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Red Band Syndrome

Red band syndrome in marine fish is potentially caused by the protozoan Uronema.

By Jay Hemdal |

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Red band syndrome is a moderately common disease that affects certain species of marine fish. It is so often misdiagnosed that most aquarists apply incorrect treatment when attempting a cure. Symptoms include the rapid development of a red mark forming in the hypodermis (fat and muscle) region of the fish, often following rows of scales so that the lesion is typically elongate and angled downward as it progresses front to back along the flank of the fish. Within a day or two of the development of the primary lesion, the fish will become lethargic, stop feeding, and its respiration rate will increase. Scales above the lesion can be easily dislodged due to the massive trauma to the underlying tissue. Death follows rapidly — few fish survive beyond three days after the primary lesion develops.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the January 2010 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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