FAQs on Freshwater Viral Complaints, Lymphocystis
FW Disease Troubleshooting,
Choose Your Weapon: Freshwater Fish Disease Treatment Options by Neale Monks,
Environmental Disease 1,
Environmental Disease 2,
Environmental Disease 3,
Environmental Disease 4,
Cycling Trouble-Fixing, &
Establishing Nutrient Cycling,
African Cichlid Disease 1,
Lymphocystis and Potamotrygon (RMF?)<I totally concur w/ your
I recently found white cauliflower like white tufts on the side of one
of my CA cichlids. Upon much research I've 99% concluded its Lympho. Now
my whole 340g system is infected.
<Let's be clear about Lymphocystis -- although there is a pathogen
involved, it is almost certainly triggered by the environment rather
than being contagious. Some type of stress is usually involved. For
example, maintaining Scats in freshwater rather than brackish water, or
exposing bottom-dwelling fish to a substrate that isn't kept properly
clean. In the wild, heavy metals and industrial pollution are believed
to be the main reasons Lymphocystis becomes common in some lakes and
I was going to rearrange some fish, one of the being some Marble
stingrays into the 340 and cichlids to another system. My question do I
have to break the 340 down and clean it or will the virus disappear upon
removal of the
<There is no cure for Lymphocystis, and because it isn't contagious, it
isn't something that needs to be eliminated. Treatment is really all
about optimising living conditions (and probably diet, e.g., with a
vitamin supplement and/or fresh green foods) and waiting for the fish to
get better by itself. Lymphocystis tumours will take months, even years
to subside, though vets will sometimes surgically remove tumours from
big, expensive fish such as Koi. I think you'd be surprised how often
Koi receive high-end medical care comparable to cats and dogs! For more
mundane fish, time is the great healer when it comes to Lymphocystis. Do
remember that Lymphocystis is unsightly but usually not life-threatening
(unless the tumour obstructs something important like the mouth, gills
Can Potamotrygon even catch the virus.
<Exposed to the wrong conditions for a long time, sure, it's possible.
But the virus is probably latent in most aquaria, and not something we
normally worry about being "catchy". Killing viruses in aquaria is
virtually impossible anyway, though again, some treatments do exist for
the high value Koi which are subject to viral infections of various
What steps should I do to clean the system after removal of contagious
fish and setup?
<Think about what inorganic stress factors (such as heavy metals, like
copper) might be present in the system. Think about the cleanliness of
the aquarium generally -- the quality of the water, the frequency of
water changes, and the turnover rate of the filter. Low oxygen levels
can easily stress big fish like Stingrays and South American cichlids.
Diet is probably a factor too, especially when you're keeping cichlids
-- most are omnivores in the wild, but aquarists frequently neglect the
green content of their diet, and fresh greens are probably important
sources of vitamins that help support their immune systems.>
My fish has a lump type thing on his gill
My fish has a lump type thing on one of his gills it's just a little
lighter than he is and I'm worried so I read up on the lymphocytic thing
and it said it was a rough lump and the one on my fish is smooth and I
was watching it then this lump thing just pop up in really worried
<Without a photo hard to say anything specific. Your analysis is
reasonable, though cysts and tumours can develop on the gill covers, and
these might not be granular like the typical Lymphocystis. So as always,
review water quality, water chemistry, frequency of water changes, diet,
and the social behaviour of your fish. Most of these cyst-like problems
are gradual responses to environmental stress rather than bad luck, so
assume something is amiss, review, and act accordingly.
Here I'm sending you two photos to see
<Indeed... 20MB for just two images! Please do reduce
images before sending them. Midway through writing this a message popped
up telling me our email allowance was used up, so new messages will be
bounced back to the sender.
We do ask people to be sensible about sending images -- would you want
someone to send you 20MB of images on an email? In any event, it
might be Carp Pox, a rare disease of Goldfish and Koi. It's a
fish virus related to Herpes in humans. It has a wax-like appearance.
But it might also the coldwater version of Whitespot (or Ick, a.k.a
which results in similar looking cysts, and this is rather more common.
The Carp Pox can't be cured but gets better (across many months, even
years) if fish are provided with good conditions. On the other hand,
Coldwater Whitespot can be treated easily, the old heat/salt treatment
working extremely well.
I'd do the salt/heat thing first. Note that Coldwater Whitespot seems to
be related to water quality, being latent in most Goldfish and Koi
populations, but only becoming a problem when the environment isn't
Platy melanoma 8/9/13
Hi Crew :)
I had obtained a juvenile platy about a year ago. In the past few
months he developed dark pigmented areas that are now growing what
appear to be tumors. I believe he has melanoma; it appears similar to
images for platy melanoma I found on the web. Lately dead tissue
has started sloughing off of the tumors. Do you know if this
condition is purely genetic, or if there is any viral or infectious
<Could be either or both>
I'm wondering if the dead tissue gets into the environment, or gets
ingested by the other platies, if that could cause harm.
<If viral... could affect others>
He seems unaffected by this condition, so I was just going to let him
keep going until the tumors got too big, then euthanize him. But
maybe it would be best to separate him from the other fish.
Any insight would be appreciated!
<I would separate the one fish if you have another system up and going.
My Texas cichlid has a Lump 3/15/13
I have a juvenile Texas cichlid who has been with me for around 6 months
now ... Goes along with all the other fish.. Since yesterday I have
noticed a small lump on both his sides where the fin starts.. The lump
on one side is bigger than the other and looks like it's an open sore..
I am worried..could you pls let me know what this is..
I am attaching a pic for a clearer understanding..
<Mmm, well; likely this is a viral (or virally mediated) growth. At any
length, not generally deadly, and not treat-able. With your good care
(nutrition, water quality...) this growth may well disappear on its own
(ala warts in humans). Bob Fenner>
Re: My Texas cichlid has a Lump 3/18/13
Thank you !!!
<Ah, welcome. BobF>
African Cichlid Tumor? 10/8/12
Cichlid Tumor Treatment
Hi Crew! I’m hoping you guys can provide some advice or insight regarding a
sick African cichlid- “Bumblebee” (Pseudotropheus crabro) that I have had
for almost 4 years now. He is just over 5 inches in length.
Tank Info- 75-gallon freshwater tank; Marineland Emperor 400 HOB filter; 2
airstones powered by Whisper air pump; Tahitian moon gravel/sand which
replaced pebble gravel over a year ago. Aquasafe water conditioner used
during all water changes.
Tank mates- 1 acei cichlid (approx. 5.5 inches in length) ; 1 electric
yellow (3.5 inches in length); all 3 cichlids bought within 2 weeks of each
other and were at similar sizes at purchase; no other tank mates ever.
Bumblebee has generally been in the middle hierarchy of the tank as the acei
is the most dominant tank inhabitant and the electric yellow as the least
dominant with no major incidents- just the usual territorial/chasing
behaviors exhibited by all 3 over the years. There are also a number of
Anubias plants in this tank that have been in the tank for just over 2
years. The system has been quite stable with no major environmental concerns
outside of a submersible heater that went bad early in 2011 and water temps
dropped for a few days before I noticed.
Water quality is tested at least monthly with 15-25% water changes completed
every 2-3 weeks or more frequently on some occasions. I feed daily Hikari
Cichlid Gold medium floating pellets and Omega One Super Color small sinking
pellets simultaneously to help with aggression during feeding- no changes
over the last couple of years in terms of diet.
In July of 2012 I first noticed 1 then 2 small “pimples” developing on
Bumblebee’s nose between the eyes (see first image). No other concerns noted
at that time- no changes in activity; appetite still great, etc.. Water
quality was tested and was in range of the tank norms (pH 7.6; 0 Ammonia; 0
Nitrites; 5-10ppm Nitrates; 81.5 degrees F). I have always added a low
amount of aquarium salt during water changes (1 tbsp per 10 gallons or half
the recommended dose due to the plants in the tank) but I increased the salt
to the recommended 1 tbsp per 5 gallons at that time hoping that the pimples
were just the result of scratching against décor or an aggressive tank mate.
No changes observed whatsoever with tank mates to date.
Over the past month the 2 pimples have begun to grow quite rapidly with no
other changes noticed in activity except that the bumblebee has been the
least dominant tank mate since mid-August. Appetite has been great/no
changes in activity levels.
Last Monday (10/1) Bumblebee began flashing against the tank decorations
rubbing the large tumor-like growth and removing some of his skin showing
the inner pink ulcer/tumor. I immediately removed him to a 20 gallon
hospital tank with that change in his behavior. Water quality in the
75-gallon tank was fine upon testing (pH 8.0; Negative for ammonia and
nitrites; 5-10 ppm nitrates; 82.2 degrees F)
I have treated him for the past week with API’s T.C. Tetracycline powder- 2
packets per day due to 20 gallon quarantine tank with 25% water changes
every 2 days.. I used that treatment for 6 days with no results (see other 2
Bumblebee continues to flash against the corners of the tank and has
debrided some of the ulcer/tumor- there are no décor or substrate in the
hospital tank only a heater, airstone, and AquaClear 50 HOB filter.. I
removed the tetracycline and it’s brownish water discoloration by placing
activated carbon in the tank and have done significant water changes to the
Many of the FAQ’s on WWM that seem similar to my cichlids issues have
suggested the use of Nitrofuranace and Metronidazole. The products in my
area containing those ingredients that I could find this weekend are the API
products “General Cure” and “Super Ick Cure”. I added today to the clean
hospital tank the “General Cure” for a 20 gallon treatment since the active
ingredients are 250 mg Metronidazole and 75 mg Praziquantel per packet.
I am attaching a couple images to clarify what this looks like because this
seems to perhaps be a tumor issue as opposed to a bacterial, fungal, or
The ulcer/tumor is quite large now and looks like it might be spreading just
below his right eye and my other concern is that it might be growing inside
of Bumblebee’s mouth and I can see a slight pink growth near the top of the
mouth (but this is difficult as you can imagine to see definitively). There
do not appear to be any changes in his breathing at this time.
Appetite during and since the completed Tetracycline treatment has been very
minimal but that seems to be the norm with antibiotic use as I understand.
I appreciate your input and perhaps someone has had some experience in this
type of concern- if not I will continue to run the current course of
treatment and if unsuccessful I will enjoy the time remaining with Bumblebee
unless it causes him distress as I’m really concerned about what could be
growing inside of his mouth and how that might impact his quality of life.
Sorry for the length here but I wanted to describe everything I could to aid
in your input- to clarify my questions now are as follows..
1. Any thoughts as to the epidemiology of this growth?
< I have had this same situation before and was lucky enough to have a fish
vet friend of mine do a biopsy and take a look under a microscope. It turned
out to be cancerous tumor.>
2. Should I continue the “General Cure” treatment over the next 4-6 days?
< Probably not effective.>
3. Should I simultaneously use the “Super Ick” powder with the “General
Cure” to combine 3.6mg malachite green and 60 mg Nitrofurazone per packet
along with the Metronidazole?
< I would recommend that you surgically remove it. I have done this before
with mixed results. I would place the fish in a wet towel and hold him
still. Take a single edged razor blade and trim the tumor flush with the
contour of the head. be careful to only cut into the tumor and not into the
head tissue. Treat the wound in a hospital tank with a Nitrofuranace type of
antibiotic. It may grow back. Watch for secondary infections.-Chuck>
Thank you so much for your time in this regard!
Corydoras sterbai issue (Bob, any
It's the first time I write to you and I have read almost
every post in your website regarding "infections(?)" of
I have 3 sterbais for almost a year now in a 10gal aquarium.
<A trifle small for these, but not the cause of the
I also have plenty of Java Moss and 3 snails for the algae. Water
temperature is steady on 26.5C and I use a sponge/carbon filter
with embedded air supply. Water conditions are at very good
levels with no ammonia (0ppm), nitrate (.21ppm),
<<Is this Nitrite? If so, toxic>>
or PH (8) issues.
<<Really too high>>
I do water changes every 3 days at 20% per time.
However, over the last two months, one of my sterbais is
developing something like a tumor between his eyes,
<Yes, I see.>
although he hasn't lost his appetite (I feed them with
catfish wafers - Tetra Wafer Mix ) but he lacks of activeness. I
have tried an antibacterial medication with Acriflavine because I
strongly believe it's bacterial related infection, but no
<I don't. I actually think this is either viral or
environmental, and most likely the former, though environmental
stress, e.g., from a mineral toxin such as copper, may have allow
the infection to get started. My thinking here is that this is
something like Fishpox in Koi or Lymphocystis in Perciform
It seems to recede for a few days but it spreads again.
<Yes, very viral.>
I have attached a few pictures to see what it actually looks
like. Can you please give me any hints of what might be the
problem and possibly any solutions? I really want him to live for
a few more years'¦
<The thing with viral infections is that treatments, even for
human viral infections, are pretty minimal. Basically, this fish
can recover under its own steam given good conditions and a
balanced diet. But viral infections can take an extremely long
time to heal, months even, and they can come back years later.
You can probably assume all the fish have been exposed to this
virus by now, so removing it would be pointless. But do ensure
tip-top conditions in the tank, because ultimately, healthy fish
will resist infection without any further help from you.>
PS: Apologies for my English but I'm from Greece.
Thank you in advance,
<Hope this helps, Neale.><<I do concur w/ the guess
that the issue here is viral (and untreatable directly). I would
look into a larger system, more filtration, and rendering the
water a lower pH to improve and preserve the health of these
Re: More: re: Corydoras Sterbai issue (Bob, any ideas?
Not here, no) 12/8/11
Dear Neale and Bob,
Thank you for your prompt reply! I appreciate your advices but
mostly I appreciate your disinterested help.
I will consider purchasing a bigger tank (although my finances do
not allow it) but I will keep PH levels in lower levels.
<Ah, now, do not change the pH directly. Although Bob is
right, Corydoras do prefer soft, slightly acidic water, you
shouldn't have any problems at hardness levels of 20 degrees
dH, pH 8. If you can, mixing 50/50 with hard tap water and
deionised water (or rainwater) will produce excellent Corydoras
conditions, around 10 degrees dH, pH 7.5. Don't add "pH
down" products directly. If you do, you're likely to
create stressful, unstable conditions.>
Also, if I understood well, I will stop Acriflavine treatment, I
will improve their diet with a more varied food and I will get a
better filtration system (just to sum up your suggestions). I
hope they can make it since (as I see it now), they all have (or
will have) the viral issue and not just the one you saw.
Once again, I really appreciate your help! I wish I could
reciprocate (I'm a web designer if you're
<Be careful what you wish for!>
<Best wishes, Neale.>
Re: Corydoras Sterbai issue
Great tip about the rainwater! I think it's time to use those
5-6 basins I have and collect the rain..! Although I have
concerns of the polluted air that is dragged by the drops.
<Quite so. Don't collect rainwater if you live in a dusty,
dirty area like a city or somewhere close to a factory. But
otherwise, rainwater is generally fairly safe if filtered through
carbon and left to stand for a
day or two before use (to allow dissolved CO2 to evaporate off,
otherwise the pH will be very low). Cheers, Neale.>
Re: More: re: Corydoras Sterbai issue
Thank you for your advice!
Unfortunately, I live in Athens, and it's very polluted
<Sad but true, at least as far as dusty air
It seemed that I'd solve the PH issue with the rainwater but
I'm not going to risk it with all the exhaust emissions.
So, what I was thinking to do is make a road trip to a nearby
mountain and collect snow instead (it's the only way to avoid
any chemicals!) and then follow the procedure you suggested. I
hope this will solve my problem but I need to find another way of
lowering the PH cause weekly trips to mountains is not ideal
unless 2-3 times is enough to stabilize the PH to the desired
<And won't be cost effective either. For now, stick with
the tap water. You should be okay. But concentrate on ensuring
good environmental conditions. A bigger tank and/or a stronger
filter may be a much better use of your money. Corydoras
aren't too fussy about water chemistry, and London Tap Water
is probably just the same as Athenian Tap Water, yet Corydoras
can do extremely well here. Make sure ammonia and nitrite are
zero, and do regular water changes to freshen things up. Even tap
water will be improved by weekly or twice-weekly water
Once again, thank you very much for your support.
PS: My offer is still on! So, please don't hesitate.
<Best of luck, Neale.>
Viral Disease, FW, comm. 3/29/11
My store has a few tanks that appear to have been infected with a viral
disease. The infected tanks are losing fish slowly with specific
species being wiped succession.
Other species seem to be unaffected.
<Typical w/ viral complaints, and some Protozoans>
The first to go were lemon tetras, followed by a variety of Corydoras
but ignored the German rams and pearl gouramis. Most of the Ancistrus
in the tank were fine however a couple died. Then it spread to another
tank potentially via a net or hand where it killed all of the bronze
Corys, all of the Peckoltia L129 Plecos, and a couple emerald dwarf
Rasboras, it began to affect the Congo tetras but a single dose of
Kanaplex seemed to curb any further deaths.
<Antibiotics don't (directly) effect virus, viroids>
Now its found its way into a third system where its quickly wiping out
my silver hatchets, C. sterbai, and Barbus fasciatus. Kanaplex has had
little effect. The fish are characterized by some white sores, red
bellies, red eyes and sometimes no signs at all.
I'm wondering a couple things. How long should I quarantine these
systems (when can I sell fish out of them again)?
<Weeks at least>
How can I control the spread?
<Total isolation... any gear, anything wet can't go elsewhere if
it's been in these systems... Unless they're bleached, left to
dry for days after>
Our net soak usually just has copper, perhaps you could suggest
<Formaldehyde/formalin... there are other net dips. Use the search
tool on WWM re>
Maybe we need a separate net for pulling dead fish out of these
When performing maintenance is there anything we need to do afterwards
to our hands and arms?
<Wash them w/ soap and water, rinse, dry>
Will the virus or bacteria die off when it dries on an arm?
Thanks for the advice,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Viral Disease 3/29/11
Thanks for the reply.
What will eventually kill off the virus?
<Mmm... time, radiation, lack of suitable hosts for reproduction.
Viruses "eventually win", are the basis for most modern
theories of what "cancers are" for instance...>
What would be a reasonable amount of time (be specific) to wait after
deaths have stopped before restocking?
<Again, weeks. I would invest in a copy of the 2d ed. of Ed
Noga's "Fish Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment", and a
decent 'scope (to a k or two power if poss.), some simple staining
gear... and educate yourself a bit more...
as I have, for the sake of your aquatic charges and business. Bob
Re: Viral Disease 3/29/11
Sounds like I need to take things to the next level. I've ordered
the book and will look into the medical equipment. Thanks for the
<Matt; let's talk/converse further... What State are you/your
shop in? Do you have the resources (time off et al.) to make it out to
the Fish Health Conference: http://neaquatech.org/uneconference/uneconf.pdf
this August, in Maine? I'll be presenting there again, as will Ed
(Noga)... a good deal of solid introduction to "disease",
Re: Viral Disease, FW 3/29/11
My two stores are in the Portland Oregon greater area.
<Ahh! A very nice town, and marine hobby group there... Even an old
friend who moved his wholesale biz w/ his uncle...>
I would love to make it out to the conference and may be able to
depending on how the next few months treat us.
<Please do "shoot for this". I assure you, a worthwhile
As a freshwater only store things are so easy that I think we get a
little complacent when it comes to knowledge and husbandry. We have a
local supplier who has always been exceptional at helping us when we do
have issues. One of the main challenges I face when doing research on
disease is the wide array of treatment regimes that are recommended on
the great information superhighway not to mention influence from sales
reps, customers, etc. In general I'd like to use products and
practices that are marketable within our stores though I'm
realizing at times that may not be the most prudent or ethical course
<I concur completely w/ the direction stated. AND the course of
treatments I advise, practice are entirely "store-hobbyist
Obviously I don't expect every 20 gallon community tank owner to
own a microscope for diagnosing disease in their fish, yet I also see
the value in executing that practice in our stores to reduce the need
for our customers to require one. I've been wanting to invest in
one for years anyway as its benefits would be widespread throughout my
full line stores.
<It is up to the trade, win or fail, to provide/allow only
"gateway" healthy stocks>
There are other economic considerations that are often at odds with
what I'd like to do and what is economically feasible and over the
years I've learned to navigate a compromise between best practices
and growing the business to a point where those best practices are
A couple years ago we discontinued our saltwater department due to
those very reasons (lack of space for quarantine, lack of volume
required to hire appropriately knowledgeable staff, etc.)
90% of our freshwater problems seem to have been solved through better
sourcing, selection (avoiding certain species altogether i.e. Colisa
lalia), and frequent (daily) small water changes in our systems.
I am young (30 as of a couple days ago, maybe not considered young
anymore), with 7 years experience as a pet store owner. I want to be a
positive force in the hobby not someone who drifts through the role and
becomes old, jaded, and unwilling to change or grow as I've seen
<Do guard against this trend. As a much older person, veteran of the
trade and life, I assure you that one only wants to "do"
anything of any real time-cost that is "fun"... that you
truly feel/sense your reflection in>
It takes significant time and life commitment to obtain the breadth of
knowledge you have in such a wide variety of knowledge bases.
<Ah yes... this "part" of life is also a journey... a
long, bumpy one at times, with too many diversions/detours to suit
The business aspects alone I know will take a lifetime to master let
alone the animal sciences involved. At some point I hope to find a
business model that allows economic growth while also growing popular
pet keeping culture to a level that is...lets just say more
Thanks for discussing,
<Thank you, BobF>
Convict with bumps 03/11/09
I have a Black Convict Cichlid. He is in a 30 gallon tank with a
female that just had eggs hatch. He has these little
reddish/white bumps at the base of his pectoral fins.
<I see this in your excellent photo>
It looks a little like the eggs that the female lays.
<Mmm, appears to be viral>
They have been there for at least a week. It looks like it may be
getting worse. I have also noticed he has two symmetrical bumps
on the front underside, almost in line with his pectoral fins. I
have always done frequent water changes. I have API Pro Series
Fungus Cure. I just don't know if this is exactly what I need
to use in my tank.
<Mmm, nothing... Akin to "warts" on ones hands, this
condition is not really "treat-able", nor
I think I may need the Fluke Tabs.
<No... toxic and not useful here>
I really don't have any idea. And it bothers me to know this
is on my fishy fish. He eats fine and does not seem to be in any
pain. But it just does not look healthy. I also have fry that
hatched 2 days ago. So I was wondering if I can treat with Fungus
Cure or Fluke Tabs ?
<I would not>
Its not a big concern if I lose the fry. But It would be nice to
keep them. But I don't want to lose my adult male.
I would like to know what you think it may be and how best to
treat my tank. I have included a picture (the best I could get)
of my fish. I have photoshopped 3 white arrows to the areas of
concern. Any help would be appreciated. I also would like to say
I have looked everywhere on the web.
I have read through many fish forums until I get a headache.
Once I think I have began reading the right symptoms, something
differs and makes me think this is not the right diagnosis. I
appreciate all of your time and your knowledge.
<Do take a look/see on the net with the string:
"Freshwater Lymphocystis"... I would emphasize good
water quality (regular water changes) and nutrition, and not be
bothered by these growths. Bob Fenner>
Deadly Diseases: Lymphocystis, Glugea, and Henneguya.
02/09/09 Hello All! Just writing this bc I had an important
question and maybe something you don't deal with often ... Before I
start I have a 60 Gallon FW tank that has been running for about a
year. My ammonia/nitrites are always 0 and my nitrates always 40ppm or
less ... Anyways, about 1 month ago or so (maybe a little longer) I
noticed one of my blue rams which I've had almost a year had white
pimple looking bumps on the top of his head ... After researching I
came to the conclusion that he had Lymphocystis so I left him in the
tank. It would spread around his face, reappearing on a different spot
on his head as another healed but never got any worse than when I first
noticed it (he is still alive btw). Now, my question is this ... What
is the chance that this isn't Lymphocystis and is Glugea or
Henneguya? (I never took him out of the tank bc everything I've
read said these diseases are even more rare than Lympho.) The reason
why I ask is bc over the past 3 - 4 days I have lost 4 or 5 fish for
unknown reasons ... And they all exhibit the same signs: Loss of color.
They were all eating and active except for the color and it got to the
point where I could look in the tank in the morning and know which fish
were going to be dead by the time I got home from work based on the
color. Glugea and Henneguya is the only reason I could think of bc I
have not done anything different to my tank in a long time and I
religiously keep my tank clean and maintained. So what is your opinion
bc I truly believe that my whole tank will be dead in a month or less
at this rate. (Which means I convert my tank into a dart frog tank and
forget fish forever lol). Thanks for the insight. -Nick- <Nick, I
think these are unrelated issues. Lympho is by far the most common
viral disease among cichlids; or at least, the most common one
aquarists can recognise. It isn't fatal, and as you've noticed,
it comes and goes. It's a nuisance, but doesn't seem to harm
the fish any, and eventually goes away. If you're losing a bunch of
fish -- of different types -- in a short span of time, it's most
probable there's an issue with water quality or chemistry. Also
consider reviewing diet, temperature, and even the age of the fish. So:
What are the fish? What is the water chemistry? Cheers, Neale.>
Betta sick - can't find information about the
illness 3/12/08 Hello, I have attached a photo of our
fish. Could you kindly tell me what it is and how to treat it?
The fish is in a 2.5 gallon tank with a filter and a 13W aqua lux
light. The tank has gravel and plastic plants too. We have had
the fish for 8 months and do a complete water change and aquarium
cleaning (hot water only) once a month. We noticed the growth (?)
few days ago. Also, we add a dechlorinator to the water but no
other treatment. Our fish behaves and eats normally. Regarding
the temperature, I had placed a 5 gallon water heater in the tank
but after a few weeks, I had a hard time keeping it at a set
temperature, it kept getting warmer than 80 degrees. I have tried
several heaters, thinking that the previous one was
malfunctioning. I have read the instructions many times and all
of the heaters work well in the beginning but then don't
control the temperature very well. Maybe it's the size of the
tank or the fact that, because it is such a small tank, heater
placement is limited and so it is affected by the nano filter
pouring water into the tank. He still has his blue color and is
still begging for food every time he sees someone in front of the
tank (as usual). We feed the Betta 3 times a day - around 8:30
am, 4:00 pm, and 11:00 pm. We give 3 pellets of Hikari Betta
Bio-Gold. I change the water every month (I was told by the
aquarium person that this would be fine since he is in a 2.5
gallon tank and has a filter. I did see him brushing against the
plastic plant but I do not see him doing it often. The nano
filter stream is fast and heavy, he is used to this. It does not
create air bubbles in the water unless the water level is low. At
this time we add some more water (maybe every 2 weeks). We have
not given him any live food, just the pellets. Regarding his
growth, it is difficult for me figure out if it is hard or soft,
but it is solid, not semi-transparent or transparent. It looks
like a cauliflower or an frog egg mass (I know it is not eggs).
The growth does not appear to have changed in size since my
daughter first noticed it last week. We had placed some aquarium
snails in the tank from our outdoor 50 gallon bird bath in late
fall before it got too cold for the snails. After a few days, we
moved the snails to another tank but during that short time, the
snails laid eggs that survived several tank cleanings, and
hatched. So we had about 12 baby snails in the tank and I moved
them to the snail tank last week. I did not pull them earlier
since they were too small to move. Could this be a snail disease?
Also, another aquarium person suggested trying the medication
Life Guard. Would this help? I did not try it yet since we
don't know the disease. Thank you. <Greetings. The growth
is from a viral infection known as Lymphocystis. There's more
about this diseases on WWM, as well as in any aquarium health
book. There's no treatment. It isn't life-threatening and
often goes away with time. Causes are unclear, but poor water
quality and heavy metal poisoning are two likely triggers. As for
the heater, the problem is likely you are using too large a
wattage for too small a tank. In my experience, heating tanks
less than 10 gallons in size using standard issue
heater-thermostats isn't very reliable. Your heating and
healthcare problems would be a lot easier with a bigger tank.
Re: Betta sick - can't find information
about the illness -- 03/13/08 Hello, Thank you very much for
your reply. I will transfer our Betta into a ten gallon tank. I
had read about Lymphocystis and looked at several photos but I
did not find any photos that looked like what is on my Betta. So
I did not think that our fish had Lymphocystis. I will read
through the WWM information you suggest. Sincerely, Nimish
<Glad to help. If you want to check my diagnosis, Lymphocystis
looks like this: a cauliflower-like texture, attached to the body
rather than a lump under the skin, in colour ranging from off
white through to cafe-au-lait brown. There's no real cure,
but it often goes away, admittedly after many months. Cheers,
Betta question / can fish get cancer?
10/7/06 <<Good morning. Tom with you.>> Can
fish get cancer? <<Short answer? Yes.>> I've had my
betta since May 2002. <<A long time in Betta-terms...>>
He's had a normal appetite and behaviors, but overnight, between
his front side fin.. in front of the fin and face (the part they can
flare out) there's a huge lump on the one side.
<<I would venture that this is not cancerous in nature but more
likely the result of an infection/abscess. Consider that cancer, in
overly simple terms, is an irregular/abnormal growth of cells. The
host's body develops (ironically) additional blood vessels to feed,
and remove waste, from these new cells. (When the "waste"
removed from the growth contains cells capable of duplicating similar
growths elsewhere in the body, the cancer is categorized as malignant.
If not, it's considered benign.) The point here is that such a
development is unlikely to occur "overnight" while a
pathogenic infection very well might produce the lump you've
observed.>> He's swimming upright, and eating, but appetite
not as good as yesterday/normal. He's swimming less (but if I
didn't feel good, I probably wouldn't either) he moves okay and
his color is still vibrant. With a sudden huge lump this got me
wondering if a fish can get cancer, or if he has another disorder in
light of his age. <<I would recommend treatment with a product
such as Maracyn-Two, which is effective against internal infections.
Treatment is best-performed in a hospital tank but I would guess that
your Betta is kept alone so this isn't as critical as it would be
in a community environment. Follow the directions very closely and pay
attention to any collateral effects such as cloudy water that might
accompany its use. Might answer some questions for you in
advance.>> Thanks <<You're welcome and good luck with
your pet. Tom>>
Re: Lymphocystis on Angelfish? and other Questions
WOW--I'm so amazed you all got back to me already. <We try.
:o)> Thank you very much for your detailed help. We do
have a tube, one clear and one red, and the ghost knife hasn't been
in either one since the water change. <Interesting. Maybe he'll
settle down and start using them again soon.> We'll look into
getting a QT. I have a feeling we'll be needing it for
various reasons in the next few years... <Most definitely. I found
out early on that a QT tank is a must. Now I just need to convince
myself to quit turning the QT tank into a display tank so I then have
to buy another QT tank!> And the growth on the angelfish is now deep
red--it had been pinkish white, definitely cauliflower-looking for
about a month, and now it's red. Like it's filled
with blood :(. I'll try figuring out which
Maracyn. Besides the color, why do you not think it was
Lymphocystis? It was, as I said, kind of pinkish-white, not
straight white. But now it's red...WHY is it turning
red? <OK, it may very well be Lymphocystis. The color was the main
reason I thought it wasn't. Your first post didn't mention the
cauliflower appearance either. My mistake, sorry about that! One of the
Maracyns should still work for you. If one of them doesn't list
your problem, try checking out the other products by Mardel,
they're great products.> And what an amazing story about the
shift of the aquarium across the room. I wonder whether there was
different light coming into it and that affected them... <Who knows.
Strange things'¦> Oh, and one more question: if this goes
on the website, could you please remove my last name and
location? (as well as the stores, I guess) Thanks
very much. <It's already been posted but I'll contact the
person that does the posting and see if they can go back and edit
it.> best, and I've already sent the link to your site to my
local home schooling list and several people have written in
appreciation--you're helping more and more people every day :)
Carolyn <Thank you for spreading the word! Ronni>