs.

    Thanks for the advice tiger mike I think i'll work on lowering it a bit lower, maybe to 1.024-1.026(ocean).

    Over time last night the clowns breathing became more regular, and he went to sleep where he was laying. When I got up this morning, he was back by the other clown in the place where they normally both sleep together. So this is good!

    I don't have any conclusive proof of what caused this. I have a wild hunch though that the clown was stung, but not by anything in my tank. Last night before the lights shut off, this HUGE black wasp crawled out of somewhere and was buzzing against the fixture and then landing on the water. I'm thinking that if the wasp was doing this during the day the clowns would have come up to investigate and take a bite at him. I'm thinking one of them got speared by the wasp. It's really the only thing I can think of.

    Also, how do I drop the urgent off the thread title, as this is no longer an urgent situation.
  16. Sean_Clownfish

    Sean_Clownfish Astrea Snail

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    I was about to say, both my occelaris clowns sleep on the sand on their sides.