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Dottyback just had a seizure!


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#1 J Miller Lite

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 03:31 PM

So I'm just doing business as normal and I hear a splash and see my magenta dottyback zooming around the tank, landing at the front on it's back with its mouth flexed wide open and just laying there twitching, then it got up, went behind a rock and its fins all flexed, then relaxed and laid there for a minute or two and now it's just back into its hiding spot.

Does anyone have ANY idea why a dottyback would have a seizure? I have no clue and there's nothing on the google about it o_o

#2 WigglePuppy

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 04:59 PM

We need more details than that to be able to help you. Water params, diet, tank size and tank mates, EVERYTHING.

That said, it is very likely a water quality problem, or a parasite problem.

#3 J Miller Lite

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 08:25 PM

So the fish died within an hour of the seizure but it's in an Eclipse 6, the only tank mate is a really small hermit crab It's got a few pieces of live rock from my main tank, not much living on it though other than some baby feather dusters, coralline algae and hair algae. I actually just did a water change 2 days ago too, the water tests all came out normal. Temp. 79 F, Specific Gravity 1.022, pH 8.2, Alkalinity 9 dKH, Ammonia and Nitrite 0.0, Nitrate 30 ppm, Calcium was about 360 ppm. The diet consisted of frozen mysis, spirulina brine, live brine and live marine feeder shrimp.

If it was a parasitic thing it is possible that it might have gotten it from the live foods, though none of my other marine fish have been effected so far and I've had the rest for much longer.

I hope to figure this out so I can prevent it in the future. Think it might be from the live foods?? I get it from a really good LFS but you can never be completely sure...I've actually got some of those feeder shrimp living in my main tank since my fish don't always catch them all.

#4 Solitarianknight

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 08:37 PM

I wonder if it didnt spook, could have hit its self too hard on something and done the damage. Though parasites could cause him to be sparatic.

#5 Synirr

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 02:00 PM

Nitrates are creeping up there... you don't ever really want to see them higher than ~20 ppm, especially in saltwater. Unless they were much higher before the waterchange, I doubt that's what did it, though.

I have seen fish have what appeared to be seizures, so I do think that is a possibility. There was a large grouper at work who had been doing great for months and looked fantastic, then it had an episode much like what you described with your fish -- he fell to the bottom, twitched, then all his muscles tensed so that his fins were erect and his jaw extended. He stayed like that for a little while, then shook it off and seemed to be recovering. Unfortunately he was found dead the next morning. None of the other fish in the system shared the same fate, so I don't think it is anything communicable, however I have no idea what the root cause would be.

#6 Christina O.

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 02:36 PM

Can fish have heart attacks? *shrug*

#7 J Miller Lite

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 03:46 PM

Nitrates are creeping up there... you don't ever really want to see them higher than ~20 ppm, especially in saltwater. Unless they were much higher before the waterchange, I doubt that's what did it, though.

I have seen fish have what appeared to be seizures, so I do think that is a possibility. There was a large grouper at work who had been doing great for months and looked fantastic, then it had an episode much like what you described with your fish -- he fell to the bottom, twitched, then all his muscles tensed so that his fins were erect and his jaw extended. He stayed like that for a little while, then shook it off and seemed to be recovering. Unfortunately he was found dead the next morning. None of the other fish in the system shared the same fate, so I don't think it is anything communicable, however I have no idea what the root cause would be.


The Nitrates shouldn't have been too much higher, I don't test the water often but on any tank smaller than a 10 gal I do a weekly water change, especially with the saltwater since I can't fully stock it with live plants like my fresh to help me out.

That grouper sounds exactly the same as my dottyback! I wonder what it could be. I froze the fish's body so I can take it over to the marine lab over here and see if they can look into it or if they already know what it is. I'll post back what they say about it.

#8 J Miller Lite

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 03:43 AM

So I heard back from the lab finally....They couldn't find anything unusual, though they said they could have easily missed something seeing as the specimen was so small. They're also thinking along the lines of some kind of heart attack, they can't be sure cause, again, the specimen was so small.

#9 glasshaven

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 01:22 PM

Well darn! I was watching this post, wondering what the outcome would be. I'm sorry about he loss though!




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