Fish Species at

Managing Mycobacteriosis

Mycobacteriosis is a tough disease to fight, but here are some helpful hints for dealing with it

By Diana Walstad |

Printer Friendly

Mycobacteriosis (MB), also called "fish TB,” is a slow- developing disease in fish and reptiles caused by bacteria of the genus Mycobacterium. Experts consider MB to be the number-one chronic disease in aquarium fish.

Most hobbyists underestimate its prevalence. If a newly purchased fish stops eating and dies after a few weeks, most hobbyists do not suspect MB (much less know what it is). Chronic MB weakens the fish’s immunity so that the fish becomes increasingly vulnerable to potential pathogens within the aquarium environment. I wonder how many hobbyists have attributed their fish’s deaths to parasites, when the underlying problem was chronic MB? How many hobbyists have attributed their fish’s deaths to old age or inbreeding when the real problem was MB?

MB Outbreak in My Rainbowfish
In 2004, I added a few new fish directly to my aquariums. Over a period of weeks and months, the new fish died or developed abnormalities. For example, one fish developed a large tumorlike growth, and another developed an odd body shape. Months later, previously healthy tankmates began to develop abnormalities, and I started to suspect an infection.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the February 2011 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

Printer Friendly

 Give us your opinion on
Managing Mycobacteriosis

Submit a Comment   Join Club
Earn 1,000 points! What's this?

Top Products