Royal Gramma-Possible Illness?

Discussion in 'Fish Disease' started by duckie1905, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. duckie1905


    Jul 17, 2009
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    Chicago, IL
    Hello everyone! I am brand new to posting here but have spent lots of time browsing the forums and have always found everyone extremely helpful. I'm hoping someone might have some insight on the problems my husband and I are currently having with our Royal Gramma.

    We have a 37 gallon column tank with live rock, a peppermint shrimp, a mated pair of clownfish, a firefish, and the royal gramma. We did have a purple firefish in the tank until about a month ago when he died for a reason we were never able to determine. The new firefish was added about two weeks ago and is healthy (and not showing any compatibility problems).

    For about the last 2 days our gramma has been exhibiting very unusual behavior-at least for him. He has been extremely aggressive (which was never an issue before) and has spent a lot of time laying vertically in a rock overhang which is far from his usual hiding spot and territory. He has also been hiding a lot more than he used to (he used to be out virtually all day long). He was eating fine until this evening in which my husband noticed he did not have his usual crazy appetite.

    My husband immediately did a water test in which everything tested well within acceptable limits (nitrite and amnonia at zero, nitrate, pH and salinity perfect). He then did a small water change just to be safe (as it was due for a change tomorrow anyway). He isn't showing any signs of labored breathing. The only physical thing that we think has changed is it appears that the white spots on his side (which have always been present) appear to be slightly "sunken in."

    He has always been a weird swimmer (he tends to swim around the tank sideways) and appears to be moving normally when he is out and about.

    I'm curious to see if anyone has seen this type of behavior before and if it might indicate a disease or perhaps if he is being harassed by another member of the tank.

    Thanks in advance
    duckie1905, Jul 17, 2009
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  2. duckie1905


    Feb 14, 2008
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    Arlington VA
    I put a royal gramma in a week ago and found that they will get a touch aggressive in defending their territory but its all show. The white spots on the other hand are probably ich. Keep excellent water quality, ffed them food with garlic and maybe it will go away. In the mean, time start reading up on ich.
    sen5241b, Jul 17, 2009
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  3. duckie1905

    winyfrog Yep!

    Oct 28, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Southern Utah
    He is probably just defending his territory from the new firefish, adding new fish is a stressful experience for everyone involved.

    In the wild grammas will hide upside down in the rocks.

    What do the spots look like?

    sometimes fish just don't feel well and will hide for a few days until they feel better. Just like you if you get sick you go hide in your room for a few days :)
    winyfrog, Jul 17, 2009
  4. duckie1905


    Feb 7, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Tampa Bay area of FL
    White spots are probably parasites. If one fish in your tank has parasites then all the fish in the tank have them even if they do not show any symptoms. And, the tank has parasites. Depending on what parasite it is will dictate the cure. Google marine parasites and you will get a wealth of info on how to proceed. To get rid of the parasites in the tank you will have to remove ALL of the fish for a period of 8 weeks; that's right, the tank must remain fallow for 8 weeks. The problem comes in the life cycle of the parasites. Ich has eggs in its life cycle which can remain dormant in the substrata of your tank for up to 8 weeks before hatching. Once hatched they must find a fish host within hours or die. Brooklynella multiplies by cell division. The new cell becomes a swimmer looking for a host. The swimmers can survive up to 4 weeks and then die if they do not find a fish host. Ich is treated with copper or Formalin. Brook is only treated with Formalin. Since Formalin treats both, it is my chemical of choice and it only takes 10 days to cure the fish where copper takes 4 weeks. The only way you can distinguish between these parasites is to take a tissue sample and examine it under a microscope. Their symptoms are very much alike. So unless you are sure of what you have, you must treat them for both. Obviously you need to set up a QT tank do not use any of the water or any equipment that could contain swimmers or eggs from the main infected tank to setup the QT tank. Use fresh RO water.
    1geo, Jul 21, 2009
  5. duckie1905


    Apr 20, 2009
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    Has he been scraping himself across the sand bead or against the rocks trying to get the spots off? If not it's probably not parasites.
    dcantucson, Jul 21, 2009
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