So it’s been what, 2 full weeks now? Today, the maroons spent more of their day apart. This evening, I did another water change, shook off all the live rock (and thus rearranged it a bit), dosed with Fish Protector in the makeup water and Reef Plus shortly thereafter.
The female Maroon, as cited earlier, still had spots of Cryptocaryon (ICH) on her into the afternoon, but by night they’ve disappeared. I should mention that besides the obvious visual cues that it was ICH and not Velvet, there has not been heavy breathing nor a total loss of appetite, both classic symptoms of Marine Velvet (Amyloodinium) even when it’s not outwardly visible.
I “polled” the advisers and got early responses from Joe, Christine and Matthew C. about my ongoing ICH problem. I’m over simplifying their responses by a lot, but suffice it to say that if there were one word votes, it’d be 1 vote restore Hypo to 1.010 or even 1.009, and 2 votes for possible treatment with Cupramine (copper) to finally eradicate the problem. Obviously, if this continues to be a recurring problem it will have to be dealt with. I feel that the female Maroon has once again plateaued, albeit at a higher plateau than she was on before.
She has had less “spunk” today, not having tons of appetite by any stretch. Unless food was moving, either in the current or alive (as in Live Adult Brine Shrimp) she didn’t see interested. Honestly, I had my first suspicions that she might be blind now. Hard to say. Blindness can be temporary or permanent in clownfish and can be attributed to a variety of factors. There are times she seems blind, but then other times where she most certainly does not. So throw that on the pile as another of the never-ending list of problems that have plagued this female PNG Maroon since her arrival. Oh, that, and someone took a chunk out of her left pectoral fin today. The list of suspects is short. VERY SHORT. And happens to be covered in abberant white markings.
Behaviorally, the clowns were not as cuddly with each other today. They spent most of their time about 3-4″ apart. When I turned out the lights this evening, the female left her cave. The Lighting Maroon quivered for her numerous times, but she moved off to a different part of the tank. I didn’t stay to watch too much more, but suffice to to say that both fish seem to be roaming the tank more. This, combined with the “mystery bite” on the female’s fin might suggest that the “pair bond” isn’t all that, but then I look at my other clowns that don’t have anemone homes and they tend to rove around quite a bit. They aren’t always at each other’s side, but it’s very rare that they’re at opposite ends of the tank.
I think it’s really important to impress upon everyone how truly individual and dynamic a marine fish can be. They most certainly do have personalities and subtle behavioral cues. It pays to make yourself aware of those subtle changes in behavior. I certainly believe that some folks might read way too much into it, anthropomorphizing their fish (and going off the deep end in the process). However, if you can avoid that pitfall and be more objective about your fish, you may realize they will often give you clues when things aren’t quite right. I.e. I’m paying more close attention to the Female Maroon today and tomorrow in light of what seems to be a decreased interest in food and behavior that may imply some blindness or at least vision trouble. Hard to say where that’s stemming from, but it’s important to note general behavior every time you look as you’ll get tipped off when things may once again be going wrong.
Well, signing off for tonight, and hoping for a better tomorrow. Power of positive thought seems to work folks, so please do keep sending prayers, well wishes, good vibes and karma to the 20 gallon home of the PNG Ambassador and his wife