The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged cloudy eyes

So, lacking anything else worthwhile that I could really do to help this fish along, I turned to the group of advisers. I had my own ideas, but when I approach this group of people, I’ve learned I may get better advice if I hold my own ideas back and simply come as a blank slate. Generally, what I’m looking for is one of two things. #1. Consensus among the adviser’s advice and/or #2. Confirmation of my own plans by seeing my own ideas show up independently from one or more of the advisers. Needless to say, the advisers often disagree, or offer their own twists on a general premise. Some say nothing unless inspired to action by something specific.

When it came time to bounce the latest twist off the advisers, Boomer was the only one who came back with straight up “here’s what I’d do”. It just so happens that on this one, Boomer happened to mention a lot of the same things I was already thinking.

In looking through my medication arsenal, I had a feeling that sooner or later, the Methylene Blue would be called upon. It is something I ordinarily keep on hand as it has MANY uses. Ironically, when I told Mark Martin to not worry, that I had a fully stocked medicine chest on hand, one of the first things that came up early on in this project was of course, Methylene Blue. And of course, it, along with Malachite Green, were nowhere to be found. My best guess is that when we moved from Chicago to Duluth, I must have tossed them out (probably not wanting to risk the leakage of MB and MG onto anything/everything we owned!).

Well, since realizing I didn’t have it, I picked it back up. Tonight, it got used. Lacking any other real antibiotic to throw at the eye infections on the female PNG Maroon, interim treatment with Methylene Blue seemed like something that at best, could not hurt. It may not HELP, but certainly would not hurt.

Given that the female is LOVING her RBTA, as well as the fact that MB would kill off the Caulerpa in the tank and likely any other algae grown, as well as some or all of the nitrifying bacteria, my decision was to apply MB as a dip. I honestly wanted a “longer” option, but Kordon’s dosage instructions were clear. If under “constant treatment”, dosing to 3 ppm MB is recommended. For a DIP however, the treatment is 50 ppm of MB for 10 SECONDS.

Honestly, 10 seconds seems like it’s too brief to really do anything, but lacking any other solid dosage alternatives (i.e. dose at X ppm for a 30 minute dip), I went with 50 ppm for 10 seconds.  In a nutshell, did the math to figure out how much Methylene Blue it’d take to get 50 ppm in 1 gallon of water (it turned out to be around 8.3 ml).  Measured out 1 gallon of water from the tank into a 5 gallon bucket.  Added the MB (did 8 ml).  Set aside another Quart of tank water for a RINSE to be used AFTER the dip.  Netted the fish off the RBTA and dipped it for 10 seconds (counted in my head).  Pulled the net out of the dip, and poured the rinse water over the fish (soas to keep MB from getting back into the tank) and returned the fish to the tank.

On the upside, this was a VERY quick procedure.  My understanding is that I can probably do this treatment twice daily.  Given that I may simply be UNABLE to get an alternative antibiotic tomorrow unless the Kanamycin shows up, I will probably do this dip again tomorrow.  If I do, I’ll take some pictures of the procedure.

Hoping to save her good eye…

So, after last night’s update, I went downstairs and gave the fish a closer look and that’s when I saw something I really didn’t like. The female’s right eye was distended and had a big black splotch on it. There was not a spot of Cryptocaryon on her, which was the “moment” I had been waiting for to move her from the 20 long into her 10 gallon “recuperation” tank with a Red Bubble Tip Anemone that I got from Jim Grassinger. So, I did an abbreviated quick drip acclimation and moved her in. I called it a night.

This morning, well, it’s been chaotic around here. We were supposed to close on a new home on Friday and move this weekend. The seller screwed things up, so closing on Friday didn’t happen. I’ve been working all weekend in the hopes that I could trade the weekend workdays for days off next week (overall, I work for a very understanding and easy going guy who “gets it”. I cannot tell you how lucky and appreciative I am for that). Well, today my wonderful inlaws came over and helped move most everything into 3 trucks and a 17′ UHaul. The fish will all get moved later this week.

I say all this, because it explains why I’ve not been paying closer attention to things. I.e. not noticing that the Kanamycin, which should’ve been here Thursday, was still not here by Saturday. I know the Maracyn SW had not been working for the female’s eye troubles, but I’ve been stuck without any good options to treat it with up here in Duluth. There are NO pet stores open on Sunday in the Duluth region that carry ANY medications. In fact, there’s really only one pet store in the area that does, and they didn’t have Kanamycin. Yes, there are potentially other medications I could try in the interim, so it is my fault for waiting for the Kanamycin to arrive and not having a plan B already in place.

Well, after ignoring my fish most of the day, I went down to check in on the female. It appears to me that her right eye has now ruptured. There’s no coming back from that…this fish will be blind in that eye if that eye even remains. This is a great disappointment, ESPECIALLY because circumstances out of my control have now prevented me from giving her a treatment that could have prevented this. I must admit it, I’m a snob when it comes to broodstock. I want them to be pristine. Not missing an eye.

Of course, really at this point all I can do is hope that the move to a different, well established tank, and the anemone, can help the fish fight off whatever infection has been setting in. If the Kanamycin shows up, I’ll be ready to dose it for sure, and maybe it’ll help. But, it may not. And this fish could end up losing the left eye too.

If the left eye goes, there’s really no use for the fish. We could talk about the ethical and moral merits of continuing to try to keep the fish going, but I’ll say it now, it’ll be time to discuss euthanasia options for this fish. A fish that’s totally blind will have an incredibly hard time living, let alone mating with anything. In the wild, this fish would’ve been dead weeks ago already.

She’s been a fighter. If she can pull through and keep the left eye good I’ll certainly keep her around. The loss of the right eye is admittedly a setback, a really disappointing blow. I did take some pictures for all of you to look at her in her new home this evening.

Yes, another extremely short update because the Lightning Maroon is doing well and his mate is still “sick” but “stable”. Still has cloudy eyes, still eats circling to the left. Kanamycin never showed up this week :( Disappointed to say the least. Kept the PNG Maroon on Maracyn SW for another couple days but it’s really doing nothing beneficial at this point. Daily water changes remain the norm.

So, a bunch of clownfish porn this evening, because frankly, a blog is kinda boring if it’s just always text text text text text.

The female PNG Maroon is definitely doing better, yet still sick.  Still has cloudy eyes.  After I fed and shot video this evening, she got another water change with full strength saltwater, bringing the specific gravity up to 1.021 in the Hospital / QT Tank. As I’m still waiting on the Kanamycin (should show up tomorrow) I’ve opted to continue with the Erythromycin (Maracyn SW) as the cloudy eyes persist. I should say that the Fin Rot appears to have been fully treated and arrested with the treatments of Maracyn SW, and it’s interesting that the cloudy eyes developed during this second course of Maracyn SW.

The videos that follow are of some healthy clownfish eating.  Watch their behavior.  Watch how they turn, how they locate food.  Watch how far they’re willing to travel to get food and how far away it seems that they can identify food.  Compare these 3 videos of healthy clownfish to the last video, which is the PNG Maroon female.  What do you think?  Blind in the right eye?  I can’t speak about permanence, as it’s been documented that blindness can be temporary.  What I CAN say is that this fish seems much better over the last 48-72 hours at identifying food particles in the water column, which to me is suggestive that this fish was having vision problems before the cloudy eyes cropped up.

And finally, the PNG Maroon Female.

So, please post your comments – what do you think?

I know most folks are wanting to hear about the Lightning Maroon, but there isn’t much to say.  “He’s” clean, healthy, likes to eat pellet foods and doesn’t seem at all interested in the mysis and brine shrimp.  Not sure what’s up with that, but I’m chalking it up to him being ticked he’s in a breeder net.

The female PNG Maroon continues to be perplexing, but I think we’re getting a clearer picture.  I am now thoroughly convinced that she is currently blind in her right eye.  Remember early on, she had a slight case of “popeye” that went away.  And now, more recently, her right eye went cloudy first, and now both are, with the right being far more severe.  And all along, when the female was feeding, food would have to bounce off her face practically.

Well, when I fed brine and mysis (soaked in Reef Plus and Garlic Guard) today, she’s up, swimming in the water column, again picking off food.  But she only picks off food that is on her center to left field of vision.  And she turns left about 80-90% of the time as she swims through the tank.   This is very convincing behavior that at this point in time, she cannot see out of her right eye.

Of course, it’s concerning that she seems to perhaps be recovering some of her vision, yet her left eye is now cloudy too.  Assuming this is bacterial, Maracyn SW is not looking very effective against it.  However, I do have Kanamycin on the way, thanks to Christine William’s strong suggestion (echoed by several others).  So, I may continue to h0ld this fish in QT to treat it with Kanamycin to see if I can’t fix up whatever infection is now causing the cloudy eyes.

Oh, and the last thing I should mention is that she has another slight case of Crypotcaryon…just a few specks.  I should be able to get that taken care of when I move her, just need to do it at the right time.

Mid-Tuesday Stumper

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It’s turning out to be a riddle that I’ve yet to answer.  What is wrong with the PNG Female Maroon?  And more importantly, how have I not killed it by now?  Or maybe better to ask, what the heck am I doing that’s keeping this fish still around despite the constant onslaught of illness?

You may recall that yesterday I mentioned she is looking “fat” despite not being an aggressive eater, and that she certainly is having vision problems and that now both eyes were cloudy.  Well, these symptoms persist today.  Heck, I was convinced that finally, at least we were seeing SOME change, even if it was a “downhill slide”.  Logically, based on my experiences, that would make sense, even though it’s not what I’d want.

Of course, I think this fish is going to simply stump us all, because this afternoon, despite cloudy eyes and a couple specks of Cryptocaryon, she was snapping grated squid out of the water column.  Blind fish don’t normally feed out of the water column.  Granted, she wasn’t hunting the food down from across the tank, but certainly was feeding from the water column as she swam around.  I should probably take video of both the PNG maroon, and the new “Labrador” Maroon, so you guys can see the behavioral comparison…

Is this fish getting better or not?!?!!?!!  I kinda wish it would just make up its mind already!

OK, officially I’m just frustrated.  I have to commend the Female PNG Maroon for fighting to live as it seems a never ending barrage of maladies hits her.  I know there’s still Crypotcaryon running around the tank, only seen it on her.  Now, it turns out that the “chunk” of her left pectoral fin that was presumed “bitten off” by the Lighting Maroon may not have been a bite at all.  Or if it was, it opened up the gateway to another new problem.

In either case, I’m now dealing with FIN ROT.  And this tends to progress FAST.  I’m surprised after just having run a 5 day treatment of Maracyn SW (an antibiotic) that this has now shown up.  Normally, I’d slam something like this with Maracyn SW (Erythromycin) as my first choice, but now…well…I’m hoping maybe I can find some Kanamycin at the local Petco (only fish store in town open after 6:30 PM…geeze).  I’m hoping for Kanamycin on two grounds, having yet to actually go look at what I *should* or *could* use.  #1.  Looks like whatever has hit was likely not something knocked out by Maracyn and #2.  Kanamycin is Christine’s default antibiotic.  Sounds like a good choice…probably should’ve thought to have some on hand.

Bouncing this off the advisers as well.  Remember, we just threw a UV on the tank too, which if course may have to be deactivated (it can affect medications).

Anyways, pix of the affliction:

PNG Maroon with Fin Rot

Finrot on the left pectoral of the Female PNG Maroon.

Left Flank of PNG Maroon Clownfish Female

Here's a shot of the left flank overall.

Fin Rot on a female Premnas biaculeatus

Another good left flank shot showing the pectoral disintegration.

PNG Lighting Maroon male and PNG Maroon Clownfish Female interacting.

They're still interacting.

Now, there is still the possibility that the Lighting Maroon is causing this damage…they do occasionally interact roughly.  But I’m at 95% Fin Rot as the diagnosis.  And it requires fast treament…I’ve seen similar disease competely disintegrate a fin in hours.

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