The popularity of clownfish within the fish keeping hobby continues to grow at a rapid pace with the majority of people who keep a saltwater tank wanting to have at least one clownfish in there due to their unique looks. Clownfish really can be a great addition to your tank and will often be a great fish to show off to guest to your home but there can be some common problems with clownfish that people often overlook and we see a number of questions about them each month.
One of the more common questions that we see from people who own a clownfish is about them having a white spot on their clownfish and how they can go about treating it. We see so many people reaching out and asking this each month that we have decided to publish this dedicated article on the topic in the hope that we will be able to help our readers understand what the white spot is, how to treat it, and how to prevent it from happening again.
There is a large amount of misinformation on social media about white spots on clownfish too with some of the advice being totally incorrect. With any luck, this article will be able to help you treat the white spot on your clownfish quickly with something like Fritz Mardel and get your fish back to full health before any serious problems can start to occur. Our table of contents below should make it easy for our readers to navigate the article and save time helping you get to the specific sections you need.
What Causes White Spots On Clownfish?
The most common cause of white spots on clownfish is marine ich that will look like small slat crystals forming on your clownfish and often spreading rapidly. This parasitic infection is usually easy to treat but can result in some serious issues if you don’t take steps to treat it in your tank and treat your clownfish quickly.
There are a number of other parasitic or fungal infections that can occur on a clownfish too that may result in white spots but they tend to look totally different to marine ich with its white salt crystal look. Other parasitic infections tend to be little lines or flat spots on the fish where as fungal infections are usually feathery with threads growing off them or a slightly fuzzy looking surface.
We have seen people asking if the white spot on their clownfish can be due to the clownfish being stung by an anemone that it is hosting but as we covered in our article on treating black spots on clownfish, any sting spots are usually black rather than white. We are actually unaware of any type of anemone that can sting a clownfish and leave a white spot but there is always a chance but we would not put much time or effort into exploring that as marine ich is much more common and usually needs treating as quickly as possible.
How To Treat A White Spot On Clownfish?
There are a number of ways to treat marine ich on a clownfish with each treatment having their place depending on your tank. If you have a regular saltwater tank then a specialist treatment such as Fritz Mardel is probably the way to go for a quick and easy solution. If you keep a reef tank then this can be a bad idea as it can cause problems with your sensitive corals and anemone though so either quarantine the clownfish and treat it or try increasing the water temperature in the tank.
Treating marine ich in a reef tank really is a pain and we would always recommend that you do your best to quarantine the clownfish with white spot in a separate tank away from your sensitive corals and anemones if possible. You can then usually just treat it with something like Fritz Mardel and quickly remedy the marine ich breakout.
A potential problem with this is that marine ich can quickly spread to other fish in your reef tank so it can scale out of control. Some types of marine ich are able to be treat by simply increasing the water temperature of your tank but then this may push it out of the recommended range for the corals, anemones, and other live fish you keep. You can try to get your clownfish to eat either garlic powder or some garlic infused seaweed as both have anti-parasitic properties that can help it fight off the ich breakout.
Are Clownfish Prone To White Spots?
Unlike some other popular marine fish, clownfish are not actually prone to having white spots or ich breakouts when their tanks are optimally kept. Ich parasites can accidentally be added to the tank from new fish, substrate, rocks or plants but this can often be prevented by quarantining the new addition sufficiently.
Still, if your clownfish does end up with white spots or ich, it does not mean that you are a bad fish keeper. People of all levels of experience can end up with an ich breakout in their tanks and it’s just one of those things. A common saying we like to use is that it’s not if your tank will have an ich breakout but when as it really is one of the more common problems that fish keepers have to deal with when keeping any type of fish.
If your clownfish are consistently getting marine ich in their tanks though then this is a strong indicator that there is something wrong with your setup and that things have to change. There are too many variables at play to go over it in this article but it may even result in your having to totally empty your tank while you thoroughly clean everything to totally purge the marine ich parasites from the aquarium prior to putting your fish back in once it has been correctly cleaned but this tends to only be a problem for reef tanks due to not being able to use chemicals to deal with all of the ich in the tank at once.
That brings our article going over how you treat a white spot on clownfish to get your fish back to full health as quickly as possible. In our opinion, it is easy to treat marine ich in clownfish in a regular saltwater tank as the various products on the market should easily be able to help you get the job done. If you keep a reef tank with sensitive corals and anemones then the job does end up becoming more difficult though and you really have to think outside the box in some situations to totally purge the ich from your tank quickly.