How can I keep a clownfish alive?! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-27-2015, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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How can I keep a clownfish alive?!

I've killed about 6 clownfish. The first was from petco, he got ich and died within a week. The replacement clownfish was from petco, and he also died within a week from ich. The next clownfish was from petco as well, and he got ich but made a full recovery. I bought him a healthy mate from a good store (not petco) and he was fine until I added an anemone that had an attitude and "nuked" the tank, killing both clowns. Finally, I had had it with petco, and I had tore down that tank since the anemone pretty much a crashed the whole thing, and started another tank and a new QT. I bought two clownfish from Liveaquaria, after the DT cycled, put them in the QT, and they died within a week with no known cause! I talked to liveaquaria and they didn't have an answer for me. I drip acclimate everything, parameters are always ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 0-5 (no nitrate in QT), salinity 1.025, ph 8.1-8.3., phosphates .25 (no idea why), calcium 420. I've had lots of saltwater critters and clownfish are the ones I can't seem to keep alive! What's going on? I check water constantly and make the sure the water for water changes matches the tank water salinity, ph, and temperature. I don't use tap water, it's a dual filtration system that takes out pretty much everything and I've never had a problem with the water. I always run carbon just in case and treat the tanks with seachem prime just in case. Help???
I know a lot about marine ich now and plan to QT everything. And I can understand the anemone nuking the tank (I'm guessing it was because I acclimated it wrong), and why it would kill the fish. But the two clownfish dying for no reason in the QT doesn't make sense. Is this stress related? Anything I can do to prevent this? I love clownfish but I don't want them if I'm just going to keep killing them!

Last edited by Es345; 01-27-2015 at 10:07 AM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-27-2015, 10:20 AM
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I use my QT as a preventative treatment tank. I like hypo salinity as a treatment and I also use copper. The thing is if the clown already has oodinium or brooklynella and you just put it into a QT with no treatment the odds of survival are very slim. Also if you have fish that "recover " without treatment it can be very possible that they are simply carriers of the ailment, a fish with a weakened immune system can start things all over again.

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post #3 of 6 Old 01-27-2015, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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The first two clowns had ich and I didn't know how to treat it. But after that I was treating with formalin with luck. I don't understand why two of the clownfish that showed no signs of ich (from liveaquaria) died in the sterile QT tank with perfect parameters. It makes no sense. They had white stringy feces so maybe worms? I ordered prazipro but it didn't get here on time, and the feces could have been from not eating for a while since they were short lived. The QT had no other fish in it before them (after I sterilized it)
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-27-2015, 12:09 PM
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Internal parasites can bring a fish down as well, especially if it is stressed from shipping, many have not eaten proper during the transition from breeder to wholesaler to shop to you. It sounds like you are equipped with the medications as well as the knowledge to have a pretty good chance at having a successful go at the clowns again. I have had my fair share of issues over the years and now I do my best to do a proper QT and treatment prior to getting into the display tank, hyposalinity has worked well for me and in some instances as I mentioned I use copper. When dealing with brooklynella Hostillis I did use some formadahyde with good results,formalyn being the most easily acquired derivative. I am sure you already know but seeing a fish before you buy it can be very helpful in getting a good start, a healthy, alert, and active fish that is eating should fair rather well in a hypo QT before going into your main tank.

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post #5 of 6 Old 01-27-2015, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Okay. The fish should be hand picked instead of shipped and treated as a precautionary before going into display. Thanks so much. I'm a newbie with clowns

Last edited by Es345; 01-27-2015 at 01:36 PM.
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-27-2015, 05:15 PM
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Just sounds like you had a few bad experiences there but all in all clowns are pretty hardy if they are captive raised. I have a friend who breeds clownfish and as long as they are not caught off guard by a malady they are really resilient animals. Let us all know how the nest batch go.

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