Fish Disease Index - Pictorial Guide

Use this guide to find a picture that most closely matches your fish's symptoms. Click the link, if available for more detailed information on the...
  1. melypr1985

    melypr1985 totally addicted Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Expert Contributor Article Contributor

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    Pictorial Guide to Marine Fish Diseases

    Use this guide to find a picture that most closely matches your fish's symptoms. Click the link, if available for more detailed information on the disease and how to treat it.


    Ich (Cryptocaryon Irritans)


    One of the most well-known parasites in the hobby. It is identified by salt-like dots on the body and/or fins. This parasite can live for years in the gills of the fish and go unnoticed by the hobbyist for that time. Behavioral symptoms include breathing heavily, flashing, scratching on the sand or rocks and head twitching. Treatment can be done several ways including Copper, Tank Transfer Method (TTM), Chloroquine Phosphate and Hypo salinity. It’s important to note that hypo salinity will not treat for some strains of ick.

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/ich-cryptocaryon-irritans.191226/

    Photo: Rcfiftyone
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    Velvet (Amyloodinium ocellatum)

    This is a very fast acting parasite. It’s usually identified by a large amount of very small, sugar-like dots, flashing, scratching against the substrate or rocks, rapid breathing and swimming into the flow of a powerhead. Bacterial infections often accompany velvet and can kill the fish even if swift treatment for the velvet is administered and successful. The only (currently proven) treatments for velvet are copper and chloroquine phosphate. Note that sometimes velvet will show no outward symptoms before the fish dies, so watching for the behavioral symptoms is key.

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/velvet-amyloodinium-ocellatum.217570/

    Photo: Flybill
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    Photo: Reefahholic
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    Flukes

    These are flatworms that are usually not seen until the infestation is severe. A freshwater dip will confirm their presence by turning the normally translucent worms opaque after 3-5 minutes in freshwater. Prazipro, general cure and formalin are effective treatments for flukes.

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/flukes-–-general-guidelines.224423/
    Photo: melypr1985
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    Photo: melypr1985
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    Unknown
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    Heavy Breathing
    Signs that there are parasites in the gills causing the fish difficulty breathing. It's a symptom of ick, flukes, velvet and brook.


    Black Ich (turbellarians)

    Like black sprinkles over the body, this is another type of worm that attaches and feeds off of the fish. The same treatments for Flukes will work here as well. Prazipro, freshwater dips and formalin for the stubborn strains.

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/black-ich-turbellarians.259912/

    Photo: Fishyfingers
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    Photo: FastFish
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    Piscicolidae Worm

    Round worms that aren’t as common in our hobby, but can be treated with formalin dips. Once removed, watch for infection in the areas the worms were attached.
    Photo: Alexis Terlep
    [​IMG]

    Dactylogyrus trematodes

    These are a type of fluke or flatworm, but not one that we encounter every day. The usual treatments for flukes like Prazipro, General Cure, Freshwater dips and Formalin will all work for this.

    Photo: Danny N
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    Photo: XNavyDiver
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    Brooklynella

    While this disease is often found in clownfish, it can affect any fish. It is often identified by an appearance of the skin sloughing off but can present in several different ways including ick-like spots or even almost look like velvet. This is a fast killer and needs to be treated quickly when symptoms are first spotted. Treatment includes Metroplex, Acriflavine, Freshwater dips and Formalin. Repeated treatments may be needed to clear the fish completely along with transferring the fish to a sterile tank in between dips.
    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/brooklynella.247938/
    Photo: 4theloveofish
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    Photos: Unknown
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    Bacterial Infection

    These are very common and present in many ways. They can show as dark patches, white patches, torn or tattered fins, cloudy eyes, and red streaks or sores. There are two basic types of infections and each have their own challenges. Gram positive infections can be much slower acting, but can sometimes be difficult to spot before it’s late in the infection. Gram negative infections act quickly, sometimes killing the fish within 24 hours of onset. Treatment should be done with a broad-spectrum antibiotic or combining antibiotics for the widest spectrum possible. Combining Kanaplex, Furan 2 and Metroplex has the potential for providing the widest spectrum of antibiotics for a gram negative (or even a particularly stubborn gram positive infection) and can be combine safely together.

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/bacterial-infections.191511/
    Photo: Orly20
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    Photos: jocquill
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    Photo: cmcoker
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    Popeye – Infection/Injury

    Identified by swelling of the eye or eyes. Typically, if just one eye is swollen, then it can be attributed to injury. When it’s both eyes, they will usually be cloudy and it’s either caused by an injury in one eye getting infected and it spreading to the other eye… OR a parasite like Flukes in the eyes which caused a secondary infection.

    Photo: squalo_75
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    Photo: terri_ann (injury + infection)
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    Lymphocystis

    A virus that presents as a small white spot, often confused for ich at first, that will stay in one place and grow in size. When larger it can look like cauliflower bits, usually on the fins, but can also be found on the body and face. It’s not typically dangerous unless it grows over the mouth or gills or internally on key organs. There is no treatment besides vitamins, low stress and pristine water conditions.

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/lymphocystis.257461/

    Photo: sbenus
    [​IMG]

    Intestinal worms/Internal parasites


    White, stringy poop indicates intestinal worms and can sometimes be accompanied by weight loss despite the fish eating well. This is a slow disease as long as the fish is eating. Soaking Metroplex in the food is the best course of action, but it can be dosed in the water as well as General Cure for a second choice of treatment.

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/internal-parasites-intestinal-worms.267419/

    [​IMG]

    Hyper-Melanization

    Common in clownfish, this appears as brown spots or ovals where a stinging coral or nem as come into contact with the fish’s skin. Typically nothing needs to be done to cure this as the clown becomes accustomed to it’s new host’s sting. This can occur with other fish, but again no action needs to be taken. It will heal up on it’s own.
    [​IMG]

    HLLE – Head and Lateral Line Erosion

    This usually starts out on the face, but not always. It will appear as the skin pealing from the face or eroding away. Holes (small or large) will appear on the face, head and along the lateral line of the fish. Good nutrition, clean water and low stress can help stop the erosion and sometimes heal it over some.

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/hlle-head-lateral-line-erosion.259916/

    [​IMG]
    Photo: LeonThePeon
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    Uronema Marinum

    Red soars that seem to kill quickly. It’s mostly (but not exclusive to) Chromis and clownfish. Treatment is difficult and can include Acriflavine, Metroplex, Copper or Chloroquine Phosphate.

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/uronema-marinum.247940/

    Photo: Reefahholic
    [​IMG]

    Rectal Prolapse

    Identified by a protruding anus, a rectal prolapse can be caused by constipation, straining or even unknown parasitic infection. These things will usually correct themselves and adding vitamins to the food and dosing kanaplex can help with keep it from getting infected while it’s out. Premium water quality should be a priority during and after this time as well. On larger fish who don’t appear to be getting better, it’s possible to correct the issue yourself and use a purse-string suture to keep the anus inside the body until it’s healed.

    Photo: mmarro99
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    Photos: M&M
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    Distended Mouth -Locked open

    This is a condition that can be caused by a physical trauma or if the fish bites (or comes into contact with) a stinging coral. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for this. It will either self-correct or it won’t.

    Photo: cryotek74
    [​IMG]

    Abscess

    Fluid filled area of skin, that usually self-corrects. There’s no real treatment besides vitamins, healthy foods, clean water to help it along.
    Photo: haleyf1024
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
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  2. Empress

    Empress Well-Known Member

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    Superb job, Melypr1985!!

    This should be a mandatory read for all reefers whether they have a disease in their tanks or not.

    Thank you for taking the time to educate us all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
    new2this, ebushrow, MacQac and 7 others like this.
  3. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Great stuff! Thank you for putting this together!
     
  4. Tahoe61

    Tahoe61 Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018 Partner Member

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    Very impressive Mel, wow. Thank you.
     
  5. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Louisiana Reef Club Expert Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    You do amazing work, Meredith. We are so lucky to have you here. :)
     
  6. melypr1985

    melypr1985 totally addicted Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Expert Contributor Article Contributor

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    Thanks ya'll. I just hope it makes it a little easier for people to navigate and find the disease they are looking for. All of @Humblefish 's info is still linked to each, so none of that great info is lost - just added to. :)
     
  7. seastar

    seastar Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    We should add this to the ultimate getting started guide found on this site! Wonderful stuff! I'm adding it to my personal collection of go-to links, Thank you @melypr1985 !
     
  8. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Awesome stuff Mel! Seriously good info!
     
  9. lthary

    lthary Active Member

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    Very nice! Thanks for the good information!
     
  10. BMMMW

    BMMMW Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for posting this, Awesome!
     
  11. Orcus Varuna

    Orcus Varuna Well-Known Member

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    Simply awesome reference thank you for getting this out there. Anytime I get asked about a given disease I now have a condensed reference with fantastic pictures to turn to!!!!
     
  12. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Wow this is exemplary! Thanks so much for putting this together!!
     
  13. TylerS

    TylerS Well-Known Member

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    Yes! Awesome
     
  14. TonapahNorth

    TonapahNorth Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Well dang done
     
  15. Larry Linne

    Larry Linne Mt.Reefer R2R Supporter

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    Excellent recap! I'll keep it in my saved threads for fast access.
    Thanks Mel!!!
     
  16. drawman

    drawman Well-Known Member

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    Great article Meredith!
     
  17. Maritimer

    Maritimer Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader CTARS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Gotta be one of the best quick-reference disease posts ... well, just ... ever.

    Excellent work, and an excellent resource, unsurprisingly, from an excellent reefer.

    ~Bruce
     
  18. Wonf

    Wonf Well-Known Member

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    Awesome informational post! Thanks!
     
  19. Jrose42488

    Jrose42488 Active Member

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    Awesome Reference! Thanks!
     
  20. jwshiver

    jwshiver Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Thanks for the article. Saving it to my favorites.
     

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