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FAQs about Lionfish Health/Disease: Infectious

Related Articles: Lionfish & Their RelativesKeeping Lionfishes and their Scorpaeniform Kin Part 1, Part 2, by Anthony Calfo and Robert Fenner, Dwarf Lionfishes,

Related FAQs: Lionfish Disease 2, Lion Disease 3, Lion Disease 4, Lion Disease 5, Lion Disease 6, Lion Disease 7, Lion Disease 8, Lion Disease 9, Lion Disease 10,
FAQs on: Lionfish Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Parasitic, Social, Trauma, Treatments,
& Lionfishes & their Relatives, Lions 2, Lions 3Lions 4Dwarf Lionfishes, Lionfish Behavior, Lionfish Selection, Lionfish Compatibility, Lionfish Feeding

I've never encountered a strictly "infectious" disease in these fishes. Always there have been pre-disposing circumstances; in particular issues of poor environment, nutrition, social  issues. RMF

Scorpionfishes: Lionfishes & Much More for Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Black Volitans Infection      12/23/16
<Why can't we set our too small allotment of email storage to reject too-large files? Hundreds of Kbytes is what we request. You've sent more than 8 megs.>
Good Morning Crew, Attached is a photo of my black volitans and the affected area. I was wondering if you could tell me if it looks infected to you and if I should treat or not.
<Looks like an infection from a mechanical injury... poked by another organism, decor? Sucked up against a pump, overflow?>
The spot was a little smaller yesterday and this morning is a little bigger. The tank is a 75g dedicated lionfish/Scorpionfish tank that currently houses this black lion and a Rhinopias. I believe that a small crab on the live rock is responsible for the original damage to it. It is still eating and swims as normal as a lionfish swims.
<Pteroines have ENORMOUS "powers of recuperation"... And treatment/s are too risky; likely to do more harm than good... Poss. kill off both the Lion and Rhinopias. I'd simply do my best to maintain good water quality and nutrition here... READ on WWM re the poss. use of Epsom Salt, consider moving one fish or the other... IF you have another adequate space/system>
I have additional tanks I could use as a hospital tank if necessary. Thanks for taking the time during the holidays to help and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Jason
<And to/for you and yours Jas. Bob Fenner>
Black Volitans Infection

Good Morning, I forgot to attach the photo so here it is. Sorry for the size but not sure how to shrink from the phone.
<Me neither... likely have to download to a desktop, laptop device and do there. B>

Re: Black Volitans Infection     12/24/16
<..... The eight megs... Again?>
Thanks Bob for quick reply. As long as he is acting normal and eating I won't treat him and let him heal on his own. As far as moving one of the fish, I could set up a tank but it was my understanding from reading on WWM
that different lions and scorpions could be housed together as long as they are of similar sizes so as not to get eaten.
<Though there is always the chance of them poking each other>
There are no running powerheads, the one that is in there the lion likes to hide under so I never turn it on. I will read up on the use of Epsom salt and thanks for your valuable, and much appreciated input.
<Cheers, BobF>

Sick (dead) Lionfish Dear crew, livestock is online. Our client brought us a very sick lionfish. Despite our efforts it dead in two days after the first signs appeared. The rot has been spread along both the bones of head and the bases of dorsal & tail fins. In the latter one cast of rays was observed, whereas the former one still complete, but the muscles of its base were paralyzed. In the advanced stage of disease antibiotic injections gave no results. The feeding consisted on frozen oceanic prawn soaked in fishtamin. The similar signs we observed earlier within Coris gaimard & Genicanthus lamarck. We assume Pseudomonas or Vibrio injection. Could you help us in identification? The photos are attached in this and the others two messages. Sincerely, Interzoo, Odessa, Ukraine. <Did you attempt culture of bacteria from the erosive surface sites or the kidneys, blood...? If so, what staining and physical characteristics did these cultures show? I do agree with your bacteria-caused guesses... likely a hyperinfective Pseudomonad at blame here. Bob Fenner>

Volitans lionfish with mouth infection Hi There!! <Hello Derik> My lion hasn't been eating since last Wednesday...almost a week. I noticed that his lower lip is kind of like deteriorating like an infection or something. All my parameters are 0...ph 8.3.I have 150 gallons and there is a juvenile French angel. a yellow tang and a juvenile panther grouper. Right now I took my fish and put him in a hospital tank and treating him with Maracyn 2. As I was writing this email my lion was on the side and white as a ghost. I had to put him back in the main tank. Now he got his colour back in 2 minutes. All the parameters was fine in the hospital. What should I do? He is not eating but he swims everywhere and very active in the main tank. <I would CAREFULLY, net this Lionfish out and topically daub a "Q-tip" with a child's med. like Merthiolate or Merbromin on the lower jaw area and place it back in the main tank... it is very likely the sore area will heal (and very likely it was injury  caused) and that the animal will heal faster, be happier in the larger system, and NOT cause/spread disease there. Do take care (of course) when handling the Lionfish (In a net, with a wet towel around it, with another person helping). Bob Fenner>

Re: Volitans lionfish with mouth infection Do I get those meds at the pharmacy anywhere? DO you think it is why he is not eating? Thanks <Can get these tinctures most anywhere... non-prescription. And could very well be the primary cause for your Lion not feeding, along with the stress of being in quarantine. Bob Fenner>

Re: Volitans lionfish with mouth infection How many times should I do that...the Qtip treatment? Now he is in his 150 gallons and very lively and colourful....but just doesn't eat <Mmm, just once... daub the bad mouth area and place the fish in the main tank... offer food daily. Bob Fenner>

Re: Volitans lionfish mouth infection No pharmacist knew what it was Merthiolate. <Slow down my young friend... the spelling is Merthiolate... put this in your search tools... see? Bob Fenner> But I did a research and could it be iodine? If not is it a type ointment, Polysporin. This morning I woke up and he's got white spot all over him and his eyes. Could he be stressed because he hasn't eaten and because of his mouth infections. Here is a picture of him as of today. I gave him a 5 min. freshwater bath.

Popeye in Mombasa lionfish Hi Bob, I work at a fish store in Virginia and was lucky enough to find a rare Pterois mombassae mis-labeled as a miles lionfish. He has been at the store for several months now and I have been setting up a 30 long for him at my house.  <wow... a small and rather temporary housing for this rare find> He had the most spectacular huge green eyes, the giveaway that he was a Mombasa and not a antennata. He is housed in a FO centralized system of about 1000 gallons made up of about twelve 75 gallon tanks. We have a large wet dry filter, large skimmer, numerous UV sterilizers and a large sand filter. His tankmates are a clown trigger, a large lunar wrasse and up until recently a show size Rock Beauty angel. The angel died of a combination of Popeye and some other skin disorder (white film on skin). Now the lion's beautiful green eyes are cloudy and swollen-- one more so than the other. Is Popeye contagious?  <exophthalmia (Popeye) is rarely contagious but rather an expression of degraded water quality and/or a bacterial infection. Do consider treatment in isolation with Epsom salt (1 TBN per 5 gallons) and a broad spectrum antibiotic (no Maracyn products please for this)> Immediately after the angels death we did a massive water change on the system. After consulting with my boss, who has been in saltwater for over 10 years, I have been bucket treating the lion with Kanamycin. I fill up a 5 gallon bucket with system water, then add an airstone and pump, dose one whole teaspoon of Kanamycin and add the lionfish. I do this during the time I work, usually 6-12 hours almost every day. I have restricted the feeding of the lion so that only I do it-- last thing he needs is to be overfed. We feed nutrient soaked krill, shrimp and big silversides. What is your opinion of this treatment? Any changes? Suggestions?  <as above, my friend. Perhaps Furazolidone and Nitrofurazone for antibiotics used together> I really do not want to lose this lion, he is a gem and is my favorite fish. Thanks for your help, Andrew <best regards, Anthony>

EMERGENCY! with Dwarf Lion Hi Robert! <Hello Jason> Please don't refer me to FAQ , because I found nothing under the Links to my problem. Although I will go over them as again as soon as I send you this! <Okay> I need experience help with a problem that has been diagnosed as internal bacterial infection in my almost full grown Fuzzy Dwarf Lion. This morning I noticed him swimming around with what appeared to be two grape size pink balls of fleshy stuff protruding out the anal area. I thought he was trying to pass some krill that I feed all my fish. By the late noon it was obvious this was not the case. He seems agitated as he swam about the tank looking for a place to get comfortable. He usually stays in one spot most the day and feeds every day except today. <Mmm, you likely "know" that such infections are largely environmental and nutritional in cause... hopefully you will give clues in both departments... that is, what sort of set-up, history, water-quality tests you have... and the types, frequency of feeding.> I made some calls to a LFS and they made calls to find info for problem. They contacted this pro fish guy. and before they could finish describing the problem, he says it was an internal intestinal infection possibly by feeding live foods. I do feed live guppies and ghost shrimp mixed in with a very varied nutritious diet to all my fish. Some times a few dead guys are in the net with the living. <This should be okay...> Water conditions are perfect, I have 10 other fish with no problems! <Mmm, "perfect"... is a subjective evaluation... what "are" the readings? You understand... what may be "perfect" to some is flawed to others> This guy said the fish has a 50% chance of making it and don't feed him anything for 3 weeks. He also said the swelling should go down and the protruding intestine will shrink back. If it is an intestine?  <Not feeding may be a sound approach here. There are folks who would advise dipping/bathing in Furacyn compound laden water... isolating in a darkened quarantine/treatment tank> I'm not 100% sure. The LFS said to add Melafix to the water to help. so I did. I hope someone has dealt with this problem before. I feel I need to give him some type of internal medication in a food, and try to get him to eat it some how. Any ideas????? I don't want to lose this guy! I've had him for more than a year and bought him when he was about the size of pen cap. <No problem on waiting on the feeding for several days to see if the reddening lessens. Do consider the separate tank and fifteen minute baths in 250 mg. to a gallon or so of Nitrofurazone as well. These are sturdy species once adjusted to captive conditions, with remarkable "powers of regeneration/self-curing". I hope that yours rallies. Bob Fenner> Thanks for any info. Jason Toemmes
I will post a pic if this will help!

Dwarf Lion I would agree with you on the fact that a fuzzy dwarf is a sturdy species. Unfortunately he did not make it. He passed on today and I'm very upset. I never had a fish go so quickly. I figured it would have been less stressful NOT to move him into a q-tank. I figured wrong because all the other little vampires in my tank decided to nip away at his fins all night. I moved him into the q tank this morning where he later died. <Sorry to read of, realize your loss> My water quality is to my knowledge in the norm. PH is 8.2, Ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0 Nitrate is 30 ppm the salinity is at 1.017 <Mmm, the nitrate is a bit high... and I strongly suggest moving your spg nearer to near seawater conditions... 1.025 or so... Can't state to what degree these two variables were detrimental here, but do know that Lionfishes of all species are sensitive to ongoing low specific gravity, nitrates> in a 125 gallon setup with 40 watt UV and protein skimmer. I use carbon in the sump. I change the water monthly depending on nitrate readings. <Good regimen... I would look to other methods of nitrate removal and make the changes biweekly. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm> I top with RO water only. I feed frozen krill and Mysis with Angel formula and Prime Reef, every day, once a day with Selcon, and I add calcium and trace minerals about 2 times a week. I feed 4 - 6 live guppies or ghost at a feeding with other stuff already mentioned about 3 times a week. Some times a sprinkle spectrum pellets for a change. The lion didn't touch that. Maybe this pic will tell you some thing! http://www.logos-and-graphics.com/lion.jpg <A prolapsed G.I.... the specimen bloated... a good image, but nothing to denote root cause of death. There may well have been some sort of internal complaint largely at play here... and nothing anyone could much do to forestall this animals death.> Thanks for response, Jason <And your involvement. Bob Fenner>
Scorpionfishes: Lionfishes & Much More for Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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