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FAQs about Blue-Spotted Jawfish Health/Disease

Related Articles: The Blue-Spotted Jawfish, Opistognathus rosenblatti, A Cool Fish in More Than One Sense by Bob Fenner, Jawfishes by Bob Fenner,

FAQs on: Blue-Spotted Jawfish 1, Blue-Spotted Jawfish 2,
FAQs on: Blue-Spotted Jawfish Identification, Blue-Spotted Jawfish Behavior, Blue-Spotted Jawfish Compatibility, Blue-Spotted Jawfish Stocking/Selection, Blue-Spotted Jawfish Systems, Blue-Spotted Jawfish Feeding, Blue-Spotted Jawfish Reproduction, Jawfishes 1, Jawfishes 2, Jawfish Identification, Jawfish Behavior, Jawfish Compatibility, Jawfish Selection, Jawfish Systems, Jawfish Feeding, Jawfish Disease, Jawfish Reproduction,

Jaw fish fin/tail problems. The usual for O. rosenblatti       3/8/16
<Howdy! Four megs of uncropped pic...>
My husband has a marine set up, it has been running for around a year. He is at work and I have no idea how the water tests work but I can ask him to send stats later. Aquarium is 400 litres, we have a powder blue tang, fox
face, Royal tang, lipstick tang, chalk goby, 2 clown fish and various small hermit crabs and snails.
<Mmm; these are tropicals the Jawfish is not>
The tangs are all mild mannered and don't bother other tank mates, the powder blue sometimes chases the regal and fox face when they annoy him too much (they seem to want to swim with him all the time) but other than that
they're peaceful. Clown fish keep themselves to themselves, most territorial are Goby and Dotty but these are burrowed at opposite ends and seem to sit near each other without ever bothering each other.
I know the water is probably not great right now as we have been away for 2 weeks and despite having someone at the house feeding/maintaining the skimmer etc, it was in a mess when we returned! So much so that when we
returned at midnight my husband spent 2 hours cleaning before he went to bed, and in the next 2 days probably 8 hours doing a large water change, cleaning sand bed and glass etc. So I think we can assume the water quality is not good, hopefully his hard work has improved this but I will confirm later.
Immediately on our return I noticed that our blue spotted Jawfish (Dotty) was seriously unwell! We have had Dotty for around 3 months, please see image below:
<A goner>

He has ditched his burrow and sits in the open, as he is on this image.
Seems to be eating ok but certainly not himself. After doing the 50% water change my husband removed the carbon and added metaflix
<Worse than worthless. See (as in read) on WWM Re>

to the aquarium. We considered quarantining him but we don't want to add additional stress if it is not necessary, we think he has fin rot but as we are new to the hobby we're not so sure? Poor water quality due to lack of maintenance and possible overfeeding whilst we were away are the most probable causes.
<This and mis-placement period; now apparent beating... by... the Clowns?>>
I just want some advice, are we doing the right thing?
We love Dotty and want to do everything we can to save him, although we're concerned whatever he has, has progressed too much whilst we were away.
<Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BlueSptJawArt.htm
and the linked files above. This fish is too frequently placed in too-warm settings... lost prematurely. Bob Fenner>

Env. challenged, beaten.

Re: Jaw fish fin/tail problems    4/9/16
Thank you for your reply Bob, sorry the image was so big!
<Ah; appreciated>
My husband keeps the tank at 25 Celsius, is this too high for the Jawfish, or too low for the tropicals?
<Fine for the latter; too high for this Jaw species>
We did think it would be too late for him but I suppose we just hoped we could help in some way, the clowns are juveniles and not showing any aggression but I saw the regal tang take a couple of nips earlier, so yes he is also being bullied. Will it be better to quarantine so he can die in peace?
<Yes! Assuredly>
We chose metaflix
<Melafix, an API product/sham>
because we read it doesn't harm the filter bacteria or invertebrates,
<Au contraire!>

but I have read your views now and wish I had done so before!
I have made a donation to WWM and will use your site for info in future, thank you!
<Thank you. Bob Fenner>
Re Jaw fish fin/tail problems    4/9/16
Apologies, I have the info re temperature for the Jawfish from your link, and that max should be early 70's.
<At the very highest... in their range the temp. is in the low to mid 50's F. the middling sixties F mostly>
Therefore the temp we keep of 77 Fahrenheit (25 Celsius) is too high for him. Our local LFS encouraged us to go for this fish knowing we have a tropical set up,
<Very common; yes, and a mistake>
what a shame they are pretty much sentencing these beautiful fish to death by not properly marketing them as needing cooler temperatures.
<I agree>
I have been on watch this afternoon and caught the regal tang nipping her fins multiple times, my husband is going to take the Jawfish out and put her into quarantine
<Ahh! Very good>
when he's home, otherwise Dotty will be nipped to death through the night, I'm sure of it. At least in quarantine he can have some peace from the fin nipping!
Thanks so much for your information, this is the first and last Jawfish we will add to our tropical set up.
<Oh! There are other, tropical Opistognathid species... Bob Fenner>
Re: Jaw fish fin/tail problems    4/9/16

That's good to know, we'll research on your site before making any more Jawfish purchases. They're so interesting to watch I really love their character!
<Really neat animals>
He actually seems happier in quarantine, he's swimming around now and my husband fed him some live food and he gobbled it up! I know his chances are very slim but I'll keep hoping....
<Am hoping....>
Thanks again!
<Cheers, BobF>

Jawfish with bulge? Misplaced sp.      6/26/13
Hi Crew,
As always, thank you for continuing to build up the WWM site ­ it is a precious resource much appreciated by all of us aquarists who continue to learn so much from you every day!
<It is our shared passion... to share; inform, inspire fellow aquarists>
Here is a bit of info regarding my setup:
I have a 175G tank that has been running for a bit over two years. Water parameters are pretty stable: SG 1.023, Alk 180 ppm, pH at 8.2, CA 240,
<Low for biomineralizing life; fine for fishes>
ammonia, nitrites and nitrates all below detectable levels although temp tends to run a bit high at 80F.
<Too high for this species
... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BlueSptJawArt.htm
The tank has a 2" inch sandbed
<And too shallow for Rosenblatt's Jawfish>

and live rock. In terms of livestock,  I have:
* 1 Spotted sweetlips (Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides) which I know, I never should have gotten, but this was before I was an avid WWM reader. I have given him extra care and he has been happily with me for 2 years now, so I guess I'm one of the success stories.
<Ah yes; congrats!>
* 1 Yellow tang (Zebrasoma Flavescens)
* 1 Diamond Goby (Valenciennea puellaris)
* 3 Ocellaris clownfish
* 1 Sea Hare (Aplysia oculifera)
* 1 Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus)
* 1 Blue Spot Jawfish (Opistognathus rosenblatti) - the individual in question
* 1 Pajama Cardinal (Sphaeramia nematoptera)
* 1 Red Firefish (Nemateleotris magnifica)
* As well as 1 Turbo Snail (Turbo fluctuosa), 1 Fighting Conch, 1 Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Coco Worm (Protula magnifica) and a Crocea Clam
I also have a few SPS (Leather Coral, Button Polyp and a few Kenya Trees that I fight to keep under control).
<... a factor here as well... And these need higher [Ca], proportionate Mg...>
No life form has been added to the tank for 6+ months.
I am reaching out to you because my Blue Spot Jawfish (Opistognathus rosenblatti) seems to be in trouble. He started eating very little and even rejecting food about ten days ago. His behavior became a bit more reclusive than normal (he has a little cave under the live rock that he loves and tends to spend most of the time peeking out of it), although he appeared otherwise fine. I left for a business trip for a week, and now I came back and noticed that he has developed a large bulge in the middle of his body - as if he had swallowed a rock - so I am concerned about him. Last night he ate a little bit but still not in his usual quantities.
I attached a picture - let me know if it is too blurry and I'll try to take another one.
Any ideas?
<Mmm, yes; is a tumor of some sort... could be parasitic, cancerous... can't say w/o sacrificing the fish, other micro- work. Treatment? I wouldn't medicate. I would move this fish to cooler water, in a system w/ more fine sand...>
As usual a BIG, Texas-sized thank you from Houston!
<Ah, welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Blue Spotted Jawfish has Crypt? email... two actually out of 9/27/11
Hi again,
I just checked on the Blue Spotted Jawfish and he's all the way out of his burrow, so I was able to get a better picture of him and a better personal look. I think now he probably has Brooklynellosis.
<Mmm, not likely... instead Cryptocaryon...>
If this is correct, apologies about failure to recognize it before. The disease in general is still new to me and I didn't think it quite fit the description until I got a better look at him. Reading up on that on your archives now, although it seems rather hopeless so far.
<... this species, Opistognathus rosenblatti, is not really a tropical animal... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/BlueSptJawArt.htm
and here re disease: http://wetwebmedia.com/BluSptJawDisF.htm
and once it's in a suitable environment... deciding on either a course of medicine treatment or hoping it will self-cure.
Do you understand? Bob Fenner>

Re: Blue Spotted Jawfish has Crypt?... three out of... 9/27/11

Thanks for the reply Bob!
<Welcome Haylee>
I just read your links, thank you, I wish I had known about them a bit before purchasing the Blue Spotted Jawfish, I didn't realize he needed it quite so cold. As far as what seems to be plaguing him, I'm just not certain it looks like Crypt. I'm not sure if marine Ich is different from freshwater, but based on the outbreak we had once in our freshwater tank this doesn't look quite the same.
<Indeed they are. Difference in size...>
Mainly the fact that there are apparent tubes/tentacles on him (what I assumed was the 'cilia' from Brooklynellosis)
rather than white dots flesh with his scales.
<Actually... one cannot see the actual agents (Protozoans)... the white clumps, spots are the reaction effect of the host... mucus>
Additionally he has the labored breathing which seems to be a Brooklynellosis symptom, <Symptomatic of all "proteinaceous precipitant" reactions... More mucus makes breathing/respiration difficult>
although whether or not this is also true for Crypt I'm not sure,
<... tis>
all I saw on our freshwater Ich was the fish flashing against the gravel, which I have also seen the Jawfish doing from time to time (though I suspect any type of parasite will cause this reaction?)
<Many do>
As far as the fish being non-tropical, does that relate in anyway to his illness?
<Oh yes... all health issues are "environmentally mediated"... Have you not noticed this in your life? Read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm>
I'm just a little confused because on a WWM article about Brooklynellosis it says Jawfish can also be easily susceptible to it, so I'm not sure if you're implying it's a disease for tropical fish only or if other types of Jawfish are tropical and therefore are the ones to get it?
<Mmm, can be subject to... but rare>
It's just frustrating because he looked so healthy yesterday and in the store, and suddenly today he has this. At any rate, I'm going to need to treat my whole tank now won't I?
<Unless you have a treatment set-up... yes. Or as insinuated in the last email, want to hope/wait out the situation, hoping this/these animal/s will fight off the infestation. Read here re:
and the linked files above, till you understand sufficiently. BobF>
Thanks for all the advice
- Haylee
Blue Spotted Jawfish has Crypt?... the original/first email... rec'd third 9/28/11

Hi there!
<Haylee... has your email gone through a worm hole? We've chatted twice before this>
My boyfriend and I just recently got into the marine aquarium hobby, and your website has been a fantastic source but we're definitely still learning a lot as we go (we just recently battled a Vermetid Snail and are still combating the Digitate Hydroids).
<No fun>
We have a 29gal.
<Too small for Opistognathus rosenblatti>
that's 30x12x18. I want to say we have ~30 lbs of live rock, and it's been up and running about 2 months now with great reports thus far. Unfortunately my boyfriend does all the water testings, so I don't have the exact numbers for you (and we actually don't have a test for magnesium yet) also some of our tests are dry strips...which I know you guys hate and are less reliable (we're working on it!) but we did a water test last night and all of our numbers were in the 'good range'. We do have a powerhead and a protein skimmer, I'm not sure what the specs you need for those are though. The inhabitants are: 1 Tail Spot Blenny, 1 Blue Spotted Jawfish,
<A cool water species. Incompatible here>
1 Arrow Crab,
1 Fancy Brittle Star,
<This too possibly>
1 Cerith Snail, 2 Astrea Snails, 2 Nerite Snails (I believe they were sold to us as Margarita Snails, but based on the sesame seed like eggs on the tank I've chalked them up to Nerites) and 8 Hermits that I think are the Dwarf Red Tip.
Now the problem is, we just bought a Blue Spotted Jawfish 4 days ago and then went back to pick him up and introduce him to our tank yesterday. He was doing absolutely fabulous yesterday, and immediately began to burrow.
<What they do>
Likely our first mistake is we did not quarantine him. We don't have a separate tank set aside for this, or had even really thought of it until I was trying to read up on some things tonight. The place we bought the Jawfish from is a place we haven't bought anything from yet, and the Jawfish was actually $80 when I know they can go for $200 (too good to be true usually is, right) but all of their livestock, both coral and fish, appear very healthy and the employees are knowledgeable (albeit still salesmen) the low prices if anything are likely a way for their smaller scale store to compete with some of the larger ones near them.
But back to the Jawfish, tonight he has what appears to be white dots on him.
<Saw these in our previous email>
Now we've had an outbreak of Ich in our freshwater tank a while back, and to me, these spots don't look the same. However, I did witnesses him flashing a few times against the sand. Really on closer inspection though, it's not so much white spots as what looks like....clear, short tentacles coming off his body
<Excessive body mucus...>
(well his head, he won't show me the rest of his body)
it also looks like his breathing is a little bit more labored and one gill appears rather flared out (I thought maybe he had a Copepod stuck in there even). I've attached a picture, you can sort of see one of the 'tentacles' on the very top middle of his head. These sort of tentacles on his body could be his slime, but I've seen slime off corals and fish before and this doesn't quite look the same, but sand is sticking to it (which is where the white dots appearance is really coming from I believe). So before I stress him out even further with a freshwater dip for Ich, I wanted to know if this sounds more like a stress case and we should just leave him alone,
<Is a crypt case linked/subsequent to excess stress>
maybe even see how he is tomorrow before taking action?
<Up to you... have you read where you were last directed?>
My only concern is if it is Ich I want to act now to ensure the greatest survival rate for him, and stop it from spreading period.
Now, another thing that makes me think this may not be Ich is that starting yesterday our Arrow Crab lost a leg. By this evening he know has 4 legs and 1 claw, which kind of sounds like he's reacting to poor water quality (but we just tested last night!). The Arrow crab has been one of our longest additions to the tank and he's actually relatively mellow for an Arrow so I don't believe he's getting into any fights with anyone (as far as I know he hasn't even left the back corner where all his legs are lying around him).
But we did do a few new things to our tank this week, besides adding the Blue Spotted Jawfish.
<Likely a water quality issue... do you administer iodide/ate? Balance of Biominerals and alkalinity?>
We also bought 8 new coral frags (is their type important?
<Yikes, yes>
Nothing really out of the ordinary.) and ran all of them and our live rock through a dip yesterday with Coral RX
We also added more live sand into the tank, to give the new Jawfish some more burrowing room (although he's using the shallower side anyway, go figure).
Because of the rock and coral dip we ended up rearranging the entire set up of our tank, also in efforts to promote the Jawfish burrow at the front (which he chose yay!) rather than the back where he'd initially begun digging.
And we attached our new corals to the rock using a reef safe putty (I'm afraid I don't know the name, but it's red with gray inside and you mix it together and it generates a small amount of heat. The package warned it would make the protein skimmer go nuts for 36 hours, which it is).
Last night we also did about a 10% water change, and we'd had some evaporation as it is so topped off the tank (we did the water test a few hours after this, by the way). Typically we don't do a weekly water change which you guys seem to suggest, but we also don't do a monthly one, just sorta somewhere in between.
<You're learning; good>
So, between all of that, I'm not sure what it is. Obvious answer seems to be stress, right?
<As a related "cause". Yes>
But truth be told, after all the chaos of dipping and reorganizing the tank last night, the Jawfish immediately built a new burrow and seemed very content. He never appeared slimy, labored, timid or ever not digging at any point yesterday. Sorry for being so long, I wanted to make sure I got every possible source of issue explained! Any help would be appreciated though, because I'm not quite sure what to think or do at this point. Thanks!
- Haylee
<Please review our last two emails, the linked citation referrals therein. BobF>

Re: Blue Spotted Jawfish has Crypt? 9/28/11
Hi again,
<Hail Haylee>
Haha I was confused why my second e-mail received a response before the first, strange.
<Bizarre eh?>
The corals we bought are: Red Mushroom, Frogspawn, Torch, Magician Palys, some type of Favite, a type of Colony Polyp, Button Polyps and Daisy Polyps
<See WWM re the Zoanthids, Clavulariids... even the Corallimorph and Euphyllia... these organisms are inclined toward chemical warfare:
Allelopathy... induced troubles w/ haphazard mixing>
In regards to your questions about adding any iodide or balancing alkalinity, thus far we haven't ever added anything into our tank aside from removing/adding water to help balance out some levels here and there. The two fish we have now (the Tailspot Blenny and the Blue Spotted Jawfish) are very new, having them a week or less. Until now we've mainly had our invertebrates and corals, so we were more worried with making sure our Nitrates and Nitrites and such were in the good ranges. Of course with fish there's going to be a whole other host of water issues to be careful of.... but we had been cycling for a while with good reports so felt safe adding a fish or two.
<Again... and hopefully for the last time... you need to sell, return this fish... or place it in a suitable environment. It will NOT live in a 29 gal. trop. sys. for well or long>
As it is we still need to purchase all the remaining test kits (it feels like there's hundreds) and then had planned on getting any additives as needed based on our water reports.
Regarding the Jawfish though, we've decided to just let him try to fight it off on his own. We didn't want to have to rush a quarantine tank which could only help cause further stress anyway, but now we're going to be slowly setting up a quarantine for the future. Leaving them alone also seems to be a lot of the suggestions on the Crypt FAQ you linked to, and since he seems to be pretty hardy and healthy so far, so he might have a good chance. I did want to ask your thoughts on a freshwater dip though? A friend of ours is urging we do that, but from what I've been reading I haven't seen anyone suggest that as a cure to Crypt, but more of a preventative before adding new fish into the tank. Is it effective either way?
<Best to do as you're doing and hope for a self-cure here. Do NOT add any more livestock>
Again we really appreciate all your help, learning so much just from this one experience, although hopefully no lives will be lost from it.
- Haylee
<I am very glad to help you as well as to find you're intelligent, sensitive and have a positive outlook. These are excellent qualities for not only prospective reef aquarists for living period. Cheers, BobF>

Blue spotted Jawfish, damaged -- 3/31/10
We have a blue spotted Jawfish whose mouth on the left side seems to have turned pink & almost appears bruised I know this isn't the best photo but he is burrowing like he does. Do you think he is I'll or somehow hurt?
<I do... and very likely misplaced... You do realize this is a sub-tropical species... that requires deep fine sand, very large space front to back...
Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/BluSptJawF.htm
Bob Fenner>
Re: Blue spotted Jawfish -- 3/31/10
Misplaced?? Please elaborate.
<... read where you were referred>
If there is more I could or should be doing to make him happy or comfortable I would be happy to make those changes. Maybe I should also tell you he has lots of room but chooses to make his burrow under the live rock. This morning he was actually swimming all around the tank so I'm hoping that's a good sign since normally he is quite shy.
<... I have an as yet unpublished article (in process) on Opistognathus rosenblatti I can/could send along... but the salient points are covered in the aforementioned FAQs file. BobF>

Blue Spotted Jawfish Injury 12/12/09
Dear Wet Web Media,
I spent several hours trying to find the right article to answer my questions. I have had 2 ocellaris clown fish, a yellow tang, and a blue spotted Jawfish in my aquarium for over 6 months with not one problem.
<Mmm, I've recently penned an article on Opistognathus rosenblatti. It's not posted on WWM pending publication in pulp 'zines... but I want to state that this fish is difficult to keep in most hobbyist settings long term...
Is not really tropical, but cooler water, and needs much more room/space than folks realize, esp. for such a small species... Like a four foot or more long and two foot or more wide sandy bottom area footprint... With no competitors in the way of fish life in its space>
I test my water about every 2 or 3 days and keep up with my water changes regularly. Recently however, I made a very big mistake. I went to a fish store near my house and ended up leaving with a lyre-tail wrasse. It goes against my better judgment because I was not planning on getting anymore fish. Well I should of known better because this new fish took a decent size chunk out of my poor jawfish's tail. I put my Jawfish in a hospital tank
<Too stressful>
and added some antibiotics to the water (Metronidazole 250).
<... this is NOT an antibiotic, but an anti-protozoal. Of no benefit here, and in fact, deleterious>
I am really hoping he pulls through, I would like to know if his tail will ever grow back?
<If not too badly chewed, placed in propitious circumstances>
What is the likely hood that he will survive?
<Long term, not good>
I feel pretty stupid for not doing my homework prior to adopting this wrasse.. the man at the fish store was not informative at all about this animal, although I accept the responsibility of not doing my research.
<I would return the Lyretail Wrasse to the store, and place the Blue Spot Jaw in the main display, and not "treat" its injury further. Bob Fenner>
Photograph of injured blue spotted Jawfish
Looks like a healthy specimen otherwise! BobF

Sick blue spotted Jawfish: Jawfish Health\Compatibility + Overstocked + Aggression + Crypt 7/22/2009
Hello and a "thank you" in advance for your help......
<Hi Trisha.>
I know you're going to ask so here are our stats:
90 gallon with ~75 lbs of live rock, 20 or 30 gallon fuge using bio balls, red sea protein skimmer, 25 gamma watt UV sterilizer (been on for about 2 weeks) stocked with a Sailfin tang, baby hippo, royal Gramma, two clownfish, 6 line wrasse and the blue spotted Jawfish.
<Crowded tank.>
The hippo broke out with some ich a few weeks ago and we started with the vitamin c and garlic.
<Not a cure. Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and
here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm >
It cleared up and then reappeared, so we got the UV sterilizer and we know that this isn't a cure for it but can possibly help. It has not cleared up and the Gramma has been seen with a few spots on his tail.
<You are going to have to treat the Crypt and soon.>
We are doing ~weekly water changes and our water parameters are as follows:
Ph 8.04 (added a bit of buffer)
ammonia: 0
phosphates: 0
nitrites: 0
nitrate: .5
Alk = 9.2
salinity 1.025 (measured with a refractometer)
Mag: 1280
calcium: 410
<All good.>
I have been unable to catch the hippo to do a freshwater dip or QT but now our Jawfish is very sick. He has what appears to be torn fins and something going on with his skin. His breathing is somewhat labored but he is still eating.
<Has he ever constructed a burrow? Your substrate may not be to his liking. Also, are you sure that none of the other fish, particularly the clownfish or the wrasse are beating up on the Jawfish?>
We set up a hospital tank for him with a few PVC pipes so he'd have places to hide and then placed him in the hospital tank after he was sitting in the middle of the tank not moving much. He has ate a bit in the tank and his breathing has somewhat calmed down.
<Likely aggression in the main tank.>
I am attaching photos to see if you can identify the problem. Some are from our tank and some are from his hospital tank.
<He does look better in the hospital tank.>
On an extra note, I'm a little worried about a "emerald crab" we have,
<Another potential Jawfish bully.>
I've seen him a few times and he looks more brownish than green.
<Without a picture, I can't tell, but Emerald Mithrax crabs do have color variations. Further, no crab is ever to be trusted completely.>
I'm wondering if the on-line company we ordered from sent us another type of crab and it is ,for lack of a better word, mean to the Jawfish and does not belong in our tank.
<It is likely a Mithrax crab
Any ideas how to catch this crab?
I tried bating him with a piece of shrimp but he held on to the rock like he was Arnold S. and I wasn't successful with getting him out of there. The reason I'm saying this about the crab is because the Jawfish hasn't ever really decided on a home, he kept on changing and a few times I found him just sitting in the corner.
<This is a clue here: Jawfish need to burrow, and if they cannot, they get stressed. It may not like your substrate.>
I know they need a 360 view so I had set up a few PVC pipes so he could have that but he never adopted them for a home.
<Some will, some won't.>
Currently, he is in a 5 gallon hospital tank with a air-stone and a small hang over filter.
How often should I be doing water changes-if he makes it-and how long should he be in there?
<Water changes daily and he cannot be in there for long.
What should I be giving him as far as medications.
My LFS gave me something for him saying he thought it might be bacterial, but this is just from what we were describing. I apologize that I can't tell you what it is as I didn't go in, I had another fish friend helping me out while I tried to get the hospital tank cleaned and ready.
They said to throw the syringe out and it was amber colored-copper perhaps?
<No, copper medication is normally blue-green.>
I'm sorry-I know I loaded you up with questions. Thank you for your time and response.
<You have a few issues here. First, you have crypt (ich) in your system - you need to get that taken care of. Second, you have a few fish that are inappropriate for a 90 gallon, as they will get too big in time. At this point, I would return the Jawfish to the store particularly in light of how expensive they are, until you get the other issues in your tank resolved.>

Blue Spotted Jawfish with white spots. Disease? 02/09/09 Hello WWM, Before sending this email I have searched the pages for Jawfish disease/health and have not been able to reach an answer, so I hope that someone has seen this before. My blue-spotted Jawfish in one of my tanks has been fine for months but recently I have noticed he/she is developing white patches or spots along its body. <I see these> Behavior seems fine, no noticeable changes, appetite is normal also, and respiration seems fine too. I guess his (we will go with "him" for the sake of this email, sex is however, unknown) behavior has always been a little out of character, since he has never constructed a burrow, <Very unusual... and a good clue here... There is something re the substrate not to its liking... too coarse, sharp...> he prefers to hang out in front of, or under the overhang of a piece of live rock he calls home. My ocellaris clown also hangs out with him in this particular location, they appear to get along well. Since these two fish are around each other so much, I would assume if it was a parasite the other would have it, or another fish in the tank, but all others seem fine, including the clown. <Not parasitic> Please look at the attached photograph and let me know your opinion. Is this some form of disease/parasite? <Mmm, no... mechanical injury> Could it be old age? I will say that this particular Jawfish does not look as "plump" as another blue spot that I have in a separate tank (base rear of the skull appears slightly indented, not as "full" as the other fish, it is kind of wrinkled). Thanks in advance, Landon <Do try placing at least a sizable tray of mixed rubble and soft coral sand in the area where this Opistognathid "hangs out" for its use. It does need to burrow. Bob Fenner>

Treatment stress versus illness First, as with so many before me, I'd like to express my heartfelt thanks for all the conscientious advice you've (all) given on the subtle art of salt critter care. _The Conscientious Marine Aquarist_ has been my unfailing guide for the several years I've been in the hobby, and I've found no other printed source that compares favorably to it. Likewise, this site is extremely helpful. However, having read the FAQs and many letters and responses on parasitic diseases and troubleshooting, I remain in a quandary and hope you can help. <We'll try> The set up: I am transitioning from a 3 year old 30 gallon small peaceful fish and live rock tank to a 60 gallon fish and hardy invert/tolerant corals tank with a plenum, deep (over 4") aragonite/live sand bed with a separator at 1 1/2 " depth to protect the plenum from diggers, more intense lighting (240 watts of pc lighting, 50% white and 50% actinic), approximately 100 lbs of live rock, brisk (20x/hour) circulation divided between several pumps, and air-driven skimming (which seems to kick the tar out of our finicky Venturi skimmer in terms of skimmate production). <The usefulness of various skimmers labeled as "Venturi" type is huge in variance> The new tank has been cycled for a few months and is maintaining good, stable conditions (zero ammonia and nitrite, falling nitrate as the plenum comes into effect -- it seems to have a longer maturation time -- pH 8.2, salinity 1.0235 at 78 F, dKH 8. <Yes... a general "rule", the larger the system, the longer to establish> The tank went through a diatom bloom and a little red slime production, both of which were eaten by the cleanup critters (a variety of snails and small hermits) or passed away naturally as conditions matured. Once everything looked good, we started moving stock. Sadly, we had little old stock to move as the switch was catalyzed by the fact that the lighting on our 3 year old Eclipse hood had been shocking our old system, quietly killing our fish. We put a stop to that when we noticed frayed fins, heavy breathing, and some slight lateral line erosion on our pair of true Percula clowns and psychedelic mandarin goby, all of which have been with us for the whole three years (yes, we bought the dragonet before we bought the book that told us not to, but with 60 lbs of live rock in a 30 gallon system and lots of live brine enriched with Selcon and VitaChem he was thriving until the electrocution began. The dragonet was the first to move, as the critter-rich waters of the newer system seemed to offer his best chance of recovery. He has been feasting there for several weeks and is very active and slowly fattening again, but has a bald (colorless) patch on top of his head which neither recovers nor worsens. <This will hopefully improve with time> It is not as "dimensional" as the hole in the head pictures I've seen, but I assume it's a combination of nutritional issues and electrocution. Nonetheless, he's doing well and really pigging out on enriched brine and all the life in the new tank. Next we added a store bought royal Gramma. We dipped him but our treatment tank was already occupied by the Percula clowns, as their electrocution damage evolved into a very deep-seated and stubborn fungal infection of the mouths, which we are still treating. The Gramma was bright and beautiful for almost a week, then developed a heavy whitish slime and -- since we were totally unable to catch him -- died in two days. We waited in terror to see if the dragonet would show signs of infection, but none developed. So we bought two Banggai cardinals, dipped and quarantined them with the clowns for a week and a half and then added them to the tank. All was well, and still is with the dragonet and cardinals. Here comes the dilemma. After a month of looking, my reef retailer was able to acquire a blue-spotted Jawfish -- my long-time dream fish -- for me. He suggested that the fish would undergo less stress if dipped and placed immediately in the system he was destined for. Since the hospital tank does not have a sand bed for him, I agreed and so after a long dip and acclimation I placed him in the tank. After a scary while of sitting in stun on the floor, he set up a deep little burrow for himself and moved in. On the second day he started eating hungrily (flakes, strangely enough, ignoring all live food offerings). But he is extremely noctophobic, leaping out of his burrow and cowering when the lights go out, so we've had to give him a "night light" to keep him from freaking out. <Good idea> Anyway, morning of day three (today) he is sick, with clumps of very dimensional (over a millimeter high and wide and somewhat uneven) white clumps and a few "strings" of white body slime as well, which I presume is a reaction to whatever's eating him. He's still eating, and given how stressed he is I'm afraid to stress him more by moving him to a treatment tank or dipping him. However if we're looking at Oodinium or Brooklynella it seems from reading your site that he has little chance of recovery, none without treatment, and has probably already infected the whole system. So, what do you think the disease is, and what would you do were you in this situation (given, yes, that you would never have put an unquarantined fish into your tank in the first place). Sorry for the length of the inquiry, but I feel that detailed information is crucial to looking at things in a whole-systems approach, as you advocate. Thank you in advance for your help! Ananda <At this point I would try adding a cleaner species or two, and otherwise "hope for the best". I agree with your assessment of the role of stress here and the likelihood of improvement with further movement. Bob Fenner>

Sores on a Jaw Fish I have a blue spot Jawfish that has 2 small sores on near the base of his tail fin. Due to the nature of a Jawfish, he spends mush of his time with his head out of his dugout when I am at the front of the tank. Of course, if I back up, he'll hover in the column, but then I can't see the injury well. I'm sure you get the idea. <I think so, yes.> So far this problem has existed about a week, but I do not see the wound healing or getting worse - it seems to be on the balance, in limbo. <These types of things take time - more like a month.> I have a Q-tank that is unoccupied, so I could move the fish BUT, is the difficulty and stress of trying to extricate a Jawfish worth the move? <Probably not unless the spots start to spread.> (tank is 30" deep and the Jaw is well dug in) Is there a greater risk of damage in trying to get the Jaw to the Q-tank than the risk of the sore getting worse? <I'd be concerned about both.> Thanks a lot. BTW. I got my signed book the other day, "Reef Invertebrates". It's quite impressive. I'm soaking in every page, and letting my children check out all the pictures! You did us all a favor with this book! <I'm glad you are enjoying it.> Bill Roh
<Cheers, J -- >

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