Growth on my puffer fish's fin
My stars and stripes puffer fish recently developed a growth on its fin. The LFS recommended Mela Fix so we tried it for a while but the growth is still there. I'll post some pictures below. Any ideas? Thanks!
Lymphocystis? It is so difficult to tell from a picture, but this could be the case. Lymphocystis is a common viral infection. It generally starts as a small white dot which "grows" in size and begins to take on a pink color as it gets larger.
Lymphocystis is spread by contact and will generally only infect a single spot on the fish, unless multiple fish are infected and spread the disease. There have been cases of the fishkeeper showing warts on their hands after handling an infected fish.
If you have access to a microscope and someone with the experience to give you a perfect answer, then take advantage of that. Otherwise, I am a believer that the simplest answer is usually correct, and Lymphocystis is one of the most common viral infections seen in marine aquariums, and is very common on Pufferfish and Pomacanthus angelfish sp.
Generally, Lymphocystis is harmless unless it infects the gills or mouth area. I would keep a very close eye on the fish and do very little in the way of treatment. Watch closely several times per day for any other signs of infection. Test you water, especially alkalinity and pH, in the morning and at night. Do everything you can as an experienced fishkeeper to identify possible signs of trouble before they occur. If no other trouble signs expose themselves, then the viral infection should run its course naturally without medication.
Thanks so much, Pasfur! I am going to look further into lymphocystis and do my best to keep the water quality as good as possible. I really hope this clears up because this puffer fish is by far my favorite of all the fish I've ever kept.
I wonder how he could have caught this virus... we haven't introduced any new fish to the aquarium and have not fed him any live food.
The never ending debate! Can a virus present itself without the addition of livestock? The answer is clearly yes. The real question is "how?"
After seeing the photos and reading the info posted, I can say assuredly that whatever that is, it is not lymphocystis. The first indication is the uniform shape of it. Lympho resembles cottage cheese, and is "lumpy" in shape, tending to be more of an off white to yellowish color.
That appears to be a cyst or tumor of some sort, but without being able to see it in person, there is no way to say for sure. The only thing you can do at this point is to watch it, record any changes in a notebook, with time/date for everything recorded. "Track it" at this point, see if it grows, how much over how long of a period of time, etc.... and keep water very clean, foods very nutritious, and stress levels to a minimum. Watch other fish for signs of the same thing developing at this point, cuz there's no way to know for certain if it is contageous or not right now.
Thanks for the additional ideas, Dawn. Forgive my ignorance, but I've had the fortune of never having experience with cysts or tumors with fish or otherwise (knock on wood). If it is a cyst or a tumor, will it go away at some point?
I also hesitated because of the texture. But it can be extremely difficult to tell texture from a picture, because you don't have the benefit of looking from different angels and you don't know the resolution. Plus, we only see one side of the growth.
In any case, we see eye to eye on the recommendation, which is to be patient and keep a close eye on it.
Unfortunately that's a question nobody can answer right now. If I were able to biopsy the tumor/cycst, then I could be more sure of exactly what it is, what is causing it, and what best to do for it.... but you are too far away for something like that to happen.
I have been dealing with cases of lympho for may years, have seen hundreds of them...I have seen it in freshwater, brackish water, and saltwater fish... and I've had the opportunity to work with biopsies and to see it under the scope... so again I can say with confidence that you are not dealing with lympho here. While it is true that pictures are not always the best ways to diagnose a disease/illness... sometimes things are obvious... and these photos are clear enough to make it obvious that its not lympho. Everything about the appearance of this tumor/cyst is wrong for lympho.
So, sit tight, take notes, and watch closely. If you see any changes, take more photos... the closer and clearer the photos the easier for us to help.
If this were lympho I would expect the other fish to have contracted it by now... as that is contageous.
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