Question about bite marks on fish

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Potions, 19 Jul 2014.

  1. Potions

    Potions

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    Hi guys

    I'm hoping some one can help. I have 2 black ocellaris clowns and recently added a royal gramma. If the royal gramma's tail has been badly damaged, as in to the end of it missing, with the bottom half still intact, and it has 'bruise' or 'bite' marks on its side - would that point more to it being attacked by fish or by some kind of possible hitchhiker?

    My main question, is if it was a hitchhiker would it have bite marks on its side as well and wouldn't the hitchhiker have just killed it if it was a crab etc. If it has bite marks on its side would that point more toward possible attack by the clowns? Whenever I am by the aquarium I've never seen any aggression of the clowns on it, so if it is taking place its either during the day while I'm at work or at night...

    Thanks guys

    edit. when I say bite marks on its side, I mean like you can see slightly bruises, not flesh missing, only the tail has been actually eaten back.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 19 Jul 2014
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  3. Gesiggie

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    With the tail end top missing, it might be that the clowns are nipping at him.
    Are the clowns a (breeding) pair? Or do they each keep to their own?
    Do they show any signs of aggression towards the gramma?
    Where does the gramma stay at night?
    How long have you had the gramma before the damage started showing?
     
  4. Potions

    Potions Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the help!
     
  5. Gesiggie

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    If the deterioration happens in daytime, chances are that it could be the clowns.
    Predators would normally only act at night. (AFAIK)
    Do you have a place where you can keep the gramma for a day or 3 to recover, and try to add him back over a weekend, where you can monitor their interaction?
     
  6. Potions

    Potions Thread Starter

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    Thanks. Unfortunetly I don't :( But I am actually replacing the two black clowns with orange ones in the next week anyway. I might be returning the black clowns tomorrow, so I'll have to see if the gramma recovers in the interim. The main thing I'm trying to discern is if the bruise marks on the side would point toward a fish or hitchhiker. I'm not sure how hitchhikers attack fish...
     
  7. Gesiggie

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    Depends on the hitchhiker.
    Crabs, if big enough, will pinch the fish, but the mark might be more of a line than a "pinch". Also depending on one or two pincers used. If two, then the marks might be smaller, but on both sides of the body.
    If it is a fish, it may be two marks (various shapes, depending on fish's mouth) very close together.
    Corals would (might) leave spots if it got to sting the gramma.
    But since most damage is on the tail, my best guess would be that it is the clowns, as he is too fast for them, and they only manage to get a nip of him.
     
  8. Potions

    Potions Thread Starter

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    Thanks, that makes sense. Sucks :( Hopefully his tail will grow back... Thanks for the input!
     
  9. Gesiggie

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    His tail should recover in time.
    All the best!
     
  10. Potions

    Potions Thread Starter

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    I was very fortunate to be able to spot the culparate when walking past my tank. It was some kind of spider/crab looking creature living in the rock the gramma had taken as its home. I promptly removed the whole rock when I saw it and am never putting that rock back in my aquarium. That was a nightmare experience ... watching your fish slowly being decimated but not knowing what to do about it or how its happening... That's also the last time I setup a tank with live rock for the ocean. Next time I'm getting the real live rock from urban marines. At least the stress of it all is over and I can actually start going back to enjoying the aquarium again :/
     
  11. Potions

    Potions Thread Starter

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    P.S. His tail is really badly damaged, like to the stump with flesh ripped off, I hope it recovers but I think it might not :(
     
  12. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    No PIC. !!!! So we all have absolutely no idea.
     
  13. Gesiggie

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    Glad you got to find an answer.
    What did you do with the rock?
     
  14. Potions

    Potions Thread Starter

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    @nemosJanitor soz, I actually only saw a pair of front legs and possibly some eyes, he was too deep in the rock to take a pic. When I tried to use a flashlight to get a better look it retreated a bit. Best description I could give is spider like ...

    @Gesiggie I've put the rock outside for now...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  15. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Unfortunately I and many other reefers cannot see anything. So all replays will be guesses. This is dangerous.

    Best is to upload a pic or two so that you can get better better advice. So far all is speculation.
     
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