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Thread: clownfish dying

  1. #1
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    clownfish dying

    I have a 15G tank in my son's room. It's been set-up for about 16 months now; no skimmer but water parameters have generally been good with water changes. For most of the past year, we have had a Royal Gramma (big and healthy) and a cleaner shrimp. Corrals are limited: Xenia, GSP, torch, ricordia.

    Over the past year, I have introduced three black occelaris fish into the tank: two last summer and one last week. They looked healthy, and were eating well. The first two just 'disappeared' while I just found the last one floating in the tank with its inards eaten.

    Any ideas what might be doing this? After 16 months, a mantis should have shown itself by now. I do have a strange hermit crab but it's not that big.
    Nick

  2. #2
    Senior Member clown_fish's Avatar
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    IMO, 4 fish in 15G tank are too much bio load for it to handle and your water conditions will go down much faster than you think especially you don't have a running skimmer. I have two small fish (sixline & tomatoe clown) in my 20g tank with no skimmer plus bunch of leather & softies coral and water conditions have been stable for 2 years. I only feed every other day though. If you supspect there is a mantis in your tank, try to listen to a "snapping" sound after the light goes out, then use a mantis trap to catch it.
    90G bb mixed reef set up in April 2005. I had 40g mixed reef for one year before that

  3. #3
    Moderator mike536's Avatar
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    Myself I had a Mantis in my tank for over a year without knowing that he was in there. Then One day just came out!!!. I also had a blue spinny lobster in there as well. I found that the lobster was making all the "clicking" noise in my tank and not the mantis.
    Cheers,
    Mike Philpott

  4. #4
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    Just to clarify, we have not had four fish in the tank (poor editing of my original message :-(). Before I added the last clown, the only fish in the tank was the Gramma.
    Nick

  5. #5
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    My money is on the Gramma. Those suckers are mean.

  6. #6
    Senior Member volitan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mike536
    Myself I had a Mantis in my tank for over a year without knowing that he was in there. Then One day just came out!!!. I also had a blue spinny lobster in there as well. I found that the lobster was making all the "clicking" noise in my tank and not the mantis.
    still got that mantis in there mike?
    Derik...

  7. #7
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    In spite of being described as "easy" to keep i myself have not had much luck with clown fish in the past ether. Same as you ... they just seem to die for no obvious reason after looking like they had settled in. Perhaps trying the tank raised ones is a better choice if none in the past have been tank raised. Perhaps a longer acclamation period then usual is required.
    RC has a complete forum devoted to keeping clown fish and it is a great place to do research on them.
    Rob

  8. #8
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    Almost all clown fish arrive from shipping with bacterial gut infections- most die, unless they are treated for the disease. It usually takes them about 3 weeks to die and they can look perfect and eat just fine for a few days before they stop eating, start pooing white streals and then waste away. It's possible that the new clown brought in the disease and it knocked off all three.
    However, in a 15 gallon tank I wouldn't rule out the gramma..
    whenever new fish are introduced, you run the risk of adding a disease too..
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

  9. #9
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    Just to get the timeline right:

    March, 2004: Added the Royal Gramma.

    July, 2004: Added two clowns, healthy and eating. One week later, one clown 'disappeared' with no carcus found. A few days later, second clown disappeared with no carcus. Left with 1 fish (Gramma)

    May, 2005: Added one clown which had been in the MS tank for 3 weeks and looked healthy. It lasted about 10 days and then was found dead with its insides eaten away.

    I guess the deaths could be due to the Gramma but I didn't think they were that aggressive, more into posturing. Also, the new clown couldn't have caused the previous deaths. It could have been disease for the last one I guess.
    Nick

  10. #10
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    it could have been disease for the first two as well..
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

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