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Lymphocystis 2.jpg
Zebrasoma veliferum, Sailfin Tang, with lymphocystis nodules on it's pectoral fin.


Also Known as Cauliflower Disease

A viral disease with many strains capable of infecting a variety of common captive marine and freshwater fishes. Spread of infection is thought to be limited to only the same species or other very similar species of the original host.[1].


Infection occurs via broken tissue [1]. Proper handling practices and situations that could reduce the slime coat or cause physical injury should be avoided in order to prevent new infections


Pinhead to grape sized nodular masses, white or pink in color, usually on the skin or fins. The incubation period can be up to weeks or months long.[2]

Similar Symptoms


There are no known cures for lymphocystis and no specific treatment. Lymphocystis is generally short lived and viable in the water for approximately one week.[2] Infection lasts for a period of a month or two and in most cases the best treatment is to provide optimal water conditions, adequate diet and quarantine if necessary. Alternate treatments or removal of the lesion maybe necessary in cases where the fish’s health is in question or secondary infections occur.

Two methods have been suggested to help, however both are lacking scientific rationale:




  1. 1.0 1.1 ( Lawler, A., Lymphocystis Disease of Fishes, Aquarticles, january, 2005.
  2. 2.0 2.1 (Noga 2000): Noga, E., Fish Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment, Iowa Stae University Press: Iowa, 2000.
  3. (Delbeek Sprung 1997): Delbeek, J.C., Sprung, J., The reef aquarium: a comprehensive guide to the identification and care of tropical marine invertebrates, Ricordea Publishing: Coconut Grove, 1997.
  4. ( Bartelme, T., Beta Glucan as a Biological Defense Modulator: Helping Fish to Help Themselves, Advanced Aquarist's Online Magazine, 2(9), 2003.