Chronicles of Willis

By: Judge
December 20th, 2010
5:48 am

Chronicles of Willis

I am writing this to give insight, information and hope to any who have a favorite fish. I have such a fish and if there was only one lesson to be learned (which of course there were more) it was to not give up hope (which I did). Not even sure where to begin with this fish so I will try and make this article as brief as possible and perhaps not bore those who can gain some help with a variety of illnesses and injuries.
Willis, my Foxface and most favored of pets. I have had him now for about 3 years. he is shy but a very peaceful tank mate. Willis is also somewhat of a pig, he will eat anything and has been known to eat out of my hand. If hungry and being ignored he has also on occasion come to the top and spit water out. Willis has more personality than some of the folks I work with!
About a year ago I decided I needed a Coral Beauty. My online fish person had one so I decided to go ahead and get one. A nice fish, a really nice fish with ICH. I am absolutely against using chemicals in my tank so I opted for hypo-salinity and raising the temp to about 82. Those that caught it were the Dottyback, Butterfly, 4 Cardinals, Lawnmower Blenny, and of course the Coral Beauty. Only the Cardinals survived. Willis, my pair of Clowns, and my breeding Chromis did not get it.
The tank settled again and I decided no more new fish! At least for awhile. Last September something spooked Willis. I was sitting watching tv and he tried to jump out of the tank twice and rammed into the live rock. He cut himself up pretty bad and had a huge gash on his nose which prevented him from eating. (being a pig can come in handy) I made my own garlic dosed food and after much weight loss (his, not mine) I finally got him to eating again. He completely healed and there are no visible scars from the incident. after about a month he had regained all the weight, and then some.
Then disaster hit. Three weeks ago I came home from work and could not find him. He normally greets me as soon as I walk through the door. I looked for about 15 minutes before I found him. He was wedged in behind some rock and I could not get a good look at him. He came out the next morning briefly and I got one horrified look. Willis had pop eye on his right eye, had more scrapes and over the next two weeks would become ragged, weak and certain to die. I was torn between hoping for a miracle, not being able to watch him suffer, and not quite ready to give up (fortunately). Even my spouse, knowing how I love this fish volunteered to euthanize if I thought that was best. I came home several days in a row expecting to find him dead but this was not the case. One day he was so tired he was laying on top of the Koralia. I thought he was being sucked/held there so when I tried to remove him he would take off...still had some strength! I turned off the Koralia's and most of the lights. He took up a new spot on the opposite side of the tank and his eye continued to get worse. His swimming was anything but normal. I finally decided he was fighting like heck so I researched and decided to join the fight and bought some Melafix. (like I said, I do not like adding chemicals) I dumped two bottles in, turned off filters and protein skimmers for three days. Dumped another bottle in day before yesterday. After 6 days I turned the filter and skimmer back on. His nose has not completely healed up from banging around because of his bad eye, but his eye has healed and he is eating again. I wish now I had pictures of how bad he looked at his worst moment because to see him now you would not know he ever had any problems, but for the small white scrape on his nose that has not completely healed yet. Willis, the Foxface is an amazing fish. I have wanted a Foxface since getting in to saltwater and I hope that this article can give others some hope or inspiration to enjoy this great hobby.

Apologies for the drip spots...trying not to disturb the fav one. Last photo...he eats!

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