Past disease affect the present / future of fish stocking?


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Apr 1, 2013
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Fargo, ND
Another question from me on fish diseases. This is one of the past and the impact to the future of my tank. A year and a half ago, I had gotten a harem of Anthias from the local fish store. They had all been healthy, but I didn't QT. @Jay Hemdal. I just read your article on uranema and wanted to see your thoughts before I do anything.

June 2019, I had a catastrophic failure of my tank. It started with 7 Anthias (1 male and 6 female). Many of the smaller Lyretails died first then the larger ones, and the male was one of the last three to die over a 2 week period. Several (not all though) had pink bruising around their belly and neck lines. Otherwise really no symptoms. After the Anthia's went first, then others went, all with different symptoms. Signs of Ich, Uranema was brought up, possibly Brook, Velvet, etc. Velvet was the one disease I didn't see signs of externally anyways. Well, as fish after fish died over the period of a month. (I was doing water changes like no tomorrow...) Trying to figure out what was causing the very slow gradual deaths of every fish in the display. I was down to three fish when I figured out an old heater I reused was electrocuting the display. I threw it out and my tang started swimming normally. I tested the heater a couple times to make sure and when I turned the heater back on the black long nosed tang swam in circles. Turned it off he swam normally. Thankfully he's still alive today unaffected by any of the disease.

I let my tank go for 3 months without any new fish while I got nutrients and other things back under control. My foxface died of something massive protruding out the side of him. (White worm or something). He jumped to his death. It was only the black tang that survived months later. So, in that year and half, I've slowly restocked my tank monitoring for signs of disease and as you know treating now for flukes. Which, I want to get under control.

But, I would like to, retry anthias. With a 350 gallon system I think 7 or 9 anthias including 1 male, would add a lot of movement, be smaller fish, and be beautiful to watch. My question is I don't know if Uranema was in the tank when the original set died or if the heater just electrocuted them all. It makes sense, the smaller ones would have died first from the electrocution. I had been told then that uranema will always be present. Do I just avoid Anthia's all together if it's forever present in my tank? Or how do I know and not waste a ton of money?
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Jay Hemdal

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Jul 31, 2020
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Uronema is indeed ubiquitous - you can isolate it from almost any established tank. It usually only affects recently acquired green chromis yellow coris wrasse and some anthias. There are exceptions to this, but I would say that your DT is not going to be extra-infective to new fish in that regard.
I think the trick to anthias is get good quality fish of a species that does well (I like Bartlett’s). Then, quarantine them in a well established QT, one that has been set up for months, not days.


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