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FAQs about Lionfish Health/Disease/Injuries 6

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 5, Lion Disease 7, Lion Disease 8, Lion Disease 9, Lion Disease 10, Dwarf Lion Disease,
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
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Unhappy Volitans... soc. env.   6/30/07 Hello Crew! <Ali, Darren> Firstly may we say what a fab site you have - very interesting & informative. It is our first stop when in doubt of anything aquatic! We have as yet been unable to find an explanation for our Volitan's problem though, so hence the query: Bought the lionfish about a month ago, and he took a few days to settle in but soon came round. At the same time bought a porcupine puffer, trigger, grouper and leopard filefish - all small/young enough to settle together but big enough not to eat each other! <Still... high stress... and likely problems down the line here with this mix... the Puffer and Trigger may well work the Lion woe... and good luck to it and the Filefish getting food...> The only other inhabitants were 2 hermit crabs, <These too will disappear> and all were introduced into the tank on the same afternoon, <Too much too soon my friend> having come from the same shop and some had been sharing tanks there. We lost trigger recently - think it was scared to death by grouper as he had been harassing it. <Yes...> Last week or so we have not seen Lionfish eat - he has previously had defrosted silversides, krill & Mysis with the odd piece of squid, although not brave enough yet to feed from us directly, but we have witnessed him picking up pieces. He seemed to be acting a little strangely in that he was resting on the coral-sand, and making himself a shallow 'hole' by fanning the sand away with his fins. <A bad sign> Now though, his once prominently dark stripes have become patchy. <This too... stress markings...> In the past couple of days, he has developed a small luminescent lime-green patch on one side just in front of the fin, and his proud display of healthy looking 'fans' have drooped completely. In general, quite listless, breathing seems slightly more rapid and this morning he had 'wedged' himself under the edge of a piece of live rock. Checked parameters, salinity etc - all within recommended ranges. We have tried water changes with RO and done all we can think of in respect of water quality without adding any extra chemicals/treatments. Understand hair algae should not affect him, <Au contraire... this life can mal-affect all... and/or the conditions that pre-dispose its proliferation> but put half dozen turbo's in to help reduce that anyway. LFS have limited range of frozen foods available, so will try to get something online - any recommendations/additives we should be on the lookout for? <Moving this fish... to another system really. Ghost shrimp (live) would be best then to entice it to feed> Can you give us an indication of what might be wrong & what we can do for the poor little guy? Would hate to lose him for obvious reasons. Hope you can help Thanks - Ali & Darren <Could be a few things amiss... but the most glaring trouble is the placement with the other life here. Unless this tank is a few hundred gallons... I'd be moving the Lion, stat! Bob Fenner>
Re: Unhappy Volitans   6/30/07
Thanks Bob <Welcome> We went to LFS yesterday & were given eSHa OODINEX (wide range marine treatment, invert friendly) <...> to treat the tank, but Lion gave up the ghost about half hour later - went into spasm & that was that unfortunately. A real shame as he had appeared to be doing so well until last week. <...> The tank is 240 litres <Too small...> with substantial amount of live Fijian rock, and had previously been thriving community of regal & yellow tangs, clowns, blood shrimps etc, but as a result of house move etc, we gave them away & started afresh once we moved the tank. Hence new stock of a different nature. We're running undergravel filter with powerhead, protein skimmer, canister filter with pump output 1300 litres/hour, active carbon filter media, ceramic rings for pre-filters plus internal filter with powerhead using carbon sponges & poly-pads. Also, ultra-violet water sterilizer and all water used is RO. Anything else we should have? <Perhaps a book or two> Were advised what we were purchasing was max for the tank size <Way past this> and have been scrupulous with checking parameters & frequent water changes (20% once a week-ish) Re: Hair algae - how can we get rid other than pulling it off the rock? <Read... on WWM re...> Thought a yellow tang might help keep it down? Bearing in mind we now only have puffer (3 inch) grouper (4 inch) and leopard file (3 inch or so) who all appear to be feeding & growing well, what would your recommendations be re: any additional stock? Thought occurs we should maybe dump the rock (it was wet-stored for a week or so during house move) & replace with some fresh to eliminate the algae growth. Would really appreciate your advice in preference to that of LFS as I'm sure they'd probably sell us anything we asked for... Thanks again, Ali & Darren <Please learn to/use the indices, search tool on WWM. BobF>
Re: Unhappy Volitans
   7/2/07 Thanks Bob & sorry to be a pain in the butt <No worries> We have some excellent books - inconclusive. Have searched WWM site as per your suggestion re: hair algae, and we now have an additional problem for which we can find no advice already posted: Grouper not eaten for 2 days and has lost a great deal of colour. Was bright pink, now very pale & hiding under rock in self-made cave in the sand - very listless & shallow breathing. File fish has not been seen for 24 hours plus. Puffer thriving & eating well. <... the Lion dying... Likely released a few materials in the water... I would do some massive water changes, use a good bit of activated carbon in your filter flow path... Quick!> Tested water again & again - can find nothing wrong. Can't see any alternative but to move all fish in HT whilst we empty, clean & totally start afresh with main tank - any alternative suggestions would be most welcome. <This might be the best route to go here> Thanks again & sorry if we appear naive, but conflicting advice from variety of sources leads to confusion over best course of action. Guess us Brits are not so clued up with these things! Ali & Darren <On the contrary... the UK has many excellent aquarists and no less than three excellent all marine periodicals... "We", the U.S. have none, unless you count the largely recycled Coral/Koralle 'zine... BobF>

Lion Fish tumor, little useful input    6/18/07 I have had a Lion Fish for over 2 years with great results......up until 3 weeks ago. He hasn't eaten since then. I've varied his food from frozen krill and silversides to rosy reds. <The last are trouble... see WWM re "feeding feeders"... same cyprinid/FW as fish food problem...> But I have just recently noticed that he had what looks like a tumor on his body where his side "tentacles" attach to his body. It bulges way out, unlike the other side attached area which is flat against his body. Have you ever seen such a tumor? <Rarely, but yes> Please help as he will not eat and I'm not sure how much longer he will live without food. All level of Ph and such have been tested and are normal. Thank you. V Mac <Not enough info. re the history and make-up of this system, actual test values, tankmates... Your best course of action is to read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/liondisfaqs.htm and the linked files above... When, where in doubt... water changes. I would expand and limit the foods list... NOT minnows... supplement HUFAs, vitamins... by soaking foods, direct addition. Bob Fenner>

Our lionfish hasn't eaten in six weeks   6/18/07 To whom it may concern <Yo!> We have a lion fish, he is brown with stripes, he looks like the ones on your facts and question pages. he is 12 months old and we have no problems with him till 6 weeks ago, when he all of a sudden just stop eating. <Likely a Pterois volitans... sometimes "do" this> We even brought him live fish to eat <Not FW I hope/trust> and even they say in the tank until they die even then he was still not interested in them, we have changed his water and all test on his tank are good. <Which means what?> He is now banging into the side of the tank and hitting the top of the glass were we lift to feeded him, ive just remove the glass as he keeps hitting it and the sides of his tank, he is in a 4ft tank and he is the only one in the tank. <Likely blind/ed... from bright light possibly (no dark overhangs available...) and/or nutritional deficiency... Again, not uncommon> He dislodged his jaw over 2months ago and he put in back into shape by himself, we thought that might have been the problem, then he pick up and started eating after 2 weeks, so we thought he was fine, until 6 weeks ago and now he wont even eat, nothing interests him. We have try green prawns, krill and live fish for him, we even named Syd as he is part of our family, now we need to know is he going blind or is he dying if so what can we do for him, as my partner wants to release him into the sea to give a better chance of surviving. I hope you cant answer this ASAP as i don't want to release as he became one of the family, but i don't want to suffer either, so i need your advice on want we can do for Syd now. I would appreciate your help and he doesn't have any other diseases, he just wont eat, hitting the side of his tank and hitting the top of the tank full force were i have remove the glass so he cant hurt himself. Your's sincerely Theresa Pennell Australia ps your help would be great as i only have till 5pm today before my partner release him into the sea to give a better survival rate, <Please do NOT do this... not good for anyone... May spread disease, or perhaps worse, introduce a non-indigenous species...> then seeing Syd dying in his tank and not eating and hitting everything, please answer this email ASAP. pretty please as Syd has grown on me. thank you <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/liondisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Antennata Lionfish death, env.    6/16/07 Hello, I recently <How?> bought a Antennata Lion from a fish store. It was fine the first night but, into the second day and night it began to breath heavily and lose it's color, in the morning it was dead. I took it back to the fish store, they tested my water and said it was perfect and gave me a replacement. The replacement lion was fine the first night and then started to display the same symptoms. I did a massive water change and then decided to write you for some insight. It is a 55gal <Too small> with live rock/sand, 3 damsels, <Food> hermits, and snails. Both lionfish wouldn't eat and then began to lose their color and started breathing heavily. I would like some guidance in saving the lion or at least preventing more deaths. P.S. the first lion died with it's mouth wide open, not sure if that helps. <Likely simple low dissolved oxygen... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/index.htm  Scroll down to the Scorpaeniform fishes... re: Lion Systems... Bob Fenner>
Re: Antennata Lionfish death -- 06/17/07
Hi again, The second lionfish died overnight. I have been looking over your pages on dissolved oxygen. I plan on lowering the water level to allow more air to get pushed into the tank. Would this solve the dissolved oxygen that you described? <No... maybe if the system we're bowl shaped...> Also, the other fish in the tank don't seem effected by the low oxygen, is the reason that the damsels are just more hardy to low oxygen? <DO could be the reason for loss... not absolutely sure... but is likely something "environmental"... You give no useful data re water chemistry, physics, history of the set-up... The extant animals have more surface area per unit mass... and may well be "used to" local conditions...> I also see that you said my tank was too small for an Antennata. <Yes> However, I enjoy Lionfishes and was wondering if a zebra lion would be okay for the 55gal? If it is okay, how hardy are the zebra lions? <Read... on WWM re. BobF>

Twitchy lion fish....   5/25/07 Hello to the WWM crew,     I am writing tonight about my lion fish, hopefully  I have not missed what I am looking for in your site as I have been searching  for hours. Any ways my lion has started acting strange over the  past week, he is resting on the bottom a lot more and he seems to twitch his  lower fins in the sand. It almost looks like he is shivering. He also on  occasion darts through the tank and acts as if he is itching himself with  his longer fins. His eating habits have not changed, he is fed silversides and  krill about every 3 days .I have had this fish for about 6 months and he has  been great. he is about 8 inches and his color looks great. My tank is a  125 gallon with a 30 gallon sump and protein skimmer. My lion is the  only fish currently. I say that because I just lost a copper banded butterfly that was introduced only 2 weeks ago, and not quarantined. This fish had  white and black spots on his fins that I treated as ick in a separate  tank. <Here is likely the root cause...> He past on after 2 days in hospital tank. I know I have made a mistake  there, but now I need a coarse of action to take with my lion. <Your punctuation... where are the spaces...?> Just last  night I added a UV to try and rid any parasites in my tank.  My water is as  follows: PH 8.2 Calc. 380 DKH 10  Ammo .25 ( normally hangs at 0 )   <Trouble also> Nitrite  0  Nitrate  0  Phos  0  Sp  Grav.  1.025   Temp  78  I have some coral and around  160 pounds of live rock a 4 inch sand bed and in my sump I have 30 pounds live  sand, sea weed and mangrove plants. Both tanks are well populated with snails and  crabs. I hope that is enough info for you to help. Thanks you very much in advance for all your help, Jeff Hopp <The medication exposure is almost certainly at root here. Likely this Lion will recover... takes time... a few weeks. Bob Fenner>
Re: twitchy lion fish.... -- 5/25/07
Bob,     Thanks for your Speedy response. I may not have  been clear enough but my lion was never exposed to any medication. I treated my  butterfly in a separate tank. <Ah, sorry for the misunderstanding...> I just left my LFS and was told to try Kent garlic  supplement. How do you feel about this? <I like garlic in many food items... and/but there is some indication of a cathartic effect in foods... for humans as well!> I also wanted to note I am aware of the  cause of my elevated ammonia levels. I chalk this up to a clean up crew that was  purchase via the Internet ( I wont say where to be kind ) that has been  dying since arrival, with a lot of DOA's. <Yikes> I have been diligent about water  changes since this has become a problem. Do you have any other  suggestions? <Mmm... do you have another system you can move this animal to?  Otherwise I would try the chemical filtrant route here, continue trying to offer live, and non-live wiggled foods... and try to be patient. Some lions do "shake" quite a bit... Bob Fenner> Thanks again for all your help, Jeff Hopp

Injured Lionfish + 1 month without eating. Need advice please.   5/24/07 Hi! <Hello there> First off, great site - full of helpful information, but I can't seem to find anything that quite matches my case, so I'm dropping you a line.  4 weeks ago my lionfish acquired a sizable gash across the top of the head in the soft tissue between the "head plate" and the first dorsal spine.  The deep gash went from one gill covering to the other and he was bleeding freely in the tank. <Yikes! Very bad situation... Fishes have very high "Packed Cell Volumes"... and a world of not much dissolved oxygen (often about 7 ppm... vs. ours of about 210,000... Need their blood, rest of their integument/slime systems to be intact to stay alive> I wish I could figure out how to attach the pictures I have, but it basically looks like someone took a steak knife and split the back of the head open. <Mmm, have seen similar injuries... Lions can really move at times... run into objects, jump out of the water, striking gear...> I later found a 2-inch peacock mantis in my live rock (which I immediately removed), but I am still unsure what caused this injury.  The bleeding eventually stopped and under the advice of my local fish store, I treated the tank with MelaFix for 2 weeks. <Am not a fan>   The Lionfish ate sparingly after this injury (he was a terrific eater of fresh frozen and freeze dried shrimp prior to this event), but ate his final piece of food 24 days ago.  His wound is healing nicely (no discoloration or puss from the wound). I tried ghost shrimp and guppies - nothing is taking his interest. In fact, when I try to "pole feed" dehydrated shrimp, the live ghost shrimp will crawl up onto the face of my Lionfish to get the food!!!  Water levels are fine, I check the ammonia, etc., every other day and change a portion of the water weekly.  Anyway, his dorsal spines are depressed, laying along his back and he's noticeably losing weight (although I haven't massed him). I've contacted a few local aquaria regarding force feeding, and had I.V. feeding proposed as a suggestion. <Mmm... would not do this> Unfortunately, the aquarium that suggested this is too far away for me to bring in the fish (overseas).  I was wondering if you had any suggestions for force or IV feeding? <Well... could/can be done... with extreme care with Pteroines obviously... but I would keep trying the foods you have been, with some changes... I would re-arrange the decor in this system, soak all foods in a vitamin and HUFA supplement (for attraction as well as nutrition), and make/use a "feeding stick" for the non-live items...> I've managed to shove food in his mouth via the "pole feeding" method, <Oh! Good> but at this point he's spitting everything back out - so I think we've gone a bit beyond the standard "hunger strike". If I must handle him to force or IV feed, what type of gloves would suffice to prevent being injured by his spines? <Mmm, actually... better to use well-soaked (to discount residual cleaner) white (versus colored) older cloth towels... to "hold back the dorsal and pectoral fins while manipulating such animals> I have dive gloves, but the joints are fairly thin. <These can be easily punctured... and the handling will further damage the fish with these> Any advice would be very helpful - my lionfish is such a terrific little guy, with an awesome personality (up until this event... his behaviour has radically changed to depressed and non-interactive over the past month).  I don't want to lose him! Thanks, Kim <The food bolus must be pressed, inserted further back than the buccal cavity... past the obvious closure in the back throat... there are some backward pointing structures there that disallow live food organisms from escape... A plastic catheter, other tools... Bob Fenner>

Sick Lion fish   5/20/07 Hello,  thank you for taking the time out to listen and help me with my concern.  I recently purchased a lion fish about two weeks ago.  I noticed today that he has some little white dots on his fins.  He is eating normally but is swimming upside down at the top. <Mmm, these fishes do this sort of orientation at times, but...> He also has a broken dorsal fin... I believe that is what it is called.  It is one of the long ones that stick out on the side.     My temp is 78, Ph 8.3, Nitrates 30, <Much too high... this is very likely a large contributing cause of the trouble here... Needs to be addressed NOW> Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0.       Could I have a problem with ick? <Could... but could be just the environment, lack of filtration... driven nitrification...> Is it normal for a lion fish to swim upside down at the top of the aquarium? <No>   Any suggestions or advise would be greatly appreciated.     Thank You! <... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lionsysfaqs.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Lion fish    5/20/07 Thank you so much for your help.   I am doing a water change today to bring my nitrates down. <Good. One, immediate way to dilute this...>   I did have another question.  It seems as though these little white spots that I was talking about are sloughing off today with what looks to be pieces of his skin.  I'm just wondering if that is his effort to slough off what ever those little white spots are. <Lionfishes are particularly "slimy"... and the infestation is irritating, does lead to such further behavior> It appears that there aren't as many on his fins today. <My friend... be very careful here... What is almost assuredly happening is a "one life cycle stage" (because it is new here) is cycling off... The Crypt will be back... with a proverbial vengeance... even more infesting the Lion, possibly killing it w/o your intervention... Do you understand this? The life cycle of Cryptocaryon?> I also raised my water temp to 81 last night, just in case it is ick.   <... this won't "do it">   Again, thank you so much for all of your help.  I am new at this and am still learning and do not like the idea of any of my fish dying. <I do hope/trust that you will learn (quickly) and act with knowledge in saving your fish/es. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Lion fish    5/20/07
What do you suggest in treating this? <May possibilities here, most likely copper, all require a hospital tank.  See here for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm , http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm .> <Chris>  

Lionfish injury   - 4/7/07 Hi <, I> recently bought a lionfish bout medium sized.  Hes <He's> still "new" to the tank but has eaten live food easily.  He has a chainlink/snowflake eel, <Mmm, these are two different species...> Foxface, 2 juvenile banded cat sharks, <In how large...? Oh, I see this below> a blue hippo tang, and a v tail grouper as tankmates.  Before I get jumped on for overcrowding all fish are small a 500 gallon is on the way <... and now?> and the filtration on this tank is capable of more then double the tanks actual size. <Filtration alone is not the issue>   Either way he is always out in the open doesn't <doesn't... where are your apostrophes? Spell-checking?> run from noises or any fish that come near him and really doesn't seemed stressed at all despite his recent change of scenery.  However, on one of his display fins for lack of the correct terms one finger of it is torn about half way its a very small tear but everything from that point up has turned almost blood red. <Happens quite often with the moving of Pteroine fishes...>   He's still showing no signs of distress and is still swimming around enjoying life but I am stressing about it. <Umm, don't... not likely at all to be a problem... Will heal of its own accord in time... likely a few weeks...> The tear is extremely small and in a very hard place for an eel to have grabbed a nip so I honestly have no idea how he got it and really would attribute it to the shipping of him if it hadn't turned red about 3 days later.  Anyway no one ive talked to so far can identify why this would be or what I can do for him.  Please help. <Just time going by... but do get that new tank up and going... and do pay close attention to ammonia, no more than 20 ppm nitrate here. Bob Fenner>

Multiple Lionfish deaths - extreme mystery -- 4/7/07 Hi guys, <Hi John.  Don't forget the girls too'¦> I am hoping desperately that you could offer some insight to my recent fish tragedies: four consecutive, completely mysterious Volitans and Dwarf Lionfish deaths. First off, I will describe my setup. 25g, <Much too small for a Volitans, borderline for Dwarf.  Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dwflionsysfaqs.htm > 4 month old, eclipse lighting/filtration, 30 lbs live rock, 160gph powerhead, good carbon and PolyFilter, 8 hermit crabs, 3 snails, and as of now no fish. My first fish was a Panther Grouper who was very healthy and happy for 2-3 months. <Also much too large of a fish for this small tank.  Research their long-term needs before buying.> During my time with him I introduced my first Volitans Lionfish who promptly died the morning after. Had the water tested and everything was perfect. So, I put another one in and exactly the same thing happened: he was perfectly fine for the few hours before night time, the next morning he was dead. Water checked out again. A couple weeks later the Grouper dies with his jaw locked wide open. Still no explanation on that but the consensus seems to be he tried to eat a hermit crab and choked. I spent the next three weeks making the water PERFECT. Pristine conditions: pH 8.3, alkalinity 11, ammonia/nitrite 0, salinity 1.024, nitrates less than 25, temp 76. <This all sounds very good.> This time to be safe I opted for the Dwarf Lion because of my tank size. <Better choice.> As you can imagine that same thing happened, he didn't last the night. So today I got another, this time a bit larger (hoping he would be bit hardier). I checked on him every 5-10 minutes and he wasn't struggling but seemed quite agitated. Before he made it into the tank he was occasionally swimming in odd positions; sometimes upside down. He lasted maybe two hours. The store I buy from is very reputable, supplying and supporting tanks for most of Atlanta. I drip every fish I get for at least 2 hours and make sure the water they leave is identical to the water they find in the tank. The Lions never had a chance to eat but the Grouper had a healthy, varied diet: mostly a 'marine diet' called Formula One (which is known to support a fish throughout its lifetime exclusively)  supplemented occasionally by ghost shrimp, frozen krill, and freshwater guppies. Every expert I have consulted is completely dumb-founded. I feel I've covered all the bases, I even grounded the tank before letting the fourth Lion in. This is my first saltwater tank and I am becoming very disheartened and am ready to give up completely. Any help would be greatly appreciated. <Given the accelerating speed of their demise, this sounds much like environmental toxins have built up in your tank.  The grouper may have lasted longer, as toxins may have built up slowly while he was in the water and so he was more resistant than the suddenly introduced new fish.  Thoughtfully assess the environment outside the tank.  Consider if there is anything in the air or on your hands that could be building up in the water.  Air fresheners? Dusting aerosols? Spray cleaners? Fragrant candles? Anti-bacterial hand-soap?  Any chemicals like this can gradually build up in the water, and there aren't any tests for them.  If you can identify any potential contaminants and eliminate them from future introduction, you will still have to change most of the water.  Larger water changes can keep things from building up, and also help with the nitrates.  Read here about other toxic tank examples: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/toxictkfaqs3.htm Carbon can help remove these types of chemicals, but only significantly if it is changed weekly.  A protein skimmer may help also.  Given the timing of the deaths and your good water parameters and acclimation procedure, I cannot think of anything else it could be but toxic water. Don't give up, it sounds like you are doing many things well and hopefully you can identify the source of the problem and correct it and then have many years of enjoyment from this wonderful hobby.  Consider selecting smaller (when they are mature) fish or getting a bigger tank if you must have large predators.  Much available information here about system requirements for many species.>   Best Regards,   -John <Cheers, Alex>
Re: Multiple Lionfish deaths- extreme mystery  4/18/07
Hi everyone,    <John>   Thank you very much for your reply. However I replied to this message with some follow-up questions and never heard back. I guess y'all are just busy. Anyway, I agree with your opinion that there is a toxic build-up in the tank. I did a number of partial water changes and added a Purigen filter in the hopes of removing whatever is in there, but I had a Royal Gramma die in the drip bucket today (bringing the grand total to six) so obviously more drastic measures are required. After reading through many FAQs on your site I stumbled across some on DSBs. I forgot to mention in my original message that I only have 40lbs of Arag live sand that is, at it's deepest, 2 inches. <Mmm, sort of a "tweener"... a bit too much, or too little here> > what I've read this is not enough. Is this true? <Is factual> Also, it wasn't stirred once for three to four months. Could a build-up of toxic substances have accumulated with only one fish? <Mmm, yes> I have a few hermit crabs that dig through the substrate and it still appears to have it's original color (it's not yellow or dark/off-colored). I recently started stirring it with my finger because the gravel vacuum tends to suck it out of the tank. <Need to either have a larger one... or pinch the exhaust/siphon tube a bit to slow down flow> I plan on doing a 100% water change soon and it would be an ideal time to add another 20lb bag of (pre-established) live sand. Should I do it? What do you recommend? <Yes, and that you read: http://wetwebmedia.com/dsbsize.htm and the linked files above> Please help me as no one else has answers for me and seems to have little interest in my problems if I'm not buying something from them.      Thank you very much,   -John <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish problems!!! HELP  3/19/07 Hi, I have had a Lionfish for the last 6 months, who was doing wonderfully well. In the last week, it refuses to eat, and has been swimming from side to side in the tank for hours, like he had never done before. <Unusual behavior> I've tried hand-feeding it silver fish, krill, and raw shrimps. He just doesn't eat. My tank is a 92 gallon, and my lionfish is about 6 inches long. I have 3 tangs and one panther grouper. <Mmmm> It is a reef tank. Is it possible that he is outgrowing the tank? <More likely the tankmates> Or is it the beginning of a parasite or any disease? <Not likely> Please help, I love this fish! Thanks, Gary <The behavior is indicative of "something" bothering this specimen... that is obviously not bothering your other fish livestock... Likely the presence of the Chromileptis/Panther is "it"... If this were my Lion, I'd move it to another system to see if this "cures" the non-feeding and pacing behavior... and if you don't have such means, I'd trade in either it or the Bass. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish Abscess/Tumor I must say I have searched your site for some semblance of my problem with my V. Lion by I was unsuccessful. My Setup: Recently went from a 55 gallon to 110+ gallon (6 months ago) 110 Gallon - all RO Water/Never Tap 1 Fluval 404 1 Fluval 304 <Mmm, am not a fan of such canister filters use in these sorts (larger, predatory fishes) marine systems> 1 CPR Protein Skimmer riding the back of a 10 gallon sump Nitrate - ~20 - 30ppm (water change overdue) Nitrite  - 0 PH ~ 8.0 - 8.2 Ammonia - 0 Water Temp ~78 - 79.1 8 inch V. Lion Tomato Clown - large 2 Domino Damsels and 1 zebra (initially used to "cycle the new tank" thought they would end up as feeders for the Lion) Yellow Tang Wolf Eel - large Bursa Trigger - new and small Spotted Grouper - new and small <A real hungry mix... I would upgrade your filtration, including skimming... stat!> The tank runs great and looks and everyone seems happy, great water conditions, except for a small amount of red slime which was my fault, left the lights on a little too long; but to get straight to the point. I have had my Lion for about 3 years and a few months ago I found a growth (abscess/tumor like) under one the gills. I went to my local aquarium store and they recommended trying "Marine-Max" an Anti-Oxidant/Disease preventing Probiotic before trying anything else. <Ho boy...> This seemed to work after a couple weeks of applications, but recently it has come back and it looks larger then before. The Lion eats well, is active and seems to go about it's day as if there is nothing wrong. So again, I started administering the Marine Max but this time it doesn't appear that it is effective. I do not have a hospital tank and I know better not to medicate the entire tank. Could you please enlighten me on the cause of this infection and possibly the remedy/steps to take to resolve this? A million thanks! Joe <I would try adding a marine supplement that includes vitamins, HUFAs and above all Iodide/ate... Look for such (Selcon, Microvit)... or mix a few of the mainstream manufacturers products that involve all these... I strongly suspect at nutritional deficiency, perhaps a goiter is at play here... and the use of the supplement the real means of a fix here. Bob Fenner>

Funky Lionfish behaviour   12/6/06 Hi everyone, <Anthony>     You were kind enough to help me out a couple of months ago with a Blue-cheek Trigger problem, so I figured I'd pick your brains a little more.  I've looked through Google and your Lionfish section for something resembling this, but have found nothing.  I have a (I believe) 10" Volitans in a 180 gallon tank with a few friends that have been around for a long time.  Nothing has changed in the tank prior to this behaviour starting.  What the Lion is doing is swimming around with his head above the water surface. <Not good...> Eyes, mouth...   it's as if he thinks he's a crocodile or something.  He's bumping into things, and is going into his second eek of being on a hunger strike.  I did read something about a lack of aeration for other behavioural issues, <Yes... best first guess> and was wondering if him having his mouth above the surface is a means for him getting air? <This is a/the theory>    Someone told me that it's a bad idea to connect the air-intakes to the powerheads.  Can you confirm that? <Not an issue... very small bubbles are problematical, not ones larger than say 1 mm in diameter>    I have 4 powerheads being controlled by a Wavemaker Pro in the tank, with plenty of live rock, excellent filtration and decent water conditions: 78 degrees, 1.025 SG, 8.2 pH, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 5 ppm nitrates.  I tried dropping some ghost shrimp in the tank to get him to eat, but got no response.  His color & body look good.  He's just acting like a freak.    :) Thanks, Anthony <There are other probable causes for the observed behavior... next in line might be that this fish has "swallowed something"... like gravel, a hermit crab... and is suffering duress consequently... I would try adding a dose of Epsom Salt (see WWM re) and keep offering foods that this fish is known to accept... daily. Bob Fenner>

Lion fin problem    11/29/06 Hi, I have a situation here. I don't know if this is a big problem or small problem. Today I fed my lionfish some krill but he got to excited (Volitans). He somehow ended up swallowing one of his pectoral fins since they are very big. I tried to get it out with a feeding stick but it's no use. Will the lion digest the fin? Will it kill him? Thanks, Ben <Wowzah! This one is an eager eater! I would make another effort (carefully) to extricate this fin from the fish's mouth... Get a friend to net the fish, raise it to the surface, use the feeding stick to leverage the fin out. Bob Fenner>

Lion Fish Problems... fed feeders, poor env.   8/30/06 Hey guys, Looked through all discussions on Lion Fish diseases and could not find what our Lion fish has. We got our lion about 2 months ago and he is about 7 inches. We have him in a 125 gallon tank he was in there by himself until yesterday we added our emperor angel to the tank. <The Angel may pick on this lion> We feed him feeder fish two to three times a week. <Not a good idea... likely the principal cause of death of captive Pteroines> He always looked healthy and was very active. A couple of days ago my husband noticed that on the lions back by his spines some skin was missing and that two of the spines in the same area did not have any skin on them. Almost looked like two new spines were growing. We thought we would keep on eye on him. Today it seems that more skin is eaten away and one of the spines is starting to break off. Water conditions are good, no nitrites, nitrates, etc. prior to noticing this condition we did do a 20% water change. Could a drop in the PH cause any problems? <Yes> We are at a loss here as to what this might be? Bacteria Infection, Parasite, Internal Infection? Let me know what you think. Thanks for your time. Don & Lisa <Nutritional, environmental. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/lionfdgfaqs.htm and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/lionsysfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Lion Dis... no info. - 8/9/2006 Hello, My name is Angie and I found your e-mail on a website when I was looking for help with my lion fish. I have only had him for 3 days. When I looked at him today it appears that his right eye has a film over it. I am very concerned about this. Do you have any advice for me? Please help I don't want to lose my little buddy.  Thank you Angie <<Hi Angie. I'd love to help you, but I need more information.  How did you cycle your tank? What size is the tank? SG? Ammonia? NitrItes? NitrAtes? pH? Any general set-up information is helpful. Thanks. Lisa.>>
Re: Lionfish question that had no info previously - 8/10/2006
Oh Thank you..... I know this is going to sound strange to you but I have never run checks on my tank <<You should.>> I always take the water in once a week to be checked by the fish store. Amazingly they say my tank always is good. (My trick is I run a fresh water cleaner all the time.) <<Fresh water cleaner? The problem with getting your LFS to test the waster is that they usually say it's 'fine' or 'good'. Those subjective terms aren't helpful, only real numbers are.>> I have had my tank for 2 years. It is a 55 gallon tank. So I could not give you any of the Ammonia, NitrItes, NitrAtes. I did although have a problem about 3 months ago that killed my tang that I had had for 2 years. (Long story but It was a big booboo I did.) So I started over and tank has done great, had two damsels in there that have been in there for two months, but the lion fish ate them within the past three days. So I am just unsure. Really our fish people here do not know much about the fish they just check the water. Please any advice would help. <<Without readings I really can't help much I'm afraid.  This seems like an environmental issue to me, which can be corrected with water changes and proper husbandry, but without knowing the issue, there is little I can say.  Lisa.>>

Lion Disease Help   7/29/06 Hello <Hi there> Just curious if you have any idea what this spot is on my Volitans Lion.  He's had it for 4 months now.  No other symptoms to report.  He's eating well, not breathing heavily and being his usual self.  the spot seems to be getting a little more red than I remember. <Appears to be an emarginated (microbially involved) "sore" from a physical trauma (common with these fishes)... Should heal on its own. Bob Fenner>

Sick Lionfish... env., nutr....    7/18/06 Hey guys, <And gals...> I have been going through every lion fish article you have and have seen some good info. However I think I may have something that I haven't seen.  Here it is. I have a lionfish that has been with me for 1 year now.  I have a 55 gallon tank with 10 hermit crabs, 3 turbo snails, 1 Blue Tang, 1 Yellow Tang <... this system is too small for these fishes...> 2 Hawaiian feather dusters and 1 green Feather duster.  I have a protein skimmer (odyssey) and a trickle filter to a 4 gallon bio ball sump setup.  There are also 2 power heads in there as well. The levels are as follows:  Nitrates about 10ppm (just did another 5 gallon water change to bring that back down to 0, <Mmm, ten ppm. is not too "bad"... zero is not achievable here> PH was low but that is back up to 8.2, nitrites and ammonia are perfect.  There was high phosphates and I have brought that down as well.  The salinity is at 1.022. <I'd keep this nearer to NSW strength, 1.025> I used to feed the lionfish gold fish but stopped that after warnings by your team. <Good> I started feeding him silversides which he loved, I could see his color get much better and he was also much more active as well as his wings started healing. Well 2 weeks ago I was trying to feed him but he didn't want anything to do with the food, kind of looked at it then let it drop to the ground. <Feeding strikes are very common with captive Scorpaeniforms...> I tried again 2 days later and have been every day since (That should explain the nitrates).  Well he would let it just hit his head and do nothing.  I have read that these fish will go on a hunger strike but I think I am past that now.  I have got the quality of water back to good (and it has been worse).  Well he now looks like he isn't breathing very well at all, very little movement in the gills. He also seems very disoriented he will be upside-down motionless and then will start moving but definitely not normal activity.  He also shed his skin the other night which I read they can do to get rid of parasites and/or disease. <Yes, natural behavior> Well today I was trying to get a good look at his eyes and his gills to see if I could see anything out of the ordinary. Well on him there was nothing but I came across something in the tank that may be a sign and may not.  I tried to get a picture but the resolution wasn't good.  SO I will try to explain.  In the live rock there are a bunch of little brown cylinder things smaller than a piece of rice.  Maybe 1 mm long if that. They are all over. They are light brown in color. I don't think they are waste from the fish since I have seen there waste before and it doesn't look like this.  I also have noticed 2 spots on the rock where there are almost polyp looking things.  They are about the size in diameter of a Coax cable end (3 cm or so?)  They are white/clear and have a little darker spot in the middle. Almost look like alcove of garlic or an upside down heart on the rock.   Also a little while back there was this weird string like thing that was white with little balls going the length. Almost like a pearl necklace but the pearls were separated more. DO you have any clue what these are and how I can help my fish.  Any help would be great. <Mmm, highly doubtful that these "critters" are problematical... Much more likely that your Lion has/is suffering from a nutritional deficiency syndrome. I would keep "wiggling" food in front of it... that has been soaked in a vitamin/iodide supplement (these are made for this purpose commercially)... and continue to seek out larger quarters for these fishes. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Link
Re: Sick Lion  7/19/06
Hey guys, I had just e-mailed you about 20 minutes ago and have found even more things now. After inspecting the rocks again I noticed that there are little things in the holes that are white, almost about 1-2 mm in length, they are attached to the rock and hang upside down and look like a bat on a tree kind of. I am trying to get pictures for you but the cameras just aren't working. I have started the process of bringing the salinity in the tank down to about 1.021-1.020. <... please read where you've been referred to... The small organisms are of no consequence here, I would raise this spg. Bob Fenner> Any help would be great. Thanks, Link
Re: Sick Lion... still not reading  7/19/06
Here is the last one I promise.  I checked the lionfish over and it seems at the y of his tail fin there are bubble like growths.  He is in bad shape so I hope to medicate him or get him better before its too late. Thanks, for your help. I will be ready to act on your advice whenever you reply. Thanks, Link <Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lions&rels.htm and the linked files above. The best, simplest thing to do is move this fish to another system. Likely there is something amiss with the current situation. Second best would be to start a series of daily water changes... Bob Fenner>

Urgent: Sick Lionfish - Can You Please Help? Actually not urgent, not likely any need for help   7/10/06 Hi, <Morning> I am really hoping you can help me with my Volitans Lionfish. I have read through all of the FAQ's and much of the text on the site but have still not seen anything which shows the full picture of what is happening to my lionfish. <Let's see> We have had him now for 3 years and he is now 11 inches in length. He is in an aquarium of 400 litres / 110 US Gallons and has eaten regularly, either live ghost shrimp or frozen food without any issues. We have had a very hot period over the past couple of weeks and over the past 6 days the lionfish has refused to eat anything we have placed in the tank - whether live shrimp or frozen food. <Not unusual, and not a problem if the animal is otherwise in good shape> What is concerning is that he now has seem to have lost 'co-ordination' is the only way I can put it and is unable to swim around the tank but instead floats from one side to the other and spins around in circles as he seems to be unable to level himself. He is not breathing heavily and nor shows any external signs of distress. Water quality readings are within the required limits and have not changed recently i.e. have remained the same in the past year and have always been excellent. I am extremely concerned as the Lionfish is a well loved family pet and want to do anything I can to help him, as I fear he may be old - is there any way to tell this or sick and be on his way out. Can you please help me? Kind Regards, Dave <Mmm, is possible this is some expression of a nutritive deficiency... At any length, given the information presented, I would execute a large (25% or so) water change, leave the lights off for the duration... and continue to try the usually accepted foods... soaked for five, ten minutes ahead of time in a vitamin-rich supplement (these are made for this purpose in the aquarium interest). Don't panic... Bob Fenner>

Sick lionfish, poor grammar, not reading   6/27/06 I have a 110gal tank with a six to eight inch red lionfish. The problem started about three to four weeks ago. The lionfish quit eating, then started   swimming around during the day and night. He lost color plus weight. A week ago he started darting back and fourth across the tank. When this happened he broke some  fins and ruffed up the skin. Now the mouth is red from hitting live rock and  crushed coral. I have the following fish: Lunare wrasse, stars and stripe   puffer, yellow tang, and a parrot fish <The puffer and Scarid are misplaced here> are all eating plus are healthy. 6/26/06 started treating with MelaFix [ should I keep using it ] <Of no use whatsoever> Doesn't float weird or swimming funny. please help <Where are the spaces twixt your sentences? Where is information re the water quality? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/liondisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish gone blind  5/14/06 Hi, My lionfish has gone blind. He at first became stressed out  swimming into the live rock and sides of the tank. After a week he has felt his way around the tank to know where the rocks are and how long the tank is. He hasn't eaten for 3 weeks now. I try force feeding him white bait and green prawn meat but he coughs the food back out. He is shedding his cuticle once a week. My tank is 300 litres. Tank has been established for 2 years. Have had the lionfish for 18 months - 25 cm long. Nitrate is 80, <Much too high> Nitrite is 0, & Ammonium is 0. Phosphate is 4 after the last test. <Ditto> This is usually 0 and this is the first time its been above 0. PH is 8. Since the last test have done 30% water change. Previously we do a 25% water change every 3 weeks. There is no cloudiness in his eyes. No opaque covering over the lens or sign of a cataract. I also have a longhorn cow fish. Would the cow fish be secreting any poison? <Not likely... is usually an all or nothing proposition... all dead or not> Our domino damsel, and blue ribbon eel <Hard to keep> appear healthy and fine. Also have a sea urchin in the tank. His feeding history - was feed fresh water fish for the first 3 months but haven't feed him this since. Any thoughts on getting him to eat & the cause of his blindness? And can this be cured? Many thanks,     :o) Caro <Is gone over on WWM... use the words "blind" and "Lionfish" in the Google search tool. Generally over-bright lighting and possible a nutrition component (avitaminoses)... but water quality can be a factor as well. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish/Environmental problems - 5/8/2006 Hi there, We have a very sick lionfish and we're not sure what to do. We recently changed the water in his tank and removed him for a moment in doing so. <<There is no need to remove fish during water changes.  Did you change ALL of the water??>> After this, he turned pale. We gave the water and him son aloe vera and 'anti-stress' (placed in the water) and it seemed to help, but now he isn't eating (hasn't for a week or so), his eyes are foggy, his tails are tattered and he seems to be 'off balance' (swimming sideways). HELP. Is there anything we can do to help him? He seems like he is in a lot of pain. : ( <<Test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.  It sounds to me like he is suffering from ammonia poisoning in an uncycled/re-cycling tank.  Get on partial water changes.>> I believe we have a red lionfish. Thank you. -Carolina <<Lisa.>>

Lion Fish Fin problem    4/15/06 Hey there, <Hello> I have a lionfish for the past year now. It is about 5 inches long.  I noticed that when I get it one of the wings (left side) had the web ripped or almost looked as though it was disintegrating.  I chalked it up to new tank and possible power head meeting!!!.  Well just recently I noticed that the other wing is doing the same thing.  I have read that it should not be fed gold fish or other freshwater fish. <Correct>   I have been feeding it those but I will immediately stop.  I do feed it every other day with 1 fish. Is this the appropriate amount and timing? <Two, three times a week is about right> Oh and on the fin one of the spines was broken from colliding with a rock when it was feeding. <Does happen> It seemed to change to a darker color  and also have a white bump where it looked like it healed.  I assume this is normal healing ? <Likely so> Thanks for you help. Link <The loss of the "inter-spine webbing" is also natural... with age, growth... individually expressed, but a general trend. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish's' dislocated jaws and Ich   3/10/06       Hello  again,   I am getting ready to set up my 140, but am trying to clear up an  Ich problem  in my 55 before I transfer the inhabitants. <Good idea> My 55 is a FOWLR, there are  two  6" volitans that I've had since they were 2" and never a problem. 6  weeks ago I introduced a gold bellied dog face in anticipation of up  grading to  the 140. The 55 is going to be the qt so when I brought the puffer home  I did  not have a qt. Instead I did a fresh water bath.. I know... I  know...  A few days later the puffer  was covered in Ich and I began fresh water baths for all three fish and  over  the course of three days lowered the sg from 1.020 to 1.009. Twice a  day for  three days I continued the fresh water baths with all three fish. Once  there was no visual evidence  of Ich on the fish I began counting to four weeks with the tank at a  specific  gravity of 1.009. Everything was perfect for the first week, all three  fish  were eating. At the beginning of the second week one of the volitans  dislocated  its upper jaw. <Likely from a physical trauma in this crowded space> I have kept several lions over the past two decades and  this was a first for me so I rapidly researched it on your site and  wrapped the lion in a saltwater wetted non-colored cloth I  massaged the upper jaw back into almost perfect place. <Ah, good!> He began eating  again  with in a week. At the beginning of the third week the other lion fish  dislocated its upper jaw but to a further degree than the first lion.  (I have  never witnessed quarrels among the tank mates. They sleep/rest with  fins  intertwined and when ever some new enters the room they intertwine  their fins  and drift through the tank looking like a giant lion fish.) <A threat gesture> The second  lion's  upper jaw has no flexibility, I have tried massaging it into place  but it  remains the same and she is not eating. Upon the four week mark with no  visual  signs of Ich, I began restoring the tank to a s.g. of 1.020. It has  been four  days with the tank at 1.020, I have introduced no new fish, no live  feeders,  no  food that was not previously frozen for at least a week and  today I  found my puffer with traces of Ich <Yes... hyposalinity treatments rarely "cure" parasitic infestations... See WWM re...> and one of my lions with one or two  specs. I  did a fresh water bath on all three. My question is... Do I lower the  s.g.  again or do I nuke the tank with a modern medicine of your choice. I am  willing  to lose my live rock but would prefer not to use something that will  imbed its  self in the rock and make it unusable for a future reef. It is my  understanding that copper treatments will do just that to live rock.      Please help, I care deeply for these guys     Jason <Mmm, well, first of all a 55 is too small for just these Lions, second, I would not mix a Tetraodont puffer with them... in the 55 for sure, lastly, the means to treat the crypt is posted on WWM... Bob Fenner>

Sick Lionfish, incl. Monogenetic Trematodes   03/07/06 Dear Bob, <Chris> Lately my lionfish has suffered from monogenes ( the worms that move around the fish and cause cloudy eyes....looks like ick) <Yes.... Trematodes... direct lifecycle types... can be real trouble...> I didn't know what they were until it was too late because the lionfish was not scratching and it continued to eat like a pig. <For others, and highly unlikely for the last time, a/the simple pH-adjusted FW bath/dips that have been advocated for so dang long, will/would take care of these flatworms... Dang! Okay.> I attempted to feed it medicated food several occasions however it didn't seem to cure whatever was growing on the fish.. I didn't learn what it was until my friend pointed it out and called em monogenes. That night that he came over my lion had stopped eating.. So I gave him a 4 minute freshwater dip and then placed him into a 50gallon breeder tank with no substrate and medicated water with Copper Safe and Formalin 2. I did the formalin 2 for 3 days and I didn't see a whole lot of improvement <Might have been too late by then> and then I followed up with three days of Tetracycline and 3 days of half dose of Maracyn. The fishes eyes cleared up and improved 98% and the monogenes all seemed to fall off. <Oh! Good!> The fish has been in the quarantine tank for roughly 10days.. The tail that had tail rot seemed to stopped rotting and it seem to remain the same size. I saw the same conditions on Saturday. The tail looked like it wasn't getting worse and the eyes looked pretty clear. However the fish hasn't ate for 14 days. So I decided maybe if I move the fish back into the main tank <...? Is this a/the source of the Trematodes?> it would start to eat and heal up. I noticed that when I caught the fish he gave me a hard time catching him and when I placed him in the main tank its tail looked much worse then it looked on Saturday however prior to catching it the tail seemed to be the same as it looked on Saturday. Overall the rest of the body is in great shape. Its a 14 inch lionfish and it has a huge home to live in. The tank he resides in is 240 gallon tank. I know you say the best way to get rid of a bacterial problem is to have stable water. <Generally, yes... Given the animal/s are "strong enough" otherwise> My water in my main tank is testing just fine right now. Was I right for moving him into back into the main tank? <Doesn't read like you had much choice> What is the best way to win over a bacterial infection and to get a fish to start eating again seeing the situation that I am in now? Sincerely, Christopher Faiola <IF the animal can be made to eat, eats, to "sneak" a broad-spectrum gram negative antibiotic into its food would be my choice here. If not, to make a bath of this, in concentration, and soak the fish in it for ten, fifteen minutes (with aeration). Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Lionfish - 03/07/2006
thank you for your response.. I'm going to try to feed him medicated food ASAP...ill stay in touch to let you know how the fish is doing <Thank you for this. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Lionfish - 03/07/2006
how would I go about preparing a bath of gram negative antibiotics. Could you please gave me directions? thanks <Please put this string of words in the WWM Google search tool, read the cached versions. BobF, out of time>

Lionfish help ... Centropyge comp.  - 3/1/2006 Hello Bob <Wayne> I read until my eyes dried out trying to find the answer to my Lionfish question. <Google on WWM, the cached view...> So forgive me if I'm asking a repeat question.  I have a 120 Gal, that I upgraded to from a 55gal, with about 50-60# of live rock, Volitans Lionfish, Snowflake eel, Coral Beauty, 2 Yellowtail Damsels.  I also have 2 Condy Anemones, Devils Hand Leather, Cauliflower Leather.  I'm using a Berlin Skimmer, Orbit 4x96w 10K/Actinic lighting (switched from a Coralife 4x65), a 40 gal refugium with a mag18 pump.  I have a small powerhead that I use to keep circulation going behind the rocks.  So far I've only tested for Nitrates, Nitrites, Ammonia, and PH, which are a 0,0,0,8.2 respectively. <All sounds good thus far> I just added the Berlin (5days ago), and was using a Skilter prior. <Heeee! Some difference now!>   I've had this tank running now for about 7 weeks (upgraded from a 55gal which I had for 1 year).  We've had the Lionfish now for about 7 months. Here's my question/concern.. My Lionfish has recently (past 2 weeks, since we introduced the Coral Beauty) started to be extremely active.  This is just the opposite of what I'm used to.   <Yes... Centropyges can "pick" at Pteroines mercilessly...> He usually hangs out in some "caves" I made for him, and was relatively inactive during the day.  Ever since I got the Coral Beauty, the lionfish no longer goes to the bottom half of the tank and is constantly facing the glass and swimming against the current.  He is eating well (I feed him a combination of frozen shrimp, scallops, and flounder every other day), and his black stripes are now slightly brown.  I noticed one of his eyes looks slightly "cloudy". <Good observation> It's so subtle that I'm questioning whether or not I'm just being paranoid.  Paranoid or not, he is definitely more active than I've ever seen him.  Today, I restructured the "seascape" and made more caves hoping that he'll get back to normal. Should I be concerned about this energetic behavior from my Lionfish, or am I being paranoid.  He has never been this active before. Thanks again for all your help! Wayne <Only time can tell whether the Dwarf Angel is directly pestering your Lion... If so they will have to be separated. Bob Fenner>
Re: Lionfish help **Time sensitive feedback. Please!!!   3/3/06
Hey Bob! <Wayne> Thanks for the feedback... <Welcome> I have to say... I stare at our tank probably more than I should, and I've never seen the Coral Beauty and the Lionfish act aggressively toward each other. <I see> So I'm thinking that an Ich outbreak is starting in my tank...and thus the reason form my Lionfishes "hyperactive" behavior. <Maybe> The Lionfish's' condition hasn't changed and my wife noticed this morning that the Coral Beauty has some white spots on it.  Again, it's kind of subtle... we at first thought they were just air bubbles, but after most of the day, the spots remained on the fish.  You see... I got bit by the bug when I got the 120gal, and only now have I discovered that QT'ing newly bought fish is a necessity.  Needless to say, the Coral Beauty was not QT'd. My tail is between my legs, and I've learned my lesson. <Good> So...We've decided to start a hospital tank.  We figured that it was better safe than sorry.  I've never seen Ich before, so after reading all the symptoms, white spots, cloudy eyes, sporadic behavior... we figured we fit the bill, and that it was a good idea to start a Hospital tank.   <There are some pix on WWM, elsewhere on the Net... I'd look> Here's what I plan to do or have already done.  Please tell me if I'm doing something wrong.  This strategy has mostly been sourced from WWM...I've never done this before so here goes... I took our old 55gal, and mixed salt water with distilled water (I don't have enough water pressure for an RO/DI unit). <I would use the "old water" for the initial move here... no reason not to> The manufacturer confirmed no copper in the distilling process, and no copper present in test results. My main tank is usually around 1.023.  I'm going to mix the hosp tank to 1.021.  I hope this isn't too low. <For these fishes? No... but I would not move them to more than 0.001, a thousandth change in a day...>   I'll let the water mix for a good 24 hours. <Do this for the needed change-out water... not the initial. Make this with the current system water with some freshwater added to lower the initial spg about a thousandth down...> A 280gph powerhead will be inserted, a 300w heater to match the main tank @ 78 degrees, and a Skilter with no carbon, just the foam filter inserted (I also disabled the "skimmer" part of the Skilter).  I don't plan to use any lighting, just regular day light.  I have a Coralife 4x65 10K/Act light just sitting in the garage that I could use. I plan to add some CopperSafe by Mardel...how much?? I'll wait until I see the directions from the bottle. <... Very important to hammer this message home... USE a test kit... NOT a blind measure of so much per supposed gallons...> When all is mixed, and at least 24 hrs have passed from the time I salt-mixed the hospital tank, I plan to take ALL my fish out (regardless of their symptoms or lack of), and freshwater dip them 3-5 min each.  I can't find any Methylene Blue to mix in the dip, I hope this isn't too big of a deal!   <Shouldn't be if they're not "too" debilitated... do pH adjust...> So I will use just distilled water. <Dechloraminated tap is fine, better... and do aerate this...> As sad as it is to say, I can't afford to pay $29 to overnight a bottle of the stuff to my home.  I've spent all my disposable cash on the main tank.  From there they will go into the hospital tank for 6weeks.  I'll do 10% water changes and siphons every week for 6 weeks, as well as my main tank. After the 6 weeks, do I just drop all the livestock back in the main? <Likely so> Is there a way to check the main tank to see if the Ich is gone?   <Not practically> The livestock that will go in the hospital tank are... Volitans Lion 7", Coral Beauty, 2 Yellowtail Damsels, and a Snowflake eel 8" <The damsels will likely be inhaled... do add some large PVC fittings, pipe for hiding> This is where I get cheesy! I have a plastic "Castle", a "Bridge" and a fake plant that I'd like to put in the hosp tank.  I figured since the Lionfish and the Eel like to hide that this might be a good idea.   <Okay> It sure would be great to hear from you by 3:00pm ET tomorrow!   Please advise if I'm missing anything.   You guys/gals are great!  Keep up the great work!  Thanks a ton! Wayne <When in doubt, anxious, do read over the archived materials on Marine Parasitic Disease... this will take a while... Bob Fenner>
Re: Lionfish help **Time sensitive feedback. Please!!!   03/07/06
Thanks for your continued help on this issue Bob.  Unfortunately, I have some more questions.   We didn't actually put the fish in the hospital tank until Sat night.  So I took your advice below, and drained the already mixed water in the QT, and filled it mostly with water from my main tank. <Good> I dosed the tank conservatively, compared to the instructions on the CopperSafe bottle.  I thought I had a good test kit (from Red Sea), but that whole deal got kind of confusing.  CopperSafe is "Chelated copper sulfate". Test kits are either for "Chelated Copper" or "Copper sulfate".  I eventually found a Chelated copper test kit by Seachem, only to find out it was so old that the Copper reagent was not working anymore.   <Bunk!> Fearing my fishes death, I put them all in Sat night, not knowing exactly what the copper readings were, but assumed they were lower than .3. I'll fast forward a bit now... After the first 5 hours, the Ammonia went from 0 to .25. After 15 hours, it was up to 1.0.  I did a 10 gal water change (total of 40 gal in the hospital tank), and that did very little.  I didn't even notice a change in the readings.   <Yikes> SO... since it would be another 24 hrs before my next water change (I don't have a means of mixing more than 10 gals of water at a time), and didn't have any biological filter available. I felt that by morning, the fish would be in fatal ammonia conditions. <Possibly so> So my wife and I made the decision to put the fish back in the main tank. We fresh water dipped before putting them back in the main.  I also washed the heater that was in the hospital tank with soap and water, and put it back in my sump. <... stay away from surfactants (soaps, detergents) and aquatic life...> Finally here are my questions. Will putting the heater back in the main tank contaminate it with harmful amounts of copper? <No> Is the equipment I used in the QT (Net, Siphon, Hydrometer, Tongs), now unusable in the main tank since they've been exposed to copper?   <No... very little transference likely to occur here> If yes, can I simply wash them with soap and water? <No more soap please> So now, I'm going to try and figure out how I can mix enough water to keep up with the Ammonia spikes in the QT.  Once I get that nailed, I'll try and hospitalize the fish again. Thanks again Bob. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

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