Clowns wasting while still eating, plus other symptoms

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Clowns wasting while still eating, plus other symptoms

Post by Gryphoemia » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:48 pm

A few months ago, one of my 4 large clowns gradually started getting skinny and having buoyancy problems. Giving him peas seemed to help temporarily, but he’d get worse again. I opted not to treat because he was acting normal otherwise and I didn’t want to stress the rest of the tank with meds based on a guess (in hindsight, I should have removed him to a small tank and tried something, but my quarantine tank was occupied). Over time, the buoyancy trouble varied, but he got very skinny, and eventually died. He was never lethargic at all, and had a healthy appetite until the day he died.

The rest of the clowns seemed fine, and recently I added 2 new tiny clowns and SAEs (after a month of quarantine). Now, I’m starting to see signs of wasting on one of the remaining large clowns (bone behind the eye is beginning to show). No buoyancy trouble this time, but I do notice him flashing now and then. I can’t find anything unusual on his skin. His behavior and appetite are normal. No signs of trouble on any of the tankmates.

So now I’m looking into so-called “skinny disease,” since the wasting-while-eating is the common factor. It sounds like many cases of wasting come with lethargy and loss of appetite – based on the fact that I don’t see that, can I rule out some of the potential causes of wasting? Could the flashing be a clue to the root cause, or is it more likely to be some secondary problem? My plan at the moment is to try some anti-parasite and anti-bacterial meds (one at a time), but I’m wondering if I can shorten the list by ruling something out.

Tank details:
3 large clowns I’ve had for years, 2 very small new clowns, 2 small SAEs
Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5-15ppm
Lots of aeration
no carbon
several dry foods on rotation, occasional fresh veggies
Bare bottom, fake plants & driftwood
Don't believe everything you think.

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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:35 am
Location: Near San Franciso

Re: Clowns wasting while still eating, plus other symptoms

Post by Diana » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:46 am

Hard to rule out something with just those symptoms.

The weight loss suggests internal parasites.
The flashing suggests and irritant. Perhaps external parasites, water quality issues or external disease.

So, you are left with increasing water changes and alternating antibiotics with antiparasite meds.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

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