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FAQs on Aquatic Viral Diseases: Case Histories: Lymphocystis

Related Articles: Lymphocystis, Environmental Disease, Clownfish Disease,

Related FAQs: Viral Diseases 1, Viral Diseases 2, Aquatic Virology, & FAQs on Aquatic Virus Disease: Identification, Causes/Etiology, Cures/Medications, Case Histories: Non-Lymphocystis, Lymphocystis,

Lymph on Coral Beauty angelfish?     12/27/17
Crew! This fellow came in with a few other fish and he had some cotton on a dorsal ray and some minor damage on a pectoral fin. I did a FW/MB dip on everyone and put them all in QT. The other fish didn't develop any issues
and I moved everyone else to a holding tank. He's been eating and behaving just fine. The cotton went away after the dip and he's been healing. Now, 2 weeks later, the dorsal ray and pectoral fin look fine but this granule on
his caudal fin showed up. I'm thinking this is Lymphocystis and I'm wondering if there's any benefit to keeping him in QT after the 1 month mark (I have a Butterflyfish in my DT with Lymph). Also, do you recommend any immunosupportive treatments while in QT? Thank you!
<I do concur w/ your observation. To me, this looks almost certainly to be Lymphocystis. T'were it me/mine, I'd pinch off (with your finger and thumb, this bit, while enroute moving this fish to the main-display. And do what
you can to optimize nutrition and environment to help the fish fight off viral return. Bob Fenner>

Lymphocystis in Silver Scat... rdg.        3/11/14
I have a 5" Silver Scat with Lymphocystis (my best guess).  It is a small fleshy, white/pink , wart-like growth in between nostril and mouth.  At first i did not know what it was.  I treated with Pimafix and Melafix with no luck. 
<... they're worse than worthless. If you were sick, would you drink leaf extracts?>

Next I tried Paraguard (aldehyde based) in quarantine tank and after a couple of days it seemed to dissolve away.  He was in there for about 6 days and I returned him back to the 55g with tanks mates (a green scat, freshwater moray and 3 Mono argenteus).  After a few days I could see it returning. 
<Of no use here either>
Should I retreat it again but for  longer time with ParaGuard in quarantine tank?
If it cannot be cured will my other fish be at risk of getting infected also?
Should the fish be removed/euthanized if it cannot be cured? 
If he will just have an ugly growth and live a healthy life I can live with that and leave him be.
<Good conditions and nutrition... perhaps a bit more. READ:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Disease Diagnosis 5/9/11
I have a Regal Angel (from Divers Den) in my 40g QT that I received on 4/28 (Thur)...looked fine, and eating live Tubifex worms.
The tank also housed a Powder Blue Tang with Lymphocystis.
<Mmm, I would not quarantine Pygoplites, and definitely not quarantine anything w/ Acanthurus leucosternon>
About 4 days later, I noticed on the left rear dorsal fin what looks like fungus or bacteria. I treated with Maracyn-2 but not much change.
Now it is more fluffy but not spreading, and I tried a couple of days of Furan-2...no apparent change.
<Why would, did you do this?>
I am also now noticing what appears to be the start of a few spots similar to Lymphocystis on the caudal fin.
So, I am beginning to think what looks like bacteria (also treated with Quinine Sulfate for three days), is actually Lymphocystis.
Have you seen anything that looks like this?
<Like what? The pix? Yes... Lymphocystis>
<I would summarily dip/bath the Angel, place it elsewhere; if you have nowhere else in the main display. Bob Fenner>

Question regarding Lymphocystis -- 3/31/10
Dear Crew,
Your site has been immensely helpful to me as I get underway in saltwater.
I've been in the hobby for 8 months and am having my first brush with disease. A week ago I had three female lyretail Anthias delivered to me.
One of them came with some white "stuff" on the edge of her tail that I didn't notice until she was already in the tank. I was hopeful that it would clear up on its own being in the clean water, but the white "stuff" has grown even more.
<I see this>
At first I thought it was fungus, but then I read online that fungus in saltwater fish is extremely rare. After doing some internet research, I came across Lymphocystis. I think that's what it may be.
<I do too>
It looks like cottage cheese on her tail. She is very active and eating well. I read that Lymphocystis is not extremely contagious; but whatever this is, is definitely spreading quickly in my tank. My female flame wrasse, as well as pygmy angel, have some white spots on their side fins,
<Mmm, these spots on the other fishes could be something else in addition>
and my male clownfish has some cream/pink-ish lumps on his side. It has spread this much in a week's timeframe. Do you think it could be Lymphocystis, or does it sound like fungus?
<The material on the Anthiine pictured is likely Lymph, the others... not. Judging by your descriptions and the rapidity of growth>
I've enclosed a photo of the Anthias. It is not the best, but it's very hard to get a clear picture of an active fish! Again, the white on her tail looks like cottage cheese, and the round parts keep growing larger.
Any help and advice you could give is greatly appreciated! Thank you for taking the time to read this.
<Mmm... where to begin? Likely at the beginning... of disease/health...
ID, prevention and treatment: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm
Peruse at your leisure... Do send along your further observations, keep good notes of your actions. Bob Fenner>

Re: Question regarding Lymphocystis 3/31/10
<Big K>
Thank you so much for your quick response! I will read up on that link you sent me and will let you know how my Anthias and other fish are doing.
Thank you!
Katherine (Kacy)
<Welcome! BobF>

White spot on Anthias (not Ick), Lymphocystis 3/4/10
I cannot seem to determine what is on my female Lyretail Anthias. I have three small females in a qt tank for 6 days now. It appeared on day 2 and seems to be increasing a little? They are all super active and I feed them vitamin soaked Mysis three times a day. It appears to be a little white bulge, maybe similar to a little piece of cauliflower? I have furan two by aquarium Pharm, would this be helpful to dose? I included a picture, not super good but after 40 pics it's the best I got :)
<Looks like Lymphocystis to me, a viral infection that the furan will not be effective against. While there is no real treatment for this disease it does not usually cause problems unless it grows over the mouth or gills which is not the case here, and most likely will eventually fade as the fish's immune system catches up to the infection.>

Re: White spot on Anthias (not Ick), Lymphocystis 3/4/10
Thank you very much for the reply.
From a little research it seems my best course of action would be to leave all three females in qt until there are no more signs of the virus so this does not spread to my main tank?
<Lymphocystis is not terribly contagious, so there is not too much risk there. If they are otherwise healthy at the end of the QT period I would add them to the main tank.>

16/02/10 Naso Tang disease
Hey guys
<Hello Antonis>
just found this Naso tang in one crappy LFS and I felt so sorry about him when I realised that the LFS didn't know what was wrong with it or how to treat it.
<Have you left this fish in the shop or taken it home? Never take sympathy on a fish, it just encourages shops to peddle bad specimens>
He told me I could have him for 15eur if I knew how to treat this poor fella and I so much want to rescue him if I can with your help of course! I don't know the guys parameters
<it would be very useful to find out>
but I know that the Tang has been this way for almost 2 weeks and these reddish/whitish ''wound'' marks have gotten bigger since he got him although he fed him at the time I was there and the Tang was eating like a pig. I hope you can help my when you look at the pics champs.
<Are these wounds or lumps? This looks like Lymphocystis to me, not particularly concerning. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lymphfaqs.htm. Nothing you can do if it is, the fish should recover on it's own without medication if good care is taken of it>
Thank you very much,
<No problem>
I hope for your prompt reply, if you need anything else please just ask,
<Do let us know the water test results, with the fruits of your research into this>
<Cheers, Simon>
Re: 16/02/10 Naso Tang disease
Thank you very much Simon for your prompt reply :o)
<No problem Antonis>
No of course I haven't taken it home with me it's still at the LFS. I just thought to take some action in order for this fella to recover because the man at the LFS is over 60 years old and I don't think he can use the internet.
<Heee! Like my mother in law!>
And yes these were lumps not wounds. The spots were growing on top of the surface of it's tail and the colour was mainly white with a bit pink/red in the middle as you can see from the pics and the white stuff's appearance was like fungus I think!
<Yes, this does sound like Lympho to me. Search re. and see if the images coming back match! Simon>

Re: 16/02/10 Naso Tang disease 2/16/10
<Hello Antonis>
I think so.
<Yes, me too>
Although most pics I can find the lumps are mostly white and not reddish like the Naso I showed you.
<They do go this pinkish colour sometimes>
Why is it getting bigger though? Poor water conditions?
<I do think it is related to poor water quality, as many things are. Improved conditions should see a halting and reversal of this. Simon>
Re: 16/02/10 Naso Tang disease
It can clear entirely Simon?
<Yes it can Antonis. Good luck>

Disease Question'¦How Long To Hold In Quarantine 'After' Lymphocystis? -- 03/19/08 Hey guys and gals- <<Hey, Jay'¦Eric here this AM>> I hope all is well with the crew. <<Haven't heard otherwise, so will assume so'¦thanks>> I just have a quick question about cauliflower, (Lymphocystis). I adopted a Sailfin tang with cauliflower about 45 days ago from a pet store. <<I see>> She went straight into a Bio Cube aquarium for quarantine and has, (thanks to aggressive water changes and proper nutrition), made a complete recovery, (no more 'polyps'). <<Very good'¦and often all that is needed>> I have treated many fish before (Ich and what-not), but this is my first cauliflower case. <<You seem to have done well with it>> Everything that I have read says that treatment is quarantine, time and good water quality (that I knew already), but I can't find any info on how long she needs to be in a QT. <<Hmm'¦>> How long should she stay in quarantine -after the spots are gone- before I can put her into my main tank? <<A good question'¦ Considering this malady is thought to be only very slightly (if at all) infectious; and the root cause is environmental (poor water quality/diet), this fish could be removed from quarantine and added/returned to a healthy and properly fed display tank within a few days of 'clearing up''¦though you might want to consider giving it a week to 'just be sure' the fish's immune system has indeed recovered>> She has been clear for about 10 days now. <<Should be plenty of time, in my opinion>> Thanks! -Jay <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Lympho on Copperband butterfly 12/2/07 Hello, Thanks for all of the help in the past and the great site. I will try and keep this short. I have read through the Lympho FAQ's and couldn't find what I need. I received a copperband from LiveAquaria.com about 2 weeks ago, I put him in my 20 long quarantine and after a couple of days I noticed the white clumps developing on his fins. They have spread to his tail and even some on his body. He eats extremely well, only mysis though (I have noticed in the past that I only have luck getting Copperbands to eat "white" food, anything to this?) <Don't know... but interesting speculation> which I soak in Selcon. I have read that there is no direct cure for this and that good water quality and food are the best medicine, there is also a cleaner goby with him but I don't see him clean him though. My question is, would you keep him in quarantine until it goes away or would you put him in the display? <I would do the latter... This viral complaint is "not that infectious" and yet, won't begin to self-cure unless the Chelmon is "in a better place"> The only fish in the display are a tomato clown, lawnmower blenny, and very expensive juvenile chevron tang. <Oh! Just wrote a piece for this Ctenochaetus sp.... one of a few while am out in HI... "in spare time"...> Thanks for all of the help. Merry Christmas, Jeremy <I do hope the frenatus clown doesn't go after your Butterfly. Only experience will tell... do remove/float the clown in a plastic colander for a few days if apparently so. Cheers, BobF>

Re: Lympho on Copperband butterfly 12/18/07 Just wanted to let you know that the Copperband is looking great now. He is still eating and seems to be happy. I removed the tomato clown just in case, as I had seen it chasing the chevron and noticed the fins on the chevron looked "nipped". He is still eating great so I assume they will grow back. Any reason to think it was caused by anything else? <Mmm...> Only a few small crabs, lawnmower blenny, and butterfly with him in the tank. Looking forward to reading your article on the Chevy tang on the website. Have a great Christmas. Jeremy <Will download after it runs in print... have attached here for your perusal. Cheers, BobF>

Queen angel w/ lymph Dear Bob, I have recently gotten a queen angel, Its been about 2 weeks and he has developed a cottony like substance on his lower left fin at first and then as time went on he has developed flaky stuff on his left main fin and 2 white heads on his tail fin and along the top side of his blue line looks rough from his head to tail. His mannerisms are fine though, he is eating and is very receptive so I do not believe this is ick related. From reading your articles it seem to be Lymphocystis. <Agreed> I am pondering using copper but I'll wait to see what you say first. I am going to send you a pictures but I do not think it is very clear, although it looks as if he is developing a white head on his face also as you can see in picture 3. Thank you for your help. Rene Brunetti <I would not use copper here... maybe a cleaner organism (like a Lysmata sp. shrimp) would help... improved nutrition (soaking foods in a HUFA, vitamin mix before offering)... improved water quality... Otherwise, time going by... if the growths/clumps get large enough (over months time) they may be "picked off" with your fingers... perhaps awakening the fish's immune system to the eradication of the virus. Bob Fenner>

Mystery Bump... Dear Mr. Fenner, <Scott F. here for Bob today!> Thank you so much for the quick response and for your help, just like you said my Queen Angelfish had Lymphocystis, and has since then recovered fully and looks awesome. <Good to hear! That Fenner guy knows a few things about fish, huh?> Unfortunately, I have a new problem in my 125 gallon tank. I have a 5 or 6 inch clown trigger, he has been without any problems for the longest time. I have just thrown in 2 new fish in with him, 1 being an Emperor angel, the other an harlequin tusk. <A tricky mix...especially in a 125. This is the same tank with the Queen, right? That's a lot of potentially large and messy fishes in there...May be time to go tank shopping in the near future...> The first night all he would do is chase around the Tusk and try to attack it. He generally would leave the Emperor alone, probably because the Emperor wasn't scared of him. <They are surprisingly tough fishes...> Well I went ahead and put the tusk in quarantine to make sure he doesn't have an ich breakout, because I'm going to go ahead and move him to another tank. <Not a bad long-term plan> And, since I moved the tusk, he has not been terrorizing anything including the Emperor Angel, but he has developed a fleshy colored pebble looking object right on the area where his left side fin begins, its about 3/16 ths of an inch long he has had it for about a couple of days now, I have never seen anything like it and was hoping that you might know what this could be. <Could be anything from a fish louse or other external parasite, or even a tumor. A picture would make it more helpful.> I cant take a picture at this moment but if a picture is needed just let me know, Thanks for everything. Rene Brunetti <Well, Rene- I'd start by trying to get a positive ID on the bump. Many times, these types of symptoms clear up spontaneously, much like Lympho, with good environmental conditions and consistent maintenance practices. However, there is, of course, the very real possibility that it could be something more serious, so careful assessment and observation is critical. If you can get us a pic, we might be able to get a good ID for you...Hang in there! Regards, Scott F.

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