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FAQs on Longnose, Genus Forcipiger Butterflyfish Disease

FAQs on Butterflyfish Disease: Butterflyfish Disease 1, Butterflyfish Disease 2, Angels and Butterflyfishes & Crypt,
FAQs on Butterflyfish Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Infectious, Parasitic, Treatments

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Related FAQs:  Longnose Butterflyfishes in General, Forcipiger Identification, Forcipiger Behavior, Forcipiger Compatibility, Forcipiger Selection, Forcipiger Systems, Forcipiger Feeding, Forcipiger Reproduction, Chaetodonts: Butterflyfish Identification, Butterflyfish Foods/Feeding/NutritionButterflyfish Compatibility, Butterflyfish Behavior, Butterflyfish Systems, Butterflyfish Selection, Butterflyfish Disease, Butterflyfish Reproduction,

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Bacterial lesion on Longnose butterfly?     12/4/17
Hi Crew. Got a bit of a problem on a Longnose butterfly in quarantine.
<Mmm; I see this... inflammation, reddish patch>
I noticed a raised light colored patch on it this morning. Now this evening it looks bigger, and deeper colored, and I am concerned that I need to do something fast. It is in its second week of quarantine, and still eating and pretty active. As always it is sort of hard to photograph, but the first photo is from this morning at around noon, followed by ten this
evening. Any ideas?
<A few... this mark could be resultant from a physical trauma... whacked with a net, bonked during handling, keeping... Might be bacterial involvement... to some degree pathogenic perhaps. Is this Uronema or some other Protozoan involvement? The only way (that I know currently) to tell is by sampling, possibly culturing, and looking under a microscope... What would I do?>
Thanks! And once again, quarantine is the only way to go!
<Mmm; not in all cases, but the vast majority; yes>

<I'd likely do a preventative dip/bath as detailed on WWM :
and move this fish to the main display.
Yes; I'd take the risk of introducing a parasite (small enough chance here), to save this fish by moving it to more stable, ideal conditions. Have made this "triage decision" many thousands of times in handling imported fishes, retail, service accounts.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Bacterial lesion on Longnose butterfly?    12/5/17
Thanks Bob. Unfortunately, when I got home from work, the fish had died.
<Aughh! I should have been more emphatic re moving it NOW. >
I hate killing fish! Assuming that it died from a bacterial infection, is there anything special that I should do with my quarantine tank to make it safe to add new fish?
<Mmm; not the system, or quarantine, but the protocol itself for given species, AND specimens that are better off being "expedited". Not possible, well, practical to try and relate the vast range of decision making here.
"It" would take reading all of WWM, us chatting for a few days re>
There is nothing in there but a filter, a skimmer, and a piece of live rock. I assume emptying it and drying out the equipment should help.
<Again; I don't think the issue here was "biological" (pathogenic), but the species, this individual being "diffed". Bob Fenner>

Problem with Long Nose Butterfly      7/17/16
WWM team,
See attached photo.
150g tank. 175lb LR. 8 months old. PH:8.2. Salinity 1.025. Temp 82. Zero detectable ammonia or nitrite. Nitrate: 10. Tank mates : Midas Blenny, Coral Beauty dwarf angel, coral banded shrimp and serpent star. Dozen or so smallish coral, primarily LPS. Daily vodka dosing of 3ml. No other chemical added to tank. Moderate tank flow and lighting. No recent additions to tank, parameters have been stable, no changes in behavior or appearance of other fish.
Long nose butterfly has been in the tank for about 4 weeks. About 4". Has been very active and feeding well from the start. Fed home-mix of mysis, krill, chopped scallop and shrimp. Woke up this morning, looked at tank, butterfly was lethargic, not moving much at all actually, dorsal fin clamped, and had developed bilateral "bulge" or swelling running all along spine as well as 1/2" diameter bulge on anal fin,
<See this>
in front of and below " the spot". Looks like fluid fill sack. In the evening bulges seem more pronounced . Couldn't see any typical signs of velvet or ich. Bulges do not look consistent with Lymphocystis. Didn't notice any other appearance changes. Have read through material on the common diseases and maladies associated with Butterflies but didn't see
anything describing these bulges.
Any thoughts on possible causes?
<Unusual... is this swelling due to... some sort of "latent" infection? From what? Not an area where fishes are needled to release air from collection, bringing to the surface.... A kidney/nephric condition possibly, from a few etiologies... Getting poked, stung by something? Much less likely. To do? I'd hold off on the EtOH administration, dose iodide-ate and hope for the best.
Bob Fenner>

Problem with Long Nose Butterfly follow-up      7/17/16
WWM team,
Oh wait... after more reading.... problem with swelling on long nose butterfly is probably, dropsical/Ascites/edema. Although not observed on the belly, the swelling does match the descriptions of these symptoms.
<Not localized like this...>
Sounds like bacterial infection is likely cause and treatment is with antibiotic. Does that sound about right?
<I wouldn't try antibiotics here myself... but if so, I'd lace foods. BobF>

re: Problem with Long Nose Butterfly       7/18/16
Bob, Thanks for your thoughts. Fish did expire. Whatever it was it worked fast. Just an inherent risk in the hobby I suppose... inexplicable losses.
<Aye; the anomalous losses... Bob Fenner>

re: Forceps butterfly spot    3/26/16
Ph range 8.1
Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 0ppm
Salinity .022
PraziPro and copper as well as Kent marine Zoe Vit and minerals Started out as unnoticeable spot/bump and now looks like large bruise.
Seems to be growing in size and color.
<Kody, fielding this because it's not clear to me you got Bob's message.
He's off on a coral reef somewhere in the ocean, and his access to the Internet is equivalent to dial-up, and sending a 4MB image (PNG format, to boot!) isn't going to help him to help you. So for now, let's direct you to some reading, here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/forcipdisfaqs.htm
To my admittedly untrained eye this looks like an opportunistic infection, perhaps started by physical damage (rough handing for example, or interspecific aggression) but basically something that is precisely what you suggest, a bruise gone bad. Although Forcipiger are fairly adaptable fish (by Chaetodontid standards, anyway) they are still quite demanding, especially with regard to their need for a varied diet rich in vitamins (the fact they'll eat all sorts of things doesn't mean they get all the nutrients they need, any more than the fact cats drink milk means it's good for them). So let me direct you to some more reading, here:
All else being equal, if you optimise living conditions, remove sources of stress, and ensure the right diet and vitamin supplements, this little chap should recover under his own steam. In my opinion, over/mis-medicating Chaetodontids causes more problems than it cures, so best holding off the medications unless you're 100% sure there's a good reason to do so. Cheers, Neale.>

Long nose Butterfly with exploding head... yeah who wants this one? Lol... More bio.         9/6/15
Dear WWM,
So I have a long nose butterfly fish I've had for several weeks from a reputable LFS that had quarantined him themselves for a week. Up until now he has always been his normal chipper self, poking around and eating quite voraciously. Parameters on my 150 gallon reef are quite stable, although I recently started carbon dosing (about 3 weeks ago) after my nitrates got to 5ppm. I dose with vinegar, about 96 mL per day by doser at 4mL an hour.
Nitrates are .2ppm with salifert, now seemingly stable. Phosphate being dealt with by GFO and Phosguard.
Anyway back to the fish. Woke up and the fish is swimming near bottom, seemingly just trying to maintain balance. On the side of his head he has a bump, which seems to have split his scales so that it is noticeable. One of the cracks originating from the bump appears to go down the side of his body (not following the lateral line). Unfortunately the picture I took
from my iPhone doesn't really do it justice.
First, this would appear to me to be parasitic in nature.

If so, is it unique to butterflies or must I now worry about other livestock?
<Possibly; this is HLLE; possibly with Octomita involvement (chicken: egg analogy); of... a few possible influences.... nutritional, water quality mostly.... corrected, correct-able by the same>

Is there anything I should/can dose with to eliminate said parasite? This fish is obviously on deaths door, but should I euthanize, or QT and wait and see?
<Just read here for now: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/HLLESWCauseF.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Thanks for the help,


Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish Help!     8/28/15
<Hi there>
I came across your site while trying to determine what was going on with my Longnose butterflyfish. You have by far the most and best information I could find, so I thought I’d send an email in hopes you can help me. I’ve had a yellow Longnose butterflyfish for 3 weeks now. He’s currently in a 75 gallon quarantine tank. In the beginning there was no problem with feeding. He ate all the mysis I fed.
<Needs more than this>
Recently, he hasn’t been eating anything. He will swim up to every piece of food floating around, but will only eat maybe 1 or 2 of them. I’ve tried a few drops of garlic extreme in the mysis, tried Selcon, and tried krill, bloodworms, and clams as well. Today, I noticed red spots around his mouth.
<Not good... perhaps indicative of a deficiency (nutritional) syndrome, something awry w/ water quality>
He his hiding, and stays towards the bottom of the tank in a corner. Any idea what this could be, or what to do at this point?
<Can only guess... I'd be offering live food items, soaked in a vitamin, HUFA mix. Adding a few time dose of iodide-ate to the water. Do you use chemical filtrants in this system? What other life is present?>
The temperature is 80, ph is 8.2, salinity is 1.024, and there is no ammonia. Any help is appreciated.
<Bob Fenner>

Re: Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish Help!     8/28/15
<Ave Steve>
Thanks so much for the quick reply. I understand from reading your articles that this red spot is not a good sign, but I’m still hopeful. I am continuing to do water changes to keep the water quality up. I am also picking up some live blackworms today, so hopefully he will eat something.
I will try soaking them in a vitamin mix as well. No chemical filtrates are being used in this tank and he is currently the only life in the tank (it’s a single fish quarantine tank). Can you point me in the right direction on iodide-ate?
<The search tool (on every page, on WWM; or the indices: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/iodf2.htm
I’m not quite sure what/how much to add.
<Instructions above, and on commercially made products... no worries re overdosing>
Do you think lowering the salinity would be beneficial?
<A good question... BFs don't appreciate such manipulation in general. I would not do this>
Any other possible treatments?
<Not at this juncture if it were me/mine>
Thanks again for all the help…
<Welcome. BobF>

Forcipiger Lymphocystis? Seven megs files and no rdg.       6/6/14
My Longnose had this white growth coming out of it's dorsal fin. It has grown larger in the past few days. At first I thought he just got nipped by my threadfin butterfly, however it now seems to me that it is Lymphocystis.
I did just upgrade my tank, and after the new tank move I noticed this.
Thank you for any information you have.
<Appears to be; read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/virdislymphf.htm and the linked files above.
Bob Fenner>

Longnose butterfly; CP burn?      3/19/14
Good evening Bob, and crew,
I am in need of advise <advice>. I am treating my fish in a hospital tank for Ich. I had outbreaks years ago, all the fish but a tang pulled thru, no treatment
<Ah, good>
other than frequent water changes and continued good water quality. The tang was treated with copper.
Over the years I have had only a few fish in my DT and recently started adding fish per your "ok" on my planned additions. Of course this has upset the balance of a lovely aquarium, and three weeks later a couple fish have spots and some distress. I pulled the distressed fish, and I started copper treatment in a hospital tank. Ammonia could not be controlled so I decided to try using Chloroquine phosphate per The Marine Fish Health & Feeding Handbook instructions.
<Very good>
I set up a new 30 gallon tank with mature biological filtration. I am four days into it and all the fish look great and are behaving healthy. All except the Longnose butterfly. The butterfly fish was never in the copper, btw. He has good color, and is eating NLS pellets. The issue is that all along his back where his dorsal spines meet his body is notably swollen, and his scales are standing out in that area, like a localized dropsy. I can not get a good picture of him, sorry. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
<Mmm, I'd keep an eye on this Forcipiger... and be ready to pull it, possibly do a pH adjusted freshwater dip (SOP on WWM) enroute to returning it to another main/display sans further treatment. CP exposure is more touchy with Butterflies (and Angels, and...). I suspect it is the quinine exposure here that is causing it harm. Bob Fenner>
Re: Longnose butterfly     3/19/14

Dear Bob,
Thank you for the fast response. I think it might be best to pull him out tonight. His caudal fin area is swollen too. Again, thank you so much!
<Ah, welcome. BobF>

Impossible for me to keep YLN butterfly     6/1/12
Hello Dear Bob:
<Hey Carlos>
Before I have written you about my poor success with cardinal Banggai, and you recommended to try to get them from a reputable vendor (Quality Marine). I did that and finally I had luck and by now  I have had this fish without problems for several months.
<Ah good>
In that post I commented you that I have  a rule of not trying a fish more than 3 times without luck. Well… I broke the rule with the Yellow Long Nose butterfly, I already tried 4 and 4 misses already, all similar, the fish lasted 2 to 3 weeks, first they didn’t  eat for 2 weeks, finally 1 day they started to eat, and then some days later they were dead. The fishes have been all from different stores including QM seller. One went to display tank directly and the other three went to QT but the result were almost the same, food offered varied from live brine shrimp, clam, worms, prepared food, etc.
I know it is hard to say what went wrong since there are so many variables involved, and it is a similar situation as when I asked you before about the cardinal Banggai regarding my luck with a fish that usually some books consider a beginner one.
Just to conclude, there is a seller that I haven’t tried and claims their YLN come from Hawaii (the others I did not know the origin).
<Yes; both species of Forcipiger are found in HI... shipped in the trade from there. The best source for the U.S. mainland>
Do you think  that could make a difference or should I include this fish in my list of dream but forbidden fishes  (Moorish idol, ribbon eel, Copperband)?
<I give these species only a "2" in rating for survivability (about half live a month or more...)... the three you mention rate a three... dismally less than half live two weeks>
Thanks for your comments, I always find them really helpful and try to learn from them.
Best Regards,
<Do the usual long read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/forcipig.htm
and the linked files above... for review, input re their husbandry needs. BobF>

Re,,, CP use  3/2/11
Good morning Bob. I just wanted to shoot you over a picture of my long nose butterfly. If you look, right above the "fake eye spot" all the way at the back of the body right before the tail starts you will notice a dark mass.
Is this a tumor, part of his vertebrae or something else?
<Got me. Your pic is too blurry to tell much other than that there's a dark patch>
Is there anything I can do for this? It was so hard to find him after looking for a few years now....I don't want to lose him (longnoses are rare in my area anymore).
It looks like the mass does protrude a little out from the body....but barely at all. I was looking at the skeleton of this fish and it looks similar but couldn't see anything similar on the thousands of longnoses I Googled in Google images.
<Just time going by>
Thanks for your input. Pics are attached.

Re: re: Hey Bob... Forcipiger... mark    3/8/11
Ok, well I will describe it then. It is a bump that looks to be red on the inside, almost like blood. The scales are raised up slightly and it gets bigger every 2-3 days. Seems like its coming to a "head" but there is no open wound.....yet!
<But I do think your hint as to a wound is spot on>
I did some research and I am unsure as to what treatment to use. I am hoping this isn't Uronema Marinum,
<Mmm, no... highly doubtful. This fish, your other fishes would be long since dead>
which is hard to discern considering it looks a lot like a bacterial infection.
<Perhaps secondary to the physical trauma>
My long nose doesn't have any labored breathing or pale coloration and is acting normally. I was wondering if Chloroquine Phosphate would help at all if this was indeed a bacterial infection? This is the medication I am going to treat with in about a week. What Med do you think I should use first based upon the description I gave?
<I would not treat this at all>
Thanks again for this wonderful site!
<Welcome! BobF>
Re: re: Hey Bob
Man you are truly a life saver! Thanks a lot for your patience and tolerance with my weekly emails lol.
<Welcome again. B>

Long-nose butterfly death 8/27/10
Dear Bob,
I am so discouraged! I can't see any reason why my long-nose butterfly is dying after one week in my main tank, having eaten and doing well until now; no spots or damage that I can see.
<Mmm, happens at times... many organisms "mask" their apparent health, it's antithesis... has individual to species saving advantage... Giving predators not much idea that they're impaired>
I have a 90g, FOWLR + cleaner shrimp, nitrites, ammonia, nitrates all 0, sp is 1.024, sump under tank + two power heads in tank, protein skimmer, one year old. The other inhabitants: flame angel, 2 chromis, fire fish, Valenciennea puellis, royal gramma, tomato clown, and skunk cleaner shrimp. Up until today, the butterfly looked and acted great (following QT). Today he is head-down, breathing hard, behind some rocks. He is obviously dying, and I can't see what happened. We've spent well over $1400 on our set-up and fish, and I don't know what to do. Should I just assume fish don't live long (but 1 week?), and stop adding to the population?
<Up to you. Forcipiger spp. can be good additions, but many do perish due to collective stress... shipping, handling, capture damage. One must secure initially healthy, feeding specimen/s...>
It is so discouraging. (By the way, I've had marine fish for many years, and had one long-nose for over 16 yrs., a hippo tang 11 yrs., and a frame angel 15-1/2 yrs. I guess I was just lucky. They died when I moved them and didn't have the new tank properly cycled--my mistake.)
But this new set-up has me completely baffled. Do you have any words of wisdom, or encouragement?
<Take this in stride... let some time pass...>
Thanks for being there for us, Edie
<A pleasure to share. BobF>
Long-nose butterfly dying 8/27/10

Dear Bob,
I'm sorry to add this on--I should have mentioned in my last email about my long-nose butterfly dying after one week in main tank that he is not the first fish to have this happen to. A couple other recent fish only lasted a short time, and didn't seem to be sick ahead of time. That is why I am so discouraged and wondering if I should even get more fish. (I didn't know how to attach this to my first email, so I hope it reaches you.)
<Mmm, you might want to "shop around" a bit for another livestock source. BobF>
long--nose butterfly dying 8/27/10
Dear Bob,
I don't think you would have time to answer my last email; but if you did, I apologize for not using the thread---I'm really rushed right now and can't check. But I did want to tell you that I took out the dead butterfly just now and he has reddish streaks & spots on both sides of his body. You can see what killed him! I couldn't see any marks at all on him yesterday. Does that mean he was injured?
<Mmm, not necessarily, no>
Had a bacterial infection that just showed up?
<Possibly, or just internal bleeding... can be "just" psychological... psycho-somatic>
Been handled roughly in capture?
<Possibly to very likely>
It helps a little to know---maybe I won't give up all together (but I can't bring myself to get any more fish for quite awhile, I
Thanks for taking the time to read all this---you can tell I'm really upset.
<You have done what you could my friend. B>

Flukes?? No thanks, I'm having Lymph-- 07/16/10
Hello crew! Hope everyone is well today. I am having some concerns with a recent addition to my tank. I recently purchased a Longnose B/F from my local fish store. He came in from HW
<I will take it you mean Hawaii>
and was in quarantine and in his tanks for about 3 weeks. I had been watching him and checking up on him every few days. He was eating Mysis shrimp just great and was doing well. After bringing him home and acclimatizing him he was added to my DT at night.
He is doing great as far as I can tell. Picking away at the live rock, still eating Mysis fine but avoiding any pellet food so far.
So my concern is with the little granules that have appeared on him the day after I received him. He has about 3 on his left side. At first I thought they might have actually been sand particles that he got stuck on him but I realize now that after a week that is probably not possible for them to not have fallen off by now. He is showing no signs of discomfort, eyes are clear, gills are fine - normal colour etc, breathing fine, he isn't even scratching or rubbing on anything. So my question is should I be concerned for these?
<Concern? Yes. Treatment? No... these appear to be of a viral nature... most often labeled as "Lymphocystis" in hobby circles>
Should I just let them fall off eventually hopefully or should I take more drastic measures like QT him or dipping him in a fresh water dip with Meth blue? or Formalin?
<No, nah>
Any advise would be appreciated. Picture is attached although it is hard to see any detail of such small specks. They are not flat spots, they are like little grains and I can see no movement of them and they have remained in same position on "Bob" since I first saw them. My son came up with the great name...sorry Bob!
<No worries. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/virdisidf.htm
and the linked files above. The other Bob (Fenner)>


26/02/10 Stumped.... Forcipiger hlth., troubleshooting
Hi everyone.
<Hi Jay>
I am quite confused about medicating a Long nose Butterfly.
I recently treated my long nose with Quinine Sulfate for Ich and after about three weeks it's finally gone.
<In Quarantine? Or in-tank? If you did this in tank, then the Crypt will not be gone>
From a previous email one of the representatives from WWM recommended that I treat with a product called PraziPro because my Butterfly was flashing (he said, based on what I told him, he probably has gill flukes).
I started treating with the Prazi and ever since then my BF has increased rapid gill movement and twitches a lot.
If in fact he did have flukes, I thought the Prazi was supposed to help kill them.....why are they getting worse?
<Are they flukes? If you remove the fish and freshwater dip him, you might see one or both of two things that would give you a better idea: If he stops flashing afterwards, then it is probably flukes. If you can see specks on the base of the dip container (usually white, so a dark dip container might be prudent), then they also could be flukes. Removal of these and placed under a cheap microscope will confirm. If neither of these happen, then it is probably not flukes>.
He has been clear of spots for over two weeks
<Could have just cycled off... the fish may still be infested with Crypt.. in the gills, thus the heavy breathing & flashing>
and I proceeded with the full treatment recommended for QS. Please help!
<Another possibility here... medication in the water can/ does irritate fishes, to the point where they exhibit 'flashing' behaviour. You might find that with the removal of the medication and improved water quality this will ease off>.
Thank you folks
<No problem, Simon>
Re: 26/02/10 Stumped.... Forcipiger hlth.    2/28/10

<Hi Jay>
Yes he is in a 40g quarantine tank.
I am going to lose my long nose, this morning I woke up and his gills are moving very fast and he's just in the middle of the tank gliding in the water.
<Mmm, don't give up hope. What are your tests for ammonia/ nitrite? Is the fish feeding?>
I also have an Auriga BF in the same tank which I previously treated for Oodinium and he is fine but my long
nose is not.
<Mmm, you have been treating for three different things? Likely only one was the cause/ problem here.. a pointer to the fact that correct diagnosis is vitally important to do BEFORE any fishes are medicated>
Seems like ever since I dosed with PraziPro a second time, all things got worse. What do you think?
<I think you have been using too many medications, without certain knowledge of what you are treating. I would remove all with some carbon & a skimmer, keep ammonia/ nitrite down and try to get the fish feeding, see if he can recover while you consider your next step>
I also use baking soda to buffer the water and ever since I put it in, there's like a smoke in the water.
<You've used too much, this will not help the fish breathing - can irritate it. This should precipitate out and the water will clear. . maybe a large water change w/ out the baking soda might be appropriate. I never do this in quarantine anyway, because a higher pH means that any ammonia in the water is in it's more toxic form. Just standard salinity will be fine, maybe in this case lowering it a couple of points might help the fish w/ osmosis>
I can see this in the flow from the filter
under the tank light. Is this unusual?
<Posted. Simon>
Re: 27/02/10 Re: Stumped....   2/28/10
<Hi Jay>
Ok. My nitrite and ammonia are zero.
<That is good news, and makes this much easier to manage>
Both of them were feeding but now only the Raccoon is. The Auriga looks at the food and grabs it but doesn't swallow it.
<Mmm, maybe some damage from the medications..>
I am going to do what you said but I just don't understand why they're breathing fast constantly.
<Why do you have these separated from the main system? Are you some way into a 'fallow' period for crypt? If not, if there is no improvement with the removal of the meds from the system I would consider returning the one
at least to the display>
And they both had one gill closed at certain times. I've done everything I could at this point. Hopefully it's
just the baking soda and it's harmless.
<You might find with the removal of the med from the water and a water change things improve>.
Thank you
<No problem, Simon>
Re: 27/02/10 Re: Stumped....  3/1/10
Yes I'm letting my tank be without any life.
<Ok, don't put the fish back yet then>
And I did remove the meds and that's when I noticed both fish only using one gill to breathe.
After a freshwater dip they seem to be full of life for a good day. Then the rapid breathing starts again.
<So the dip provided some relief? This is a clue.. I would dip again,
watch, and see if anything identifiable comes out in the dip container>
The Prazi pro did not work so I am assuming this isn't a fluke.
<Mmmm, maybe>
So the only other possibility this is leaning toward is the start of ich or Velvet right?
<No, there are others... as posted.. incl. the meds themselves, the baking soda..>
I just dosed another of Quinine yesterday morning. Do you think I should keep this up or just skip on the dosing and leave the water be?
<You have not yet diagnosed the problem, and you state these meds have not yet worked, so I would cease for the moment. Your nitrite & ammonia are zero, so you have some time here...I would cease the medications, do the
water change, try to nurse the fish back to health..get it to feed.
Freshwater dip the fish and watch.. if this provides relief then it is likely not crypt or velvet as these are too far embedded for freshwater to have an effect. You may have already treated the initial cause here with your previous administrations. Simon>.
Re: 01/03/10 Re: Stumped.... Forcipiger hlth.  3/2/10

<Hello Jay>
Ok thanks a lot for getting back, I am going to do this now.
<Please write back with your results, Simon>
02/03/10 Re: Stumped. Multiple medications, no diagnosis, not listening, QT tanks. Forcipiger, other BF hlth.

<Hello Jay..>
My Raccoon is better and swimming around more. <Good> My Auriga will not eat no matter what I do, the tank was left medicine free like you suggested for three days and no change.
<Impossible. I suggested this on the 26th Feb, and again on the 1st of March. You then dose QS on the 1st of March AFTER I suggest you remove it. It is now the 3rd and you posted this yesterday on the 2nd>.
He's wasting away and I just feel it's something more than malnutrition.
<Yes, the fish is stressed out. It is probably your own actions, NOT some 'unknown and mysterious pathogen' causing this. People always want to find some other solution that means it is not their own fault, but invariably there is no other solution. What size is this quarantine tank?>
About five days ago he was eating like a pig then all of a sudden his bones start showing (the time frame in which he went from healthy to unhealthy was unbelievable, I almost felt like I was seeing things). I have tried Mysis, algae sheets, algae tabs, brine shrimp, angel/butterfly formula, Spirulina and omega brine, you name it. He still goes for it but he doesn't swallow it.
<Damage from all the medications you've been chucking in, probably. Keep trying to get it to feed, with just Mysis, and try to keep yourself as 'small' as possible. A giant hovering over a small QT tank is enough to stress anyone out>
And I also can't understand for the life of me why it still looks like there's smoke in my water. I didn't add any baking soda like you suggest and I STILL have water that looks like someone took a drag of a cigarette and exhaled into my tank, lol.
<? Your own actions.. and a clue as to why the fish is not feeding. Perhaps set up another QT tank with clean water and move the filters and fish over, acclimated>
Is this harmful to the fish? What could it be from?
<You have been using multiple medications...>
My ammonia is zero, nitrite is
zero and nitrate is below 30ppm, ph is around 8 and salinity is at about .019. <1.019, ok for the minute> Any ideas?
<Posted, or perhaps moving the fish back to the display>
After seeing how the fish reacted without medicine
<When? Never. They have not been without medication for any length of time>
I realize that there is definitely something going on. <Me too> So I went ahead and treated with PraziPro again because at this point, all symptoms lead to gill flukes.
<?? Did you freshwater dip these like you were advised to try and check? I told you that chucking medications willy-nilly into the tank could easily be your problem here, and what do you do? You chuck some more in, and not just one but two! Problems are not always 'unseen parasites or bacteria' but quite often are the result of aquarists own actions. And you wonder why your water is 'smoky'. Would you have much of an appetite if the air you were breathing was full of chemicals? Right now you have a starving Butterfly and a mixture of Quinine Sulphate and PraziPro in your tank. This is madness, and a pre-cursor for disaster.>
Since PraziPro is considered a very non-stressful medication I figured it would be ok on the fish.
<But your fish are sick, and you don't know why. You are taking a 'crap shoot' approach here, and this approach more often that not kills fishes. I warned you about this>
Before I did this I went ahead and called the specialist at the company listed on the PraziPro bottle and he was also
convinced we are dealing with gill flukes.
<Did you put one under a microscope and send him a photograph? No. Did you tell him that you have already tried treating with this twice before and it has not worked? I doubt it>.
The fish have no spots, they're not flashing and the Quinine Sulfate did not help any with slowing down gill movement.
<Why would it?>
At this point, the only symptoms are rapid breathing and twitching/darting.
<They will do this anyway in a QT tank because of the stress, especially in the presence of chemicals! It is likely there are no parasites in there, especially with the cocktail of drugs you have been administering>
Simon, after two weeks of these symptoms, by this time I would see some spots or body slime if this was Velvet or Crypt. Right?
<Oh, dear. I repeat my previous advice to you and we'll see where we go. The biggest danger to this fish here (since ammonia/ nitrite are both zero) is the lack of food. This should be your priority. Fishes often will lose their appetite in conditions of stress and in the presence of meds. You need to remove this stress from the fish and get it to feed, otherwise it will die. It is that simple. Do this by stopping the medications, giving it some more space if possible, maybe moving back to the display via a freshwater dip. I repeat, again, the presence of medication in the water can also show these symptoms on fishes. You are your own worst enemy here. Calm down, think clearly, improve the conditions for the fish and get them to feed>
When my fish had velvet before it's almost like they "go nuts" and after about four days of that they die rather fast. This just doesn't seem to be similar to that of Velvet symptoms.....through my experience anyway. I'd like to have your input again.
<Please stop thinking about parasites, YOU are the problem. This fish needs food. Feed it>.
Thanks so much
<No problem, Simon>
Re: 02/03/10 Re: Stumped. Multiple medications, no diagnosis, not listening, ...
Wow, way to go Simon! With all that pessimism in the last email I feel hopeless and all motivation has gone down the tubes. I guess the thin Auriga will just have to die, I refuse to buy another QT tank.
<I have given you a couple of options that do not involve buying a new tank. Shall I repeat them again? Ok, here we go... 1) Remove the med, improve the conditions and get the fish to feed in QT. 2) Move the fish to the display and get it to feed there.>
I didn't pay enough money for the fish to put more money into another tank. I did everything I could do (for me).
<No, you did not. First, your lack of quarantine in the first place has introduced the parasites, followed by your 'shotgun' approach to treating with various meds without a diagnosis, followed lastly by your failure to take the advice you were given>
Thanks for the input, next time be more optimistic with someone whose asking for your advice.
<Jay, I spent a long time giving you advice here, and was happy to, over a period of days. This advice you have ignored. I have to ask myself, and you, what is the point in coming back for advice time and again if you don't bother to follow it? Am I wasting my time?>
Otherwise, like this particular situation, all goes down the tubes with your showering of negativity.
<Negativity, no. I was trying (in a blunt manner, since you had not listened up to then) to get you to see the truth of what is happening, since tip-toeing around the subject is no good for anyone. I/ we are not here to molly-coddle and be nice to you. We are here to help you with your fish problems.>
Have a good one
<Thank you, Simon>

Holes in head on Yellow Long Nosed Butterflyfish  7/28/09
<Good AM, good gosh!>
I have been treating a Yellow Long Nose Butterflyfish from whitespot with copper treatment, which I have found very effective although in the first week it is essential to test the copper level at least three times a day in the first 7 days as it drops very quickly and overdosing is very easy to do and will kill fish in hours.
<Thank you for (re) stating these facts>
Anyway, after two weeks the whitespot seems to have gone but the Yellow Longnose Butterfly now has small holes in his head.
<Resultant from the copper exposure>
Any ideas of what they are would be helpful and hopefully a cure.
<Just good water quality and nutrition as detailed here:
There is also a small about 2inch Copperband in with him which is a new fish I cannot get to eat anything including, brine/mysis shrimp or fresh tuna meat.
PS The salinity is also low 1.010 which by itself did not kill the whitespot.
<The SpG needs to be returned to near seawater strength... as in "good water quality"... Bob Fenner>

Sick Yellow Long Nose Butterfly, env...?    7/25/08 Hello, First I just wanted to thank you for your time! I am new to the hobby, but my tank is not! I have a 110 gallon reef tank I got from a friend, it has been established for 2 years plus. I am in the military and got it from someone within an hour from where I live so the move was painless. The tank tests out good, 0 nitrates, 0 nitrites, 0 ammonia, 8.2 ph, salinity 1.025, phosphates 0, calcium around 550. <Mmm, this is too high... what is your alkalinity, Magnesium concentration?> I have a yellow long nose butterfly ,who even though I say is sick really isn't, he eats fine and doesn't act any different I just want to know if what I see is bad. He has a small brownish spot on his side that looks a little slimy if you will, and at the right angle you can see it very well. <Mmm... might be an injury... but could be due to water quality issues... or a bit of both> He eats great and is constantly looking in the rocks for more food, but, occasionally he rubs himself against the rocks to itch or whatever. Can you shed some light on what you think his illness is? If it will go away on its own then I wont do anything, he is 100% healthy, could it be possibly a bruise? well let me know, there is nothing in my tank that could pick on him, all peaceful fish, 4 false percs, royal Gramma, random gobies. Well, let me know, mike <I'd be reading re the chemical issues mentioned above... Reading re Forcipigers as well... are you familiar with using our search tool, indices? Bob Fenner> Re: Sick Yellow Long Nose Butterfly   7/25/08 my alk is perfect at about 2.7, I just had added too much calcium supplement. <Ahh! What brand? Other components?> I think he injured it on the live rock the first couple of days being too hyper and scared. <Very easily so... and should heal on its own in time if so> Thanks for the quick response, also, are 4 t5 high outputs enough for an open brain, thanks, mike <... Should be... Trachyphyllias can be set up higher if not... BobF>

Re: Sick Yellow Long Nose Butterfly... who knows what... induced env. troubles    7/26/08 the calcium supplement is purple up, <... please, stop writing, and start reading... on WWM... Do search before...> I was adding once weekly, but now I know that I only need to add it probably once every 2 or 3 weeks. I am going to not add any for a while to let it go back down, I am also using a supplement that I know you are not a fan of, lol, I think it is white snow or something like that, <... is wall board paste... two li'l Squishies... More disdain for consumers... you> I read in your threads all the time you think it is worthless lol, which is why I haven't used it lately. <Nor your spelling/grammar checker> I am glad to have found your website, it is very nice to be able to get quick responses from experts and not LFS ignorant know it alls lol. Did you get a degree in Marine Biology? thanks again, mike <... Keep reading Mike... and following directions if you want our help. BobF>

Problems With Longnose Butterfly -- 04/01/08 Hi, <<Hello>> I need help with my Longnose butterfly.........My tank has been running since December and levels are good for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. <<Mmm'¦I hope 'good' means zero, zip, nada'¦>> I am in the middle of a hypo-salinity treatment and this butterfly has shown signs of not being able to close his mouth. <<I think these treatments serve well as 'dips' (i.e. -- pH adjusted freshwater for a 'short term' bath), but I am not a fan of reducing salinity in the display/quarantine tank for extended periods as I feel the stress induced often compounds/creates more issues than the hypo-salinity resolves>> It seems to want to eat but doesn't know how any more because its mouth is always open. I have had an ich breakout that is why I am in hypo-salinity. <<In the display? This will do little to nothing in the end (except maybe kill a fish or two), though there are others who may argue differently'¦better to remove the fishes to quarantine for proper treatment and let the display sit fallow for 6-weeks or more (please read here and among the related links in blue: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm )>> I gave him a fresh water dip to see if that would help as he was flicking around in circles and it seems to have helped with that but still is unable to close his mouth. My tank is 90 gal with a 30 gal sump. Many thanks, David Cooper <<Well David, not a lot to go on here really'¦it's hard to say just what may be ailing the Butterfly. It might be some kind of physical trauma, which may resolve on its own'¦or it may be a reaction to/complications from the hypo-salinity. Regards, EricR>>

Sick Butterfly 03/26/2008 I recently added a little Longnose Butterfly fish to my 30 long. Well I woke up this morning and noticed he was not swimming. He has been very active up until this morning. He swims a little bit and them crashes at the bottom. He appears to be breathing really heavy. <<Firstly, this tank is too small, this fish needs at least 50+ gallons. The heavy breathing sounds common to ammonia poisoning. All though, these do sometimes exhibit some real strange behavior patterns>> He shares a tank with some hermit crabs, a long spin sea urchin (any chance he was poked by this guy, no sign of puncture.) and a maroon clown fish. <<One would expect to see damage if the fish has tangled with the urchin>> What can I do to help him get better. Here is a picture attached. The salinity levels are fine, the tank is fairly new. About three weeks. He's got about 30 lbs of cured live rock as well. <<YIKES....Has this tank been cycled? If not, it needs it. If this is the case, the fish need removing to cycled quarantine while the tank itself cycles. As said above, if the opportunity is there to return this fish, then its best you do because of the current tank size.>> I can't find any sign of disease on the outside. Here is a picture as well. Thanks Spencer Hall <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Sick? Longnose Butterfly  2/20/08 Hi. <Hey there! Scott F. in today!> I recently purchase a 3 in. Longnose Butterfly (2-3 weeks ago). I saw it feed at the store and after about 2 days it began to feed at home. It eats well and gets along with its tankmates (3 damsels and 1 clown). About a week ago I noticed white blotches ( I am not really sure how to describe then) on its transparent fins. The fish still ate well but after a couple more day I noticed the same blotches on its tailfin. The rest of the fish has no visible blemishes. He eats and swims fine and does not try to "scratch" himself. I don't think it is ich b/c it is only on those transparent fins and nowhere else. I have now noticed small tears appearing on the fins. Do you have an idea what might be wrong? If so could you suggest a treatment. Salinity is approximately 1.022 and nitrates and ammonia levels are at less than the detection limit. The other fish are asymptomatic. Should I quarantine the fish? Thanks, Chris <Well, Chris- it's hard to guess what it could be. These little blotches could be some form of parasitic or even fungal infection...a bunch of possibilities. In the absence of other symptoms, such as scratching, heavy breathing, etc., I would probably observe the fish a bit more before taking action. "Action" would initially consist of isolating the fish for continued observation. I am not a big fan of "prophylactically" medicating fishes, unless we know what we are treating. If the symptoms seem to disappear, I would not even move the fish. If they do start to manifest (symptoms, such as scratching, heavy breathing, etc.), I would isolate the fish and attempt to ID the disease before embarking on a course of chemical treatment. Medications can cause "collateral damage" issues, so we don't want to rush to treatment unless necessary. I guess my recommendation at this point is further observation before action! Best of luck to you. Regards, Scott F.>

Re: Sick? Longnose Butterfly... need to read, understand, act... NOW!   2/21/08 Hi. I sent an earlier message (forward). After getting home form work today I now think the fish has ich (or now has ich in addition to other problems). White spots were all over all his fins and now are distinguishable on his head as well. Looks like I introduced him to the normal tank too soon. The other fish in the normal tank still look OK but the butterfly may end up with company in the OT soon. I guess I will just have to keep an eye on things. Let me know if you have any suggestions. Chris <... What? Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above... You need to do this soon... Bob Fenner>

Long Nose Butterfly/Acclimation 1/29/08 Good Morning Crew! <Hello Gans> I have had a Long Nose Butterfly in my tank for a 6 days now. He is the only fish in a 60gal/LR 6 month old tank. He was doing great for the first 3 days & ate everything I fed him but since yesterday he is just hiding in the same spot among the live rock and doesn't want to come out. When I feed him Mysis he doesn't seem interested anymore. I gave him a clam this morning and didn't seem interested either. I understand from the material in WWM that these guys take time to adjust etc but I am asking because he was doing great for the first few days but now has become a recluse. I don't see any physical evidence of something going on. I have increased the temp from 75 to 78 and turned off the MaxiJet 1200 inside the tank that I had for extra circulation. <No, no, turn that pump back on, these fish need good circulation.> SG is 1.025 though. I see you recommend 1.020. Anything else I can try to help him adjust? <Since their primary source of food is zooplankton, I'd try feeding some Cyclop-Eeze. I would do a 10% water change with the makeup water adjusted to 1.020. The goal isn't to get down to 1.020 but somewhat lower than 1.025. Keep in mind that these fish require very good water quality. I would suggest using a good chemical media such as Chemi Pure. Do keep a close eye on the fish for signs of parasitical infection and, if present, quarantine and treat immediately. You may want to keep the lights off until this fish hopefully acclimates to it's new surroundings.> Thanks <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Gans

Sick yellow long nose butterfly  9/20/07 Good evening from Michigan, <Howdy from Turks and Caicos. Am out visiting> I picked up a yellow long nose butterfly from LFS three days ago. LFS had had him for three days. I gave him 10 minute freshwater / methyl blue dip and then into 10g QT tank. First two days he was quite active although not eating. Today, third day, he is listless and has developed an ugly spot on his side. See attached photo's. <Good ones> Spot is whitish in middle with black edge, about 1/4" x 1/2 ". Can't see any external parasite but as someone rather new to hobby, not sure I'd recognize it anyway. Am reading all the info I can find on your site but in the end, helpful to have some experienced eyes actually see a picture. Any thoughts on what it is...treatment options? Russell Furst <Appears to be a trauma... likely from capture... just showing up now... Perhaps a bacterial involvement consequently... Perhaps an immersion bath in slightly diluted system water (a few thousandths lighter in terms of spg... by adding freshwater) with a Furan compound at strength... 250 mg. per gallon let's say... for five minutes. Bob Fenner>

Keeping Cleaner Shrimp / Butterfly Possible Ich -- 06/28/07 Hi Team Thanks for the advice you've given in the past. I have a couple (unfortunately) long of questions about new arrivals. Yesterday I tried my 3rd attempt at a cleaner shrimp. The first survived a week in QT, the second 24 hours so I decided with the 3rd to go straight to the show tank. After a 2 hour drip acclimatization process the shrimp looked pretty weak. Within an hour of putting into the tank it was dead. <Mmm, something very amiss here... likely with some aspect of water quality> My parameters all look good SG 1.024, PH 8.3, Nutrients undetectable and temp 79F. Did the Acclimatization take too long starving it of oxygen ? <Not likely> The water it arrived in had quite a high PH (1.027/8) <Mmm, specific gravity> hence the 2 hour acclimatization. <Needs much more time for this accommodation... days> Any ideas why I don't have much luck with these. BTW its a 90G FOWLR, ETSS reef devil, Fuge, UV. 2 x ocellaris, 1 x Kole tang, Plenty of worms/pods/snails/macro and micro algae etc. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrimpdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above> My second question is regarding a yellow longnose butterfly that arrived yesterday and is in QT. He looks very happy, although not eating in first attempt - will try again today and expect it to take a while. <Yes> Only question is a few very small white spots on its Caudal fin. They look like air bubbles but they don't seem to be moving so more likely a parasite hole ?. <Maybe...> If the fish doesn't show any other signs - spots on its body, erratic breathing or movement, sluggishness etc. How long should I wait before ich treatment ? <Until real symptoms show> Unfortunately the QT was used for snails previously and has a small amount of substrate/rock/mushrooms. I didn't want to remove this prior to putting the fish in as I was hoping it would help with the biological filter and I thought the rock would help the butterfly feel at home and give it something to pick on. <I agree. Would have done the same> There is also an Eheim Classic. This QT has been running for quite a while. <Good> I tried taking a photo but the dots are not showing up. I will try again later after cleaning the only exposed side of the QT. The rest is blacked out but there is lighting. Thanks -Peter <Better by far to be cautious, patient in these circumstances... Bob Fenner>
Re: Keeping Cleaner Shrimp / Butterfly Possible Ich    -- 06/28/07
I forgot to say, the butterfly is not picking at the live rock in the QT at all. It also ignored some live brine shrimp. It has been in QT for 36 hours. <The picking is a good sign. BobF>
Re: Keeping Cleaner Shrimp / Butterfly Possible Ich -- 06/28/07
Thanks Bob, Firstly, my typo mistake about SG/PH. <No worries...> Sorry. Next time I will try a much longer drip knowing it won't starve of oxygen. <Ah, good. A thousandth (0.001) difference made up every two days is about right> Now onto the butterfly. I'm concerned that it doesn't seem to be picking at the rock or showing any interest in live brine shrimp or frozen Mysis. <Oh, sorry... thought I'd read that it was picking on the rock... The other foods are unnatural... all take a while to "get used to" in captivity... days to weeks> Is there anything else to look for. I read that an open clam may interest it. <Mmm, not this species likely... more "worm like" or sessile small crustaceans would be better> Is this just a regular clam from the supermarket opened with a shank and dropped in ? Your article on the longnose said red marks on the mouth are a very bad sign. <Yes> This one has a small amount of red in the bottom jaw right at the front but I can't tell if this is a mark or its teeth. Its very small. There is also a very small (pin head) red dot further back on his jaw at the side. Thanks -Peter <I do hope your Forcipiger will rally. Bob Fenner>  

Re: Keeping Cleaner Shrimp / Butterfly Possible Ich -- 06/28/07 Thanks Bob. I'm hoping too. I've attached a couple of pics that show he white spots on fin and redness near mouth. <I see this/these> Do you know what a normal breathing rate would be for this fish ? <Mmm, 30-40 gill movements per minute or so> Would it be comparable to my Kole tang ? <A bit less> I'm considering lowering SG to 1.020 to help relieve stress. <Mmm, possibly a good move...> I know that's not the same as my main tank but my priority now is to get him comfortable in the QT and worry about transferring later on. Do you think this is a good idea ? Thanks -Peter <If you have no invertebrates... not much on/in your LR/LS that might be mal-affected, I would do this. BobF>

Forcipiger Butterfly Fish With Badly Damaged Mouth/Snout -- 06/11/07 I have this Longnose Butterfly fish for last 6 months. Awesome fish, eats out of my hands. I came back home and to my horror I saw that the fish actually has broken its nose. <<Uh-oh...not good>> I have no clue how it happened. <<Obviously some physical trauma...any large and or aggressive fishes in this system with the Butterfly?>> It hurt to see him like this. <<Indeed>> What should I do? <<Firstly...remove this fish from the display and place in a hospital/quarantine tank>> Will he heal up, will the nose regenerate? <<I'm afraid not>> I believe it must have stuck its nose in a crevice and got startled. <<Mmm, possibly...or maybe this fish had already received some physical trauma to its snout during capture/transport that has compounded through whatever circumstance (self-affliction or otherwise) in the display tank>> If he can be saved then I would love too see him survive. <<Will depend on the severity of the damage and whether or not the fish can still feed, and survive the possibility of secondary bacterial infection>> Please advise. Here is the link to the forum where I have its pictures posted http://www.michiganreefers.com/forums/showthread.php?p=389786#post389786 <<This looks very, very, bad...the 'break' appears to be very high up on the mouth/snout. As already stated, remove this fish to a tank where it can be isolated/treated/closely observed. Use a scalpel or 'very' sharp scissors to remove the dangling snout. You can then carefully swab the wound with iodine, being very careful to keep it out of the fish's eye and gills. Observe the fish closely for signs of infection (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/infectio.htm) and to determine if the fish can still consume food. If the fish can't feed (as is my suspicion here), then in my opinion it should be euthanized (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/euthanasiafaqs.htm)>> Sincerely, Vick <<Sorry I don't have a better prognosis. EricR>>

Forcipiger flavissimus with 'broken' rostrum  4/6/07 Hello Crew- I have a bit of a dilemma at the moment that I would appreciate your advice on. <Okay> This evening as I went by the aquarium to see what a dog was barking at, apparently my butterfly was startled. Hearing an odd noise, to my dismay he had rocketed from the tank and was floundering on the carpet. <Yeeikes!> We quickly netted him with the large fine net kept on hand for him, and returned him to the aquarium. There is only a very small space, perhaps 1 to 1.5 inches that he escaped through. I looked him over once he was back in as they are prone to problems from mouth and fin tears. <Yes> Unfortunately it looks like he "broke" his nose. The upper portion of the rostrum appears cracked at the bridge, about the equivalent of where a humans' eyeglasses would sit. He also appears to have a slight tear/swelling at the back of the side of the mouth. <Not good> Normally this fish, called Dick after President Nixon, swims with his mouth closed or only slightly open. Now he seems unable to close it to less than 1/8". I normally would take a picture to send, but do not wish to startle him more. He appears active and near his normal routine at the moment. My next thoughts are to keep an eye on him and move him to a hospital tank if need be tomorrow to medicate with Nifurpirinol or tetracycline. Ultimately I may face the sad task of euthanization but would prefer to abate the issue if possible. Thank you very much for your advice. Regards- Jake <Only time can/will tell if this fish will survive with this breakage... No surgery or treatment is advised. Bob Fenner>

Bumps on long nosed butterfly   2/13/07 Hi <Hello> I have been reading your forum for a year now.  You have helped me with many problems. <Glad to realize this> The fish time <Heeee!> I got ich I started a QT tank and have used it ever since. <Good> I just purchased a long nosed butterfly and blue headed wrasse.  I had them in qt for 3 weeks now.  Everything was great until my wife noticed bumps all over the long nosed butterfly.  I know its not ich but I cant find anything on what it could be.  He is acting normal and eating great.  It almost looks like poison ivy if you ever had that.  My LFS said it could be bacterial and to treat it with Furazone green, which I already had.   I've been soaking the Mysis shrimp in it twice a day.  The fish is still doing great but looks no different.  Would you know by my description what it could be. <Mmm, I do suspect this is "nothing catching"... and would not have it deter me/you from placing this Forcipiger>   Also, I always QT for at least 4 weeks.  If its bacterial can the wrasse catch it. <Not likely, no>   My QT readings are all 0 with nitrates at 20.  The tank is a 15 gallon that I do 2-5gallon water changes a week.  Thanks for your time Dave. <Nice to make your acquaintance. As stated, I would go forward with permanently placing this specimen. Not likely a condition that will spread, and much more to be gained by moving it. Bob Fenner>

Swollen Long Nose Butterfly  7/19/06 Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, <Tamara> I have struck a bit of a problem with my long nose butterfly. He has become quite "swollen" (the best way of describing it) around the top and bottom sections of his body. I have searched your site and have found nothing on this, only swelling around the eyes and mouth (which my fish does not have). <Yikes... the condition is/can be termed "ascites", bloat... dropsical... many causes... some more primary than others... but something causing fluid to leave cells, tissues... and occupy intracellular space, body cavities...> I took the fish, with minimal stress, to my fish shop after they said they have never heard of such thing and would need to see it. Consequently he put me on to your website. They do have an enormous amount of experience but said they have never seen anything like it and will look into it themselves further also. Looking from behind; say the fish is 3mm in width; where it is swollen at the top and bottom, it is more like in excess of 10mm wide - like someone has pumped it full of air! It is still feeding and active - apart from the "swelling" it is behaving fine. Any reply would be greatly appreciated as I am rather concerned. Thank you. Regards Andrew Brown Melbourne Australia. <It may be that there is a "simple" bacterial involvement here (from?) that can be thwarted with the application of one/some form of antimicrobial/antibiotic. If this were a very valuable fish or a bunch of them, I would avail myself of injectable material (Chloramphenicol succinate would be my first choice)... For home/hobbyist purposes, it may be that a water-administered product is best... a Furan compound: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/antibiofaqs.htm and a search on WWM with the name. If this/these are not available locally or easily, do look into what you can get in the way of a gram-negative, broad-spectrum antibiotic... administer at 250 mg. per actual ten gallons of water... change a good part of the water out and replace, re-treat every three days for three treatments... Not in the main/display system... Bob Fenner>
Re: Swollen Long Nose Butterfly   7/22/06
Hi Bob, <Tamara> Thank you so much for your reply. My fish shop said your site, and your staff, would be extremely helpful and he was 100% correct. I will track down a antimicrobial/antibiotic today. Just for my own knowledge, will this, or can this affect the other fish in the tank; or is fish specific (i.e.. is it contagious and should expect more fish to become this way?) <Not able to say, but generally such involvements are "not catching"> Secondly, was there a way of preventing this, or is it just a pure random occurrence? Thanks so much. Tamara <Mostly the latter. One can do their best to provide optimized, stable conditions, good nutrition... and still have such incidents. Bob Fenner>

Longnose Butterfly 30 Jun 2005 I've had my yellow longnose butterfly (Forcipiger flavissimus) for about 3 months.  Initially the only foods he would eat were live black worms and frozen Mysis shrimp.  He started eating other foods pretty quickly, and eats anything I feed the tank except for Cyclop-eeze.  He's always been very active, cruising the tank and picking through the rocks. I noticed a few days ago that he was staying in the back of the tank more, and swimming around less.  He has been eating less also.  I recently changed my lights from 2 actinic and 2 white to 2 white and 2 50/5o's so the tank is a little brighter.  The only other change in the tank has been the addition of a 2 inch long blue tang.  She doesn't seem to bother the butterfly at all, and neither do any of the other fish.  The butterfly still comes to the front of the tank at feeding time but then doesn't seem very interested in the food. His color is good, he doesn't look thin, and he looks normal in every way except this change in behavior.  Any ideas on what could be going on with him?  I don't want to lose my favorite fish! <Do a google search on the WWM, keyword "butterflies" and/or "longnose butterfly".  Read the info along with the FAQ's on these fish.  I think you will find the help you are looking for here.  James (Salty Dog)>

Re: ailing butterfly thanks -- 6/31/05 have done so and didn't find anything similar to what I'm seeing.  My biggest concern is that he's gone from being a greedy eater to barely picking at the food.  any thoughts?  I was wondering if perhaps he could have a blockage? <I really can't answer the question on the blockage, I'd be guessing.  Being you've read the info and FAQ's on butterflies, you are aware that they are not the easiest fish to keep to start with.  Pristine water quality and a healthy diet are a must.  Live copepods would be a good start in triggering an eating response.  There are places on the web that do sell them.  James (Salty Dog)>

New longnose butterfly with spots

Hello, <Howdy> Some background: 55 gal saltwater reef tank approx 14 years old. Wet/dry filter, protein skimmer. Lots of live rock, Sailfin tang, Regal angel... <Pygoplites?> ...Squarespot Anthias, flame angel, blue devil damsel, cleaner shrimp, leather coral, fluorescent green carpet anemone, some plants. <All in a 55?> Regular water changes, addition of trace elements and calcium. Today we (my wife and I) purchased a longnose butterfly from a shop we have done business with for years. In the store the only thing noticeable was a small bump on one side that an aggressive damsel was picking at. Feeling sorry for the poor guy we bought him and he is now in our reef tank. Here's the catch. When we got him home we went thru an acclamation period of about 3 hours, floating the bag, mixing tank water with the bag water, lights out in the tank, etc.  When we finally did put him into the tank, and later turned on the lights, we noticed small (very, very small) white spots on his head, and fins. His body looks clean, and the spots don't appear to be raised. These were not at all evident in the store's lighting, but seem to be enhanced by the blue actinic lighting in our tank (my guess).  Not sure if this is early stage of ich or what, so here we are.  Please look at the attached photos and give us your opinion.   Thanks very much in advance. Look forward to your reply.  Michael & Gulnar - Bethel, CT <Mmm, looks like Cryptocaryon rather than "normal" stress coloration markings to me... I would (have) quarantined this and other new specimens if you had a larger system... as it is, with such a tiny tank, so much life already, I would NOT have added any more... possibly upsetting whatever magic dynamic you had... What will you do now? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm  Bob Fenner> 

Longnose butterfly My longnose butterfly has developed a dull red streak along its spine. <Not good> It is internal (not a surface scratch) as it is only visible when viewed from the side when the fish is swimming at the front of the tank i.e.. with light from behind.   I added a piece of artificial coral the day before, which I have since removed after noticing the redness on the butterfly. <Do you think the coral affected your water chemistry?>   I have fifteen other fish in my 200 gal, all look fine.  The butterfly is active and eating well.   <Ah, good> Could it be a toxic reaction from picking at the artificial coral? <Maybe, but doubtful... if the coral was made for aquarium use... and your other livestock show no symptoms> Are there any diseases that produce this symptom?  Please advise. Thanks, Peter <A few diseases are associated with this symptom, mainly infectious (septicemic, bacterial, internal). Boosting the animal's immune system by food supplementation, improving water quality are important steps here. Bob Fenner>

Longnose butterfly I feed it frozen Mysis, Nori seaweed and reef carnivore pellets.  Nitrate, pH, alkalinity are all fine.  It is still very active and eating well.  I was looking through Nick Dakin's book 'Complete Encyclopedia of the Saltwater Aquarium' and found a picture of a longnose on p. 196 which has a similar appearance.   Hope you have that book.  I will pay close attention to feeding and monitoring the water.  Thanks. Peter <Peter, I would also include "Mega Marine Angel" or some other type of vegetable for the fish.  Good Luck MikeB.>  

Sick Longnose BF?   03/07/06 Hi all!  I have another question for you fine folks. I just got my Longnose Butterfly and he has done great so far.  He eats very well, and he loves to swim around like he's strutting his stuff. <Is then> But i noticed today that he has a little red spots , at the base of his beak at both sides.  I attached a picture for you. <Unfortunately these didn't "come through"> I researched other pictures on the net and none of them had his little spots.  Is this something i should be worried about or is something that varies from fish to fish. <Some reddening does occur in Forcipigers... due to? Stress? From? In general this is not a sign to treat their system... unless it is affecting feeding behavior> His skin is clear right there and the red is underneath the skin.  Thanks for the help!! Nick
<I would not "panic" here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Longnose?   03/07/06 Sorry for the picture not going through.  I will try to attach it as a file this time. <No worries. And do see it here> Today it seem to be not as red as it was yesterday so maybe it was a "stress situation, upon arrival, into his new home.  He eats very well so i guess it is not a problem. <I hope not as well> I the picture can help. Or maybe it could help someone else since a popular fish.  Thank you very much for my newfound peace of mind. <Welcome. Do see the "blood mark"... appears to be well-defined... likely from a "bump" into something and likely will heal of its own accord. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Butterflyfishes for  Marine Aquariums
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