Brooklynella outbreak...

Discussion in 'Fish and Invertebrates' started by sfsuphysics, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Ok so I came home from BAP with a ton of clownfish, over a dozen that no one from a couple people who donated them plus the an Onyx that I bid on. Well toss them all in the anemone tank there are no fish in there. Within a few days the onyx was found on the ground.. fuuuuuuuu... out of all the fish to jump out had to be the expensive one. Whatever still have like 13 clownfish and a ton of anemones.

    Then I saw a dead fish on the bottom.. damn... then a day later another one... double damn, was I putting too much faith than 2 dozen anemone would not be enough to stop a turf war in young clownfish? Then I stopped seeing dead fish and thought all was good, but noticed every day when I fed I'd see less clownfish come out of the "wood work" to feed... then I got proactive and decided to remove them thinking it was something like a bristle worm chowing down on them... only to find 2 left. Moved one to my coral only tank, only to notice a white type of "fuzz" on him... rut roh... the other fish looked perfectly fine, within 10 minutes the "fuzz fish" was sucked up against the vortech. The next morning the other fish died. Sheeeeiot!!!

    Then I realized... my anemone tank wasn't isolated from my main tank (reef parents with children will want to cover your kids eyes right about now... ) FUCK! I forgot I turned a valve to keep the tanks together because there was nothing in there and no reason to keep it isolated...

    Flametip Tang, turn really pale, white covering, very bony looking... dead
    (this is when I realized something bad was happened)
    2 talbot damsels dead, one found against the vortech, who knows where the other one went may be rotting under a rock.
    My tomato clownfish, my FIRST REEF FISH, over 10 years old... covered in white shit. I'm currently trying to warm up some fresh water, and do a freshwater dip, then see if I can't set up a QT tank tomorrow. And hope he survives that long... I may set up the QT tonight, whip up some fresh saltwater and let it circulate all night.

    My foxface and yellow tang don't show any signs, but they're in the water... so who knows, I've heard foxfaces can have some immunities (or better apt to fighting off) certain parasites/disease

    I'm fairly sure that the disease came from the clownfish that were donated, either the onyx or the occelaris from two donaters. I'm pissed at myself that a forgetful mistake might end up killing all my fish.

    So what's the scoop on treating brook? saw that freshwater dips can help give some ease by removing parasites. Copper the standard go-to treatment? If so where do I get me some? Is there any OTC (walgreens, etc) non-aquarium version that will work?
    neuro likes this.
  2. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    This is terrible to hear. I think formalin is the most effective against brook if you are sure that's what it is.

    The only thing that I have on hand is a bottle of Paraguard, which is a formalin substitute and can be used as a 1 hour bath and/or dosed in the hospital tank. I've been using it as a prophylactic dip for all my incoming fish.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  3. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    You can try chloroquine phosphate, or Aralen in treating brooklynella. Dr. Edward Noga recommends using cp at 10mg/l (or 40 mg/gal) for the treatment of brooklynella. There are reports of ocellaris clownfish that we're effected with the parasite were cured after 10 days exposure to a dose of 5-10 mg/l. One treatment is usually that is needed, but monitor your fish for at least 21 days with repeated treatment performed if required.
  4. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Wow, what a mess! Sympathies!
    Old treatments were Formalin, not copper.
    Quinine stuff sounds interesting though.

    Important : Check ammonia levels! With that many fish dying, that could be an issue pretty quickly.
  5. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Ok I'll swing by PetCo or something tomorrow and see if they don't have any formalin.

    I started mixing salt water in a 29g tank, although I have a 55g long acrylic which might be better if I hospital all the fish (especially the tang and foxface).

    Probably should treat all the fish whether they show symptoms or not. Then I can just drain the tank.
  6. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Jim when you say treatment, do you mean just like a dip in a bath? Then return them to the tank?
  7. That's terrible news, Mike... All the new clowns perished? :( The speed at which you're seeing contagion and death is consistent with brooklynella, and given the hatchery the Onyx originated from, it wouldn't surprise me. In addition to the white sloughing skin, are they exhibiting rapid breathing?

    Copper is ineffective at curing brook, and freshwater dips only provide temporary relief for the fish. You need chloroquine phosphate or formalin, as others have already pointed out. Both of these treatments must be done in a QT tank without invertebrates.

    You won't find formalin in any stores in California, as it's classified as a carcinogen, though it's available in some formulations such as Rid Ich+ at a low concentration. Be extremely careful with the dosage, and check it before use to make sure it's clear and not cloudy/milky. If it's cloudy/milky it has been improperly stored and the chemical formulation is toxic. Formalin is also extremely harsh on fish, so very weak fishes may not survive treatment. Formalin will also degrade quickly in the aquarium, so you'll need to re-dose daily and there is no reliable way for hobbyists to test the concentration.

    Chloroquine phosphate is much safer, IMO. If your fish are dropping like flies you could begin treatment at 30 mg/L, twice the typical treatment concentration, and I've heard anecdotes of folks using 60 mg/L without immediate toxicity effects on the fish (hard to say if there's any long-term effects). Unlike copper and formalin, CP doesn't rapidly degrade or become absorbed in the aquarium, so you don't need to continuously re-dose unless you're doing water changes. Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of CP is that if you're not 100% positive the disease is Brooklynella, you're also protecting against Cryptocaryon, Amyloodinium, and Uronema.

    I've got both formalin and CP on hand if you need them.
    denzil likes this.
  8. Apon

    Apon Volunteer

    Sorry to hear about this know what is weird. I still have those 2 baby clowns and 3 of the onyx clowns from BAP too, but remember those 2 older clowns I had in the bucket during the tank tour? I was treating the older one for some white fuz on her as well. She wasn't looking well for a few days and so I took her out and her mate to treat her for 3 weeks. She got better and started eating again. They went back in the tank 2 weeks ago and seems to be ok. I just went to look for her and I don't see the her right now. She was there yesterday....The mate is still there and the other onyx look fine no fuz. The 2 other babies went into the zero edge and been doing fine sitting in the guppy breeder.

    Not sure its related but maybe something to note. I hope maybe I dodge a bullet too. the clown that did get sick was over 10 years old for me hopefully she is just hiding today?
  9. Apon

    Apon Volunteer

    oh I used an old bottle of rid ich to treat...has formalin in it.
  10. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Hmmm seems CP requires a prescription, grrrr. I have a connection or two which might be able to get me some that are near by.

    But I couldn't really tell about the onyx because that bastard jumped out of the tank within the first 2 days. Although I did notice that he didn't seem to eat much. Something that I also noticed was occasionally clown fish would kind of swim away from all the anenomes, in fact my tomato the other day was as far away from the anemone as possible, then later when I tried to look closely at her swam back to the anemone.
  11. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    Had this issue a few years ago...... Formilin didn't work. Nor did any of the other remedies and I lost 5 fish..... Based on the advice of Tuberider (Jeremy) I did a freshwater dip. BUT it was a loooooong one. Water was buffered with 1/4 tp of baking soda per gal and brought to temp. The dip was 20 min. The fish was then placed in a special tank with a sg of 1.011 and slowly over a couple weeks brought back to full salinity. After a long dip like that the trauma of being placed back into a full salinity tank is too much so it must be slow. After the dip it did not eat for maybe 3 days. It survived and is now breeding for the guy that bought my old DT.

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013
  12. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    Note: This was with clown fish and they are VERY hardy to begin with. I'm not sure how your other fish would fair with a 20 min dip.

    Afterwards the original tank was allowed to run for 60 days with no fish so the brooklynella could run its course and die with no host. I think the I read 30 days is enough but I was being cautious. There were no new outbreaks after that.

  13. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    For your comparison.... this was mine


    Not the frayed tail and the white slime moving up the body. Once it starts it progresses QUICKLY.. like within hours.

  14. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    It's available from one of our members, Ed at:

    Good luck controlling this outbreak!
  15. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    DOH! IIRC Ed, is in San Francisco too. I want to say I bought a bunch of bulbs from him, and he sold high end skimmers. But looking at his webpage maybe I'm mistaken... it was a LONG time ago.

    I'll try Petco to see if they have anything of use, and if not I have one or two contacts that I'm almost certain can get me some, just hope they're working today.
  16. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, here's a picture I snapped, doesn't quite look like the clown above..


    I'll make a run to petco to see what they might have. Otherwise David I might take you up on your offer if you're around today.
  17. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    I may the bottle of Formalin still from my experience (if it doesn't degrade as its been a couple years). I've asked my partner to txt me when he wakes up to check for you.

  18. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Thanks for the help guys, I'm going to make a petco run now, since that's the only store within reasonable driving distance that also opens early (what is with LFS and opening at 11am!), and see what they have available there.

    Also need to swing by RapidLED and pick up a ton of stuff since they're having a fairly good size thanksgiving sale going on the next week or so.
  19. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    He is in the city. You might try PMing him and see if he's available for an emergency. He's kmaintl here.

    It always sucks to have an emergency, especially around the holidays.
  20. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    I have if you want... I'm in Crockett


    Please excuse the tetra lol Won as raffle gift.

    neuro likes this.

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