View Full Version : Lionfish help

11-15-2006, 12:58 AM
Over the weekend I noticed my lionfish with white spots.
He shed his skin I think in attempt to get whatever it is off of him.

I tried feeding him...he lunged at it, but didn't open his mouth.

Today (Tuesday) I saw that he is losing color and his tail is almost white. I also saw that a bristelworm seemed to be eating at his tail fins.

I don't have a q-tank.

Test results:
Salinity 32
SG 1.024
Temp 80
Trates: 20
trite: 0
Ammonia: 0
Ph: 8.2

11-15-2006, 04:40 AM
wow, your nitrates are high. how big of a tank is this lion in. lions poop alot, im assuming thats where the nitrates are at 20. id suggest doing a water change. ive raise many lions, ich is a problem but when you start noticing cloudy eyes it gets harder to save them. i found that many medications are very strong for lions. when medicating lions in quarentine they tend to sloth their skin and loose their colors.

id pay attention to their eyes and keep up with the waterchanges. try getting those nitrates down.

11-15-2006, 04:40 AM
also, what are you feeding your lion.

JR Aquatics
11-15-2006, 11:22 AM
I would do a set of small water changes. Try to feed your lion something that you do not normaly feed it. As pham411 stated they are messy fish, agressive filtration and large tanks are required by this species. If possible try your LFS and see if you can get ghost shrimp. Lions can go a while without eating, just try not to stress it anymore than it already is. Is the lion laying on the bottom or how is the bristle worm getting to it? What size is the lion, tankmates, tank size, and filtration do you have? Are the eyes cloudy? Can you get a clear pic of it.

11-15-2006, 09:05 PM
Thanks for your help, but I'm afraid it's probably too late for him. He looks horrible today.
He's the only one in the tank. 58 gal.
I was feeding him frozen shrimp.

11-15-2006, 09:45 PM
I'm sorry to hear about him getting worse.

11-15-2006, 10:00 PM
Gee, I'm sorry to hear that he is looking worse.

11-16-2006, 12:38 AM
Would you be able to get a picture of the spots?

11-16-2006, 08:16 AM

Seahorse Dreams has a PURDY lion and is an experienced reefer. She may be able to help you with the fish. Can you get her a piccy?

I have to apologize .. I know nothing about them. They are cool looking, but anything that can pack a sting like that needs to be far away from Dave ;)


11-16-2006, 11:22 PM
Thanks for all the help but he died. :(

JR Aquatics
11-16-2006, 11:37 PM
I am sorry to hear.

11-17-2006, 10:08 AM
Sorry about yer loss... those fish are amazing...almost like puppies the way they pay attention to their owners as you walk by etc. Puffers do the same. I can't say the same for my tetras and swordtails in my FW planted tank. They are just D-U-M-B!

Again, sorry for your loss. I do still think it's important to find the cause. I'd hate for you to introduce another fish if there are any lingering issues with your system.


11-17-2006, 02:31 PM
'trates at 20 ppm in a lionfish tank isn't all that high...as mentioned these fish represent a high bioload, and altho 20 ppm is getting up there, it's not terrible. i DO consider a temp of 80*F to be a bit excessive, and this probably caused the disease to progress more rapidly.

you're correct in your assumption that the lionfish was shedding its slime coat in an attempt to remove whatever parasite was attacking it. in fact, they will shed their slime coat every so often as part of their normal hygiene. this slime coat is one of the reasons lions are so disease resistant.

when its color faded, it was practically dead, which is why the bristleworm was on it.

were there any changes in the tank? could it have been exposed to a draft or temp. swings? i know you were feeding it shrimp, but had it recently been given any feeder fish?

just thinking out loud here...

11-17-2006, 05:45 PM
Here is some backgroun....maybe this will help:

The water was getting a bit low. So I went to the garage where I store my treated salt water. I have a 58 gal tank and only added about 5 gal. The water I added was probably a bit cooler than the water in the tank.

I also had a yellow damsel and a tomato clown. I noticed that a couple of days after adding the water the yellow fish was dead, the tomato MIA (dead under a rock or lion food??) and the Lion had white spots.

I tried to feed my lion but he wouldn't eat. He was interested but all he could do was lunge for it and didn't really open his mouth at all to get the food. It was like he had lockjaw or he did eat the tomato and couldn't fit anymore in his mouth.

After I noticed the spots, he went downhill FAST. I saw him shed the next day. Then he seemed to be covered in more spots then I saw the ends of his tail missing and losing color. It was like his skin was rotting or melting away.

I don't know if there happened to be something that got in my water. ( I don't know what ??) Or what happened.

My choc. chip seastar is still doing great as are my mushrooms.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated to help me figure out what I did wrong. I'm still new at this and my tank has only been set up for about 6 months (I bought it off someone so the water and rock and fish came with it)

11-17-2006, 06:12 PM
be careful with that CC star...it may develop a taste for your shrooms.

odd...the spots don't suggest poisoning, altho the missed lunges might be indicative of a neurological disorder typically caused by a constant diet of FW feeders, or by poisoning. how long did you have the fish? is it possible something was used in the garage that contaminated your water or buckets?

sometimes lions can develop "lockjaw" but it's usually due to trying to swallow large prey items, and the jaw sticks open.

the spots suggest a parasitic infestation, but i suppose it might have been some type of poisoning since the other fish died...but again, i'd expect the CC star to be dead as well...

wow...this is a tuff one...

11-17-2006, 07:43 PM
Was the water getting low through evaporation? If so, and you replaced it with saltwater you would have raised the SpG. A high SpG cause your fish to die.

11-18-2006, 12:34 AM
s 32 sg1.024

11-18-2006, 01:00 AM
No problems there.....

11-20-2006, 07:58 AM
Unless the SG was significantly lower than that before adding the water...

11-20-2006, 05:43 PM
No it wasn't sig. lower??

I did store my water in the garage, so maybe the water was too cold...or poisonous?
However, my star and mushrooms are all still doing well.

11-21-2006, 12:45 PM
sudden chills can cause ich outbreaks...it's best to match the water temp to the tank temp.