Distressed Clownfish? (with video)

Discussion in 'New To The Hobby' started by agf1583, Jun 1, 2014.

to remove this notice and enjoy 3reef content with less ads. 3reef membership is free.

  1. agf1583

    agf1583 Plankton

    Apr 21, 2014

    I was originally going to post this in the ASAP forum, but after about 15 minutes in normal lighting, the issue seems to have subsided. I would still appreciate any insights anyone can offer as to what was happening here.

    New to the hobby, so my apologies if this is the 3reef equivalent of calling 911 for a hangnail...

    Brief description of the problem: I bought 2 new clownfish from my fairly reputable (from what I can tell) LFS yesterday. They were very active both in store and when I brought them home...never leaving the front of the tank. This morning I turned on my moonlights (I'm trying pitch black at night with a moonlight transition at dusk/dawn) I noticed them both staying near the surface, with one of them mostly on his side...looked like he was dying. The other was staying near, occasionally nipping (?) at him. As soon as I went to full light in the tank, the problem mostly subsided, but the one is still not straying very far from the top of the tank. My only theory aside from disease is that this is some kind of territorial issue? See video for an illustration.

    PARAMETERS (important)
    Temperature: 80.7
    PH: 8.2
    Ammonia: 0-0.25
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 5-10
    Salinity: 1.023
    dKH/KH/Alkalinity: unknown
    Magnesium: unknown
    Calcium: unknown
    Phosphate: 0
    Test kits you own: pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Phosphate
    Liquid or Strips: liquid
    Brand Name: API
    Are they Expired?: No

    Tank size? 60 gal cube
    Estimated total system? 70 gal

    Reef, fish only or, freshwater? fish only

    Current inhabitants? What and how many? 3 banggai cardinals, 2 clownfish, 1 lawnmower blenny
    Clean up crew? none

    How long has your tank been set-up? 2 weeks ( i realize this may be a heavy bioload for a young tank but so far my params are holding - if my test kits can be believed)

    Substrate. sand
    Type? aragonite oolite
    Depth? 2 in

    Live rock? yes
    How much? 50 lbs
    Did you recently add some? not since setting up system

    Type? sump with filter socks & refugium and UV sterilizer
    Protein skimmer? yes
    Do you wet or dry skim? wet so far, not producing much yet
    Maintenance schedule for filtration? change socks 2x a week
    Drilled tank/hang on back overflow? drilled
    Sump/refugium. What's in it and how much? Refugium: 6 in dsb, 2 lbs rock and topped off with chaeto
    Macro? What kind? see above

    Lighting type? LED
    Age of bulbs? less than 1 month

    What? dry spirulina/brine shrimp, frozen mysis
    How much? 1 cube of each
    How often? 2x daily

    Water change schedule.
    How much? 5 gal
    How often? 1x weekly
    What salt brand? red sea
    Water source? tap with RO/DI filter

    Additives/supplements used? none

    Do you have a ground probe? no
    What kind of flow does your tank have? moderate

    Thank you!
    Corailline likes this.
  2. Click Here!

  3. Mr. Bill

    Mr. Bill Native Floridian

    May 28, 2011
    Actually looks like normal behavior for newly-introduced clownfish. IME, they're not the type to move around much, but instead, tend to pick a spot and stay close to that area. If/when you introduce corals or an anemone, they may decide to choose one for a host.

    If your rock was all fully cured, you may be fine for now. I'd recommend waiting a few weeks before introducing anything else, though. You might also want to start adding a bacterial supplement to help boost your biofilter and ward off the possibility of an ammonia spike just for added insurance.
    agf1583 and Corailline like this.
  4. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    First off, excellent job on providing all the necessary information, that makes all the difference. Thank you!!!

    It looks like typically clown behavior after being woken up by the lighting.

    Mr.Bill as usual is spot on.

    Just keep an eye on them and re-post if you see any signs of disease or stress.

    Welcome to 3reef.
    agf1583 and Mr. Bill like this.
  5. agf1583

    agf1583 Plankton

    Apr 21, 2014
    Thanks to you both. I tried leaving a low level moonlight on all last night and the same behavior is repeating itself this morning. It may be just a matter of letting them acclimate to my tank's light cycle. I have no idea what my LFS does with their lights at night. They are definitely a hyperactive pair and haven't really claimed a home in the tank yet, so hopefully that will help as well.
  6. Zgetman

    Zgetman Ritteri Anemone

    Jun 15, 2013
    Dumas, TX, USA
    When I got my Clownfish he stayed at the top of my tank for a week or two. Now he swims all over my tank, but when I shut my lights off he goes right to the top corner of the tank. That is where he sleeps.
  7. vtecintegra

    vtecintegra Fire Worm

    Mar 20, 2010
    I had clowns that behaved like that a long time ago when there was nothing in the tank to host them. They stayed in the top back corner all of the time. My current pair live in a hammer coral.
  8. Click Here!

  9. civiccars2003

    civiccars2003 Great Blue Whale

    Mar 18, 2010
    Akron Ohio
    Nice clowns, seems normal to me...slow down a bit and let your fish get used to there new home before introducing any more live stock.