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FAQs about Dwarf Lionfish Disease/Health

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

Related FAQs: Lionfish Disease 1, Lion Disease 2, Lion Disease 3, Lion Disease 4, Lion Disease 5, Dwarf Lionfishes, Dwarf Lions 2, & by Species: Fu Man Chu Lions (D. biocellatus), Fuzzy Lions (D. brachypterus), Green Lions (D. barberi), Hawaiian Lions (Pterois sphex), Zebra Lions (D. zebra), & Dwarf Lion Identification, Dwarf Lion Behavior, Dwarf Lion Compatibility, Dwarf Lion Selection, Dwarf Lion Systems, Dwarf Lion Feeding, Dwarf Lion Reproduction, Lions 1, Lions 2, Lions 3, Lions 4, Lionfish Selection, Lionfish Compatibility, Lionfish Behavior, Lionfish Feeding, Lionfish Disease,

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Dwarf lion fish diminished appetite, lethargic     1/22/20
I did look first at the website for an answer but I’m still perplexed. I’ve had this dwarf Zebra lionfish for about a year now. He always ate very well. I’ve joked that if I put a cheeseburger on a feeding stick he’d eat it! I feed frozen krill, silversides, ( ocassionally) pieces of fresh cod, salmon and shrimp from the grocery store. I Also feed freeze dried krill that I rehydrate first with Vitachem or Selcon. I feed every 3rd day. I lost a dwarf before, I think to poor diet so I thought I was doing good. About a month ago I was feeding a piece of silverside, after the first piece he acted like it got stuck in his throat. He started yawning and flaring his gills repeatedly but did not eject it.
<Maybe that portion was too big to swallow>
This behavior lasted about 3 days. After that he didn’t eat for almost three weeks.
<It is very likely it has had an indigestion; have you try using Epsom salt?>
I kept offering ghost shrimp and eventually he started eating again. I also started dosing 300mg of vitamin b1 daily to a 90 gallon tank. (Fear of Thiaminase) Is that enough, too much?
<For how long you dosed this daily?>
He will now eat about 3 rehydrated krill at a feeding, every 3rd day, but I have to go to him and put them almost right against his mouth on the feeding stick, whereas before he would jet across the tank and take food right from my fingers when he saw me coming. Color is good. Fin rays are all intact. No external lesions. Respiration is normal but he seems to hold his gills open a little and they look pale pink, not red. Water parameters are Good. I test my water myself and also took water to lfs to confirm.
<The exact readings would be better for us>
I’ve done 3-40%water changes in a month. All other livestock is healthy.
<Can you please tell us about the other tankmates (size, species)?>
He remains very lethargic and appetite is lackluster. It’s encouraging that he’s eating again but I think he’s more likely to decline again then get better. Can you help? Please let me know if I can provide more info.
<Sometimes predatory fish have fasting periods that may extend up to a few weeks, predators like your lionfish have slow digestion, been this one of the reasons they should not be fed frequently, you are probably feeding this fish, too much and/or too often... I’d leave it for a couple of days with no food offerings at all and then see if it accepts some live food, or the usual foods but soaked in water impregnated with an appetite stimulant. Wil. >
Re: Dwarf lion fish diminished appetite, lethargic     1/22/20

Thanks for the quick response.
<You're welcome Mark>
This is in response to your questions about my lion fish inquiry.
You asked how long I’ve been dosing vitamin B1.
Answer. I’ve been dosing 300mg for 3 weeks in a 90 gallon tank. Should this be a regular ongoing thing. Is that dosage enough? Too much?
<I would add this just once a week, either directly to the water or by soaking foods, try adding all other vitamins too; you can use a multivitamin product such as Selcon or Vitachem.>
You asked for water parameters.
Ammonia and nitrite both-0. Nitrate-10. ph-8.0. KH-9. Calcium-400. Phosphate near 0
<Try to adjust the ph to 8.3 using a buffer.>
You asked about tank mates. 2-percula Clowns, female about 4”, male 2”. A Flame Angel, about 3”. A fire fish, 4”. A Flame Hawk, 2”. a Midas Blenny, 5”and 2 Cardinals, about 2” each. Corals include some soft, mostly lps and some sps, about 25 corals in total. Some crabs and snails. 1 coral banded shrimp. 120lbs of live rock. This is a very peaceful mixed reef community tank operating for 6 years.
<Okay, looks like harassing is not a problem.>
I have some questions about your responses. You said use Epsom salt for indigestion. How do I do that?
<You should dose 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons of aquarium water, it would be better if you use a separate container.>
You said feed less frequently. I feed every 3rd day. Usually 3 or 4 pieces of fish or krill. When he’s had enough he’ll stop taking food and swim off. What frequency would you recommend?
<No more than 3 times a week, about 3 bite size pieces each time.>
I mentioned that his respiration is normal but his gills are held open more than normal and appear pale pink, not red. Is this a concern?
<Could be due to a number of reasons, the most common is oxygen deprivation; does it show a swollen belly, inflamed anus, bulging eyes?... Wil.>
Mark Steeves
Re: Dwarf lion fish diminished appetite, lethargic     1/23/20

Hey Wil,
Thanks again for the quick response.
In answer to your last question concerning the gills and oxygen deprivation.
I mentioned that his respiration is normal but his gills are held open more than normal and appear pale pink, not red. Is this a concern?
<Could be due to a number of reasons, the most common is oxygen deprivation; does it show a swollen belly, inflamed anus, bulging eyes?... Wil.>
It does not display any of the above mentioned symptoms.
<I guess this may be purely environmental, I suggest doing a large water change... 25% or more, and you'll see immediate improvement on the overall health of your tank inhabitants. Cheers. Wil.>
Mark Steeves

Lionfish with a dislocated jaw      7/15/18
I did a search of your site and I did find a couple instances of this, but I never saw a final outcome posted. I have a fuzzy dwarf lionfish, Dendrochirus brachypterus. He is about 6” so pretty much full grown, is a professional beggar, and eats like a pig out of the water column at community feedings. I feed Larry’s chunky food as this is a predator tank (puffer, eel, angler, etc).
About 2 weeks ago, I noticed that his upper lip appeared to be low and there was a gap over it. His breathing was a bit labored but nothing to be alarmed about. My research tells me that this may have been caused by trauma hitting a rock/glass going after food or possible hyper extension eating a large chunk of food.
<Yes; agreed>
I didn’t notice this happen, but clearly something did. He still eats every day and is the same beggar at the top of the tank at feeding time. I notice that he has a hard time with the larger pieces, but the small pieces are fine.
<I'd offer small/er>
Will this condition correct itself?
<Hopefully; yes>
The skin in the gap appears to be changing color to match his body. Is there something (vitamins? I already add vita-chem to all feedings) I can give him to help?
<Naught that I know of>
Like I said, he is eating so it is not an urgent issue.
<Jaw injuries can (self) heal, some folks try to help; force the jaw back. I would not do this. Too much chance of further injury, you getting jabbed. Bob Fenner>

Re: Lionfish with a dislocated jaw      7/15/18
Thank you for the quick reply.
I don't intend on trying to manipulate his jaw. I would likely do more harm than good and also risk a nasty sting in the process. I will report back if or when his jaw is healed.
<Ah, thank you>
Jason ​
<Cheers, BobF>

Re: Lionfish with a dislocated jaw      9/14/18
It has been 2 months since Mike hurt his jaw. I'm happy to report that he is doing well despite the fact that his jaw never really "healed." It seems like the gap turned into cartilage and kind of reattached itself.
<I see this in your excellent pic>
At first he had a hard time eating larger pieces of food, I think because his upper lip wasn't moving with his jaw. He could eat jumbo Mysis sized food or similar. Now, it doesn't seem to be a problem.
<Great news!>
I'm hopeful that I'm going to have him for a long time!!
Jason ​
<Thank you for the update Jas. BobF>

Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish has no eaten in 2 and half weeks; I'm stumped      1/29/16
Hi Guys...your website is full of much information that I have read through to try and save my fish. I keep fearing each day will be his last, but I get home and he is still alive, barely breathing, on the bottom of the tank, sort of laying on his side. I have had him for 9 months now, and he's full grown. Usually eats well. I know now I should have varied his diet more, but I have been feeding him gut loaded silversides and frozen krill;
<... Thiaminase poisoning...>
I realize this may be the problem.
<Yes... I'd be adding B vitamins... to the water now>

In desperation last weekend I bought a small Molly and he had no interest in it all.
<Try Ghost Shrimp; almost irresistible>

It has now been almost 3 weeks since he has eaten.
<Can go for a long while sans eating...>
The strange thing is that he doesn't really look any thinner.
<Poss. edema>
The water parameters are good, I am at work so I can't give you exact numbers but I check them regularly, more so now that this is going on. He has no obvious signs of trauma, injury, etc. His eyes are clear. His dorsal? Fins are not all standing up like they used too; they are laying down , except for the two on the front. At dusk/dawn he swims sporadically, but he doesn't seem to have balance, and never comes to the top of the tank. My question is twofold; how long can a fuzzy go without eating, is there a chance he might recover after this long?
<Yes... again, READ on WWM re Thiaminase, cures>
And this may sound cruel, but I hate watching him suffer. Is there a point where I should humanely put him to sleep?
<I really dislike giving up....>
This is like watching a family member slowly die in front of my eyes.
Bobbi Gilliam
<Anima bona fac (be of good life). Bob Fenner>
RE: Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish has no eaten in 2 and half weeks; I'm stumped      1/29/16

Thanks for your speedy response. I will read your suggestions and hopefully
I can find a ghost shrimp on the way home.
Bobbi Gilliam
<Cheers, BobF>
RE: Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish has no eaten in 2 and half weeks; I'm stumped      1/29/16

I hate bother you again, I am looking through articles. When you say add Vitamin B to the water, is that regular old vitamin B, or something specific to fish?
Bobbi Gilliam
<The B vitamins are identical for humans and ornamental aquatics. Liquid prep.s are (of course) preferable. B>
Fuzzy Dwarf Has Died      2/1/16

Bob, I emailed you last week about my fuzzy dwarf that had not eaten in 3 weeks, was laying on the bottom and breathing slowly. You suggested Thiamine
poisoning, and that I should add vitamin B drops to the water, which I began that day. His tank mate was a foxface; he has been fine, not acting sick at all.
<Yikes; the Siganid may have poked the Dendrochirus... this could be the  source, could have been the source of trouble here
They have been together since I have had the fuzzy, for 9 months. I did a 20% water change on Saturday. I could never get the fuzzy to eat. Sunday, the foxface suddenly dies. The fuzzy will not make it much longer. The only new symptoms are that he is very pale in color, and now gasping for air. I'm pretty devastated. My question is, how long should I wait before adding another fish?
<At least a few weeks and a large water change>
My water param.s are fine, 0 nitrate nitrite, 8.4 ph, salinity 1.023. Thanks in advance.
Bobbi Gilliam
<Bob Fenner>
re: Fuzzy Dwarf Has Died      2/1/16

I thought they were ideal tankmates...there is so much conflicting information out there and they seemed to get along.
<? Search WWM for both groups. PLENTY of troubled incidences>
Can you suggest a mate for the fuzzy dwarf, or does he even need one?
<.... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dwflioncompfaqs.htm
I'm going to do this right from the beginning, this time. My tank in a 46 gallon bow front. Thanks again.
re: Fuzzy Dwarf Has Died      2/1/16

Thank you

Yellow Dwarf Lionfish     7/7/13
Hello to all at WWM,
<Hey Andy>
    Bob I haven't had a problem for quite a while with  my lionfish because I followed you and your crews advice on raising them and  have done well, till now. I had a yellow dwarf lionfish my favorite child , but  it died within two days from something I have not been able to find any  information on.  I fed him vitamin flaked fed guppies live every other  day.
He never was able to become accustomed to frozen food, but because he was  rare I stayed with live food. I have him for almost a year and he went from 2"  to 4" and had a beautiful yellow color. Day one I noticed that one  side was pale and getting swollen. He would stay wedged between the overflow box  and wall of aquarium. Day two I noticed a dark spot on the side that was pale it  was about the size of a blunt pencil tip. There was a protrusion of the anus  also.
Within 3 hours of this observation he died. I had quarantined him into a  hypo-salinity tank which was at 1.09 since day one hoping that the  parasite if it was one would die and also to give the lionfish a bit of and  easier time trying to fight this. I failed. But I am not able to find anything  close to the cause of this. I am hoping you might have some insight into what  happened so that I might prevent this from occurring again. My tank parameters  are 110 gal, salinity is 1.019, ph is 8.3, 0 nitrites and 0 ammonia, 10 ppm  nitrates.
Thank you for your time and information.
Andy G
Henderson, NV
<Can only (obviously) guess; but I suspect a tumor/growth of some sort...
As in/with humans, could be "due" to many influences... genetic, nutritional, perhaps infectious or parasitic disease... did you freeze, otherwise preserve the specimen? A histological work up might reveal more.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Yellow Dwarf Lionfish     7/7/13

My only resource was the LFS, which dissected the remains and stated  possible parasite infection.
<... possible?>
 We are at a loss for quality knowledge here in the  Vegas area in this particular field of diagnosis. Thank you again.
Andy G
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Sick lion fish, dwarfs, env. 1/9/12
I have a lion fish, fuzzy dwarf that is sick, I am stumped at this point, and really am in need of some help. The lion fish is in a tank with a smaller fuzzy dwarf mate.
<Mate... not really>
The larger one has some form of cloud eye, there are white spots on his eyes,

and a thin glaze, my other lion fish now has small white spots appearing on his eyes, so it is spread able, but the smaller fish doesn't have any cloudiness. I have a 40 watt emperor uv on the system, and are in a 29 gallon tank
<Too small>

connected to a 250 gallon system. I looked on online and talk to lfs, and was pretty convinced it was eye flukes,
<What? How long have you had these fish?>
but I gave them each a fresh water dip (5min) and the spots didn't fall off the eye as would be expected with flukes. Leaving me know stumped.
Diet: when I got them, the smaller one would eat frozen brine (lfs was feeding him this) and excepted <accepted> Mysis shrimp. the bigger one (cloud eyed now) wouldn't eat frozen food, or even the ghost shrimp after a week I gave in and feed him feeder gold fish (this could b the cause of all my problems :(
<At least a possibility>
he ate feeders and occasionally a ghost shrimp for about 2.5 weeks, when I finally manage to get him to eat a piece of garlic soaked krill, since then he hasn't been eating as much, it is hard to interest him in eating more then 1 or 2 pieces of food about every other day. This morning I got him to eat half a large silver side, and about 2 days ago he ate 1 krill, so he is still eating, just a lot, not enough to make his belly just start to bulge, although he does not have a pitted stomach either.
As one more noted thing, this maybe be relevant, or my not be, but it *appears* the cloudiness of his eyes is a lot less cloudy at night, and gets more cloudy again once the lights have been on for an hour or 2?
<Could be too-bright lighting. Do these fish have decor, the possibility to get out of the light?>
This was something i noticed today, and could just be my imagination.
I read also lol ph could cause this? My ph prob graphs up to 8.27 and drops down to 8.09 depending on the lights. I run the system at 80 degrees and 34 ppt, 12dkh 500ppm calcium, 1300ppm MG 0 Nitrate, 0 Phos (gfo reactor and carbon reactor)
<These reactors could also be problematical... I'd move one of the Lions, take the system off-line w/ the larger... and stop w/ the feeders. Bob Fenner>
Any help is appreciated.
here... and your pix files are too large. Send prev. corr. and resized
images. B
I managed to get a picture, only can see the spot, not the cloudiness in the picture. Hope this helps.
Also, one more thing worth mentioning about he diet, there is a live Mysis population in my tanks that they could potentially be eating also, so there actually in take is hard to be sure of

Re: Sick lion fish 1/9/12
The reactors? What would the problem with them be?
<Chemical interactions...>
They do have plenty of rock to hide under.
Should I use some sort of medicine?
<I would not>

Also I have attached a picture.
<Thank you. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dwfliondisfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. BobF>
Re: Sick lion fish 1/10/12

Was told by lfs it was nitrate now,
<... strange that only the one lion mas mal-affected. Both should have been>
my test kit appear to be worthless, he check with red sea pro for nitrate and got 3 ppm nitrate
<...? See WWM... please, ahead of writing. 3 ppm is not high>
and .12 ppm Phos
<Not surprisingly high either>
with a Hanna checker. He said if I get my water clean the eye problem will go away.
<Which is what I've said...>

I realize that these numbers are high, but I still wanted to make sure with a second person that this problem should be cured by focusing on water quality, and I shouldn't be doing something else also as I focus on getting the water back to 0 nitrate
<... READ here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm
and the linked files above. B>
and <.01 Phos.? I plan on leaving only
blues on through the day to see if it does play a role, and also feeding all tanks less with water changes until I get this back under control.
Any other additional things to do would help

Dwarf Lion hlth./fdg. 11/6/11
Hi guys,
I have a dwarf fuzzy lion which I have had for about 4 weeks now. He was eating like a champ, loves mysis shrimp.
<Trouble as a steady/solitary diet...>
My tank is a 110 gal. using live sand and rock for a filter. There is 0 ammonia, no nitrites, .less than .05 nitrates. the ph is 8.4 salinity is .021
<1.021... would keep this up to near seawater strength/concentration... 1.025 or so. See WWM re SPG, rationale>
measured using a refractometer. The tank mates are a Koran angel, a flame angel, hippo tank, Huma tang, <likely trigger> goat
fish, harlequin tusk. All are the small size about 1.5 inches.
<Will need more space in time... like a year or so>
The problem is
the lionfish is having spasms and swimming upside down. I did a 20 % water change and now I don't know what else to do for him. Please any advice will be appreciated.
Thank you Andy G
<Do read here:
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dwflionfdgfaqs.htm
Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Lionfish Lockjaw? 10/25/10
I have been through your site and can't find anything definitive about this.
<Mmm, put your subject title above in our search tool here:
Read the cached views>
We have a dwarf fuzzy lionfish that we've had for well over a year. He's in a 125 gallon tank with two Ocellaris clowns, a Niger trigger,
<May well work the Lion woe in time>
a yellow tang, a Pacific blue tang, a candy cane squirrelfish, a juvenile imperator angel, and a flame hawk fish. We recently had water tested at a respectable LFS and was told it was good (sorry I can't be more specific).
<Perhaps a permanent journal...>
Back to the lionfish... for the past week or so, he's been swimming around with his mouth open. He still tries to eat, but to me, it appears he has lockjaw with his mouth stuck in the open position. The thing is, I'm not sure if this is the case and if so, where we went wrong. To my knowledge, he's never been fed goldfish, krill, or any of the common foods that cause lockjaw. He gets a varied diet of Mysis shrimp, regular uncooked shrimp, bay scallops, and mussel, most of which are soaked in Selcon.
Does this sound like lockjaw to you?
<Likely a physical trauma... a swimming into something hard...>
If so, is there anything we can do?
<Might be a good idea to (carefully!) re-articulate the jaws back closed>
What can we do to prevent this in the future?
<Mmm, some light left on in the room outside the tank at night...>
Thanks so much!
Kimberly K.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Scopas brain issues.... ? Reading 6/2/10
What's up guys, Ryan here.
You all do a great job and I've learned alot
reading your advice and other posts. I read the faq's on tangs, behavior, surgeons in general, compatibility and systems and I could not find anything quite like my problem. Anyways to get straight to the point, I recently picked up a "Scopas" tang I believe. That's the only tang I know of that is shaped like a yellow tang but basically fades from like a greyish color to black with a yellow tint to it.
I have a 55 reef,
<... needs more room than this>
LPS dominated with a few softies and the (aprox). 5 inch tang took to it well. He has 2 maroon clowns, my fu
man chu
<This fish is very sick... the eyes are completely glossed over in your image>
and a mandarin as tank mates and they all seem to have enough space for themselves. I'm hoping got they'll be ok together down the road because of their swimming/personality traits. Lately I've notice him(after being in the tank for about two weeks now/23 days in QT)...flashing so to speak which is starting to leave white spots but its mainly in the center of his dorsal fin. He does like...a really hard almost turning upside down dive and one by his tail. I thought oh no, ich after Q/T but there are no spots or anything(still not ruling it out) and he only flashes on my flat green "Trachy" brain. The brain sits on an angle on the side of a large rock that he passes by regularly so I moved it to the sand in the center of my tank.
It has consistently been drawing up and I can now see it is so drawn up in a couple places that I can see the outline of the skeleton. He then began to flash on my nice sized red "welso" brain a couple times after I moved it but then went to the green one and dove in it. He hasn't been as interested in it as much since I moved it but he is still kind of skittish and darts a bit when I move too suddenly for his liking. Ill try to get a picture of the tang but he is the not photogenic by a long shot. but I did include a few of the tank. Any ideas of what may be going on?
I've read many stories of nipping and he does nip a bit, mainly at my large feather dusters tubes down at the base but I wasn't able to find anything about tangs...doing that to corals and then to just do it one. He even like to hang out by it when hes not cruising around the tank. Should I be worried, I got the tang for looks lol I got the brain because I'm much more of a coral fan than a fish fan.
I love the fish, I just really love LPS corals lol.
<... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/crypttangsf2.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Scopas brain issues. Lion... eyes... photography, light artifact? 6/2/10
Thanks for the quick response. The spot on the top his fin is basically a scratch that I am assuming is irritated or something. I can clearly see it, he just doesn't sit still long enough to catch a good picture. It is a very small spot and I'm wondering if its from him moving between rocks being that there was no rock at all in the tank in the LFS. As far as the fu man chu, his eyes always look funny when I take pictures with my camera phone but looking at him directly his eyes are crystal clear.
<Strange; thank you for this>>
I have noticed that my measly camera phone camera makes things looks extremely white. I guess its not designed to take pictures under such bright lighting conditions. All my corals that are really brightly colored look white almost glowing white when I take pictures of them. I included a second pic of the lionfish that shows his eyes clearer but they still dont look as clear as they look if you were to look directly in the tank. Is that a bad sign that looking at them "live" they look clear but using the phone they show up very white? Is it like one of those things that the normal human eye doesn't really notice but looking at it in a photograph makes it stand out?
<Got me. B>

Still don't "look good". RMF

Floaty, Bloaty Dwarf Lionfish Dwarf Lionfish Disease\Health 7/13/2009
<Hi Tim>
My name is Tim I've had my Fu Manchu for about 2 months now. He has been eating frozen silversides since I've owned him and frozen krill occasionally.
<Good that it is off of live foods.>
My problem is I woke up Sunday morning and saw him floating belly up at the top of the tank.
<Uh oh.>
He is not dead but can't seem to flip himself back over and hide in the rocks as he normally does.
<Likely gut blockage.>
There is no visible problems with him no film over eyes no Ick or any problem that I can see other than that described at the beginning. My tank is a 46 bowfront with a wet dry filter at the bottom and a UV sterilizer
running as well with a power head attached. my pH was a little low sitting at 8.0 I used my buffer to start bringing that up a little. All other parameters are perfect per every book and website I've been to.
<Actual numbers are useful.>
He shares the tank with a juvenile Picasso Trigger, a dwarf Angel, a Red Sea Purple Tang and two Percula Clowns. None of which bother him.
<Way overstocked for a 46 gallon tank. Further, triggers and lionfish do not make good tankmates. Read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dwflioncompfaqs.htm >
What could cause him to float belly up and not be able to go to the bottom where he likes no matter how hard he tries?
<Likely suffering from gut blockage. This may pass in time. Do get the fish into a hospital tank and you can try treating with Epsom Salts. Do read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dwflionfdgfaqs.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/liondisfaqs.htm >
He has been on a hunger strike for about 4 days now and I wake up to this.
is there anything I can do for him or is it already too late?
<Try what I outlined above. >

Re: Dwarf Lionfish Health\Feeding 4/5/2009
Hi Mike
<Hi Peter>
Thanks for the reply. The answer to your questions. There is only 6 turbo snails and 5 hermits crabs in with the dwarf lion fish.
<Ahh OK, fairly light load then>
I did a 10% change today and was curious about the water I was adding. I did a test for nitrates on the water from the tap, that was okay 0 reading, I prepped the water ( added salt, tap cond. PH 8.2, Cycle) and did a nitrate test on this and it came back as 15ppm which seems high.
<Hmm.... wouldn't add the cycle to the make up water. Do make another batch without the Cycle and test again.
If you are still getting a high reading, you should consider changing your salt mix.>
I was really worried about the dwarf, so I tried him with 6 Neons ( hated doing it but was getting desperate) and he was a different fish, ate them all in a couple of min.s.
More active eyes have cleared up, which seems maybe he was not on frozen before?
<I think the fish store was stretching the truth a bit. It is good that he ate them, now you can start weaning him on non-live food>
I have enclosed a couple of pics of the tank and structure of rocks etc.
<Looks like a nice set up. I notice some green algae on your rocks, probably related to your nitrate levels.>
What was in the tank before was an emperor angel, 1 Firefish, 2 humbugs, 1 clown, 1 psychedelic, keyhole dwarf angel, and a Longnose butterfly.
The butterfly was getting harassed by the emperor and got the velvet 1st.
Don't know what else I can tell you.
Thanks for the links will check them out.
Regards Peter
<My Pleasure>

Dwarf Lionfish, eaten away 8/18/08 Hi Guys: My Dwarf Zebra Lion has areas of discoloration on his body (both sides, please see pics) that has me concerned. I first noticed this perhaps a month ago. <What else is in with this animal?> His health seems excellent otherwise. All of his fins are intact and perfect. He is very active and always responds when I enter the room. He is always hungry and eats very well. I feed him (from a variety of both frozen and freeze-dried foods) every other day. The food is supplemented with garlic juice, Zoe, and Selcon. He resides in a 55 gallon fish-only tank with just a 2" Common Clown <This> and a 1.5" Spotted Cardinal (both of which are in perfect health and years old). All is very peaceful. The tank's parameters are: 1.022 Spg. Ammonia is 0. Nitrite is 0. Nitrate is 20 -25. <A bit high> I do 10% water changes every week and ensure the filter, skimmer and substrate are clean. <Good practices> This is a wonderful fish and I'd hate to lose him. Your help is indeed appreciated. Regards, Rob <Something, someone (the Clown of what is listed) is picking on this fish... perhaps at night... It needs to be separated. Bob Fenner>
Re: Lionfish The only fish that ever goes close to the Lion is the Spotted Cardinal. The clown always keeps his distance. Unfortunately, I have no other place to move him. <Something is chewing on this fish... perhaps a divider? BobF> Re: Lionfish Thanks very much for the advice Bob. I would have bet anything you were going to tell me it was lateral line erosion or some other disease. I never would have guessed it was one of his tank mates. I guess I'll have to rig up a divider and see if it clears up. I'll let you know. Regards, Rob <Please do. Thank you, BobF>

Lazy fuzzy dwarf lionfish?? 8/29/08 I've read a ridiculous amount on your website today, but can't really seem to find the answer to my lionfish. <Understood...can be hard to divine specific scenarios from general information> I have a 30ga. cube and 58ga. plumbed together with a common sump/fuge. Total water volume~110 gallons. I am running a skimmer, have DSB in display and fuge, and Chaeto in the fuge. The lionfish is in the 30 cube <Problem> along with a fairly docile black/white damsel, and a 3" wild caught Clarkii clown (inherited from another friend). <bigger problem> I purchased the fish approximately 2 weeks ago. He had been at the LFS for approximately 2 weeks supposedly eating ghost shrimp like crazy, though when I was there he didn't like the one already in his "pen" but really liked the fresh one put in there to show me he was eating. I brought him home and put him in. I know, I know, I should have set up a QT tank for him, but figured he was healthy and eating at the store, so he should be at my house too. He ate the next day for me (more ghost shrimp) and for several days after that, but yesterday and today hasn't been interested in food. I've tried ghost shrimp, frozen shrimp, silversides, and baby SW mollies I have been breeding to feed him (even tried to dangle these in front of him with a forceps). The LFS keeps their water SG at 1.016 to keep parasites down. Mine is at 1.026. <HUGE change! This alone could kill a fish if he wasn't slowly brought up...osmotic balance of cells, lysing of tissue is a serious concern with this kind of change. Bear in mind a MAXIMUM recommended shift of .002/24hrs> My other water parameters are adequate (Alk 7dkh, ca 390, nitrates/nitrites/phosphates=0 mag?). The lion has been coloring up nicely since coming from the store, but he hasn't eaten recently, doesn't show interest, and "lays" in the back corner of the tank with his fins to his side, almost laying on his side. Am I being overly concerned? <Is due cause for concern> Is there anything I should do for him? <Carefully move him to a MUCH larger tank. Even a dwarf lionfish should be in a 75-gallon size footprint. Your little fellow was terribly shocked by the change in osmotic pressure (Chance of organ failure in the present future), then is dealing with cramped quarters and inappropriate roommates. What is happening here is most likely analogous to curling up in the fetal position to try to escape from a bad party- while you're dealing with severe stomach flu.> Thanks in advance. <No problem. Get that little guy in an appropriate home, watch him closely, and I imagine he'll return to health, provided no major damage was done by the salinity change. Benjamin> Ryan

Dwarf lion cloudy eye not swollen 5/27/2008 Hey crew, I hope all is well at the wet web. Ok this is more of a need for confirmation. I have a dwarf lion D. brachypterus I have had him around 7 months. His right eye is cloudy not swollen. the left eye is perfectly normal. His behavior is business as usual eating to satiation. Current diet includes Enriched Krill, Mysis shrimp, and silver sides (I do give on occasion Ghost shrimp loaded with Cyclop-eeze). tank mates are a yellow tang, and a white ribbon eel. the tank is a 75 gallon mixed reef soft coral, clams , sps, LPSs, zoos, leathers, Shrooms, pectina, inverts, with a 30 gallon fuge. water needless to say is optimal. I am assuming that this is due to some type of trauma <Very likely, yes> since there are not any obvious signs of stress or going off feed, and the other eye is perfect. Am I right or am I putting him in Quarantine for antibiotics? <I would not... better to leave the fish where it is> also instead of putting him in quarantine would it be possible if necessary to put the meds into a silver side and feed him that he does hand feed after all? Thanks a lot Crew God bless Dan <And I would not "treat" the fish per se... just time going by, good water quality, nutrition will see this eye condition heal. Bob Fenner>

Help with whirling fuzzy dwarf lion. 10/30/07 I hope you can shed some light on a problem I've recently noticed. I have a 2.5 inch fuzzy dwarf lion. He's been with me for 10 months. Eating like a champ, varied diet of pellets, krill, squid, silversides..... if it touches the water he eats it! He shares a 65 gallon tank with a SF moray eel and a small purple tang.... and that's it. I hope to move them all to a 110 within the year. <Good.> Water quality is fine. 1.020, pH 8.3, no ammonia, nitrate is around 10, no nitrite. I do 10 gallon water changes once a week. I do not run copper. The problem I've recently noticed is when the lights come on in the morning he goes into a whirling (somersaulting) fit for about 5-8 minutes..... completely out of control. After that time he sits on his favorite "perch" which is a large sea fan and about 15 minutes. Then he is fine, starts begging for breakfast etc. Should I be concerned about this behavior? I tried duplicating it at different times of the day with turning on and off the lights, but I've only noticed it in the morning.... Am I being overly worried or is there something very wrong going on here? < Begging for breakfast and not being able to duplicate the behavior are good signs. If he is eating and otherwise acting and swimming fine throughout the day he should be fine, you just have a fun fish to watch. > Thanks for your insight, Wendy <Best Fishes, Scott V.>

Green Lionfish with cloudy eyes Hi,,
<Hello Robin!>
my green lionfish (Dendrochirus barberi) has cloudy eyes .And I would like to know what to do. I have had it for a little over a month. And it has been eating live saltwater fish that I catch and krill. I changed my water because the ph was high 8.8 It is now 8.4 nitrate 0 ammonia 0,nitrite 0,and nitrite 0 SG 1.024.Also the only time I turn on the light is when I feed it. Other then that is dark with just a little sun light. Please help ASP <Could be either a bacterial infection or parasites, brought in from the fish you are catching and using for food. This is something that you should refrain from. Purchase your food at a pet store to avoid introducing parasites and/or disease into your aquarium. Stop feeding wild caught fish to your fish and see if it clears up.> Thank you. <Good Luck!! -- Brian Griffin>

Lionfish Eye Problem 9/11/07 Hi, <Amber> Please help. I have a Hawaiian Lionfish about 3" inches long and around 2 years old which I assume is a girl, for no reason. A few months ago she developed an eye problem that I had treated with antibiotics for only one week. The clear part around her eyes are always enlarged, yet different shapes at times, sometimes clear and sometimes cloudy (as in the pic I took today to send you). Also the black part of her eyes have shrunk. She has trouble seeing so catching her red opae to eat is harder, but she does it. She moves around the tank less since developing this problem, obviously. Otherwise she looks good, I just feel sorry for her since I keep her separated now. Please advise, Amber Hudnall <Does this Pterois sphex have some darkened areas to hide in? A loss of vision as you state can be due to a few things/general causes... mostly resultant from trauma (swimming into the side, rock...) and subsequent physiological and possible bacterial involvement... but quite often due to too bright, continuous lighting... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/liondisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Troubled fuzzy dwarf lionfish -- 06/28/07 Hello, crew. <Dan> I am troubled by a sudden and severe downturn in health of my dwarf fuzzy lionfish. He is about 4" long and has been our little puppy dog for, oh, most of a year or so. He is usually playful and begs for food. The tank is an established (over two years) 120 gal FOWLR (plus a few mushrooms, mostly hitchhikers) with about 200 lbs live sand (4-6" sand bed) and perhaps 100 lbs live rock. We have a sump with a Euro-reef skimmer, a moderate-sized macroalgae/mud refugium, and a 1250 gal/hr pump. Inhabitants include a few damsels, the lion, flame angel, Christmas wrasse, longnosed Hawkfish, and orange diamond goby. Our newest inhabitant, as of a few weeks, is a gorgeous Scorpionfish sold to us as a "Rainbow Scorpionfish". <Interesting... do you have a scientific name?> It is currently less than 2" long (we were told it would get twice that), and looks like living coralline algae. Remarkable coloration. The water parameters have always been stable -- zero nitrate, nitrate, ammonia; low phosphates. Temperature is around 80, pH around 8.1. The lion has been happy and eating a varied diet (Mysis, krill, squid, shrimp, scallop) as recently as two days ago. Yesterday, I noticed that he was lethargic and breathing rapidly. This morning he was at the back of the tank, breathing very slowly, half on his side. I thought he had died, but then he sort of shuffled around a little bit. He has no outward signs of disease (shedding, wounds, spots, mucus) nor do any other of the tank inhabitants. I checked them very carefully at feeding time this morning. <Good> One note: we recently lost a sharpnosed puffer (a week or two ago). This guy was a pig and kept on eating and eating. He got massively fat (and still wouldn't stop eating -- looked constantly inflated) -- perhaps a tumor of some sort? <Mmm, not likely. Much more probable is simple gluttony due to so much good food being so available> He was fine one day, and then was dead the next. We assumed that he had either died of gluttony or the possible tumor or even a run-in with the Scorpionfish. <All possibilities... my overwhelming vote for the former> We suspected the latter because the Scorpionfish had (past tense) these little "eye fronds" that disappeared around the time of the death of the puffer -- the puffer perhaps took a nip and paid a big price. <Again... a potential...> Is it possible that the lion bumped into the Scorpionfish? <Yes> Any recommendations at this point? <Patience, observation> I am loathe to set up a hospital tank and medicate, when there is no obvious diagnosis. <We are in strong agreement here...> Plus, lions don't do copper, and I've never dabbled with formalin. Thanks, Dan <I would just wait, keep monitoring your water quality... I think the loss of the Toby is unrelated... Bob Fenner>
Follow-up: Dwarf fuzzy lionfish -- 06/28/07
Unfortunately, the lion didn't make it. We are really heartbroken, he was our favorite fish. <Sorry for the loss> I took a really close look at the body, and found no signs at all of disease. No spots, mucous, sores, or wounds; no torn fins, eyes were clear; nothing. We are at a complete loss. Regards, Dan <May seem a bit unusual, but if you'd carefully (you can still be envenomized by a dead Pteroine) open up this fish's lumen (with a sharp single-edged razor blade)... There is another set of possibilities that involve this fish having swallowed something... It should be visible with gross examination if so. Bob Fenner>

Possible Lionfish murder 3/21/07 You have a great site and as a new marine enthusiast I thank you. <You are welcome. We do our best.> My FOWLR tank is 4 months old. It is 55 gallons and I do 10 gallon water changes every 2 weeks. PH 8.2, Ammonia 0, Nitrate 10, Nitrite 0, Calcium 320, Gravity 1.022, KH 8. I have 10 crabs, 5 snails, 3 Blue Damsels, a Clown, a Foxface Rabbitfish, and a now deceased Dwarf Lionfish. <You are overstocked. The Lo vulpinus will need a larger tank.> I introduced the Lionfish a month ago and he ate krill once or twice a day (12 hours apart) as long as he appeared hungry. <Was the Krill dead or alive, and if dead were you soaking it in a nutrient solution?> I only fed him if he was trolling the tank "begging". Ten days ago I introduced the Rabbitfish. No problem for the first few days and then the Lionfish quit eating. <Could have been striking because he did not like the food. They need at least some live food.> I checked your site and found that they could go for a couple of weeks with no problem. The last time he ate was 5 days ago. During this time the Rabbitfish stayed really close to the Lion at times bumping up against him. I saw the Lion chase him away once. <Likely aggravated.> When the Lion would hang upside down on a rock the Rabbitfish would stay right under him. Not being aggressive but just staying real close. I noticed the Lion breathing fast yesterday but otherwise looked really healthy. This morning he was dead. Is it possible the Rabbitfish stung him and caused his death? <This is possible, but I seriously doubt it. As you have not sent water parameters/general setup information I cannot give you a precise answer. But I would venture a guess and say that the diet was very plain, and it could have been a vitamin deficiency, or lack of amino acids, as well as a plethora of other things. It would be helpful to know how long you had the fish, and what your water parameters are. Also, it would be helpful to know EXACTLY what you were feeding the Lionfish. Were you soaking the food in a nutrient solution etc.> The Lion was 3 inches and the Foxface is about 5 inches. I really loved the Lionfish but am hesitant to replace him if the Rabbitfish is going to kill it. <Please see above Re: overstocked.> He shows no aggression to the other fish. Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated. <I hope that this helps. Brandon.>

Re: Possible Lionfish murder 3/23/07 I had the Dwarf Lion 1 month. I fed him frozen krill soaked in garlic. No live food. I was under the impression that once it was weaned off live food it should stay that way. <Some would argue that it should. I personally have had better success with the Dendrochirus genus giving them live gut loaded food from time to time.> I was not soaking in a nutrient solution. <Take a look at a product called Selcon.> My LFS did not suggest so I assumed not necessary. <When you take these fish out of their natural habitats, you take away their natural food source, and substitute it for something that is readily available. Unfortunately, you have no exact idea what their metabolic requirements are. Feeding one thing and one thing only is a sure way to cause a deficiency. Imagine if you only ate McDonald's hamburgers every day. Soon you would be doing very poorly. Same principle here. Think of it as a vitamin supplement for your fish. This is why I do gut loaded live shrimp. I can feed the shrimp all kinds of things, and the feed the shrimp to the fish thereby increasing the potential delivery of compounds they might be missing.> My water parameters as previously stated are PH 8.2, Ammonia 0, Nitrate 10, Nitrite 0, Calcium 320, Gravity 1.022, KH 8. 15lb.s LR, 4 inches of live sand and crushed coral. Filtration is the hang on Whisper that came as a package. The Dwarf Lion looked great and when he did swim around he had a lot of energy. Up until the introduction of the Lo vulpinus the Lion was a great eater and seemed to like the Krill. <It could have also been stress from the new addition.> Beginner question.....when you say I'm overstocked is it due to the room the Lo vulpinus needs on it's own or is it in conjunction with the damsels and the clown all of which are less than 2 in. (I know they will get bigger). <I meant the Lo vulpinus should be the only fish in that tank due to it's potential size. As well as the tank being stocked to the max level when you put the Lo vulpinus in.> On that subject I realized really quickly that a 55 gallon turns out to be a lot smaller than you think and in the near future I plan to go to a larger tank. <Sadly 55 gallons is small when a marine environment is concerned. It seems to me that the average tank is ~100 gallons.> I have my tank in my office at work and spend 10 hours a day enjoying it. <Cool. I tried to talk my boss into that once'¦> I of course would like to have as many active fish to watch as possible and lean towards aggressive predators but quickly realized that 55 gallons is too small and I'd have to give up my crabs. <Predators and crabs/shrimp/any crustaceans don't mix in any volume really. They will eventually be eaten.> The Dwarf Lion seemed to be a good compromise and I added the Foxface for size and color. Evidently I was misinformed by my LFS. <It happens from time to time. They are in business to make money, and sometimes they forget that the consumer is paying their bills.> If I took out the damsels would it allow for another fish with the Lo vulpinus? <I would pull the L. vulpinus, and try adding another Dendrochirus minus the Clown. With the L. vulpinus, bioload is not what I was getting at. It is the size/dimensions of this fish versus the size/dimensions of the tank. With other fish it could become stressed due to overcrowding issues. Like how I feel on a bus.> Thanks for you patience with my inexperience. <No one is born knowing how to do this. Except for Bob perhaps. <<Heeee, no... RMF>> Good luck to you. Brandon.> Lamar

Rapid Death in Lion.... 1/28/07 I just purchased a dwarf zebra for my tank...but he only lived 12hrs. He was fine after acclimation and mostly jut hid in his new environment. After a few hours, I noticed some weird behavior. He began swimming very erratically flying through the sand and darting everywhere. he wedged his head under a rock! I netted him out from under it and let him be. by midnight, he was dead with his mouth pried open sunk to the bottom. the only other tankmate is an emerald crab which was at the scene of the death. could he have killed the lion? the crab was clawing at it earlier in the day. thanks! <<We need a few more details, my first suspicion is to the acclimation process? What exactly did you do when adding the animal to the tank? Did you quarantine this animal prior to adding it to the display? Water Chemistry/Conditions? - Adam_J.>>

Re: Rapid Death in Lion 1/30/07 I did the standard acclimation process... <Sorry...but this varies depending on "who" you talk to, I don't like to make assumptions...take things for granted here when dealing with so many different people.> but several tests later, my nitrites had spikes substantially. This is probably the reason for death. <Or at least a factor...yes.> How do I lower these levels? <Multiple, large and subsequent water changes.> I have a tried everything....I did a 50% water change, added more live sand and rock. <Uncured...cured?> Added extra bacteria <Of what source.> and ammonia ease. what's next? <The identification of a root problem...mature tanks do not have spikes in nitrite for no reason.> they've been at this level now for a week. <Did you know this before adding the new addition?> I do water changes regularly and I've had a yellow tailed damsel living there the whole time without any problems. <They are amazingly resilient animals...possibly not a good indicator of overall captive conditions...> thanks <Adam J.>

Zebra lion disease/and supporting the pet fish pharmacy biz 2/13/06 Hello WWM crew, I have a problem with my Dwarf Zebra Lion. I tried doing searches on your site and Google and didn't really find anything tuned to what is happening with my Lion. He has a fungus (that much I'm sure of). He has this cottony growth that seems to have been growing for the last couple of weeks, behind his eye. He is currently in a QT and the water parameters are 1.020 Spg, <Better to keep this near seawater conc., 1.025> amm = 0ppm, Nitri = 0ppm and nitrA = 20ppm. He has no problems eating (live feeder shrimp -for now- because I just got him as a juvenile). The growth is right behind one of his eyes and started off small, but over the last couple of weeks has grown much larger (and seems to be spreading to his gill). I have been treating (since this was first noticed- a couple of weeks ago) him with "PIMA-Fix" for a week. <Worthless...> Then, that didn't seem to work (the growth got bigger) and I tried using ( "Fungus-Clear" - by JUNGLE) for several days. <... not useful here> I put him in another QT tank in which I am treating other fish with ICH (using "Ich-attack" organic treatment - which treats fungus as well) <There is no such thing...> for a day and then did a water change in the original QT tank in which my lion was in and put "Triple-Sulfa." <... in saltwater? Why?> He has been in there for the last couple of days and the growth is getting worse. Any help on getting rid of this fungus and keeping my lion alive would greatly be appreciated. I even tried a freshwater dip for 8 minutes, before putting him back in the QT tank. We then, with new water (same water parameters) put in "Penicillin" which we are currently treating him with. He is lively, eats and swims about the QT tank but I don't think he will last if the fungus is not treated once and for all. Most medications we have tried (shown in bold) seem to have failed. Please help. Terrie and James <Your problem is almost certainly environmental and/or nutritional in nature. See WWM re Lionfish and Dwarf Lionfish Systems, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition... and stop with the chemical dumping. You are hurting your chances of recovery here. Bob Fenner>

Sudden lionfish death 8/25/05 I just added (four days ago) a juvenile (3") dwarf zebra lionfish to my new 120 gal FOWLR (fully cycled, excellent water parameters). Neighbors are a few small damsels and a longnosed BF. The little lion spent a few days exploring the rocks and caves, then over the last two days has been swimming about looking quite fine and happy. He hadn't taken any food, but I understand this is normal, and I wasn't worried about it, as he seemed to be acclimating quite well. Last night, I saw that he was suddenly breathing very fast, and moving weakly with the current on the bottom of the tank. By morning he was dead. Any ideas? There were no apparent signs of disease (ich/velvet, wounds). Eyes were clouded over this morning but were fine last night, so I am assuming that was a post-mortem effect. <... very likely resultant from stress, possibly physical damage in the few days, weeks leading up to the time of your acquisition... This "sudden death syndrome" is quite common, particularly with some groups of fishes... they "look and act fine", but die mysteriously... some time later> I'm quite disheartened because he was a wonderful fish. I'd at least like to get a notion of cause of death before I replace him, to mitigate risks of a duplicate incident. The other tank inhabitants were happy, eating, and looking generally undistressed this morning. There wasn't anything in the tank that he could have choked on (all three damsels were alive and well!). Thanks, Dan <The best, and about the only "things" you can do are to select specimens that have been "on hand" for a few weeks from your dealer, and carefully quarantine them ahead of their placement. Bob Fenner>

Goin' On A Hunger Strike - 08/11/2005 I have a 150 gallon marine tank. My dwarf lion (D. zebra) has not eaten in a month (frozen krill). <Disturbing....> Have tried many ghost shrimp, crab, shrimp, etc. to no avail. My 8" snowflake eel seemed to be having trouble eating also and recently died. <A major concern....> He did not seem thin and actually seemed swollen. <An excellent clue....> My 5" porcupine puffer quit eating for 3 days but now is eating fine. frozen krill). My powder blue tang and other herbivores seem to be unaffected. No change in appetite or behavior. The lion appears to try to suck in the food but cannot. My water quality seems good. <Seeming good is not enough info.... Be certain ammonia and nitrite are ZERO, pH 8.3, salinity 1.021-1.024....> But my nitrates are high. <Also of concern. How high? Above 20ppm can be an issue.> I have done additional water changes (more than normal), I run a UV sterilizer, protein skimmer and do regular filter changes. <Try to find the source of your nitrates.... I would be concerned that the tank may be overstocked if you cannot keep nitrate down with reasonable water changes.> No fish in the tank have bad fins, color or any abnormalities. And there have been no recent illnesses or fish additions. I would appreciate any suggestions. <My first guess is purely environmental issues. Get more water changes done, pronto, if anything is mildly amiss there. Try feeding foods soaked in garlic extract to stimulate an appetite. If still unsuccessful, you might want to consider the possibility of internal parasites.... the swollen eel, after having not eaten, may be an indicator, here. Are any of the fish excreting long, clear-ish strands of poo? You might consider offering a food medicated with Metronidazole or Praziquantel, or treat these fish in a quarantine tank with either of those in the water.> Thanks. <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Dwarf (Lionfish) Done Did Himself Dear crew, This evening I noticed that my dwarf zebra has a tear or puncture in the membrane of one of his fins. There are actually two tears or perforations, one about 1/8" in diameter, the other about 1/16", joined by a thin strip of tissue. He swims fine, is not sheltering or guarding, and is currently feeding. First, is this nothing to worry about? <<Nope, I'd just watch him, continue feeding properly, might add some Selcon to food if not already. Have Spectrogram on hand at all times.>> Second, if it is a cause for concern, should I do something prophylactic to prevent infection? <<That would best be the supplement, Selcon.>> Or will it likely heal on its own without my doing anything? [I Googled, and found only a section on wound management that pertained to lions wounding us, rather than assisting a wounded lion.] <<Stuff like this happens to all fishes all the time. Given proper conditions, it should heal just fine. But, even if the tissue *doesn't* grow back, it will do no harm to the fish.>> Thanks, as always, Rick Walters <<Quite welcome. Marina>>

DOA Lionfish 7/22/05 Hi, <Hey, Mike G with you today.> we have been having very bad luck with our dwarf lion fish being shipped to us. we have a online fish store GODSCREATIONSUNDERTHESEA.COM the strange thing is lately I have ordered lion fish from 3 different suppliers wholesalers/ each time the lion fish arrives dead? dwarf lions are suppose to be hardy what do you think the problem could be . the heat? <Are you sure they've arrived dead? Often, a fish will look dead upon arrival, only to "revive" once acclimated to their new home. In my experience, smaller lions are notorious for this. Did you acclimate the supposed corpses? If so, and they arrived dead, I really cannot help you unless you provide more information. Best of luck with your problem, Mike G.>

Re: DOA Lionfish 7/26/05 yes they were dead and one I received the other day we put him in the water in our tank, he was upside down and never recovered. defiantly dead. <Interesting.> I thought maybe they were delicate shippers? <Actually, no.> or two much heat or temp change . where can I find a list of all wholesalers ? <Doubtful. There is no real compiled list of all wholesalers on the planet.> lol I have tried to get a dwarf lion fish 3 times for a customers each time it is DOA or shortly after being put n the tank/ . <I am beginning to suspect your water over the quality of then fish you are receiving.> on one order I bought 3 at one time and all three died one made it a little longer but it look like there was something wrong with his eyes. pop eye maybe or something . were thinking about direct importing ourselves . <Perhaps. What are you parameters? Mike G>

Question about Lionfish I've had my dwarf lionfish for about a month and a half now. He's eating silversides, and guppies. Good appetite, and seems healthy. However, for the past two weeks, he's been acting odd. Every now and then, he goes to the bottom of the tank, where the crushed coral is, and turns himself on his left side, and drags himself in short jerks across the coral. Then, he does a quick burst, and returns to swimming around the tank. Now, I noticed two days ago, his left eye is hazed slightly.. it seems cloudy. Well, I put the two together, his left eye is cloudy, and he's dragging himself across the coral on his left side.. as if trying to "scratch" the eye or something. (I've checked Nitrites, Ammonia, PH) and everything is normal.. So my question basically, is, what's wrong with his eye? Is this a fungus? A sickness? A parasite? I'm confused, I've never seen this before.. Please help me Bob. Thanks <Hmm, don't know exactly where the "cause" and "effect" come in here... Do agree with you that the scratching caused the cloudy eye... but why is this fish sitting about? Do you have adequate aeration? Does the fish's breathing seemed labored? It may have swallowed something it shouldn't have... and hopefully this too will pass... but otherwise, I wouldn't do much than wait and see at this point...Bob Fenner> Re: Question about Lionfish Nope, he's not labored breathing whatsoever, and he's quite active. Swims around up and down, all around the tank. Doesn't appear to be stressed at all. Every now and then, he sits on either the coral in the tank, or the bottom. However I thought all lionfish do that occasionally? <You are correct... in the wild or captivity... perhaps nothing to worry about all the way around... maybe this fish just "went bump in the night"... Lionfishes and their relatives are very good at self-healing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Question about Lionfish Unfortunately, my dwarf lionfish was found dead today when I arrived home. Could his cloudy eye been signal for something worse? Last Friday, was the last time he ate, it was a silverside head. Then I added an angel fish into the tank on Saturday. And he seemed normal until about 2 days ago, when he stopped swimming around, and either sat at the bottom, or floated at the top. This morning he was alive, but didn't do much, he was on the bottom of the tank. When I found him dead today his mouth was completely open, like as wide as it could possibly go. Well, what do you think could of killed this animal? <Do you still have this specimen? I would "necropsy" it (cut it open, carefully... they are still venomous when dead... I suspect "gut blockage"... from? Silversides? A rock? Even a Hermit Crab?...> I was told the cloudy eye was "Popeye" but, couldn't kill him, and I also remember giving him a silverside head on Friday, could he perhaps of "choked" <I think so too> on it all week until it ended his life? Perhaps you can help me Bob. Since I'm all out of ideas. <Sorry to hear of your loss my friend. My thoughts are with you. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf lionfish hello I have a new dwarf lion fish (zebra) that I just got Friday the 2nd of march. I am anxious for his survival because he is not acting normally, since I put him in the tank he was breathing hard and swimming weird. He can swim fine most of the time but sometimes he positions himself vertical and swims horizontal. is this him just trying to get a good perch on the wall or something? am I over reacting? well , please respond soon thanks Chris <Hmm, well... Lionfishes, including Dendrochirus/Dwarf species do "hang out" at all angles... so, this is "normal"... and the "hard breathing" is likely due to "being new" (leaking osmotically from netting, skin, mucus loss... Impairment of blood cell counts...) Would however increase aeration/circulation, hold off on feeding this specimen till it stabilizes/stops breathing hard... a few days to a week. Bob Fenner>

Fuzzy dwarf lion fish - cloudy eyes Hi crew! I have a fuzzy that has cloudy eyes. <Both...> I noticed it during his stay in the q-tank. Have read all I could and it seems common with lion fish. <Yes> I thought it would go away once he would be in the display. I have good water parameters . I know feeders are bad. I have never been able to feed him anything but small live freshwater fish. <A problem... at least a co-factor here> The LFS around here don't carry grass shrimp. I carefully inject the feeders with Selcon one day and the next with Vit-a-boost . <Wow!> I have tried shrimp on a stick, and he went for it once but bit into the stick and now seems to fear both. It's been about a month and I don't think it's getting all that much better. Is there anything else I could do to help? <Order other foods... through the Net... there are many companies, etailers that offer these... and cultures, populations that aren't hard... are even fun to grow yourself> What are silversides everybody mentions? <... a group of fishes... use your search tools> I could get him to eat small dead marine fish, but where would I get those? Is the Selcon and Vit-a-boost + guppies ok or? I really like my fuzzy, they are really cool. P.S. Can't wait for IMAC. <I suspect something more... bigger is at play here than just a nutritional component... Do check your water quality, and practices of using "supplements"... I am fully guessing that your fish's problem almost directly stems from environmental influence/s. Bob Fenner>

Fuzzy dwarf lion fish - cloudy eyes Hi crew! I have a fuzzy that has cloudy eyes. <Both...> I noticed it during his stay in the q-tank. Have read all I could and it seems common with lion fish. <Yes> I thought it would go away once he would be in the display. I have good water parameters . I know feeders are bad. I have never been able to feed him anything but small live freshwater fish. <A problem... at least a co-factor here> The LFS around here don't carry grass shrimp. I carefully inject the feeders with Selcon one day and the next with Vit-a-boost . <Wow!> I have tried shrimp on a stick, and he went for it once but bit into the stick and now seems to fear both. It's been about a month and I don't think it's getting all that much better. Is there anything else I could do to help? <Order other foods... through the Net... there are many companies, etailers that offer these... and cultures, populations that aren't hard... are even fun to grow yourself> What are silversides everybody mentions? <... a group of fishes... use your search tools> I could get him to eat small dead marine fish, but where would I get those? Is the Selcon and Vit-a-boost + guppies ok or? I really like my fuzzy, they are really cool. P.S. Can't wait for IMAC. <I suspect something more... bigger is at play here than just a nutritional component... Do check your water quality, and practices of using "supplements"... I am fully guessing that your fish's problem almost directly stems from environmental influence/s. Bob Fenner>

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

Cloudy Eyed Dwarf Lion Hello.. AGAIN I have a fuzzy dwarf lionfish that has extremely cloudy eyes. He is in a 125, and I am doing about a 30-35 gallon water change. Any tips? <Keep up with the water changes and perhaps try using Epsom salt, 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons.> Should I worry? <It depends on the cause. It is usually because of some sort of physical damage and easily reversible. On the other hand, some lionfish will develop what appears similar to cataracts. This is usually associated with a poor diet. Do search www.WetWebMedia.com for cloudy eye for additional information. -Steven Pro>

Sick Lion Hello, I have a fuzzy dwarf lion that I have raised from about an inch long to maybe 4 inches over the past year. It has always been a good eater and active. About two weeks ago it stopped feeding and has taken up residence in one location which it seems loath to move from. There are no other signs of a problem - color and respirations seem normal etc. All other tank mates are in good shape with no off behavior. Do you have any idea what could be the problem?? <yes... often, aquarists allow themselves to be trained to feed only one or two types of food to such fishes like thawed frozen silversides or worse(!) live freshwater feeder fish. If this is the case with yours (as it is with so many expressing these symptoms), then your fish is suffering from a dietary deficiency. Do research gut-loading techniques for live prey if you feel you must use live food or simply feed a greater variety of thawed frozen foods. Most lions fed feeder guppies, minnows or goldfish, for example, categorically die within 12-18 months because of it.> thanks, Steve Browne <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Sick Lion Anthony, This lion has never been fed live food. <my apologies, my friend.. I was playing the odds for literally 9 of 10 lions acting as such (dietary deficiency from live food)> He primarily eats frozen krill, dried brine shrimp, and some top quality pellet food. I thought he was eating a varied and healthful diet. <honestly not that impressive. A 4 or 5 on a scale of ten to me. Even freeze dried brine is severely limited in nutritional value, pelleted foods aren't too bad but do lack many vitamins (baked out in processing at high temps), and the frozen krill is very good, but it is gutted and singularly limited as a whole prey food item. Lions eat fishes and crustacean in the wild that are gut loaded with rich plankton and algae. This has not been compensated for well in this (like most) captive diets. Let me suggest the very best food for your lion would be a homemade food recipe! Inexpensive in the long run... can include great vitamins, flake food, and other nutritious elements not easy to feed lions otherwise. Do look about the WWM site for recipes and in Bob's CMA. Many other recipes on the net too.> Could diet still be the case? <yes, quite possible> What else could it be? <so many other things it could be with such general symptoms)... much like humans, blood, disease, organs, tumors.. who knows. Need more to go on for a diagnosis, I'm afraid> thanks, Mike
<best regards, Anthony>

EMERGENCY! with Dwarf Lion Hi Robert! <Hello Jason> Please don't refer me to FAQ , because I found nothing under the Links to my problem. Although I will go over them as again as soon as I send you this! <Okay> I need experience help with a problem that has been diagnosed as internal bacterial infection in my almost full grown Fuzzy Dwarf Lion. This morning I noticed him swimming around with what appeared to be two grape size pink balls of fleshy stuff protruding out the anal area. I thought he was trying to pass some krill that I feed all my fish. By the late noon it was obvious this was not the case. He seems agitated as he swam about the tank looking for a place to get comfortable. He usually stays in one spot most the day and feeds every day except today. <Mmm, you likely "know" that such infections are largely environmental and nutritional in cause... hopefully you will give clues in both departments... that is, what sort of set-up, history, water-quality tests you have... and the types, frequency of feeding.> I made some calls to a LFS and they made calls to find info for problem. They contacted this pro fish guy. and before they could finish describing the problem, he says it was an internal intestinal infection possibly by feeding live foods. I do feed live guppies and ghost shrimp mixed in with a very varied nutritious diet to all my fish. Some times a few dead guys are in the net with the living. <This should be okay...> Water conditions are perfect, I have 10 other fish with no problems! <Mmm, "perfect"... is a subjective evaluation... what "are" the readings? You understand... what may be "perfect" to some is flawed to others> This guy said the fish has a 50% chance of making it and don't feed him anything for 3 weeks. He also said the swelling should go down and the protruding intestine will shrink back. If it is an intestine? <Not feeding may be a sound approach here. There are folks who would advise dipping/bathing in Furacyn compound laden water... isolating in a darkened quarantine/treatment tank> I'm not 100% sure. The LFS said to add Melafix to the water to help. so I did. I hope someone has dealt with this problem before. I feel I need to give him some type of internal medication in a food, and try to get him to eat it some how. Any ideas????? I don't want to lose this guy! I've had him for more than a year and bought him when he was about the size of pen cap. <No problem on waiting on the feeding for several days to see if the reddening lessens. Do consider the separate tank and fifteen minute baths in 250 mg. to a gallon or so of Nitrofurazone as well. These are sturdy species once adjusted to captive conditions, with remarkable "powers of regeneration/self-curing". I hope that yours rallies. Bob Fenner> Thanks for any info. Jason Toemmes
I will post a pic if this will help!
Dwarf Lion I would agree with you on the fact that a fuzzy dwarf is a sturdy species. Unfortunately he did not make it. He passed on today and I'm very upset. I never had a fish go so quickly. I figured it would have been less stressful NOT to move him into a q-tank. I figured wrong because all the other little vampires in my tank decided to nip away at his fins all night. I moved him into the q tank this morning where he later died. <Sorry to read of, realize your loss> My water quality is to my knowledge in the norm. PH is 8.2, Ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0 Nitrate is 30 ppm the salinity is at 1.017 <Mmm, the nitrate is a bit high... and I strongly suggest moving your Spg nearer to near seawater conditions... 1.025 or so... Can't state to what degree these two variables were detrimental here, but do know that Lionfishes of all species are sensitive to ongoing low specific gravity, nitrates> in a 125 gallon setup with 40 watt UV and protein skimmer. I use carbon in the sump. I change the water monthly depending on nitrate readings. <Good regimen... I would look to other methods of nitrate removal and make the changes biweekly. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm> I top with RO water only. I feed frozen krill and Mysis with Angel formula and Prime Reef, every day, once a day with Selcon, and I add calcium and trace minerals about 2 times a week. I feed 4 - 6 live guppies or ghost at a feeding with other stuff already mentioned about 3 times a week. Some times a sprinkle spectrum pellets for a change. The lion didn't touch that. Maybe this pic will tell you some thing! http://www.logos-and-graphics.com/lion.jpg <A prolapsed G.I.... the specimen bloated... a good image, but nothing to denote root cause of death. There may well have been some sort of internal complaint largely at play here... and nothing anyone could much do to forestall this animals death.> Thanks for response, Jason <And your involvement. Bob Fenner>

Lionfish <Hi Doron, PF here. Wish it were happier circumstances you were writing about.> I recently introduced a Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish into my 29 gallon FO tank. My saline is 1.022-1.023, nitrate 0, amm .5, pH 8.2, water temp 78.
<Good parameters.> For the first two days he seemed fine, a week later he appears to be lighter in color, and slightly breathing harder, he also floats up to the top and tilts his head slightly. <I'm afraid that sounds like cyanide poisoning: Per Anthony, the symptoms include unusually stark color in fishes, normal feeding behavior, sudden loss of appetite and then death with gills flared and pale in color (light pink or white... not red). I hope it's not, but looking it over'¦ I'm afraid if that is the case, there's nothing you can do for the poor thing.> The rest of my fish seems fine, Niger Trigger, puffer, SF moray eel but behavior is weird. His first feeding of minnows <Feeding fresh water fish to marine organisms is a bad idea. The nutrients are all wrong, and it shortens their life spans. If your little lion makes it, wean him off the live food and onto things such as krill, small strips of fish, etc. You should be feeding all your animals that way> , he ate with no problem, now he just stares at them. I feel water quality may be an issue, pls. comment pls. Also since introducing the Lionfish my SF moray eel has been hanging upside down on the heater, and at exactly 10am since the Lionfish has moved in, he swims in circles non-stop for 15minutes??? < I think that may be because of the crowding, that's a lot of fish for such a small tank. I would recommend you upgrade to a bigger tank. Triggers are notoriously aggressive and I'd hate to have us get a letter about your tank mates snacking on each other.> Pls. help! Doron <I'm not sure there's anything we can do to help Doron, hopefully your fish will pull through. Good luck, PF>

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