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   Important Facts!  

Avian & Exotic Animal Doctors.jpg

Fish Doctors!


To ensure my fish are healthy and disease free, I decided to call upon the services of a fish doctor...or two!

Today, 4-10-09, I randomly chose three clown fish from the 300 gallon grow out system. All were around 5-6 months old and about 1 - 1.25" long. One was euthanized with Clove oil and stored in a 10% formalin solution and the other two were bagged as normal.

My appointment was with Avian & Exotic Animal Care in Raleigh, NC. Three veterinarians practice there and I had the pleasure of meeting two of them; Christine Eckerman-Ross, DVM and Dan H. Johnson, DVM.

The results of the necropsy will take a few days but I am very confident everything will be fine.

The fin and skin biopsy as well as the fecal exam were all negative for any abnormal pathogens.

Why did I do this? To prove that the fish I raise are healthy and disease free!! I will repeat this type of examination every 6 months selecting three fish at random. The peace of mind this gives me and my customers is priceless!

Services by Christine Eckerman-Ross, DVM
The two juvenile clownfish that you brought in today appear to be happy and healthy.  I did not find any problems on their skin or fin biopsy or in the fecal exam.  Your husbandry and setup sound fantastic!  We will call you with the results of the necropsy on the culled fish as soon as they are available.  Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for bringing them in today - it was a pleasure to meet you.

Quarantine Procedures

I cannot stress how important quarantining is.

Everyone should quarantine anything 'wet' (fish, corals, inverts, sand, rock,etc.) before placing it in the main display.

The life cycle of many fish parasites includes a stage that attaches to the substrate which could be rock, sand, a wondering snail, crab, etc. Proper quarantine procedures can prevent harmful pathogens from entering your display.
I quarantine all new fish for 12-16 weeks and always treat them with Cupramine and deworm them with paraziquantel. An initial formalin dip of 30 minutes is also done.
For more information on quarantining: Quarantine Procedures 


Recommended Stocking Levels


A very rough estimate to the recommended stocking levels of a marine aquarium is 1" (of adult fish) per 3-5 gallons of water.

One should consider the biomass of the fish since a thicker fish will put a larger load on the system than a long thin fish would.

Displacement is also a factor. If you have a 30 gallon tank packed with rock and a deep sand bed, the system's actual water volume will be much less than 30 gallons.

More information:

Stocking Limitations

Surviving or Thriving?

Type of fish, adult size, swimming behaviors, aggressiveness, and any territorial issues must all be considered before adding fish to a system.  It helps to go "as large as you can" with the aquarium and keep the stocking level low.  Overstocking or placing territorial fish together is a recipe for trouble and even death. Be considerate to your finned friends!