The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged formalin

The short story – yesterday the fish got fed a few times.  I’ve realized that most food blows by the female, so I’m now in the position of having to turn off the filtration so she eats.  This has the positive side that if I leave the water pump off for a bit, I could come back later and siphon off uneaten food (only the male is willing to eat food off the bottom glass).

Last night, they got another 5 gallon water change.  Today, I started off by feeding a couple times, and now at lunch, another 5 gallon water change with Fish Protector in the makup, and then the dose of Maracyn.  Also hitting the tank with the daily dose of Kent’s Vitamin C product.

The sad news is that the female, while she continues to eat, has another clear cut case of Cryptocaryon (ICH).  Nothing “serious” (as indicated by the fact that she’s still eating) but seriously, with almost 2 weeks of Hyposalinity and solid Formalin treatments, I should not be continuing to deal with ICH.  This may be a case where I have to “keep an eye on it”, maybe go for FW dips, or maybe wait it out for another week and then bring up the salinity and hit the tank with Cupramine.  In the meantime, so long as the fish continues to eat, things should go OK.  I’ve been soaking all their food with Seachem’s Garlic Guard, which is thought may help keep parasites out of the gills (key word there is THOUGHT, not “proven”).

It’s been a busy weekend and one that has left me with only questions and no real good explanations!

Friday – following my last update in the afternoon, I went back down and was shocked with what I saw.  So much so, that only video can truly convey what surprised me.

For the record, I did NOT introduce the Lightning Maroon into the female’s side of their tank. He, and I say now safely “HE”, either jumped the egg crate or somehow managed to squeeze around it. SINCE Friday afternoon, he has not left her side. I will tell you now that I was totally shocked and surprised to see this. I didn’t do this. But I have not intervened. Clearly this is what the Lighting Maroon WANTED. Possibly a sign from above? Hard to say. But who am I to argue. If the Lightning Maroon wants to be with the female so badly that he’ll bypass the barriers to interaction (and the safety afforded to him), I will not interfere. In other words, despite my best efforts to keep the Lighting Maroon safe from the female PNG Maroon, they have gotten together without incident. To me, this behavioral change, this unintended pairing, and the fact that it has gone so smoothly, solidly answers the sex question (short of actual egg fertilization). I think everyone who felt that the Lighting Maroon was a male at the time of collection was right.

I have continued on my treatment paths…you don’t stop medication the moment your symptoms go away, you need to follow things through. That means that they got a water change on Friday night, followed by 2 drops of Vitamin C. Saturday morning, a dose of Maracyn SW and 8 drops of Vitamin C. In the evening, another 5 gallon water change, 2 drops of Vitamin C to make up for what may have been removed. Sunday morning, again, a dosing of Maracyn SW. I was in such a hurry this morning I don’t think I dosed any Vitamin C.

Technically, the tank was due for another Formalin dosage today. I honestly think I’ve hit things as hard as I can with Formalin. The last dosage of Formalin seemed to irritate the fish, so in a potentially risky move, I am not going to dose the tank with Formalin anymore. It truly did wreak havoc on the live rock and the overall water quality from a bacterial standpoint.

It’s also been a extra day since the last “formalin dip” on the Female. She went through more dips than was prescribed. I still have not seen her eat anything, while the PNG Lightning Maroon Clown eats anything that hits the water. I get the impression that the female PNG Maroon is very nervous about me being around, and she may in fact be eating when I’m not watching. Hard to tell. I’ve been feeding live adult brine shrimp from Mark Martin @ Blue Zoo, which I continue to enrich / feed with RotiGrow Plus from Reed Mariculture (Reef Nutrition). I am still considering doing a FW dip, possibly with Formalin, tonight. If I can see her eating something, anything, I will refrain from further dips. Knowing that refusing to eat is a symptom of both Brooklynella and Amyloodinium, and believing in my gut that I’ve dealt with both of these parasites in the past week, to NOT continue with dips (whether FW, Formalin or both) would be a risky move. If the fish is eating, there goes the only remaining “outwardly apparent” symptom of Brook or Velvet. I would be very relieved if she would just eat already.

And that’s the update. This evening, other than the female still not eating as far as I can tell, they are truly acting like a healthy bonded clownfish pair. I still have no concrete explanations for the female’s miraculous recovery. Certainly some divine intervention, and if folks want to call it a true miracle from God, I certainly believe in a higher power and yes, that thought has crossed my mind. Definitely a higher power out there. But religion aside, I am still a “scientist” and believe there is some scientific explanation. It may very well be what inspired me to hit the tank with Maracyn SW. IF the Maroon was suffering from an internal bacterial infection, one not readily apparent externally, then the rapid turnaround and loss of symptoms would make sense following the administration of antibiotics. This seems to be the most likely possibility, but the simple truth is that a) we’re not out of the woods with the female and b) we may never know what’s kept her alive this long.

So that’s my update.

In a nuthshell, the FW dip + Formalin did not really seem to go over well.  The Maroon Female is under the live rock, wedged in, breathing unhappily and rapidly.  Frankly though, I’ve seen MUCH WORSE LOOKING fish (see my posts about the Saddleback…of course, it did die within hours later).

What I’ve seen develop over the past few hours is slime coat and what looks to me like Velvet (Amyloodinium).  I’ve seen it before, many times over, as I found Amphiprion allardi particularly susceptible to it.   I know we had Brooklynella early on, then there were the Spots of Cryptocaryon, and now this.  Sure, I’m not 100% sure it is, but seriously…I dip the fish with Formalin and FW, and within 2 hours I have a nice dusting of tiny white spots on the fish?  What else could I be seeing?

Well, I’m making plans to abandon their tank potentially.  Can’t risk a Cupramine + Formalin interaction.  I took a fallow larval tank down, filled it about 50% with water from my Onyx Perc’s reef, 50% new tapwater.  It tested out around 1.014 (my percentages aren’t exact).  I’m letting it just sit there.  Depending on how the female Maroon looks in the morning (if she is even still alive) I may follow through with my earlier outlined plans and treat her with Cupramine.  Honestly, this is somewhat ridiculous to be dealing with still.

My plans for the Lighting Maroon?  I have 3 options.  #1.  Leave him in the 20 gallon QT tank since he’s doing OK there despite the Female’s ongoing troubles.  #2.  Ignore that there is another clearly sick fish in the tank, and treat him as if he’s been through a short QT and come out OK.  That means #3a – placing him in a net breeder in my SPS tank with a RBTA (Red Bubble Tip Anemone) or relocating our spawning pair of Black Ocellaris and giving the Lightning Maroon a dedicated 6 gallon reef with a massive RBTA and a bunch of mushrooms.  Both tanks are very solid.  Both have good and bad things associated with them.

Frankly, I’m frustrated, because the 20 L was solid, had been broken in for months and was going to be an ideal home for the pair.  I’ve ended up ravaging it with Hyposalinity and Formalin, and even after all that I’m stuck with sick fish?  If I have to abandon this tank and leave it fallow, I’m technically without a good dedicated home for a Maroon pair at the moment.  That’s a setback.  “GRR”

Action Taken

No comments

So, in a situation like this, I think it is INACTION that generally “seals the deal” as it were.  Leave a fish that’s lost its desire to swim lying on the bottom wedged under the live rock and that fish will be somewhere, dead, by morning.  That’s my general prognosis.  Which is why inaction is not an option.  I’d rather kill the fish by trying to save it than sit back and just let it die.

Water Params in the QT Tank

Water tests came back normal…pH maybe slightly low at 8.0 but nothing alarming at all…all my reefs like to run at 8.0 most of the time.  Ammonia maybe a trace, but certainly below 0.25 ppm.  Nitrite and Nitrate undetectable.   SG 1.010 or every so slightly higher.  This, combined with the outwardly healthy and happy Lightning Maroon clownfish is an important indication that there aren’t environmental problems.

Can’t be the water…

So what is it then?  Tank has had low level Formalin treatments, and I’ve followed a strict regime of Formalin dips.  Tank has been at hyposaline conditions for several days, which may not outright affect a cure of any disease, but certainly should not hurt and likely has helped (I may have said it before…it could just as easily be that both fish would be dead were it NOT for hypo…we just don’t know).  We’ve seen signs of Brooklynella, but certainly not the rampant infestation that takes fish down quickly.  Likely I kept that at bay.  There has also been Cryptocaryon.  Nothing serious, certainly not to the levels where a fatality would result.

We have pretty good water parameters overall, so that’s not been a source of problems.  Even got a protein skimmer going and yes, the Seaclone is pulling out foam, even at 1.010.  So much for “not working” like some folks out there will tell you.  Yet still, in the last 24-48 hours I have noticed elevated repiration on the Maroon Clown, and this evening, a fish on the bottom, clearly stressed.  Honestly, without visual cues, the only thing that is really coming to mind is Amyloodinium, which I’ve seen before and can totally take a fish down fast.  Could it be that in a week alone I may have seen all three diseases on the female Maroon?

Making Educated Guesses

Well, anything is possible.  It could also be that the fish is now succumbing to starvation, secondary bacterial infections, organ failure, or even has just given up the will to live.  All of those are possible.

I have to operate under the following assumptions.

1. I could STILL be facing an infection with Brooklynella.

2. I could be facing an Amyloodinium problem now.

Since neither can be comfortably ruled out at the moment, I had to think this through carefully.

Medication options for Amyloodinium vs. Brooklynella

As I’ve alluded to prior, Amyloodinium may or may not be treatable with Formalin – the literature on the subject varies, and genuinely, it is a 50/50 split.  Brooklynella however, is universally cited as treatable with Formalin.  Conversely, the other generally accepted treatment for parasites like these is Copper.  I’m a fan of Cupramine.  Seachem’s Cupramine cannot be used with Formalin – it will create a toxic substance that would probably just kill everything.  Cupramine also may cause problems at hyposaline levels.  No details provided, it’s a “try it at your own risk”.  That said, if I was convinced I was dealing with Amyloodinium at this point, changing course to Cupramine would be a very necessary step, because Cupramine is highly effective against Amyloodinium in my experience, but only if applied early on.  The other problem, Copper does nothing for Brooklynella…at least 90% of sources tend to agree on that.

If I thought (or was convinced) it was Amyloodinium?

So for the benefit of argument, what would I do if I gambled and changed to Cupramine?  Well, the bottom line is any fish that’s going to be treated with Cupramine needs to be removed to another tank, because I can’t clear out the Formalin with any great level of certainty.  Not worth risking a toxic cocktail.  This also means possibly “rinsing” the fish as one person suggested in a comment thread.  I do concur…that would be a wise precaution, and wouldn’t be that difficult to accomplish.  The next thing to do would be to bring up the salinity, as the toxicity of Cupramine should decrease as that salinity goes up (a side note, we’ve also bantied about the use of an anemone as a therapeutic agent in the last 24 hours, which also would’ve required a rapid salinity change to accomplish).  Some of the advisers have suggested raising salinity could in fact be done rather quickly, but their frame of reference has been largely to compare to captive bred fish.  I did however, pick up  good literature-based clues on the subject.

The first clue on rapid salinity rises comes from Matt Wittenrich’s suggested course of action for treating Cryptocaryon on page 161 of his Breeder’s Guide.  The “jist” is that you drop SG to 1.015, and after two days, do a large water change (presumeably with full strength saltwater).  But that’s not really specific.    The more “detailed” clue comes from Joyce Wilkerson’s highly detailed protocol for Amyloodinium treatment on page 114 of her Clownfish Book.  Again, to give only the “jist” (please see the reference for full details), drop SG to 1.010/1.012.  Day 3, add copper and bring SG up to 1.018.  But, “Take a day or more to bring up the specific gravity”.  I’ve always worked under the assumption of no more than a 0.002 rise per day was adviseable, but this advise advoceates a rise of up to 0.008 in only 24 hours, 4X that of my assumption.  Since I’m a young guy who sometimes want’s more than only the solid, highly experienced sage advice of my elders, I realized that perhaps the real kicker is something sitting in the back of my mind.  Most of the bags in the Blue Zoo Aquatics shipment tested out at specific gravities around 1.019/1.020.  Yet  I pushed both a Cleaner Wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus) and a Harlequin Filefish (Oxymonacanthus longirostris) up to 1.025/1.026 in my reef on only a 1 hour drip.  That RATE would equate to 0.120 difference over 24 hours.  60X faster than my base rate, and 15 times faster than even Wilkerson’s literature suggested to do.  And I had NO PROBLEMS there.

Of course, the best example I can think of goes back to when I was 10 years old.  I was breeding mollies and had my first saltwater tank.  I would ROUTINELY net out my Sailfin Mollies and give them “excursions” in the saltwater tank for a day.  No acclimation of any kind, just dropping them in.  Now of course, I do not advocate this at all.  And healthy Mollies are not the same as distressed Clownfish.  But it’s just one more annecdotal experience that my preconceived notions might be ill-concieved or perhaps overly-cautious.  It is clear that fish can and do withstand far more rapid rises.

So, with all that said, if I get to a point at any time where I think I need to switch to a copper-treatment for this Female Maroon, the course of action is clear.  Rinse her with water from one of my broodstock reefs really quickly, and then move her to a 10 gallon tank that is set up with 5 gallons of diluted saltwater (probably from a broodstock tank).  Bring the salinity up from 1.010 to 1.018, while dosing with Cupramine.  That would be the way to affect a change.

However, I am not at that point yet, and I think that honestly, the time to switch would’ve been before the fish was trying to wedge itself under the live rock.

So what DID I DO?

One of the things routinely cited for treatment of both Amyloodinium AND Brooklynella is a Freshwater Dip.  The FW dip is said to knock off the parasites in the case of Amyloodinium, and for anyone who’s not familiar with Amyloodinium, it can kill a fish by completely coating the gills and you may never even see it on the fish’s skin (one of the main reasons I have suspicions I’m dealing with a case of Amyloodinium now – heavy respiration, stress, and yet no think mucus – generally I’ve only seen the actual cysts on a fish when it’s commonly past the point of no return because I left the fish in the reef too long).

Formalin dips have also been good so far.  Every time I did a dip, the fish always seemed “better”.  Dosing the tank with Formalin this last time appeared to make things “better” as well.  So I’m not about to just outright abandon this medication at this point.  Especially since if I am still dealing with Brooklynella, it is THE medication to use.  Amyloodnium?  The jury is out, but enough people suggest it that there must be some basis for it.

The decision was to combine treatments.  I admittedly have no basis for this other than the fish is now clearly on the decline and drastic steps are needed.  If it’s Amyloodinium and Formalin isn’t fixing it, perhaps the FW DIP will help alleviate the stress, clear up the gills, and buy me some tmie.  If Formalin IS doing the trick, why cut it out?  Admittedly, I have no clue if there’s a basis for this dual purpose dip.

I had thought about doing a FW DIP with Methelyne Blue (which helps deliver Oxygen during the dip and is a often recommended practice).  However, in the back of my head, I hadn’t researched it.  I didn’t know how MB and Formalin would interact, and didn’t want to inadvertently cause some other problem when a fish, dipped in MB, was returned to the main tank.  I have to research this more.  There are potential merits.

The net  result of my thinking was to use the dosage for a Formalin dip at 20 drops per gallon in a Freshwater dip to last anywhere from 5-15 minutes as tolerated (I think in the past I’ve gone even longer, but generally shorter FW dips are suggested).

Prepping the FW Dip

For anyone who’s never done a FW dip, it is not scary.   I don’t have RO DI here unless I buy it, so I had to use good ole tap water.  Matched the temperature coming out of the tap with the tank temp, and them measured out 1 gallon.  Dechlorinated it with Seachem’s Prime.  Then checked the pH..

First pH Test

First pH Test, QT tank sample on left, FW Dip water on right.

The results of this first test showed that the FW from the tap (right sample) was just slightly lower than the tank’s pH.  A very small dusting of Seachem’s Reef Buffer was added to the dip water, swirled and aerated for a minute.  I took another test.

Second pH Test, FW dip water on right.

They are now very close, close enough in my opinion, with the FW maybe ever so slightly elevated.  But you can barely tell at all.  Once the pH was matched, the FW dip was “good to go.

But, as I mentioned, I opted to combine FW with Formalin.  While I completed the requisite 3 dip treatment already, if I was continuing on an “every other day” Foramlin dip regime, today would’ve been the day.  So 20 drops of Formalin were added to the FW dip water.

The FW + Formalin Dip

Being aware of timing on a dip is critical.  Not freaking out is also critical.  So, first things first, get the female Maroon out of the tank and into the dip.

Stressed out Maroon Clown in a Freshwater Dip

Into the bucket she goes...

Stressed out Maroon Clownfish in FW Dip

She goes stiff as a board for a minute, all curled up...

Next, look at the time it is and SET AN ALARM for 10 minutes.

beat up old cell phone

Alarm SET!

And now observe the fish’s behavior.  No better way to convey this than video! This first video was maybe 3-4 minutes in.  This is basically how the fish has been acting in the main tank since I found it this evening.

Watch, this was around the 9 minute mark…you’ll hear the alarm go off towards the end.  Note how the fish makes a couple mad dashes in the bucket, and then just goes listless again.  This IS the erratic behavior I mentioned earlier.  The “mad dash” and then nothing.

Shortly after this vid, around 12 minutes, I felt the fish had “had enough” and returned it to the main tank.  It promptly dashed around the tank and wedged itself under live rock again.  But, when I left to come upstairs to document all of this, the fish was looking a tiny bit better, at least now sitting rightside up in the cave, clearly still very stressed.

EDIT – almost forgot – capped off the work with a 5 gallon water change and a full dosing of Kordon’s Fish Protector.  Dosed 5 drops of Formalin as well to make up for the removed water.

But What About the Lightning Maroon?

Yeah, this IS a blog about that awesome little fish, right?  Well, Edgar Diaz of AZ was the only one quick enough with the email trigger to shoot me any thoughts on my predicament this evening.  He made but one suggestion in response to my many questions.  To paraphrase, “Dip the female.  Not the male.  Female is replaceable.  Male isn’t”.

It’s also come to my attention that Jake Adam’s little April 1st prank on Reef Builders STILL has a lot of people thinking that this entire fish is a myth, a photoshop job (or rather several extremely good photoshop jobs).  Well, Jake has been all over me wanting dibs on the first HQ Video of the Lighting Maroon.  Well Jake, it ain’t HD, it ain’t HQ, and it ain’t on Reef Builders.  It’s a tease.  Just enough of a tease to let everyone in the world know that this fish isn’t fabricated (unless I am now the ultimate Adobe After Effects guru, at which point you should just all bow down before me…)

Wet your appetite Jake?

Divergent Paths

No comments

This morning, both fish showed signs of improvement.  I was patting myself on the back for deciding to dose Formalin to the tank at the 1 drop per gallon rate.  I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to jinx anything.

The Lightning Maroon is doing well.  Today, all day, I can finally say that it has started to behave like a typical clownfish.  Playful, energetic yet still timid and nervous.  Eating well, and eating anything I offer.

This evening, after being gone for a couple hours, I returned to find this:

Maroon Clownfish...not feeling well

the female PNG Maroon...

OK, what exactly is supposed to go through my head at this point?  Seriously.  Are you KIDDING me?  I honestly thought the fish was dead or wedged in and unable to get out (and dead).  I started taking live rock out and she bolted out and up into the water column, fully erect and alert.  And then she went and laid down behind some other rock.  And then bolted around the tank.  And then laid down again.  There is nothing outward visibly wrong with her in any way, except for rapid breathing and erratic behavior (and the fact that she has not eaten in a week or longer now).

CLEARLY the female is still having issues, and this is definitely not going in the direction I want.  I need to reevaluate what I’m doing and I’ll need to do so tonight.  I’ll post up what I decide to do when I’ve done so.

I need to pass along quick thanks to my trusted group of advisers.  They include Joe Lichtenbert of RPI, Edgar Diaz of Addy-Zone, Mark Martin @ Blue Zoo Aquatics, Dustin Dorton @ ORA, Matthew Carberry @ Sustainable Aquatics and Christine Williams.  They have all been valuable contributors and have given me LOTS to think about.  No doubt the amount of emails flying back and forth is staggering for them. THANK YOU for putting up with all of it guys, I hope you feel some ownership over this project.  Remember, I feel that this isn’t MY project, but “everyone’s”.

It is perhaps interesting, if not comforting, to know that between 6 highly-qualified & experienced aquarists, each one has had suggestions or advice as unique as they are themselves.  I will say the general consensus has been to stick with Hyposalinity and minimize stress (to not make any sudden changes).  The change in the female’s condition may nullify some or all of that advice, but it’s hard to say.

Sometimes the only right question to ask is “WTF?!”

Turned on the lights this morning (folks should know that ambient sunlight wakes up the fishroom much earlier than I do).  Waited a few minutes.  Offered Spectrum pellets to the Maroons.  Saw the female make what I’d call a definitive “look” at the pellets before snubbing them.  Reminded me of getting a somewhat disinterested look from a trout while fly fishing.

And then I noticed the white string of mucus on the female.  Seriously?  I took pictures, but in looking at them I had to go back and look again.  ICH (Cryptocaryon) again showing up on the Female.  This after a Formalin dip yesterday?  This with the fish being kept in Hyposaline conditions (SG = 1.010)?

I’m admittedly very frustrated and reaching out for ideas on the “next step”.

Lightning Maroon is clean, just shy.  Here’s some pix:

So this evening I did my water tests after letting things settle down.  Salinity / Specific Gravity has once again crept up to 1.011, so I brought it back to down to 1.010 with RODI water.  Important to keep the salinity at the right levels…1.010 is better than 1.011 for hyposalinity treatment.

Lighting Maroon nipped at Formula 1 Pellets and Cyclopeeze.  It has already learned to pick up food off the glass bottom.  It has also learned to feed from the surface.  Now we just need the female to shake her funk and start eating.  Brine shrimp hatchery set up, decapped brine from Dan Underwood @ SeahorseSource.com incubating.

pH had dropped a little bit, so I dosed a half dose of Seachem’s Reef Buffer.  Ammonia was possibly slightly elevated, maybe 0.25 ppm on the one test I used.  Just above the 0 ppm level.  So, dosed with Seachem’s Stability, since no doubt I’ve killed off some of the nitrifying bacteria or created more waste than they can handle (via Formalin dosing).   Lights are out,  and they’re sleeping.  The Lightning Maroon has taken to sleeping in the corner up by the surface, which I just don’t like.  All we need is for this fish to be up by the surface, getting inspired to check out what’s going on outside the tank…

One last thing – THANK YOU for all the continued support, both publicly here and privately via email.  This has been a very nerve-testing experience.  We all KNEW this was a possibility with WC Clownfish, but hey, we’d like to think we’re gonna get lucky.  I’m doing the best I can, which is great part due to the continued advice from the project advisers!  It is admittedly tough to make decisions when there are multiple routes provided, all of which have fact and experience behind them!

So, pretty much followed the plan I outlined earlier today.  Fed in Fish King Fish Eggs, with the Lighting Clown devoured.  Female got the last 45 minute Formalin Dip, 20 drops (1 ML) Formalin into 1 gallon tank water, heavily aerated.  Lightning Clownfish followed.  Both fish arguably seemed “rejuvenated” after their dips.  Took out another 3 gallons of water, replaced with 5 clean gallons, a dosing of Kordon’s Fish Protector, and 5 drops Formalin into the tank.  Still keeping them at 1.010 SG.  After that, lights out for now.  May “wake them up” before night falls to give them a small feeding, may not.

Big thing for me, getting that female to eat.  Have  been extremely busy with work, and while Anderson gave me good advice to just hatch baby brine shrimp, I’ve just had no time to even get that going!  Maybe if I take a break at midnight!

Road to recovery?

No comments

Short update – still pulling crazy OT on the project for work today.  I really want this project OFF MY PLATE!

No external symptoms of anything on either Maroon today.  No Brooklynella, Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium outwardly observable.   Both are very “mellow” overall, but no heavy breathing.   The fish lack “spunk” though…they are not like any of my other clowns at this point in time.

The Lightning Maroon continues to feed…he’s taken various mysis and brine shrimp, as well as Nutramar Ova this morning.  I *thought* I saw the female taste something, but nothing confirmed.  It may have just blown into her face.

The plan for today is another water change, and the last 45-minute Formalin Dip in the 3-dip series, as per the instructions from Matt Wittenrich’s book.  I may dose a few things along the way with the water change (Kordon’s Fish Protector and 5 drops Formalin).  They will remain at hyposaline conditions (1.010).

I’ve offered 2 feedings since my last post.  One was ignored by both fish, and this last one, the Lightning Maroon ate again.  I’ve had mixing and heating for most of the day in anticipation of doing a water change this evening.  I did that water change.  Since I’m out of Seachem’s Stress Guard, I tried using another product in the same line of products, Kordon’s Fish Protector.  Fish Protector contains “colloids”, which is one of the main things in Stress Guard, as well as a “multi-layer” slime coat builder, also has B12 (not sure but I think this is the B vitiamin they use in Maracyn SW as an appetite stimulant), as well as Echinacea, which I’m not as “psyched” about but hey..gotta do something.  In thinking about some of the comment discussions about anemone’s as possible stimulants for slime coat production, I figured the unnatural, man made slime coat might be better than nothing.  Fish Protector is considerably thicker than Stress Guard.  I dosed 1 capful into the 5 gallon replacement water and let it mix quite thoroughly this evening before doing the water change.

I got a lot of uneaten food out of the tank, as well as a couple unseen big brown smelly stringy masses that I can only assume were the bodies of snails I had missed and thus killed with the Formalin.   After the water change, I dosed 5 drops of Formalin – admittedly this might not be “enough”, again owing to some of the comments about Formalin degredation.  I need to look into this more.  I DO intend a final Formalin DIP tomorrow, and I may do that in the AM.

I tested the salinity / SG and noted that it had gone up a touch to 1.011.  A bit of RODI water brought it back down to 1.010.  I noted no abnormally heavy breathing, and only one or two spots of ICH on the Maroons.  I already set up the next bucket of 1.010 water for whenever that next water change occurs.

Bottom line, I am very happy that the Lighting Maroon Clown is eating.  Eating is always a positive thing and is arguably critical for any sick fish…they need the nourishment even more so than your everyday healthy fish.  The female “acknowledged” food every so slightly today, but didn’t make any serious attempts to eat or even really investigate stuff.

Thank you to everyone who’s offered their supportive messages.  Keep sending those good vibes, I really, really appreciate them!  This is a very daunting task, and I hope is providing valuable experiences and reminders for everyone along the way!

Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.