Some kind of external parasite...
This is what it looks like
The first two pictures are mine, the last one I just found on the internet. Btw, it's a 4 week old 10g tank with 8 pounds of live rock. I have 1 firefish, 1 small mantis shrimp, and 1 skunk cleaner shrimp. I change 20% of the water every week. The firefish has been in the tank for 5 days and I just noticed the parasite when I got home from school today. He/she is eating twice a day,so I don't think he's stressed. Any other information I missed? I'm very new with saltwater btw. How should I treat this problem? Thanks :-)
You have some kind of parasite. I'm not comfortable saying that the 3rd picture is actually the same as what is on your fish, however. I would proceed with a general parasitical treatment, airing on the side of caution. I would approach this similar to a Uronema infection, treating at first with a freshwater bath or a 20 minute methylene blue dip.
You could also move the fish to a hospital tank and treat with Formaldehyde & Malachite Green simultaneously. Check labels for a medication that fits this treatment in your area, as they are common.
If all else fails, you can treat with Malachite Green alone, which is often effective.
At the end of the day, diseases in marine aquariums are best prevented rather than treated. It is very difficult to successfully cure anything other than the common Ich parasite. The best recommendation I have is to begin using a Quarantine tank for all future purchases and hopefully you will never have this experience again.
I'm glad you found TFK. Hopefully you find the help you are looking for. Good luck!
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