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FAQs about Lionfish Health/Disease/Injuries 2

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

Related FAQs: Lionfish Disease 1, Lion Disease 3, Lion Disease 4, Lion Disease 5, Lion Disease 6, Lion Disease 7, Lion Disease 8, Lion Disease 9, Lion Disease 10,
FAQs on: Lionfish Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Infectious, Parasitic, Social, Trauma, Treatments,
& Lionfishes & their Relatives, Lions 2, Lions 3Lions 4Dwarf Lionfishes, Lionfish Behavior, Lionfish Selection, Lionfish Compatibility, Lionfish Feeding

A healthy Dendrochirus brachypterus in the Red Sea.

Scorpionfishes: Lionfishes & Much More for Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Injured Lionfish <Hi Brett, MacL here trying to help.> I have an adult elegant Volitans lionfish in my 75 gallon reef tank. He is about 7 inches long. Up until this point, I have been feeding him krill, frozen. Last time when I ran out, the store only had Freeze dried. He was eating these just fine, but one day I witnessed him hit his nose on the glass panel above the tank when he was jumping to get a floating krill. His nose turned a little red under the skin and he stopped eating. Then, he extended his mouth and it appeared that his upper jaw had dislocated. Just the lip portion, It appeared to have separated so you can see the bone. Since the incident, I have not noticed him eating ANYTHING. He tries, desperately, but He will not open his mouth wide enough. He used to eat off of the ground occasionally, but I have not witnessed this, either. He seems to be afraid of the krill now. ( I have not tried to feed him Freeze dried that float on the top since the incident.)<Sounds like he has dislocated or broken his jaw. Only time will heal that.>   After all of the background to my situation, my question is this... HOW CAN I HELP HIM TO EAT? I noticed a similar question on the forum, with much less background, so I am hoping you can give me a definitive answer. <You might try something much smaller like Mysis or brine that he doesn't' have to open his jaw very wide to eat.> I had not noticed any major signs of starvation yet, so I had been waiting it out to see if he could heal on his own, like most people have said to do. However, it has been 3 weeks, and I feel like today he might look like he is getting a little skinny. <Try live brine while I'm thinking of this. Might stimulate him to go after it.>   One shop recommended that I try and feed him live food to get him into eating again, so I did. I tried Rosies, but he couldn't get to them. he would slightly try to bite at them, but the his jaw will get distended and he stops. It takes about 10 minutes go back to normal, yet when I tried again to feed him today, it seems like it goes normal after a few seconds. He seems to be improving, but I don't know how he can get really better without food. Should I try some small shrimp or fish that can survive in the saltwater? Does anyone have any suggestions?? I am desperate here, I don't know how much longer he can go without eating. If pictures are needed, I can take them and e-mail them immediately. <I wish I had better news for you.  I've been trying to research this but honesty there's not much you can do to help him heal. Some people recommend vitamin C. Personally I wouldn't give up hope. Lions are marvelous creatures. Try the smaller foods and hopefully he will be able to eat at least a little bit of it.>   Thank you. Brett Chisholm <Good luck Brett.>

Sick lionfish Dear MacL, <Hi James> Thanks for your reply.  <I hope I didn't discourage you.> He had this growth when I bought him and it was already big. <It is possible that it could be some type of benign cyst.  I looked closely at your pictures which I must thank you for they were a great help. It doesn't look to me like he's blocked.> I think it has grown as his body size has grown -he has grown around 2 inches in 6 months I think.  <Very nice growth.> Apart from a 2 week starvation period he has always eaten very well.  <I must say they are one of my favorite fish James. So very much personality.> He is very very active at the moment, which amazes me. <Might be a very good sign.> 7 weeks with no food and he swims around all the time displaying and generally showing off. <Unfortunately sometimes when fish are not well they try very hard to hide it. Not saying that's what's happening but it is a possibility.>  He is obviously thinner but I would not say he is thin. <Its always possible that he might be getting other food than when you are specifically feeding him.> I will contact Cape Town Aquarium and see if they know anything.  I hope he makes it as I've got an 1100 litre tank being built. <Oh I hope so too James, he sounds absolutely wonderful.  Do you mind to keep me posted on his progress?  I hope for both of your sakes it turns out to not be a problem.  Good luck, Mac> Kind Regards, James

- Sick Lionfish - I have a 55 gallon saltwater tank with only a lionfish and some live rock. He is about a year old. I feed him freeze dried shrimp. Lately he has been acting funny and I cannot get him to eat. He has not eaten in about two weeks and is bloated and dark in color. Now he will come to the food but swim away. Finally I realized that he cannot open his mouth. He comes to the food, wanting to eat it. He tries, but can't then he shakes his head, opens it really wide, and does this really strange thing. When a checked him this morning I thought his mouth was open and filled with white stuff, but it looks like his "upper lip" split from the rest of him and there seems to be nasals. When he breathes white stuff comes out of his gills like a thin balloon or something. I have tested the water for everything. pH is 8.5, nitrite 0, and nitrates are low. What should I do? <Hmm... really hard to say for certain, and without a good idea of what is happening here, I can't really recommend a course of treatment. You could try adding some Epsom salts at about one teaspoon per five gallons, although this is hardly a guaranteed cure, but may help ease the bloating. It doesn't sound as though your fish is in good shape... I would perhaps wait just another week or so and consider easing this poor animal's passing. Cheers, J -- > 

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

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

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

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

Lionfish Out Of Sorts... Hi guys, <Hi there! Scott F. here today> I am having some problems with my P. volitans. I have a 200 gallon tank, pH 8-3, ORP 320, all other measurements are O.K: The other inhabitants are a small-medium Clown Trigger, a Harlequin Tusk, a small Snowflake, a Maroon Clownfish and a juvenile Emperor Angelfish.  <Colorful, but tough crowd!> I've had all fish for more than a year and everyone is doing great, except for the Volitans, which from about two weeks ago began showing less and less interest in food. He seems to be breathing somewhat shallowly, but other than that no visible signs of infection or parasites. I feed him diced sword fish, shrimp, and squid. This week he hasn't eaten at all, he sort of goes for the morsel, but then tries to get it and misses. The fish does not seem to be blind as he reacts when I get close to the tank. The inhabitants do not bother him as he is much larger than the rest. Nevertheless the snowflake has been getting quite bold during feeding, and in occasion has mistakenly nibbled on some of the fish including the Volitans. <That's not too nice!> Do you have any idea of what might be happening? The fish is about six inches long. I appreciate your valuable help. Harold Chamberlain  <Well, Harold, if your water quality checks out, and there have been no recent, sudden environmental lapses or changes, then we can rule out that as a possible cause. Do run a full "suite" of tests, just to make sure that everything is up to par. Your fish's' diet sounds pretty good, so nutritional "blindness" or other possible dietary problems seem unlikely. In the absence of other disease symptoms, such as scratching, obvious spots or other signs, it may be related to an occasional "sloughing" behavior that these fishes go through. These fishes tend to slough off skin on occasion, displaying some disease-like "symptoms", such as "coughing", unusual respiration, shaking, and others. This is a rather normal thing for them, and is thought to aid the fish in ridding itself of parasites and other skin maladies. it can be a bit unnerving for the hobbyist, of course! These behaviors should not last much longer than a week or so, however. If the fish continues to exhibit signs of lethargy or illness, be sure to take appropriate actions (i.e.; removal to a separate tank for treatment, etc.). However, if the fish does not appear to be declining, then I'd just stay focused on providing high water quality, a varied diet, and careful observation. Sometimes doing nothing at all is better than a rush to "treat" something that may not be a problem! good luck! Regards, Scott F> 

Lionfish with broken venomous spines  Hi!!!  <Hello there>  Just a quick question - I searched your site and could not find the answer for this one... I have my eye on a black Volitans lionfish at a LFS but one of his venomous spines (the top one) is broken and is about a half inch shorter than the rest. My question is will it grow back?  Thanks a bunch....Lana.  <Sometimes these spines do grow back... and sometimes they don't... In either case it doesn't seem to mal-affect the Lionfish. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish deaths resultant from goldfish feeding  Bob,  <Adam>  Two quick things. Some people in my club were talking today about the dangers of feeding goldfish to lionfish because it blocks the digestive tract. Well, I searched WWM and found lots of info on the goldfish issue, but not the info I've heard you say before about what percent of lionfish die from this and the dangers to the lion. Can you give me a good link to that? Thanks  <Don't have solid data, but I would "guess" a good percentage, perhaps 30-40 die directly or not so (fatty degeneration internally) from this practice... next in preponderance as a source of mortality, and important is "poor water quality" from this practice and being in too small volume, poor maintenance...>  Also, we would still love to have you here in SLC this year. If a fall trip would work for you, that would be great. I plan to stay in touch during these summer months, and I'll see you at IMAC.  <Will see you there, and we'll chat. Am pretty much done for 04... there are many good friends/associates here who might be willing to come out and give pitches. Would you be interested in having another of the WWM Crew make a presentation? Bob Fenner>  Thanks, Adam

Lionfish In Trouble  Hi everyone,  <Hi! Scott F. at the keyboard tonight!>  I have just bought a lionfish 2 days ago and put him in my 200 gallon tank.  <Yikes! No quarantine? Please do read about this simple procedure and utilize it in the future!>  I also have had a small Snowflake Eel, 10 pounds of live rock, and have ordered a Blue-Spotted Stingray and a Banded Catshark.  <Yikes!!!! RED ALERT!!! PLEASE, PLEASE cancel this order, unless you are 100% certain that your "Blue Spotted Stingray" is Dasyatis kuhlii, which is an infinitely better choice for aquaria. The typical "Blue Spotted Stingray" found in the hobby is usually Taeniura lymna, which is one of the worst species you can have! In fact, even Dasyatis, hardy though it may be, is not recommended for a tank under several hundred gallons. This tank is simply too small to support this fish-not to mention, the tankmates that you are considering. I'd be similarly wary of the Banded Catshark. Really belongs in a very large, dedicated system. Sorry to "attack", but I really want you to think about the high potential for failure with both of these species. Only by "just saying no" to these types of marginally adaptable species can we, as hobbyists, prevent the needless importation and death of such animals...>  My problem is that my lionfish hasn't eaten since the day I got him (and that was at the pet shop). Also his side fins seem to shake and he has barely moved from one spot. Any suggestions would be wonderful. Thanks.  <Well, the behavior that the Lion is showing can be indicative of a number of things, ranging from shock to the possibility of a parasitic disease. You did not mention water conditions, so I'll assume that all environmental parameters are acceptable. Many Lionfish do go through a periodic "shedding" of body slime, and appear to "cough" and "shudder" during the process, only to return to normal behaviors after the process is complete. Before you rush to treat the fish, I'd observe him a couple more days to see if other possible disease symptoms manifest. If it looks like the fish is declining, or displaying other symptoms, such as rapid respiration, white spots, etc., do consider the possibility that you may be looking at a parasitic illness. Read up on the WWM disease FAQs for more on the diagnosis and treatment of such maladies. Observe carefully, and take decisive action when you make a positive ID as to what you are dealing with. Treatment of any disease, by the way, should be performed in a separate tank. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Lionfish Out Of Sorts? Thank you so much for you response. <You're quite welcome!> I do think that this (possible sloughing of skin- a regular occurrence) is what might be happening to my fish. Today he was already breathing slower and more deeply, which I guess is a sign of him getting better. Harold <Glad to hear that, Harold! Keep observing him carefully! Good luck! Regards, Scott F> 

Volitans lionfish Greetings, and thanks for the informative site.  The reason I'm writing is that my volitans lion (approx. 7-8 inch body) has recently began refusing to eat for about the last five days.  This would not be so strange in itself, however he also is exhibiting signs of fin "twitching/jerking" with his "walking" fins.  The others are moving normally.  He moves around as normal and is still territorial towards the other fish.  Background information:  I have a 125gal with about 30lbs of live rock (established for about 10 months).  I have a Fluval 404 pump, maxi-jet 230g/h powerhead for water flow and a CPR backpack skimmer (no U.V).  My water tests are 0 nitrites/ammonia, just about 40ppm nitrates, alkalinity is normal and ph is slightly low (about 8.1 - but has always been for the duration that I have had the lion - about 5 months), oh and temp is about a constant 79F.  In the time that I've had him, he's increased in size by about two inches.  His diet consists of frozen sand eels, frozen brine shrimp (both soaked with Selcon), Ocean Nutrition's "brine shrimp plus" and "formula one" (the last two are for the other fish, but he'll get jealous when they're eating and swallow the pieces that I cut up [just for this reason, otherwise he'd swallow the cubes whole and the other's would receive squat]).  He is normally fed about every other to every third day.  The other tank inhabitants are as follows: Yellow Tang - approx. 4 inches Niger Trigger - 5 inches Rectangulatus Trigger - 4.5 inches Picasso Trigger - 4 inches All other fish seem to be doing well, no twitching, spots, voracious appetites (as usual). I see no outward signs of illness with him (no white spots, bulges, clouded eyes), just the mentioned fin jerking.  There's been no stress inducing events that have occurred during the time that I've had him, and don't know what the problem may be... it's mainly the fin action that's worrying me.  Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  I've also sent some photographs for visual inspection.  Thank you. <Mmm, this is a bit of a guess... and Lionfishes do "twitch" quite a bit in the wild... but the reasons they do this (and "yawning" behavior) are keyed to stressful situations (like a photographer bugging them)... I suspect your Lion is "bugged" by the many triggers in this tank... If you have another system to move it to I would. Otherwise your system sounds fine, good feeding, care, water quality. Bob Fenner>

Volitans cloudy eye hi again crew,        hope all is well with you all, things not so good here though, I recently added a dogface puffer and a volitans (about a week ago) to a 100g tank (60"L x 24"H x 18"W) , which contains a small panther grouper 5" and a Tassled filefish of about 5", nothing else other than live rock, (I removed vulnerable fish into a reef aquarium of about 80 gallons and a 40 gallon FOWLR tank, which was a quarantine tank, hence no qt)<Not good...also these fish will quickly outgrow the 100 gallon aquarium in which they are currently housed in> the filtration consists of an undergravel filter with powerhead, and an external "INTERPET PRIME 40" don't know if u have heard of them as it is a UK company but it is good for 200 gallons consisting of from top down: wool type substance, charcoal, more wool type substance, plastic meshing about 2" thick and finally another mesh 1 1/2" thick) the ph is 8.2 - 8.4, SG 1.022, nitrite 0 and nitrates were less than 10mg/l (more to follow lol) The volitans is about 6" or so in length and the dogface again is quite large at 7" or so, now all the occupants seem happy enough and the volitans was eating cockle, the puffer is eating cockle and anything he can sink his teeth into, such as brine shrimp, krill etc which I put in daily in small doses, mixed with a marine mix, I was then shocked to find out after only 4 days of these fish being in the system that my nitrates had gone through the roof! over 175mg/l so I did a 50% water change to bring them down, (drastic measures) and have cut down the feed, this then produced a worm like insect type thing covering the glass in the tank,<maybe a bristle worm...and the reason your nitrates rose so quickly is because you feed your fish way too much and they are too large for your system> thousands of them, about 3mm in length and white, from what I could see they weren't segmented, this I gathered as they are quite fast moving at the head end, to top it off my volitans eyes have clouded over and the puffer is also rubbing his eyes occasionally, (this was occurring before the water change and appearance of worm) and the volitans doesn't appear to want food although he is swimming around more, I have tried him with lancefish and cockle to no avail.<You need to bring the nitrates down to under 40ppm ASAP. even if it means doing a 50% water change daily> I have now taken to turning off the white lighting and leaving the blue actinic lighting on for about 10 hrs and white for about 4, as I read that too much bright light can cause this cloudiness, but would this affect the puffer too? there doesn't appear to be anything in the eyes of the puffer and the volitans looks healthy apart from the cloudiness, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, should I worry about the wormy things? is it normal for the volitans not to eat?<yes it is when the nitrates are as high as they are> would the lighting affect the other fish? many thanks in advance for your help,<Honestly I doubt the lighting has any affect on the fish...the water quality is the factor that is affecting the fish, IanB> Jim m P.S. the answer to a previous question I asked about missing fish was indeed a crab eating my blenny and 2 mandarin, found the skins and later the crab, must have come in on live rock eh?<yuppers>

Lion In Trouble? Hey guys, I'll try to make this quick because I'm sure you've got about a thousand emails waiting for you. <That's what we're here for! Scott F. on call today!> I have had about a 3" Dendrochirus Zebra for about 2 months now, and he arrived to me with part of his "gill cover" missing so that some of his red, fleshy gill are is exposed. I thought this was just because of transportation, but now another problem has raised on that same gill on the same side. It seems that a small, very thin, transparent "skin sheet" has found itself underneath the gill area. It looks like it should be inside his mouth or by his gills, except somehow it got stuck outside. It almost looks like part of an onion peel. He is still eating and swimming happily and healthy. The other side of him looks fine. What could it be? I would have sent a pic but my camera broke last week.  Thanks a bunch again, it's much appreciated! Francisco <Well, Francisco, hard to say what this tissue(?) is without actually seeing it. However, if the animals is otherwise healthy and happy- and eating, it may be that you simply need to maintain excellent water conditions, keep him fed, and be prepared to act should the animal appear to be in distress...Keep a close eye on him, and be prepared to act if the need arises. Otherwise, just give him a little TLC, and he should pull through just fine! Regards, Scott F.>

Injured Lionfish? 2/6/04 Hey guys, how are all of you tonight? <well, with hope for you the same> Just a quick question about a dwarf lionfish (Dendrochirus zebra) that was recently added to my tank that already hosts a serpent star, yellowtail damsel, and emerald Mithrax crab. I noticed about 3 days after his addition that on his right side a small piece of his gill coverer, for lack of better terminology, is missing. I can see his gill, it looks healthy red? It also seems like there is a small transparent covering over the flesh, maybe this is recuperation? I just wanted to see what you guys thought, I'm thinking it maybe happened during transportation. Thanks again for being such a great resource! Francisco <agreed... sounds like shipping/handling trauma... although gill tissue is not regenerative. IF the lion appears to respire slowly and normally, and eats well... simply observe in time. Else, do try to send a clear close up photo for more. Kindly, Anthony>

- Banged-up Lionfish -  Dear WWM,  I have wrote a few times within the last week about my fish having Ich. I got the hospital tank set up and moved them over last night. The trigger and the eel made it alright, but the lionfish got caught in the net I was moving him in. I finally got him untangled, but by that time he had torn some of the flesh off of his spikes. One of his fins got torn a little too. He looked really stressed out, but he seems to be doing alright now. He once had a bacteria infection from an injury, so I thought that this might happen again. Should I just go ahead and start treating with copper now, or should I wait to see if anything develops. <I'd wait, although my sense is that you moved these fish into quarantine for a reason... for instance, you've already seen something that needs treatment.> I have read that copper lowers their immune system, so I didn't know if starting copper would be twice as bad for him. <Copper would be bad for the eel.> Is there anyway of moving lionfish without the use of a net or is there a special kind of net that might work better. <A large plastic box... had to bag one the other day - herded the fish into the box, and then poured that into a bucket.> This whole move was stressful for me and the lionfish. I would hate to have to go though this all over again in about 2 months. Thanks,  Nick  <Cheers, J -- >

Lion With A Problem? I've got a sick Volitans lionfish and as far as I can tell I'm doing most things right. My Lionfish recently appears to have ick and I'm treating it. I've fed him frozen silversides and freeze dried krill, and recently I fed him a few minnows when he wouldn't take the silversides or the krill. (I Know that is a bad move! Sorry!) <It's okay> I've removed all carbon from the filter media, and I've left the lights off during the treatment. He sits on the bottom and breathes heavily. It appears to be coughing (resembles coughing) frequently. <This is a rather common occurrence with healthy lionfish. These fishes tend to "cough" and slough off skin on occasion. However, in a situation like yours, where you are treating an illness with copper, it could be a reaction of some sort. > Should I worry or is this just a reaction to the meds, lack of light, or what? I'm using Aquatronics Greenex as med. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank You, Jacob <Jacob, do continue to observe the fish carefully, and begin to back down the dosage of medication. Greenex has a reputation for causing problems in fish if dosages are not precisely administered. I'd consider freshwater dips as an alternative, if the illness cannot be managed with Greenex. Observe carefully, and take corrective measures if needed. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Black Volitans with Cloudy Eye >Hello gang, >>Hello. >You guys rock, however, I have a question I did not find the answer to in your site nor in Mr. Fenner's book.  (the marine bible: Conscientious Marine Aquarist) >>Good thing we're here. >My black Volitans (which is the second I have had, returning the first due to size) has been showing signs of cloudy eye over the past few days, maybe a week.   >>Hhmm.. not entirely uncommon with these fish. >My previous Volitans had the same thing.  The odd thing to me is that all other fish are doing great.   >>These fish seem to sometimes be prone, and from some recent postings I've seen, vitamin supplements are often helpful.  It *could* be nutritionally related, but there seems to be no definitive answer yet. >Water quality levels are all where they should be, as well as numerous places provided for the lion to hide. >>We *really* like to know what was tested for, what kit, exact readings - much more information than the ubiquitous "water quality was fine/perfect/normal/within range". >Quick run down of the tank:  90 gal, 90 lbs live sand, 80 or so lbs live rock. 1 flame angel, 1 yellow tang, 1 Humu trigger, 1- 14 inch snowflake eel.  7 damsels that won't get eaten... >>Damned damsels!  How the heck are they avoiding an eel, trigger AND lionfish?! >..removal of these guys I'll save for another question email. >>You wouldn't believe how many folks are using different traps (that do seem to work with patience) and, of all things, fishing for them with barbless hooks!  With success!  (and little damage to the damsel) >Filtration: 3 - 350 canister filters, 1 Eheim wet/dry sump, 3 powerheads, plenty of turn over.  All fish are doing great as well as the lion.  He acts normal and eats like a pig.  I feed him and the eel silvers twice a week or every 3 days.  Damn eel got my finger the other day, but that's another story.   >>The only eels that ever nailed me have been snowflakes.  Makes you bleed like a pig, doesn't it? >Anyway, wondering what I could try to clear up the lions eyes? >>This would be a situation where a hospital tank is called for, because you really don't want to try treating the main display.  A 30 gallon Rubbermaid tub works great if you haven't got a hospital setup ready for him.  Then, Epsom salts (search our site for amounts which escape me at the moment), vitamin soaking the feed (love Selcon), VARIETY of feed (add crustaceans to his diet - if you don't want the extra waste then shell them; krill, shrimp, squid, so on), and if all else fails, you may wish to try an antibiotic treatment.  Personally, I would try to go the nutrition route first, and would keep lighting dim for him (they seem to prefer dimmer lighting).  If you can get a syringe to inject the vitamins into the feed, then you know he's getting a set amount. >Like I said he acts totally normal, so I don't initially feel like it's a big threat, but I would like to get it cleared up as soon as possible. >>Are you able to target feed him reliably?  If so, then try changing up his feed (though the eel will benefit, too), and adding the supplement.  Give it about a month, if no improvement get more aggressive.  If he deteriorates AT ALL, get him into the hospital tank quick. >Many thanks in advance for your help and keep up the good work.  THE TEAM RULES.  Tom >>Thank you, Tom, we do try (though don't always succeed!).  Marina

Lionfish 1/1/04 HELLO MY NAME IS CHRISTOPHER FAIOLA AND I AM HAVING TROUBLE WITH MY LIONFISH. <Adam here, and glad to help, but PLEASE DON'T SHOUT! <g>> IT IS A 10 INCH VOLITANS LIONFISH THAT I HAVE HAD FOR OVER A YEAR IN A MATURE 120 GALLON TANK WITH EXCELLENT FILTRATION AND 8 OTHER FISH WHICH ALL RANGE IN AGE.  MY LION IS ONLY FED FROZEN FOOD AND A LOT OF IT TOO. <Wow!  That's a lot of fish!  What type of food are you feeding, are you feeding a variety, and do you add any supplements to the food?> RECENTLY HE HAS STOPPED FEEDING ON HIS OWN, WHEN I USED TO PUT FOOD IN FRONT OF IT ,THE LION WOULD NOT TOUCH IT UNLESS THE FOOD WAS FED TO HIM ON A FEEDING STICK.  I FIGURED HE PROBABLY HAS GONE BLIND? <This ties in with my food question.  Heavy feeding with Krill has been known to cause blindness.  It isn't know if the krill is deficient in nutrients or if it is toxic somehow.  If it is lack of a nutrient, it follows that lack of variety in general could cause blindness too.> BUT THEN I NOTICED HE DEVELOPED A LARGE BUBBLE BEHIND ITS EYE.  THE BUBBLE JUST SEEMS TO RESHAPE ITSELF. THE FISH AT THIS TIME STILL EATS FROM A FEEDING STICK.  BUT AS OF TODAY HE HAS DEVELOPED A BUBBLE ON HIS OTHER EYE IN FRONT OF THE EYE UNDER THE SKIN. <This makes me suspicious of infection.  Is it possible for you to send a pic?> WHAT DO I DO TO SAVE MY FAVORITE FISH? HOW CAN I HELP HIM? <If you aren't feeding a variety of foods, please do start.  I would also suggest supplementing with fish vitamins and Selcon.  Even consider injecting the food with the supplements.  If the bubbles behind the eyes progress, you might consider adding a broad spectrum antibiotic to the food as well.  With such high stocking levels, your fish are probably a bit stressed.  Do look out to see if any of the fish are harassing your lion and consider removing any belligerent citizens.> PLEASE RESPOND BACK SOON. THANK YOU. <Best of luck.  Adam>

Volitans Lionfish Hi, I just got a red volitans lion fish yesterday today he is just sitting on the ground and not eating is he stressed or is it something different if he is stressed what do I do? <he probably is stressed... is he in a quarantine aquarium? or was he just introduced to the main aquarium? Was he eating when you purchased/received him? What are your readings of nitrates, nitrites, ammonia and pH within your marine system?...I would not be too concerned right now. It is quite normal for them to be stressed out when they are first acclimated, it takes a week or two for them to adjust. Give me some more info and email me back if he doesn't start acting normal in the next few days, IanB> Thanks, Joey

Sickly Lion Fish My Fuzzy Dwarf Lion is getting worse everyday, and I am not sure what to do.  His eyes have become almost completely clouded white. All water parameters are fine.  I also did a large water change just in case. I tried putting in some Epsom salts, as I saw you suggest elsewhere. It just keeps getting worse, and I don't think he can see anything. Is there anything that can be done?  I have two 20 watt fluorescents over the tank, and some hiding places.  Is this too much light for him? It is only a 20L, but I assumed when you talked about light blindness that you meant MH, not old fashioned fluorescents.  Maybe this was my mistake.  Do you think that this is the cause?  Is there anything I can do?  Thank you for your help. <Well, I don't think that your lighting is causing blindness in this fish. I am leaning towards some type of parasitic infection, possibly Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium. Are there any visible "spots" on the fish, or signs of damage to its skin? Difficulty Breathing? These are usually telltale signs. It's tough to tell without a picture, so I am tentatively recommending a course of action that may be inappropriate if this turns out to be bacterial or fungal. Keep this in mind. I would start out with some (like daily) freshwater dips on the fish. If there appears to be no immediate signs of improvement, and the other symptoms described above manifest themselves, it may be time to utilize a more aggressive treatment, such as copper or a formalin-based product, administered in a separate treatment tank. Sorry I can't be any more informative than that, but we need to confirm what we're dealing with here. Before starting any treatment, try to review the disease FAQs on the WWM site to see if you can conform what it is you're dealing with. Sometimes, the treatment can be worse than the cure. Move quickly and decisively, but try to make an informed decision. I'm sure that with prompt action and proper follow up, your fish will make it. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

- Sick Lionfish - I need some help with my red volitans lionfish.  About 4 weeks ago he developed a white spot on his side that got worse (kind of fuzzy), so I gave him a fresh water dip with Methylene blue as per you guy's instructions and put him in a QT.  The spot seemed to fall off in the dip and left a hole that healed nicely.  He would not eat though, and I thought possibly he was stressed being in the small QT (10 gal.).  After the spot healed, I put him back in the 55gal with his tankmate (a porcupine puffer).  He still would not eat and I noticed his belly was lumpy and there was one place that really stuck out. Last Thursday I put him back in QT with some Epsom salts (2Tbls. in 10 gal.-it did nothing ) and 6 ghost shrimp (which I found 5 uneaten the next day).   He's still not interested in any food (krill, squid, shrimp) and this morning the place that was sticking out real sharply has broken open and white stuff like shredded squid is coming out!! <Sounds like a fungus.> What do I do? <Best to procure some mercurochrome or Merbromin [have found this as a product called Wound Control] and then manually put this on the wound. Would be necessary to catch the fish and do this work out of the water - should be fine for the minutes or so that it will take. Do take your time and watch out for those spines.> What is it? <Most likely mycelia from a fungal infection as a result of some type of wound sustained during capture or holding.> I am afraid to give him a fresh water dip again cause he's got to be weak from not eating for so long. <These fish can go quite a while without food.> My water is 0 ammonia, 0 nitrates, 8.3 Ph, and I forget the salinity, but it was in the green area of the hydrometer ANY advice is greatly appreciated.  Will you be e-mailing me back, or will the response be somewhere else on the web site? <Both.> He's a great fish, and I don't want to lose him! Susanne <Best of luck. Cheers, J -- >

Preventing A Lion From Dyin'! I have a 29 gallon saltwater tank that has one anemone, one spotted hawk, and one Volitans lionfish. <Wow! I hope that larger quarters are in the future for these guys?> Everything was going well for almost six months when my lionfish (who was growing rapidly and eating great!) seemed to get Ich, then a secondary bacterial infection (or vice versa) and died within a few days.  The other fish never got sick. <Sorry to hear that...> After doing a water change and waiting one and one-half weeks to see if the other fish got sick, which they didn't, I added another lionfish.  Within a week, even though he seemed to be doing well, he developed a film over his eyes, much like the first lionfish, and white spots all over his body.  When I approached the store where I got him, they told me to treat with Greenex (malachite green and quinine HCL) which would be safe for everything in the tank.  No improvement. <Well, I am adamantly opposed to using any kind of medication in the display tank...All treatments are best carried out in a separate container or dedicated "hospital tank". Easier to control things, and long term problems are eliminated.> The next time they told me to try Maracyn (erythromycin) for one treatment and he got worse.  For the past three days I have now been giving him freshwater baths for 2 minutes once a day.  His eyes seem better and today he ate some shrimp, but he still has spots all over his body and I am afraid he will worsen. <I would not use an antibiotic for a parasitic infection (sounds like Ich). Sure, it may help the eye problem, but I'd concentrate on the bigger picture...I would have used Formalin or copper sulphate (administered in a separate tank, following the manufacturer's instructions to the letter)...> Upon returning to the fish store they gave me Quinsulfex (Quinine 250mg) which they told me would definitely kill the anemone, so I could bring that back to the store for the meantime while I treated the tank. <Yikes.....> The problem is: What exactly am I treating?  What about the spotted hawk who is doing fine, even though the tank has been treated a number of times?  If the previous things haven't worked, why will this?  How potent is this product?  What about using something as simple as Quick Cure for Ich?  How do I tell if he has bacteria, fungus, Ich, etc, etc etc? <Okay- let's back up for a minute. First, in the future- never ever administer medication in the display tank. It's too hard to maintain a proper therapeutic dosage, and the potential for "collateral damage" is too great. Second- never treat any illness until you know exactly what you are treating! Dumping in a succession of the wrong kinds of medications is worse than useless-it's dangerous! You're subjecting this fish to round after round of medications with all sorts of possible side effects, all the while missing the illness. Best to read up on the FAQs on the WWM site, or in a good book on fish diseases to see exactly what you're dealing with. Then you proceed to take action. It sounds like you're dealing with Cryptocaryon (marine Ich) and a possible secondary infection. At this point, I'd give the poor fish a break from medications for a week or so, set up a dedicated treatment container, and consider a copper or formalin based cure. Alternatively (and possibly better at this stage of the game), you could employ hyposalinity in the treatment tank, or even freshwater dips as a supportive "therapy". These techniques can work if administered properly, and they sure beat lots and lots of medication...> Are lionfish that hard to keep?  I was told they were hardy and that was why I got one.  I do water changes every three weeks, and use a good filter.  I have only had my tank up and running for 7-8 months now, if that.  HELP! Thanks <Well, Lionfish are not too hard to keep, but you have to provide the right conditions for their care. A 29 gallon tank is okay for a small juvenile- for a few months. After that, the fish will require much larger quarters to grow, and to help dilute the copious amount of waste products generated by this rather messy-eating fish. Much better would be one of the "dwarf" species, and even then- a larger tank and optimum water conditions (coupled with excellent husbandry practices!) is required...My best advise at this stage of the game is to read, read, read...You'll learn a lot from this experience...Don't give up! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Eliminating Medication From Tank Water Hi Scott, <Hi there again!> The marks on my lionfish are now completely gone and he seems fine, acting normally and looks quite happy. <Glad to hear that!> My question is, what should I be looking out for as a result of adding the treatment to my tank? I can't see anything wrong with my eel or the rest of the tank, but I am a beginner and may be overlooking something. Should I do a partial water change just to help the tank recover? Regards, Andrew Ickeringill <Well, Andrew, I'd monitor basic water parameters, such as ammonia and nitrite, just to make sure that the biological filtration process has not been interrupted. In the absence of any measurable problems with water chemistry, I'd conduct some regular small water changes and run Poly Filter and/or activated carbon to help remove what might be left of the medications. All in all, the amount present in your system is probably negligible, but it's worth checking out...Glad to hear that all is moving along well! Regards, Scott F>

Lionfish Treatments I have a 29 gallon saltwater tank that has one anemone, one spotted hawk, and one volitans lionfish. <Sadly, this is far too much life in such a small enclosure.> Everything was going well for almost six months when my lionfish (who was growing rapidly and eating great!) seemed to get Ich, then a secondary bacterial infection (or vice versa) and died within a few days. <I am sorry to hear that> The other fish never got sick.  After doing a water change and waiting one and one-half weeks to see if the  other fish got sick, which they didn't, I added another lionfish. <OK> Within a week, even though he seemed to be doing well, he developed a film over his eyes, much like the first lionfish, and white spots all over his body. <OK> When I approached the store where I got him, they told me to treat with Greenex (malachite green and quinine HCL) which would be safe for everything in the tank.  No improvement. <In the future, never treat the display tank.  Quarantine the specimen.  No need to medicate healthy livestock. Anemones are very sensitive creatures-minimal stress will ensure a longer life.> The next time they told me to try Maracyn (erythromycin) for one treatment and he got worse.  For the past three days I have now been giving him freshwater baths for 2 minutes once a day. <He can go for 5.> His eyes seem better and today he ate some shrimp, but he still has spots all over his body and I am afraid he will worsen.  Upon returning to the fish store they gave me Quinsulex (Quinine 250mg) which they told me would definitely kill the anemone, so I could bring that back to the store for the meantime while I treated the tank. <Good- Nice to have a helpful store nearby.> The problem is: What exactly am I treating?  What about the spotted hawk who is doing fine, even though the tank has been treated a number of times? <Very hardy fish.  New additions are under incredible stress from shipping, and have been malnourished as well.  Holding facilities range from clean to horrendous, and fish can be infected with an array of bacteria.  This is why we quarantine!> If the previous things haven't worked, why will this? <We'll hope it does.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this hobby.> How potent is this product? <Very> What about using something as simple as Quick Cure for Ich? <Nope.  FW dips in a treated QT, the display running fallow.  Only proven treatment. Please read up: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasitf.htm >  How do I tell if he has bacteria, fungus, Ich, etc, etc etc? <Research, observation.> Are lionfish that hard to keep? <Second only to damsels in hardiness> I was told they were hardy and that was why I got one. <Your tank is too small for a lion anyhow- if you had a 50+ gallon tank I would recommend a smaller lion to you.  Unfortunately, you're trying to do too much.  Return the lion if possible, enjoy the hawk.  As for the anemone, I truly hope you're equipped to care for this animal.> I do water changes every three weeks, and use a good filter. <OK> I have only had my tank up and running for 7-8 months now, if that.  HELP!  Thanks,  Brenda <Be patient, keep reading!  Good luck! Ryan>

Acrobatic Lionfish? Hi Scott, <Hello, again, Andrew!> I've stopped adding the treatment and it looks like the marks on my lionfish are starting to heal up a bit, but it's hard to be sure. <A step in the right direction, nonetheless!> He is acting quite strange at the moment, he is swimming around the top of the tank for most of the day and this morning he did a full loop and hung for a little while belly up. Is this something to be worried about? He also swims a little lopsided sometimes which seems odd. And he changes to a lighter color every now and then. He is eating well and looks to be breathing ok. Regards, Andrew Ickeringill <Well, these fishes are "ambush predators", and tend to hide out in anticipation of prey. This may entail hanging in some unusual positions. However, if the fish is having difficulty maintaining equilibrium, and simply struggling to swim, then you may have some sort of problem with this fish. I would not be overly concerned, in the absence of other symptoms, as your observations seem to indicate. The occasional color changing is also a routine response to various changes in the fish's environment (such as lighting, substrate colors, etc.). If this behavior continues, and the fish appears to be struggling, then be prepared to take actions as needed. Do stay in touch! Regards, Scott F>

- Cloudy Eyes - Hi!  I have read a lot of useful information on your site... thanks! However, even after searching for my problem, I cannot figure out what is going on with my tank.  I recently had a sick lionfish that didn't make it regardless of what I tried to do for him.  I have a 50 gallon tank with a small porcupine puffer, squirrelfish, and zebra eel.  It's been set up for over a year, with a wet/dry filter with bioballs, and protein skimmer.  My nitrates were VERY high, and we have done frequent water changes over the last few months to try to get them under control. <Your wet/dry filter is probably to blame here. They are very efficient at nitrogen reduction so they produce large quantities of nitrates as a result. The small, frequent water changes are your first, best remedy here. Later, you might want to examine some other type of filtration - live rock in a sump, etc.> They have decreased significantly, and seem to be getting better each time we do a water change.  However, our puffer had one eye that became cloudy, then totally white.  In reading, it seems most people seem to think an infection would affect both eyes.  We put Epsom salt in the tank, which seemed to help quite a bit.  I also read that was most likely a blunt trauma to his eye.  Well, it has taken a while, but seems to be getting better.  Other levels in the tank seem to be fine...ammonia 0, ph 8.2, nitrites 0, spg 1.019-1.02, but the nitrates are still a little high.  In the last few days, we have noticed the eel is having the same type of problem...only one eye, the other is fine so far.  It looks like a white disc is covering his eye.  Could this actually be an infection or something in the tank causing this problem? <I'd be looking for 'something' in the tank. High nitrates aren't good, but they aren't super detrimental either. In my experience, cloudy eyes are a response to poor water quality.> They are all eating fine... just seems like something has to be causing this? <Do examine very carefully your husbandry processes, including how you make your mix water, and perhaps other things you might be doing around the house that would effect water quality in ways you can't test for: spray cleaners, cigarette smoke [if you are a smoker] and/or putting your hands in the tank without cleaning them first.> Have you heard of such thing? <Many times.> Any help would be appreciated. <Continue with the small, frequent water changes for now.> Thank you. <Cheers, J -- >

Bring Back A Lion Help, our lionfish isn't looking so good.  He was moved into a quarantine tank on Friday after CopperSafe was added to the tank he was in.  He was probably in the CopperSafe water for about 14 hours.  He seemed to be rebounding nicely, but he won't eat, and today he's just laying on the bottom of the tank.  Is there anything else we can try?  How do you do a freshwater dip? <I'd simply maintain the highest possible water quality in this tank...Water changes, stable chemistry, and good food should bring about a full recovery. I assume that the FW dip is for a different situation, because unless you are treating a specific known malady, this procedure will only serve to stress the fish further. As far as good dip procedure, check this link: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Help with Lionfish Please help my poor lionfish.  I've had had him for about six months and he has grown enormous and done very well.  We recently went on vacation for one week and had a friend care for the fish with our detailed  instructions.  The clown dish died while we were gone and the lionfish is very sick he has a film all over him and obviously can't breath.  We have called all the shops that we normally frequent and no one has been of any help.  I am an uneducated aquarium owner but I do love my fish please tell me what to do!!!!!!!!!!!! >>Ok, I'm not going to bother you with any other details, here's what the rule is when in doubt--DO A WATER CHANGE.  I'd not worry about vacuuming the substrate, I'd just remove about 50% of the water and replace with fresh (either seawater purchased at the LFS) and heated to temp, or mixed at home and aerated/circulated) for 24 hours ASAP, and plan to have another one the next day. >>In the meantime, you can provide me the following information: >>1: Size of the system >>2: Filtration >>3: Occupants, sizes, & how long at home. >>4: Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate test readings (other pertinent depending may be needed depending on the type of system *Reef & Type vs. Fish Only/-With Live Rock (FOWLR)* for instance) >>This along with the other information you've provided really helps us help you.  I suspect the water's become polluted, probably because of overfeeding.  A water change will always help this.  Do that, then if he's still looking really bad, or need more help, let me know (just include my name in the response), I'll get back to you ASAP.  Best of luck!  Marina Lionfish problem <Hi Susie, PF with you here tonight> Please help...I have a lionfish for 1 1/2 yrs, he is almost a foot long. He hasn't eaten in a week and has some white stuff coming out where he goes to the bathroom. It seems as though he has a small hole on his side (outside in) I fed him a shrimp that was sitting out for a few hours. I am thinking that had something to do with it. He hasn't eaten since. Is this parasitic or bacterial or intestinal? <The hole on his side sounds like an infection to me. Fish are known to go off their feed, sometimes for no apparent reason. I'm not really sure the food was out long enough to cause that much of a problem.  I would advise that you go here and read up on diseases in marine fish: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm and through the appropriate FAQs as well>  I am afraid to move him into another tank because he is breathing heavy and stressed. Also don't want to get stung. Should I treat the tank and what with? <I'd advise against treating him in the tank. I know you don't want to fish him out, but he should be treated in a separate tank. You don't have to use an aquarium, you can use larger storage container, or a water trough. Maracyn is used to treat disease. The reason you don't want to treat the main tank is that the medicines used will kill the same bacteria that make up your biological filter. As for catching him, can you herd him into a container and remove him from the tank that way? Here's the guide for setting up a hospital/QT tank: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm If I had more particulars about your tank, I could give you some more specific advice: size of tank, nitrate/nitrite, ammonia, pH, lighting, etc. > Thank You Suzy <You're welcome Suzy, I hope this helps you and your lionfish out.>

Injured Lionfish? >The "horns" I'm referring to are almost right above his eyes. >>Ok.  These are simply part of what makes this a "cryptic" fish.  No worries. >I didn't think they were fins but maybe they are. They look like some sort of sensory organ, antennae maybe? >>No, just part of his "disguise". >I feed him strictly krill. >>You must vary his diet.  Offer him also shrimp, squid, bits of clam, and even firm-fleshed fish.  Start using a supplement, I like Selcon, use it 3 or 4 times a week. >just today he seems a bit lighter in color and I'm concerned. >>If he's still behaving normally otherwise, I'd just start giving him better nutrition.  That should garner you a good improvement. >also I have a niger trigger, yellow tang, and juvenile imperator angel. I just finished hospitalizing the angel for a cloudy whitish substance on his fins that was making them rot away. The trigger seems to be very passive and jerks sporadically.   >>Nigers are one of the most timid species of trigger one can purchase. >The tang seems to not being eating as much as a fish of his size should. >>What are you feeding the tang?  He should be getting a diet very high in vegetable matter--free feeding of romaine and Selcon soaked Nori (dried seaweed used to make sushi), as well as a good quality frozen food and flake staple.  If he's fat, he's eating what he should, though. >All my water quality tests are coming back good.   >>Specific test brand, age, and readings are better for me to go by. >This whole thing is making me think my tank is disease infested. >>All tanks have pathogens in situ.  The issue is the health of the residents.  If they're healthy, then they will be able to, as in nature, fight off disease-causing pathogens. If they're not getting good nutrition, poor water quality, or are otherwise stressed, then they won't. >Any help or advice is greatly appreciated. >>I advise you to use a good quality test kit, I like SeaChem and Salifert.  La Motte is *excellent* quality, but also expensive.  If you don't already have a skimmer, I advise you to get one, AquaC and CPR are two brands that many folks are happy with, as well as Euro-Reef.  Water changes on a regular basis are always well-advised as well.  When in doubt, do a water change!  The size of tank these fish are housed in is also of great importance.  If you have them in a 55 gallon tank, it's terribly undersized.  If you have them in a 75, that's barely enough and you'll soon have to remove fish.  If you've got them in 100gals or greater, that's best.  I hope this helps, and good luck.  Marina

- Sick Volitans Lionfish - <Good morning, JasonC here...> Just wanted to say this is a great website!  Any concerns I usually have, I usually look here first.  Now I must seek your advice because I can not find anything on what I am looking for. I bought my lionfish on Feb. 22, 2003.  He had been doing real good... eating really well and seemed to be growing rapidly.  This past Sunday after feeding (April 13, 2003)..he retired to the bottom of the tank as usual.  But after a couple of hours...he was still in the same spot... not a normal behavior for him.  I looked at him closely and he was breathing a bit heavy but thought nothing of it.  Monday when I got home from work... he was still at the bottom of the tank (different spot from Sunday).  Usually when I get home from work... he is at the top of the tank swimming in circles, getting ready to be fed.  Since he wasn't... I was a bit concerned now. I tried to get him to move and when he did... he looked like he was having a spasm while trying to swim... he was really struggling.  He shows no signs of any diseases... just breathing heavily and a bit darker in color... especially his fins.  I have been feeding him silver sides (and krill on occasions)... and this Sunday I fed him a bit more head pieces... don't know if he might have had a problem digesting them.  Or maybe from defrosting the package of sliver sides to remove some pieces of fish every time I feed him, might have cause the fish to spoil and maybe got him sick???  Ammonia(0), Nitrite(0), pH(8.2), Nitrate(10ppm), and SG(1.019) are all perfect.  Just to make sure. I did a water change today (April 15, 2003) and changed the filters and lowered the SG a little to reduce some stress ( From 1.021 to 1.019).  I have a Blue Damsel and Picasso Triggerfish in the tank as well and they are normal.  So I feel the problem is isolated to the lionfish.  I bought some ghost shrimp and put them in the tank to see if the lionfish would eat.  He didn't move, but if a shrimp swam by. he ate it...he ate 3 total.  While at the bottom of the tank... if he tries to move left or right... it looks like he forgot how to swim and looks like he cant maneuver... almost like he's slightly paralyzed.  I am thinking he might have some internal infection... maybe intestinal... but if he does... how/can it be cured.  Heard of anything like this before  or any ideas what might be the problem.  I have included 2 pictures so you can see what he looks like.  I feel his days might be limited if I don't do anything soon.  I hope you can shed some light on the situation.  Thank you. <Well, it's hard to be 100% certain, but from looking at the pictures my guess would be that this fish is being over-fed and/or there is a potential gut-impaction from the skulls of the silver-sides. There are a good number of fish, your lion included, who will eat as much food as you drop in the tank, which isn't remotely good for them. Although silver-sides are probably better than live feeders, you are still feeding too much of one thing, and because they are whole can also present problems as they move through the digestive tract. At this point, there's not a whole bunch you can do - you can try, although the outcome is not certain, adding a small amount of Epsom salts to the tank, which should work as a laxative and help the fish pass this out. If/when the fish recovers, do try obtaining some other meaty foods - squid, clams, mussels, krill and feed in moderate amounts. Cheers, J -- >

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