Uronema - can any fish get it?


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Aug 14, 2020
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After losing 2 flasher wrasses, 3 anthias, and a royal gramma to uronema (no chromis in the mix) in QT, I’m extremely paranoid about uronema somehow making its way into my DT. At every LFS I’ve visited, I’ve seen what looks like at least one infected chromis.. I always check. And often those fish are all on one system sharing water.

I have 5 new fish in QT and one of those is a yellow wrasse, which I’m pretty paranoid is a carrier or infected (probably just my imagination but I swear I see a tiny faint patch of white on his side and I’ve seen many of these fish with uronema). I’m treating daily with food soaked in metro and dosing with GC per packet directions. He is sharing a tank with a foxface, tiny blue hippo tang, longnose hawkfish, and a royal gramma.

So my question is, can uronema infect any fish? Have their been reported cases in pretty much all species? While all of my fish in QT are eating well, and do not seem stressed, they are pretty cramped and my QT is definitely overstocked. Then again, I’ve heard of people having an infected chromis, with other fish and chromis in the tank, and only losing one or two.

Also, what exactly is the protocol with treating with metro? I read Humblefish’s article about it mentioning to treat with metro in the food and in the water column daily, but does that mean daily metro dosing the water column or per packet directions?


Jay Hemdal

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Jul 31, 2020
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Uronema is fairly ubiquitous, it can be isolated from most aquariums where it normally feeds on bacteria. There are actually a group of similar protozoans called Scuticociliates, so the specific organism may not be the same one in every case. It can only be treated early on, once it goes intercellular, there is no cure. Typical treatment includes formalin dips. I don’t know every species that may be infected, but the list includes: green chromis, yellow wrasse, anthias, royal gramma butterflyfish, flasher wrasse and seahorses.

Christopher Aslett

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Apr 13, 2018
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I would think that if you've had so many incidences of acute ulceration on atypical species, I would be checking the system for things like carbon dioxide retention and pockets of hydrogen sulphide. Have you got any other symptoms on the remaining fish? Do you have red or green slime algae that would indicate reduced water / low dissolved oxygen? Does the water look crystal clear and sparkly or is it dull and a little grey? Test your pH drift from peak illumination to before the lights go on. A drift of more than 0.2 on the pH scale, indicates the system requires optimising. A system is dynamic and ordinarily shows signs of strain when housing a significant fish biomass. Once most fish have died, then the system will no longer be under pressure and all will appear well. Is the aquarium covered? Is there around 20 times minimum turnover of the water in the display and around 10 times per hour through the sump? Chronic or acute stress has been shown to have pronounced deleterious effects on the immune system of fish.

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