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FAQs on Marine Infectious Disease (Bacterial, Fungal, Viral) 4

Related Articles: Infectious Disease, Understanding Bacterial Disease in Aquarium Fish; With a gallery of bacterial infections, a discussion of 'Fish TB', and a listing of major antimicrobial medications with examples available to fishkeepers By Myron Roth, Ph.D.,

Related FAQs: Infectious Disease 1, Infectious Disease 2, Infectious Disease 3, & FAQs on Infectious Disease: Identification, Causes/Etiology, Cures/Medications, Case Histories: Bacterial, True Fungal & Biological Cleaners, Cryptocaryon,

Mycobacterial Infection     3/26/20
Over the last month this wrasse started to get a really big belly. I thought it was just to being overfed a pellet diet as I was trying to gotten up a skinny Kole tang. Its looks a little hump backed though right? Obviously with my past experience Fish TB is always on my mind.
<Mmm; well... don't know re Myco- or other bacteria here... could be some sort of retention (fluids?), an internal growth (tumor?)... I would (myself) not move or "treat" this fish in any way; but continue to maintain it as you're doing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Mycobacterial Infection     3/26/20
Did you mean not remove the fish?
<Ah yes. Correct. B>

Re: Mycobacterial Infection      3/27/20
Thanks. I am going to try and fast the fish or limit the feeding of the tank for a few days. May also try feeding some peas and using some Epsom salt in case its bloated from eating. Otherwise it's still acting 100% normal and is the most aggressive eater in the tank.
<Sounds good Eric. BobF>

Re: Mycobacterial Infection      6/27/19
Sorry to open this inquiry back up. Not sure if you recall but I had also
sent you an email regarding polyp extension on my Acros. I was actually
going move all my soft corals and anemones out and setup a new tank for
them giving me more space to increase flow space out some of my sps
corals. This entire myco infection has got me concerned about contamination of the new tank even though I know mycobacterium marinum is omnipresent to a degree.
<Yes; but varying in "potency".... infectiousness if you will. As long as
your livestock is healthy, system optimized and stable; not much chance of
Would removing the coral not attached to rock and anemones likely result in contamination. I have read for hours and most of what I have been able to find pertain to zebrafish studies. I haven't seen any studies that apply to the casual aquarist in situations like mine.
<Not much science per hobby conditions, no. I would do your best to provide
good maintenance and try not to worry re Mycobacteria. Bob Fenner>

Thank you!     10/20/17
Needed info on bacterial infections and read article by Myron Roth. It was both detailed and helpful. Very much appreciated.
Best Regards,
Adrianna Laszlo
<Have sent on your kind words to Myron. Bob Fenner>

Queen angel fin rot; using WWM     2/4/15
My queen angel was doing well and I had a bit of an ich outbreak. So I put all my fish in a quarantine tank and treated with Cupramine. Now the Queen angels front fins are disappearing. Could it be fin rot and if it is how do I treat this?
<... see WWM re Finrot, AND Cupramine use, copper poisoning. Bob Fenner>

Watanabe Angelfish Emergency - Diagnosis Please!    4/1/13
First off, thanks as always for the great site and great knowledge!
I was given this Watanabe angel by a LFS since she had black Turbellarian worms and Amyloodinium.
<And a very bad apparent bacterial infection>
 Needless to say, she was near death when I got her, but she's come around. Now...she has this horrific thing. What is it? I thought it was either Vibriosis
<Could be>

 or Uronema. More details below.
First night...(Thursday)
- Acclimated
- Freshwater dip w/ Methylene blue @ 30 minutes (worms seemed gone)
- Placed into QT tank w/ formalin
- No appetite
<... more weight to gastroenteritis from Vibrio>
- Gasping at surface...breathing rate around 180 breaths/minute
<Stress period... osmotic shock/imbalance, hemolysis due to FW immersion, handling>
Second night...(Friday)
- Freshwater dip w/ Methylene blue @ 10 minutes (velvet lessened)
- Placed into new QT tank w/ formalin
- No appetite
- Breathing slowed to ~70 breaths per minute
- Noticed lighter patch on her side
- Very twitchy
Third night...(Saturday)
- Freshwater dip w/ Methylene blue @ 10 minutes (skin nearly clear)
- Placed into new QT tank w/ Furan 2
- No appetite
- Breathing is good
- Patch worsening...grows noticeably larger w/in hours
- Very twitchy
Fourth night...(Sunday)
- Added second dose of Furan 2 as per instructions
- No appetite
- Breathing is good
- Patch is really bad...might've hit the blood stream?
- Noticed second patch starting
- Very twitchy
So... at first I thought Uronema, but I would've thought the 3 freshwater/Methylene blue dips plus the formalin baths would've curbed it.
<Yes; agreed>
Then I thought Vibriosis, but the Furan 2 isn't helping either. Did I start the Furan 2 too late? Any other ideas on what it might be?
<Too many to list... I would likely just hope and pray at this juncture... unless subcutaneous injection (intramuscular) of Furan, Sulfonamides is not beyond you>
The scary thing is that I had three Anthias in the same quarantine tanks (they were brand new setups at the time.) They all developed the exact same thing and died.
<Ahh, bad>
 I thought they were fighting and that the wounds were inflicted by the others. I tried treating with erythromycin (all I had on hand at the time), but that did nothing.
<... some affect of gram negative bacteria... but not useful w/ Vibriosis>
 After they died, I bleached all
the tanks, dried them, and let them sit for about a month before setting them up for this fish.
What's going on and how do I deal with this???
<Have just quickly reviewed Noga 2d ed. pp. 193-196, and the few scholarly pc.s via Google on Vibrio in ornamental marine fishes... and the real  answer: "not much". The situation bodes poorly for this specimen>
 I've attached a photo of her
wound.  She's the only fish in the QT tank, and this issue started in the QT tank.  Temp is 78 degrees, salinity is 1.025, and ammonia is maintained at 0 with tank transfers or Amquel.
<I would not move or manipulate this fish further>
Thanks again for all the help!
<I wish I could offer you a/the "miracle cure". Not yet. Bob Fenner>

Re: Watanabe Angelfish Emergency - Diagnosis Please!    4/2/13
Mr. Fenner,
Thank you so much for your timely and expert advice.  Unfortunately, injections are currently beyond my hobbyist-level experience.  The Furan 2 has definitely slowed the progression, but it has still worsened.  I'll continue the Furan 2 treatment and just hope and pray.
<Ah good>
Thanks again - your help really means a lot.
<Am glad to share with you. BobF>

Re: Itchy Fish. SW... disease diagnosis     8/21/12
Bob, I am writing not to argue but it seems we were both wrong here. I looked extensively on the internet in regards to disease symptoms none of which that I could find matches bacterial or fungal infections and I decided as my copper levels were very low and the symptoms did not resemble Ich or Oodinium I was at a loss, the only symptoms were large grey blotches over the body and loss of appetite.
<... Microscopic examination...>
Sadly the Regal Angel died. What I found strange is that descriptions for bacterial and fungal infections listed symptoms like stringy white matter, red fins etc. I decided to treat with Mardel Maracyn Plus which contained a part description matching and after 4 days the Emperor is eating and the blotches are gone.
<Ah good>
The reason I write is to hopefully help others where the symptoms are the same without the fast breathing of Ich and Oodinium.  Regards, Adam.

Marine Columnaris?   4/10/12
Mr. Fenner,
Thanks as always for the fast response!  However, it left me a bit confused... Please read my comments below in " {{.}}".
Subject: Marine Columnaris? 

Mr. Fenner,
I just found out today that you will be speaking at our local SCRK meeting this Sunday!  I am so excited to get to meet you and hear you speak!  I wasn't able to make it to MAX and was so sad to have missed seeing you there!
{{Funny, is this b/c you're scared to meet me fearing more questions?
I'm in need of help once again and greatly appreciate your help in the past! I recently acquired 6 new fish from another reefer and had them all in QT together since they all came from the same tank originally.  The second day, the Blue Tang broke out in Ich and within the next 24 hrs, the Sailfin Tang and Flame Hawkfish also had white spots.  We moved the 3 with symptoms to a 30gal QT and began the tank transfer method of treatment with FW dips when transferring between the tanks every 2-3 days.  We have kept water params perfect, the only problem being stray voltage that we discovered the UV sterilizer was putting off about 3 days ago (got zapped when I put my hand in to get the algae clip! And the multimeter said 107 volts... 9 when UV was unplugged!)
Needless to say, we are no longer using the UV...  The Ich seems to have been kicked! YAY!!! But I noticed today that the Blue Tang has a cottony looking growth on his mouth.  I immediately got on the internet and started reading and it seems like Columnaris! But almost all information on this bacterial infection (WWM as well as other sites) seems to be about FW fish and nothing on Marine fish. 
{{Am I crazy or do you think this could be Marine Columnaris?}}
<<Not crazy; may well be bacteria-related... but likely secondary... some other primary cause/s... like trauma>>
This is my second war with Ich and thankfully, I have learned so much from the last experience which was HORRIBLE and we made many newbie mistakes. 
I feel like the copper had too many side effects and might have been worse for the fish than the Ich so I decided not to go that route again!  It was between the tank transfer method and hyposalinity but since I was going to be gone a lot during the next couple of weeks and worried that I wouldn't have the time to devote to doing hypo safely (keeping up with evap and maintaining the right and exact specific gravity) I decided to go with the transfer method, and it seems to have worked GREAT... The last time we had Ich and treated with copper, we had several fish that started having more problems and eventually died AFTER treatment.  One of them was a beautiful Koran Angel and I wrote to you for help about it... It died the next day and I was too depressed about it to write and update you on the status.  It had several symptoms and I believe that there was more than one thing going on at the same time with him since there didn't seem to be any one disease that the symptoms all matched.  One symptom, though, was a cottony like growth on his mouth.  He had lymph so I just thought it had started growing on his mouth until it started to "rot" and turn red where the cottony growth had been.  This was only a day or 2 before I wrote to you about him and then he died.  Now, I have what seems to be the same looking growth on a couple of these new fish.  To make it worse, (what I didn't yet state above) I just put the Mandarin and 2 Banggai Cardinals into the DT 2 days ago since they never did show any signs of Ich for weeks, and today I noticed that the small cardinal has a little bit of the cottony substance on his mouth, too!
If this is Marine Columnaris and it is in my DT now, it sounds really bad from everything I've read online.  What should I do!?  Please help!  I am about ready to give up on fish completely and just have corals and inverts!
Worst part about that is, my husband doesn't care at all for the corals and LOVES the fish.  He would never support my coral "addiction" if there were no longer fish involved!
Thank you again for being there for all of us hobbyist who'd be lost at times without you!!!
Lindsey in SoCal
<I would do my best to just maintain good water quality here...
{{Water quality is pristine and will continue to be!  Even PO4=0 & NO3=10!}}
<<Ah good>>
leave some outside light on so these fishes don't damage themselves further...
{{What do you mean damage themselves further?  From/without light?  Sorry, I'm confused...}}
<<Damage, physical, from... bumping/swimming into somethings hard... the light left of to allow vision, calm the livestock>>
and as soon as you are more assured that the Ich/Crypt is gone, dip/bath and move the fishes to their permanent system.
{{I'm pretty sure the Ich is gone now... Was actually planning on putting them in the DT yesterday but got busy with Easter festivities... so today was the plan until I noticed the cotton growing on the Hippo's mouth. 
Like I said above, I can't find anything except for scientific-like research documents online about Marine Columnaris and they are not written in lay men's terms and do not address treatment, etc... but in cases of FW it seems
like medicating with a gram-negative antibiotic is the thing to do.
<<Mmm, in actual practice, almost always of no to very little worth. More possibility of negative effect, e.g., interfering w/ nitrification>>
 Do you not think I should attempt this before putting them into the DT since they are already in QT? 
<<I would not>>
And do you think I should try catching the cardinal that I put in the DT yesterday and treat him in HT, too?
  I feel like you may have missed the fact that I was not really writing to you with questions about Ich, but instead Columnaris (at least I think that's what it must be).
Sorry if I confused you with too much background.  Since it seems that Columnaris is so very contagious, and I apparently added it to my DT yesterday via the Banggai, is there nothing more I can do but just sit and wait till all my fish get infected and die, or try and catch, treat, and give all of them away to someone else since my DT is infected? 
<<Again... these microbes are typically present; the state of resistance of the hosts, issues of environment leading to their becoming pathogenic>>
If there is a ray of hope, please enlighten me as I am feeling really down about all of this right now.  Thanks! ~Lindsey}}
Bob Fenner>
<<Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm
Of all things, the topic of my talk on Sunday! BobF>>

Bacterial infection on sunrise dotty? 11/23/11
Hi bob!
Two weeks ago I got a sunrise Dottyback and its in quarantine right now with a few other fishes.
<Mmm, what species? Looks like something has bitten your Pseudochromid>
A couple of days ago, i noticed a weird lesion near its tail so i separated it from the rest and its now in its own container and i began treating for bacterial infection with furan 2 after reading up on what it could be on wwm. I thought it was most likely a bacterial infection of some sort.
<Resultant from an injury, break in skin... from somewhere>
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be helping and as you can see from the pic, its like someone took a bite from his tail area and there's now an open wound. I've been following the instructions on the furan box and since it hasn't been working, I've been thinking of switching to erythromycin. He's still pretty active but his appetite isn't like it used to be.
What should i do? I moved him to a smaller container in the pic so i could take a clearer photo and the dirt you see at the sides are the flakes i tried to feed him.
<Try to keep this fish in a suitable, stable setting (with habitat, even just plastic pipe to hide in) and optimized water quality. Bob Fenner>

Re: Bacterial infection on sunrise dotty? 11/23/11
Hi Bob,
Its actually a sunrise Dottyback. Yeah that could be the case, it was in a 50g QT with 2 other sunrise Dottybacks
<Uh... they don't get along>
but the other two seem totally fine and this one is actually the biggest one. The skin wasn't like this at first, it was like a lesion that exploded and is now continually rotting away or something. Im not sure how else to
describe it.
<You just have>
Should i continue treatment with Antibacterials?
<I wouldn't... see my opinions/reflections re the use of such poured into marine systems. Largely a waste of time/resources... more often more destructive than no treatment/s whatsoever. B>
Re: Bacterial infection on sunrise dotty? 11/24/11
Alright thanks bob! Ill do a water change and run carbon on his tank ASAP!
I hope he recovers!
<Me too>
Thanks again for all the advice!
<What we do. Cheers, B>

Copperband Butterfly with Bacterial Infection 7/31/11
Hello WWM Crew,
After many years of reading through your wonderful website, I now have a question that I think needs a more direct answer.
<Am answering this immediately due to the critical nature of this condition>
I obtained a healthy Copperband Butterfly (Chelmon rostratus) about 4 months ago. Wednesday night I noticed a small spot on his side where it looked like the scales were protruding with a slightly red tint. I wasn't overly concerned as the fish was acting normal, but I thought it best to get another opinion. I posted a picture up on my local reef club forum and was told by a knowledgeable fish store owner that it was likely a bacterial infection.
<It is>
It was too late to go to any stores so I started mixing up some saltwater in case I had to get my QT set up. Thursday morning I drove to the fish store and picked up Seachem NeoPlex and Seachem Focus, which was recommended to me by the owner. Since my fish was still eating I decided to try treating orally and leave it in the display tank. I mixed the Neoplex and Focus in with my usual mix of frozen and fresh foods, fed my fish, and froze the rest. I have been feeding this medicated food to my fish about 3 times a day starting on Friday.
<Mmm... the first not likely to be of use; the second... Furan cpd.s can be efficacious... depending on the source of (stress) as causative agents here... Was this Chelmon exposed to copper? What other tankmates are there?>
Yesterday, it looked like the fish's scales were peeling away, but there didn't appear to be much redness and the fish was acting normal (still eating and foraging through the rocks). This morning, the spot looks even worse and the redness is back. I have attached some photos. Sorry about the quality, I had to use my cell phone camera. I know antibiotics take a little time to get into the system, but I am thinking at this point the medicine should be working?
<These are worthy products, but this condition is almost impossible to arrest...>
The fish is still eating and swimming around but seems a little less responsive and hides in the rocks more often. Should I continue with my current treatment or try something else?
<Well... I do suspect this is Vibriosis... Oxytetracycline can be tried (in foods best) or potentiated Sulfonamides... Unfortunately, this fish will very likely succumb soon>
My tank is a standard 6' 150 gallon tank with plenty of live rock and a deep live sand bed, a sump with more live rock, carbon, and skimmer. Last water test was performed on Friday and results were: no detectable ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate and pH of 8.3. Temperature has been a little high but stable at 82-83 degrees. Other inhabitants include: 5 Blue/Green Chromis (Chromis viridis), 1 Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris), 1 Coral Banded Shrimp (Stenopus hispidus), and a mix of soft, LPS, and mushroom corals.
All other fish appear healthy. A 29g QT is setup and ready to go should it be necessary.
<I would not move this fish>
Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated.
<Please do inform us as to your actions, the disposition of this fish. Bob Fenner>

Re: Copperband Butterfly with Bacterial Infection 8/1/11
Thank you for the quick response. The Copperband has not been exposed to any copper, at least not in the 4 months that I have had it. The chromis follow the Copperband around but I have never seen them pick on him. My tank has a low bioload and I am very diligent with water changes so my water is fairly stable. I am willing to try one of the medicines you recommended. Would these only be available through a vet?
<Mmm, depending on what country you're in; possibly>
If the fish continues to decline I will euthanize it but I would like to try everything possible before giving up. This is a beautiful fish and quickly became my favorite and I hate to see this happen.
<I am of the "don't give up" habit... Have seen fishes recover from these bacterial "break down" syndromes; but it's rare>
Thank you again for all your help.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Copperband Butterfly with Bacterial Infection 8/1/11
Thank you for all the help. Sadly the Butterfly did not make it.
<Ahh, as suspected/mentioned. One last but important statement I should have made: DO thoroughly wash your hands, arms after they've been in this system, or after handling this dead fish>
He was eating and swimming around last night, although a bit lethargic. I woke up this morning to find him dead.
I did find a source for tetracycline
so hopefully I can someday use what I have learnt and aid other fellow hobbyists. I am blessed to have a wonderful local reef club (Atlanta Reef Club)
<Ah, yes. Have met w/, spoken to them a few times>
with great people always willing to help out. In fact, if you ever find yourself in the area I am sure we would love to have you as a guest speaker for one of our meetings. The Georgia Aquarium is definitely worth a visit if you haven't been. :)
<Have done both, would do again>
Thanks again for everything you contribute to this hobby and for taking the time to help others.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

SW, "Finrot"... aggression, natural, misplaced/crowded fishes...damage, fixing 12/7/10
I have looked through your site and I could not find FAQ's on saltwater fin rot.
<Did you try the search tool with these three words? Put them in here:
and read the cached views. Otherwise, the sections on bacteria and marine disease: http://wetwebmedia.com/infectio.htm
and the linked files above>
I recently bought a Flame Angelfish a week and a half ago. My tomato clownfish was attacking him, and even arranging the aquascape and taking away the item he was hosting did not stop this aggression.
<Not atypical... likely exacerbated by being in too small a volume>
On the second day, I took the clownfish to the LFS. My Flame Angelfish had his back fins (The purple ones) a bit shredded by the clownfish and was scared, but soon after they grew back and he was swimming around normally.
Since he is the biggest fish in the tank, no one is aggressive to him and there have been no fights. He is eating like a pig.
However, a day or two after, the Angelfish's right eye swelled up and now it is huge. I have read on your site that if it is only on one eye, then it is probably mechanical. I suspect the clownfish damaged it while he was trying to attack him. I added 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt to my tank per 10 gallons (55 gallons)
<Too small...>
yesterday to reduce the swelling. I have also been adding garlic Xtreme to his food for the last 4 days.
However, during the course of the last week, I noticed that a while film grew over the Angelfish's pectoral fins. They are now ragged/shredded, and I noticed that this white film has started growing on his tail fin too! Is this fin rot?
<Of a sort...>
Do you think that the Popeye and fin rot(?) have something to do with each other?
<Oh yes. Stress, physical damage...>
I have been changing the water very regularly and the parameters are good.
He is still eating a lot and acting normally.
Will this spread to the other fish? Should I separate him into a hospital tank and treat him with Maracyn 2? If not, what else should I treat him with?
<... No, no, no... and nothing. This fish should be moved/placed elsewhere...>
Thank you,
<Read on. Bob Fenner>
Re Flame Angel... Finrot... BobF needs to find where he placed the prev. corr. -- 12/08/10

Hi again,
Thanks for the response and for pointing me in the right direction! In your reply, you advised me that "This fish should be moved/placed elsewhere... or alternatively the antagonist/Clown." Maybe I forgot to mention it in the email, but I did give the Clownfish to the LFS on the day after I got the Flame Angel due to the aggression problems. Bye-bye, bully!
<Ah good>
The angelfish is in the tank along with a Melanurus wrasse (Very intelligent and beautiful fish) and a peaceful, small Sixline wrasse that minds his own business. The only inverts I have are 3 hermit crabs and a turbo snail. Nobody has been bothering him since the Clownfish was removed. The Angelfish is still eating voraciously
<A good sign>
(Normal food and nipping at LR) and coloration is bold, has had no fading.
Parameters are: ph 8.2, Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 10, salinity 1.024 and water temperature is 78 degrees.
I'm fairly certain that his shredded fins and tail are rotting away on their own, not being nipped, since the shredded-ness came right after the white film appeared on his pectoral fins. Yesterday this same film started to appear on his tail fin, and today that looked shredded too.
I was told that this species could be housed in a 30 gallon tank,
<... not so... Please read the article, FAQs on this species posted on WWM>
so I thought that he would do well in the 55 gallon tank. You mentioned that this is too small, I will start to look for a larger tank. (Which I was thinking about getting anyway, bigger tanks are always nicer.) However, the time it takes to purchase/buy/set up/cycle a new tank will be long. I fear that if I do nothing, the Angelfish will pass away during this time.
The fin rot has been looking noticeably worse each day.. I imagine this, combined with the Popeye, is very uncomfortable to him.
I took today off to look through the FAQ's in the Google search. Most of them were on freshwater fin rot (I assume it's more common than in SW?), but this is what I learned:
"Finrot isn't a disease as such; it's what happens when a fish is sufficiently damaged and/or stressed that opportunistic, otherwise harmless, bacteria can breach the fish's normal defenses and cause
"Eventually the bacteria will infect the organs in the body cavity and treatment will most likely be unsuccessful."
So now I understand why you said it won't likely spread to the other fish.
<Not likely no>
The "Understanding Bacterial Disease in Aquarium Fish" article was very helpful, especially since I decided to take Physics in high school instead of Biology or Chemistry. Not a good choice! I now understand the difference between Gram-Positive and Gram-Negative bacteria, and that a Gram-Negative bacteria is most likely causing the fin rot. I think that the stressor that cause the Angelfish's immune system to lower its' defenses was the Clownfish, since the water quality has been fine and he seems to have enough space in the tank, for now. (He is about 3 inches)
<Good size for starting, and for this four foot tank>
I looked for Gram-Negative antibiotics, but there are many!
Which would you recommend? I now have plans to move the angelfish to larger quarters, but I'm afraid that this fin rot will progress and spread to his organs faster than the time it will take me to acquire and setup a larger tank. I think it would be best for me to treat him.
<Again, none... You might want to try boosting the fish's immune system by supplementing its foods... Selcon, MicroVit... HUFAs and Vitamins... this is all I would do. Adding antibiotics to the water is dangerous to all, not likely efficacious... injecting, feeding not likely helpful either>>
Sorry if I went on a rant and thank you for the help,
<No worries. As long as this fish is eating, it is highly likely "on the mend". Be patient. Bob Fenner>

Urgent - Raccoon Butterfly disease ID 11/24/10
Dear Crew:
<... four megs for one pic?>
I would like to ask your help identifying this disease (please see attached picture).
<Very bad news... extremely poor prognosis...>
I bought this Raccoon Butterfly 5 days ago. It started as a small spot on the scales towards the tail and I thought that he just scratched himself on the live rock but the spot is growing (it is about 3/4 of an inch
by 1/4 of an inch as of now) and it appears that he is losing scales where it's pinkish so I guess it's not just a scratch. Last night I put him in the plastic container floating in the main tank and applied Bio-Bandage Powder by Aquarium Solutions (active ingredients: neomycin sulfate, cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12), binders and adhesion agents). It did not seem to get better overnight so I applied Bio-Bandage again this morning. Can you please let me know how often should I apply this medication for this type of wound?
<Have had very little success with these sort of bacterial breakdown syndromes... Culture work will likely find a number of gram-negatives... In the trade, extensive, high concentration "Furan" (cpd.) baths are at times efficacious... But almost all fishes at the shown stage perish>
Is there anything else I can do to help him heal?
<Not likely unfortunately>
Thank you very much for your help!!!
<I do wish I could give better news. Please read here:
the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Urgent - Raccoon Butterfly disease ID 11/24/10
Dear Mr. Fenner:
Thank you for your prompt reply! I called a couple of LFS trying to find "Furan" but they do not carry it and seem to have no idea of what it is.
<Ahh, Nitrofuranace is the more common/available of "Furan Compounds".
Sorry for the lack of clarity>
Is it sold under a different name or should I contact local pharmacies rather than LFS? I do have Metronidazole at hand. Do you think there is a point in trying to use it if I cannot get Furan ASAP?
<There is not... this is an antiprotozoal...>
If so, what concentration should I use and how often/how long a bath should I give the poor fish?
Once again, I greatly appreciate your help!
<Please use the search tool here: http://wetwebmedia.com/Googlesearch.htm
re Furanace, baths... BobF>

Re: Urgent - Raccoon Butterfly disease ID 11/24/10
Dear Mr. Fenner:
<Just "Bob" will do Peter>
I was able to find it but, unfortunately, it was too late.
<Ahh... as usual>
By the time I got home he was breathing but already laying on his side. I proceeded with the bath but it did not help - to my deepest regret he perished a few minutes ago. Should I be concerned with my other fish catching this disease?
<Mmm, not so much... the etiology of this involvement is quite often "subject specific", or if a given species is crowded in poor conditions, already challenged health, species-specific>
The tank is an established (1 year +) FOWLR and all water parameters are good.
I never had any problems in this tank before but the perished fish was in the tank when I noticed the appearance of the spot and the plastic container that I put him in had tiny holes in it to allow for water flow between the container and the tank. Thank you very much for your advice.
<Welcome. BobF>
http://wetwebmedia.com/infectio.htm 9/9/10
Webpage Maintenance:
Your webpage http://wetwebmedia.com/infectio.htm has a paragraph twice as highlighted below.
Viral infections are caused by particles that by some definitions are non-living. Virus organisms are only able to metabolically function and reproduce as parasites; using the cellular machinery of their hosts.

Lymphocystis is a viral disease that looks like white to grayish cauliflower-like clumps, typically at the base of fish fins. It's origins, "cures" and spontaneous remission are somewhat mysterious. The condition may just "show up" even in meticulously clean systems.

Is a viral disease that looks like white to grayish cauliflower-like clumps, typically at the base of fish fins. It's origins, "cures" and spontaneous remission are somewhat mysterious. The condition may just "show up" even in meticulously clean systems.

By itself, Lymphocystis is rarely a damaging or fatal problem. In most cases it "cures" itself by disappearing on the individuals it has "shown up" on in a month or two of it's appearing.

Some authors suggest chemical treatments, biological cleaners, removing the clumpish growths from the fish by scraping with your fingers, even the use of the anti-viral compound Acyclovir. I would suggest isolating "infected"
specimens and let them self-correct.
Thanks for all you do,
Aquarium Masters
Thank you for this. "The process of removal continues" (Dune). BobF

Dispar Infection 1/20/10
Hi Guys
I Have a question for you regarding bacterial infection on Anthias. I have been through the FAQ and I would like to show you the specific problem I have as its not talked about in depth. The Pictures are attached.
<I see one>
The tank is 3000L, and I have 4 x bicolour Anthias which have been unaffected, eat anything given. The 4 x Dispar have been in the system for 3 months, and also did eat according to what the bicolour Anthias have shown them.
<Well-stated and related>
All the sudden, without warning, they developed a bump/line down their right side, in the same spot on all fish, and then it went red within a day or so, and now they are dropping off 1 by 1. As I said the Bicolour are unaffected.
I have a few tangs in there, but I dont suspect a wound first and then infection, as the damaged area is exactly the same spot on the dispars, and I doubt this coincidence. Is there some sort of bacteria that affects these fish, that seems to arise in the same area or maybe internal organ?
<Mmm, I don't think so... given the time frame... having these 3 months as you state>
I had a square block Anthias months ago which developed the same red line, on the same area as this as well.
<Mmmm, me no likee>
They contract this problem very quickly and die within days.
Any thoughts?
<Am tempted to suggest some sort of "rapid onset" (bacterial) necrosis syndrome... borne of "stress"... the markings (though hard to make out) do remind me of Mycobacterium (marinum)... DO take extreme care if/when placing your hands/arms in the tank in any case... and DO see the Net, WWM:
re. As to "cure"... perhaps improvements in the environment (aspects like ORP are greatly useful as measures), boosting the immune systems et al. nutritionally (have you tried Spectrum pelleted foods?) may be of use here.
Otherwise, I do encourage you to prepare, save, and share the deceased specimens with a fish pathologist... There are a few about... Have you access to a large library, college, with a life science dept.? A cursory read through Ed. Noga's "Fish Disease, Diagnosis & Treatment" is highly recommended. Bob Fenner>

Bacterial infection... Mmm, no... more likely Protozoan 7/6/08 I have a 600 gallon saltwater tank with the following fish: queen angel, emperor angel, French angel, panther grouper, Volitans lion, lunare wrasse, harlequin tusk wrasse, niger trigger, blue cheek trigger, Naso tang, powder blue tang, gold banded maroon clown fish, and an anemone. All the fish are between 4 inches and 8 inches in length, with most around 5-6 inches right now. Tank is about 3 months old and has 650 lbs of live rock that has a thin covering of brown/greenish alga. The alga does not look like hair alga and actually looks good because it makes the rock look natural. <Ok> All the fish are eating Dainichi and spectrum marine and veggie pellets EXTREMELY well, <Good> as well as PE mysis shrimp, squid, frozen krill, and Prime flake food. I add Selcon vitamin solution to the food also. They all are voracious eaters and all are quite fat and plump looking. In the last 2-3 days I have noticed the queen and French angel and even the grouper have a cloudy swollen left eye (yes, it is the left eye only on each fish). <Interesting... and frightening> Have done two 15% water changes each month since the tank was set up. All fish were added together except for the niger which was added 2 months after setup and adapted immediately. <... were these animals quarantined? How acclimated otherwise?> Nitrite is 0, nitrate is about .10-.15, <Mmm... an interesting number... what units here? Not ppm, mg./l... are you sure this is Nitrate?> spec. grav. is 1.023, pH is 8, water temp is 80 degrees F. BIG UV sterilizer as well as an auto regulated ozonizer, <Ah, good... what setting is this unit set for in pH, micro Siemens per cm.?> and two protein skimmers rated for a total of 900 gallons. The affected fish are acting completely normal with the exception of some slightly increased amount of aggression toward the other fish. The two affected angels seem to pick on the grouper more than the other fish for whatever reason. I know it is best to use a quarantine tank, <Oh my friend... in a system of this size... for what you have invested monetarily, emotionally... it IS mandatory> but since it is nearly impossible to capture these fish in this tank, is there any product that I can add to their food rather than just add to the water? <Mmm, possibly "Garlic"...> I know it may be better to just not add any meds and do more frequent water changes, <Uhh...> but I was just checking all options from you guys. Sorry for the long description, etc, but I am just trying to give you guys all the info (hopefully I didn't leave too much out) Steve <Actually need more info., not less... It may well be... scratch that... it is almost a certainty that you have a pathogen at play here... Hopefully it will not become "hyperinfective"... so virulent that it outright kills your fish livestock... Much that we can chat re... but where to start here? Am hopeful the Premnas is protecting the anemone from being consumed by your Pomacanthids... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/parasittksfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: bacterial infection 7/7/08 Bob (or whomever could respond), <Am here> I read your comments to my last question yesterday about the swollen, cloudy eye on my French and queen angels in my 600 gallon system. My mistake on the Nitrate values, that should have been 5-10 and not .15 (sorry), <Ah, thank you for this clarification> pH of the water is around 8.0 and nitrites are not measurable. You had questioned as to whether my maroon clown protects my anemone from the angels, etc and the answer is YES. <Good> I can't even try to move or touch the anemone myself without the clownfish trying to kill me and the anemone is doing great (not certain of the species). All the fish were quarantined in multiple "hospital tanks" prior to going into the main system for 3 weeks (I had to rent multiple tanks from the LFS due to the aggression and no. of fish involved so I could still add them around the same time). The niger was the last fish added. None of the fish showed any evidence of ich, Lymphocystis, cloudy eyes, or anything else during that time. My ozonizer is set to keep the ozone level at 350-400 (not certain of units here) which is set up based on the instructions with the device. <This is about right> The LFS uses multiple ozonizers on their tanks and they also help set this one up. I am planning on getting a refugium for this tank also in the near future. <Good> My main question was: do I have any option to treat for these probable bacterial or fungal diseases on these angels with some kind of medicated food (I don't really believe in garlic stuff, and I am currently supplementing with Selcon) if I am unable to catch these guys in this tank to place into quarantine. <Mmm, a tough choice to make... I don't think antibiotic laced food would do any harm here... store bought/commercially made or DIY, but also am dubious re how much good it might do as well> Some of the pieces of live rock in this tank weigh between 90-100 lbs. To have to get these fish out, I think I would have to get a good portion of the live rock out too and I think that will be pretty stressful on the fish also. I have read about using a non barb fish hook to capture fish like this, but how do you avoid some of the fish you don't want captured from getting on the hook? <Maybe only by being "a good fisher"> They all go after food very aggressively. <A good sign> Also, even if I get these "affected" fish out and in the quarantine tank, how will I know that my system is not still "infected". So wouldn't I have to just get all the fish out to put in quarantine to somehow treat the tank itself anyway in addition to just treating the fish? <A bit of reading re infectious agents... your, all systems are "infected" to degrees, kinds... A/the larger issue is whether the preponderance of given likelihood weighs toward action or no> And if so, how do I keep these 11 or 12 aggressive fish from killing each other in a small quarantine tank for several weeks? When I initially added the fish, I had rented several quarantine tanks from the LFS, but I just don't have room, capability to have all those around all the time. I guess I could rent them again from the LFS. (and yes, I do clean the tanks well before using them) <I would not move these fishes myself...> I am actually wondering if this could be trauma related, because the angels love to turn sideways to get at certain areas of the rock at the water surface to pick at algae <Mmm, are quite agile...> and I wonder if that could be why the left eye only is affected in both fish? <A coincidence surely> It would be the left eye that is close to the rock when they are in this position which is what makes me think of this. If it were bacterial/fungal, wouldn't both eyes be affected? The fish don't have any other marks on them and no visible signs of ich that I have seen anywhere. <... again, depending on root cause/s> In any event, should I still tear the tank down, removing hundreds of lbs of live rock, etc and get all these fish out even if they are acting and eating normally? <I would assuredly not do this> None of them are hiding or acting irregular and they continue to eat any foods I put in the tank for them. The two angels are eating very well and do actively graze around all the time. They sometimes show aggression toward each other or their tankmates, but nothing causing any fin damage or long term problems. <Fine> And finally, realizing that consistent water changes and water quality is of paramount importance (and water quality is great at this time), what would prevent this from happening next month or 6 months from now, even if I don't add any other livestock (which I don't plan on doing as I feel the tank is fully stocked given the potential size these fish could attain)? I just don't want to be tearing my whole setup down that frequently if you know what I mean. This is a little tougher than a 30 or 50 gallon system to catch the fish and do all that. Thanks, Steve <Really just time going by here... should see this situation rectify itself. I would do nothing overt. BobF> Re: bacterial infection 7/7/08 Bob, <Steve> Thank you for the very quick response on my problem. I will keep an eye (no pun intended) on the eyes of my angels and hope for the best right now. <Good. Is what I would do as well> Let me ask your opinion on a different matter with this 600 gallon system: Assuming this cloudy eye problem resolves and everything is "back to normal", there were a few more fishes that I was considering for this tank in the future. My current "crew" is as follows: niger trigger (3 inches), blue cheek trigger (4-4.5 inches), Volitans lion (6 inches), panther grouper (6 inches), maroon gold banded clown (3-3.5 inches), lunare wrasse (7-7.5"), harlequin tusk wrasse (7"), porcupine puffer (4"), French angel (4"), queen angel (6.5-7"), emperor angel (4-4.5"), powder blue tang (4.5"), and Naso tang (9"). I have been wanting to add an epaulette shark and a snowflake eel to the group at some point but my LFS can't find an eel large enough that won't slip through the overflow box slits and the shark is just hard to find period. <And likely hard to feed here... too much competition> The guy at my LFS also thinks the eel (and maybe the shark as well) would not be a good idea because they can dig enough in the sand which may cause the BIG pieces of live rock to topple or become unsteady and maybe hit the glass in front or back. Your thoughts? <Mmm, a minor matter here in my estimation. Am sure you've set the larger rock down first, before the sand... that it's stable...> I would also like to get a Picasso Trigger in several months to give these fish even more time to "establish dominance" in the tank and if I did I would get him quite small because I know they can get rather mean with age. <Less so than the Niger almost always> My LFS guy says he would NOT get the Picasso Trigger due to its attitude later in life. He says it would be fine early on with the other fish being in there a while and it being small, but over time it would become too mean. Your thoughts? <Posted... see WWM re the Balistids. BobF> Steve

Is this Marine Ich? 6/5/08 Dear WWM Crew: Would you please look at this picture I just took of my green chromis and tell me if this looks like ich, velvet or ???. Thank you kindly. Diane <Mmm, neither... If Amyloodinium this fish would be very soon dead... the creeping eruptions here... might be secondarily pathogenic... but look to be of environmental origin. Bob Fenner>

Re: Is this Marine Ich? Infect. dis f' 06/06/2008 If I understand you correctly, you saying it's some sort of bacterial infection? <Yes> I guess it's good news that it's not ich or velvet - but what does this mean? <That something is/was amiss re this specimen at least... the treatment, prevailing conditions...> Will it affect my whole tank? <Possibly, yes> For the past couple of months, I thought one of the other fish might be picking on the chromis because it seems to be hiding all the time and it has little nips on it. <Bingo. This condition is borne of over-stress really... opportunistic pathogens... that exist... everywhere> The nips have now increased and become these "creeping eruptions". I've not seen anything actually attacking it though. What do you suggest I do? <Remove this fish... if necessary, summarily destroy it... otherwise, isolate away from other fishes> Other inhabitants are two clowns, one six line wrasse, a lawnmower blenny, a small mimic tang, three blue-eyed cardinals and a diamond goby. The tank is 55 gal. Thank you so much for your assistance Bob. Diane <A pleasure to assist, inform you. BobF... whose wife is also named... "the huntress">

Bacteria... 2ndarily...

Fin & Tail Rot 3-31-08 Hello, A few days ago my Firefish and white sleeper goby started showing signs of fin & tail rot. (They live together under one of the rocks.) I have not introduced anything new into the aquarium for a couple of months except for some macroalgae plants (maiden's hair & red grape kelp plants). I did not bother to quarantine the macroalgae. The nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, chlorine is zero and PH is 8.4. The tank is 90 gallons w/ a wet dry filter & prefilter, skimmer, UV, and activated carbon in the filter. <Sounds good> I have some corals, 70 lbs of live rock, a clownfish and a Lemonpeel dwarf angel. The Lemonpeel often chases after the Firefish looking to nip him but I have never seen the Lemonpeel come close as the Firefish is way too fast for him. Yesterday the Firefish seemed to be healing and today he looks almost 100% healed. His tail and dorsal fins (not the antenna-like fin) were tattered. The sleeper goby however looks worse as a third of his body (his tail, essentially) is now gone. Yet he moves about gobbling sand as if unbothered. I mixed in tetracycline which I am taking for myself currently, with some mysis shrimp and fed the tank with this yesterday. However later on I read that tetracycline is almost useless in marine aquariums. So I'm wondering what to do now and if it's worth treating. Is it too late for the goby? Will his tail grow back? What do you think caused this? The stress from the Lemonpeel? Also, do you recommend adding Chemi-Pure into my filter instead of the activated carbon? Thanks and all the best. <Something has likely tattered the fins, and/or is stressing your afflicted fish, and the only thing that's immediately obvious is the angel. I would keep an eye on them, and if their fins aren't healing, move them into a quarantine tank and treat them with one of the commercially available medications for this malady (Seachem makes excellent products, and Mardel makes good medications as well). I've never used Chemi-pure, but I've heard good things about it, so it's worth a try if you're so incline. M. Maddox>

Dying Copperband -- 1/04/08 Hi guys! <Holly> I've never been to this site before, but I was directed here but a blogger on the PNWMAS.org website (pacific northwest marine aquarium society) I hope you can diagnose this disease! <Mmm... yes> I have a Copperband that started out with a darkish bump at the base of its dorsal fin last week. It's in quarantine with Organi-Cure (copper-based) and "kick fungus" in the appropriate doses but nothing helps. The fish's flesh is literally disappearing and the bone is exposed. <This fish is being digested... microbially> I can't believe the fish hasn't died yet, but it's acting completely normal (besides not eating for many days now). I figured it was a fungus the way it's been eating up the flesh, but I can't be sure. I know this particular fish is certainly a lost cause already, but for future reference, I'd like to identify whatever this is that's eating its flesh so I'll know how to treat it next time. Meds don't seem to do any good. The pics were taken this morning. Thank you so much for any info you could provide! Holly Sachs PS I don't know how to navigate around your site yet so please let me know if you respond. I'll keep trying to check the site but it's a huge one, and I'm kinda at a loss how to get about! Thank you! <I doubt if this condition can be reversed at this point... are you "friends" with a veterinarian in your area? Please have them contact me through this email address. A shot or two of Chloramphenicol might save this animal... but I am dubious. Bob Fenner>

Re: dying Copperband 1/5/08 The Copperband finally died yesterday (thank god--it looked horrific). <Yes> I wasn't so much trying to save the fish--it was obviously a goner--as find out what did this. Do you have any idea what kind of infection would eat flesh like this, and at such an alarming rate? <Can only be a guess (otherwise culture, microscopic exam, food and staining characteristics... to ID)... but Vibriosis, perhaps Aeromonads might well have been involved here> In less than a week it went from normal to half-digested and dead. Is it fungal or bacterial? <The latter> Any ideas? In case I ever see it again, I'd like to know the proper way to treat it, since the usual meds did no good whatsoever... (The only vet I know is the typical one that sees our cat and dog annually, and I don't know them on any significantly personal level.) Thank you for replying so swiftly! Holly Sachs PS Love the site - so much information. <Do take a read through Ed Noga's "Fish Disease; Diagnosis and Treatment"... Bob Fenner>

Re: dying Copperband 1/5/08 Ed Noga's "Fish Disease; Diagnosis and Treatment" Will do. Thank you very much for your help. Holly Sachs
<Welcome my friend. BobF>

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