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FAQs about Lionfish Health/Disease/Injuries 5

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 2, Lion Disease 3, Lion Disease 4, 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


Scorpionfishes: Lionfishes & Much More for Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Volitans Lionfish Has An Eye-Spot - 02/27/06 Dear Eric, <<Hello Akila>> I bought a Volitans Lionfish about 6' in length.  Now he is in my Quarantine tank. <<Very good>> I give him defrosted Sprat fish & sometimes prawns he really likes it and eats very well but I don't over feed him. <<Very important...have you had a look through our FAQs re?   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lionfdgfaqs.htm  >> I only give about 2-3 sprats twice a week.  Is this ok? <<I would feed every other day, and supplement the sprats with some prawns a couple times a week too.  Do be cautious about overfeeding...>> When I feed him sprats I cover the sprat with seaweed and feed him.  He doesn't mind and eats it.  Do you think this is good? <<I think this is very good...do keep it up.  These fish eat crustaceans which are often gut-loaded with algae...a staple often missing in their captive diets.>> Anyway after about two days only when I looked very very closely there is a very small whitish patch on both of his eyes. <<Yes...I believe I see it in the photos...at the back of the eye.>> When I inspected the body carefully I did NOT see any Ick on him or Velvet like patches.  The infection is only in his eyes & it's not clearly visible also but I am concerned. <<Not convinced this is an infection...or even anything to be concerned with at this stage.>> What is this? <<Don't know.  Possibly normal eye coloring/pigmentation for this particular fish.>> I read some articles that said this could be a bacterial infection and can be cured by Tetracycline or other antibiotic.  So then shall I start treating him with antibiotics?  What will be the amounts I should mix with food? <<I wouldn't do this...not convinced there's a problem here.>> I will attach a photo of the Lionfish.  The infection (I am not sure whether it is an infection yet) is not clearly visible in the photo but a small whitish dot maybe visible.  Just have a look and let me know your view. <<Don't add any medications, just keep up the water changes and keep an eye on this fish for now...and make sure you don't have it exposed to bright light.  Observe the fish for a bit longer Akila and note any change in the "spots" in its eyes.  There's a chance this is nothing to be worried about. I'll ask Bob to chime in here if he thinks differently.>> Appreciate your response Thanks Best regards Akila   
<<Cheers my friend, EricR>>

Please help getting worried about my Lionfish   2/9/06 We have had our lion fish for about 6 months. Within the last two weeks, we have been noticing white spots on the fins and on the body. We have tried a few different types of Ick medicine including Ruby Reef Kick Ick. <Worthless. worse than worthless> Nothing we have tried seems to have had any affect. This was a very active and friendly fish who now just lays at the bottom of the tank. <Maybe from chemical exposure...> Also in the last day or so we have noticed twitching of the side fins. The fish is breathing normally and the eyes are not clouded over. It also has not been interested in eating in the last week and usually it would be waiting at the top of the tank for you feed it. The extreme change in behavior along with the spots has us very worried. <... spots? Are they symmetrical? May be internal... or encysted parasites of some sort, but of negligible import... Look to water quality period here for improving this animals health. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish Disease 1-30-2006 Dear WWM Crew, <Tim> I have a 200 gal. Lionfish Tank, good water quality, good hiding spots, 4 96w power compacts, and a fairly limited diet (primarily smelt, but I have recently integrated shrimp and Vitamins to the diet).  A couple of weeks ago I had one begin to swim in circles and lose orientation. <You've read on WWM re?> He also had a swollen upper and lower jaw.  He was removed to a separate system for observation.  Two days later a second one repeated this behavior and the swollen mouth,  and was removed as well.  The other three seem fine, although one is not eating well as of lately.  The original Lionfish died recently and I did a necropsy on him.  I found no evidence of disease on skin scrapes, a scrape off of the mouth, or gill clips.  Is it possible they were both stung by another Lionfish, or could this be some kind of Parasite affecting the nervous system?  I appreciate your help, Thanks,   Tim <Not likely either... but some sort of environmental complaint... almost assuredly. See WWM re Lionfish Systems... Disease. Bob Fenner>  

Lion with mouth problem   1/27/06 Dear Mr. Fenner and Wet Web Media staff, I have this Volitans lionfish that developed a small mouth problem about a week ago. It seems that his upper lip has disconnected itself from his mouth. I have included pictures of him for you. I have had the lionfish for about 8 months and never had a problem with him. He has ate well since being added to the tank, and I feed him a mix of grass shrimp, krill, and silversides, all dosed with vitamins (Zoe, Selcon, VitaChem). He still eats pretty well, but you can see his mouth bothers him a little bit. Regardless, he is still eating as he would normally, it is just a little slower and less aggressive. He is in a 210 gallon tank with all other peaceful fish. There are no triggers in the aquarium, and nothing else that would bother him. The only fish bigger than him is my Orbic batfish, but he is care free. All of the water parameters are correct. pH - 8.4 kH - 9.5 ammonia and nitrite - 0 nitrate - 20ppm specific gravity -1.025 I use Salifert test kits, and a refractometer to test my SG. I was reading in your book where you said, "You will experience a shedding of skin with lionfish. This is thought to get rid of parasites and unwanted algae". I was wondering if this is what is happening to the lionfish. Any help you can offer would be great! Thank you very much for your time. Sincerely, Ryan Smith <Looks like a part of the upper jaw ligament has torn loose. Likely from either a bump into something or an over-extension during feeding. With time, hopefully this will self-heal. Not likely harmful. Bob Fenner>

Sick lionfish    1/25/06 Hello.  I heard on a forum that you know some about lionfish.  I hate to take advantage of overhearing your E-mail address but I really don't want my Volitans to die.  I have a 8" red Volitans in a 150 gallon tank.  I haven't had him long and he is my first lionfish.  He stopped eating over 5 days ago.   His slime coating is peeling off and his eyes are cloudy.  one of his big fins has a couple of holes in it as well.  He is the only fish  in the tank.   I was feeding him every day a diet of fresh shrimp, scallops, and ocean smelts.  I heard from someone that I may have made him sick by over feeding him. <Happens, yes> My water tests came out fine, and I did a 20% water change today anyways.    <Good. Did you, can you check for pH, alkalinity?> Any advise would be helpful.  Also a little off topic but could I put a cleaner wrasse in with him? <Mmm, no... will likely pester the only customer too much, and perish from lack of nutrition. Nothing "comes to mind" from reading what you've offered here. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/liondisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish With Goop On Spine - 01/23/2006 Hi crew, <Hello Earl.> Great site, very informative. <Glad you've enjoyed it!> I have read through FAQ's and could not find an answer, perhaps you could help. I have a 4" black volitans lionfish with a white cluster of goop about .5 x 1 cm on one of his dorsal spines. At first I thought it was a cluster of Cerith snail eggs the he had brushed against but i have ruled that out as the goop remains several days later and has not fallen off. I have tried to brush it off with my feeding stick but no luck. <Wow! That's got to be terrifying for the fish!> All of my water parameters are good:  0 nitrite, 0 ammonia, <5ppm nitrate, calcium 470, ph 8.3, temp 78, spg 1.023. The filtration is live rock, live sand and protein skimmer with UV sterilizer. I am reluctant to remove him to medicate as it is difficult to catch him with all the rock and I don't want to injure or stress him. Plus I don't know what to medicate for. <Good to be reluctant. I'd wait this out and maintain the water quality. Doubt this is a problem at all.> He swims fine and eats well. I feed him mostly krill and supplement with human seafood (clam bits, chopped shrimp, scallop etc.). Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I have read so many stories on your site about people running in circles with medication and bad advice from their LFS that I decided to ask you guys before trying anything. <Hmm...read here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lions&rels2.htm and through the links. Check the bits about skin shedding. This is probably all you are seeing.> Thanks for all the great info. I hope you can help. Earl <Welcome Earl. Hope I have. - Josh>

Lion Spine Problem   1/22/06 My Volitans Lion broke a Top Spine, it has taken awhile to start growing back. It has turned Black, there is a Bubble & could be moving towards the body. A new spine just started growing back last week, it looks infected but I can not be sure & it does not seem to bother this fish. This Lion is about 12 inches & housed in a 300g, I have 2 other Volitans & 1 Yellow Fuzzy in the tank, there have been no problems with their spines.   I have not seen anything like this & can not find anything when I search. Please see attached Pics. Can the Venom back up? <Mmm, not as far as I'm aware> Cut it, Leave it or Treat it? <Leave it. Have seen this a few times. Not real trouble. Bob Fenner> Thank You,
Kaye (Saltwater2)

Red Volitans coloration/behavior  - 01/12/2006 Hello. <Hi there> I have had a red Volitans Lionfish for about 2 months now.  It is about 6" from head to tail.  It is in my 120 gallon aquarium with a Yellow Tang, Niger Trigger, Harlequin Wrasse, and a couple other small fish.  I have about 190 lbs. of live rock and some corals as well.  All fish and corals appear to be thriving except my Lionfish which has been for the past 2-3 weeks been very reclusive, sitting in a corner on the substrate, or under a cave in the rockwork.  Not coming out for feeding time like he did regularly when I first got him. <What do you feed this fish?> Also, he has taken on a very dark black coloration that covers all but about the last one-third of his body on the tail end. <Not good...> That part looks right how the color should be.  I have also noticed a couple of times that one of his spine needles had been "used" as the needle was exposed.  I have seen this before and know that this will repair itself. But maybe when that happens it makes them go into defense-mode and just go sit for awhile until they feel better. I'm just lost for ideas.  I've fed him (in the past), jumbo freeze dried shrimp, fresh/frozen shrimp, and he even ate flake food.  Not sure what's gotten into him. Thanks in advance for your help. Jason <Might be "nothing"... Might have been harassed... by the Trigger... or could be that this fish has swallowed something... like a rock, gravel... hopefully this will pass. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish Ich?  12/30/2005 Hi <Hello there>   Thanks for running this site, it's a goldmine. My question is, twelve days ago I bought a Russell's lionfish, put him in qt and noticed he had 4 or 5 white dots on the back of each pectoral fin where they join his body. <Mmm, were/are they symmetrical? Could be markings> I assumed the worse, Ich, but every reference to Ich on WWM says the parasite will drop off in 3 to 7 days. <Mmm, yes... but... this is part of the life cycle... they drop off... come back...> The spots are bright white, about 1/8' in diameter. <Oh! Too big to be Crypt> Do Lions have this sort of natural markings? <Yes...>      Thanks          Jim <Likely "nothing" to treat here. Bob Fenner>

Volitans Illness - lumps  12/20/2005 Hi, I have a Volitans Lionfish and it has developed 2 white milky lumps on its tail. I think that they have appeared since yesterday as I didn't notice them when I was feeding him. They look too big to be Ich and it is only in this area. I did search the site but couldn't find anything that sounded exactly like this. <Likely either non-pathogenic tumors or encysted worms... both not easily "treated"> The lumps are just smaller than a grain of rice and circular. Water quality is fine on all parameters and the fish is otherwise healthy, no labored breathing or listlessness, it is eating fine and alert. It is in a tank with a snowflake moray and Humu trigger, neither of which show any lumps. <And shouldn't> Unfortunately I do not have the facilities for a QT tank so any treatment will have to be in the main aquarium Does anyone have any ideas and should and with what should I treat. <Yes, I wouldn't> I have tried to take some pics but have not had any success with the flash etc. Any advice is greatly appreciated. <One could try Anthelminthics (covered on WWM), even experimental surgery. I would do neither. Not "catching". Bob Fenner>

Your book and bent Lion fin spine 12/17/05 Dear Mr. Fenner, <Deborah> please excuse me contacting you but I feel that you should be made aware (as I'm sure other people have told you!) How great your book is.  It has been a 'bible' to me. To say I've always been interested in fish would be a lie.  However, like a lot of people I got a fish tank for a birthday 5 years ago (my husband wanted one!) originally, I had a tropical set up and not by designer I ended up with a tank full of angel fish.  Surprisingly, they bred well and i sold them to local shops.  So the bug bit! I found, as I'm sure all true dedicates of the 'sport' do a desire to try more complex aquariums.  hence, I purchased your book and now have a beautiful Berlin method marine aquarium.  I say type as I've made a few modifications to the system.  I'm a surveyor by profession and build bridges for a living so I can't help playing with things!  I'm sure you'll understand.  Much to my husbands dismay a gift has turned into a very expensive passion. Nothings too good for my fish.  I took your advice on board an took it slow.  I've a red Volitans, a tang and a snowflake eel at the mo.  I've asked Santa for a bigger tank!  My Vol's got a broken spin at the mo - I suspect the eel.   Should I do anything or just let it be? <Leave it be... will heal or not> Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for a great well written book.  I've written a few papers and I know that a lot of people use them but never say thanks. Best regards, Deborah ( Debs) McLintic <Do take a look at our website as well: www.WetWebMedia.com Cheers, and happy holidays, Bob Fenner> Dyin' Lion, or Just A Glitch? Grossly Overstocked System!  12/5/05 I'm fairly new to the saltwater tank hobby I just purchased a 65 gallon tank with a U.V. sterilizer, Eheim canister filter and protein skimmer. The ph is 8.2 and everything else is 0.  The salinity is 1.024 and the temp is 76.2. I just bought a 7 inch lion-fish and within 4 days he started shedding his skin; he eats and swims just fine but I'm worried that it has a disease or something, can you please help me. I also have 50 pounds of live rock and 80 lb. of sand and two Clarkiis and a Saddleback and a Picasso Trigger a Snowflake Eel and Yellow Tang all small of course. <I hate to start off with a bit of a "scolding", but the tank is WAY, WAY overstocked, both now and for the long run. You have fishes in there that are not only aggressive, but are very messy eaters and prodigious producers of metabolic waste. You need a tank of at least twice this size, probably a lot more, to sustain this population for the long-term. Enough said about that.  With regards to the Lionfish- this type of "shedding" is not entirely uncommon, and the fish will often do this when under stress (such as while acclimating to a new environment). In the absence of other symptoms, I'd simply be cautious and observant here. No further action should be necessary unless symptoms dictate. Again, please rethink your long-term stocking plan for this tank, and embrace some sort of quarantine protocol. It's all part of the learning curve, so hang in there! Regards, Scott F.>

Scorpionfishes: Lionfishes & Much More for Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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