The blue spotted jawfish (also known as the blue spot jawfish) is a very niche fish that is kept within the fish keeping hobby and although it is not a very popular option, it does have a loyal and dedicated number of people who keep the species in their aquariums.
With the blue spot jawfish being such a beautiful species of fish with a unique color and pattern, their popularity is starting to slowly increase due to people sharing photographs online showing just how beautiful this species can actually be.
It doesn’t matter if you are brand new to keeping the blue spot jawfish or if you are experienced with the species, there is one thing that anyone with a blue spot jawfish fears, blue spot jawfish disease.
We have noticed a number of people reaching out for help with blue spot jawfish disease each month and decided to publish this article on the topic.
Unfortunately, very little is actually known about blue spot jawfish disease and in many cases, the term “blue spot jawfish disease” is interchangeably used to describe two different issues with blue spot jawfish.
Our hope is that our article will be able to help anyone whose blue spot jawfish is having problems with this illness but in many cases, it is very difficult to treat successfully and unfortunately, many blue spot jawfish will perish within days of starting to show symptoms.
What Is Blue Spot Jawfish Disease?
The traditional meaning for blue spot jawfish disease was an issue with blue spot jawfish that was usually caused due to overhandling, rough handling, or an unsuitable substrate in the tank causing damage to the fish.
Due to blue spot jawfish loving to burrow, any coarse, sharp or abrasive substrate could cause this issue in the species.
A slightly different cause of “blue spot jawfish disease” can be caused by keeping your blue spot jawfish in a tank that has no substrate at all with the water temperature in the tank being over 14-21 deg C (58-70 deg F).
That said, times have changes and although the traditional problems mentioned above are still commonly referred to as blue spot jawfish disease, the term is also commonly used to describe Brooklynellosis in blue spot jawfish too.
Technically, they are different issues but due to trends changing, many people within the fish keeping hobby do now refer to Brooklynellosis as blue spot jawfish disease too.
Is Brooklynellosis The Same as Blue Spot Jawfish Disease?
Brooklynellosis is a different condition compared to the traditional problems that were originally described by the term blue spot jawfish disease but times have changed and the term blue spot jawfish disease is commonly used to describe Brooklynellosis now too.
What Is Brooklynellosis?
Brooklynellosis is the term given to the symptoms caused by your blue spot jawfish being infected by the Brooklynella hostilis parasite.
The Brooklynella hostilis parasite can infect all marine fish but for some reason, there does seem to be something about blue spot jawfish that make them more susceptible to infection by Brooklynella hostilis.
We would guess that this could be due to how often blue spot jawfish burrow and live in their holes and come into direct contact with the preferred living conditions for Brooklynella hostilis.
The symptoms of Brooklynellosis include the following:-
- Peeling skin.
- A loss of color.
- Pale patches forming on the fish.
- A loss of appetite.
Until recently, it was commonly thought that Brooklynellosis was impossible to treat in blue spot jawfish and that the fish would perish within 24-72 hours of initially showing symptoms.
Over the last couple of years, people who keep blue spot jawfish in their tanks have worked out that you can often treat Brooklynellosis in blue spot jawfish with a standard malachite green treatment with a formalin supplementation but you have to start the treatment instantly.
How Long Will A Blue Spotted Jawfish Live With Blue Spot Jawfish Disease?
The traditional blue spot jawfish disease that is usually due to issues with substrate or water temperature can be treat in the fish and there is a high chance of survival.
You usually have to try and make sure that the cut does not get infected and that you maintain a steady, suitable water temperature of 14-21 deg C (58-70 deg F) for your blue spot jawfish.
Most experienced fish keepers should have been able to build up the required skillset to care for a blue spot jawfish with this initial blue spot jawfish disease and help the fish recover without it perishing.
Unfortunately, many beginners will probably lack the required skillset so seeking assistance from a more experienced fish keeper is highly recommended.
The second type of blue spot jawfish disease, Brooklynellosis does have a much higher fatality rate than the first type.
The malachite green and formalin treatment information is spotty at best and although more and more people are starting to be able to treat Brooklynellosis (often referred to as blue spot jawfish disease) with malachite green and formalin, it does still have a high fatality rate.
There are a number of discussions online about how you should go about dosing the malachite green and formalin when looking to treat this in your blue spot jawfish but many of them contradict each other with very different dosing amounts.
This does present a risk to your blue spot jawfish when trying to treat the fish but when faced with the almost certain death of just letting the Brooklynella hostilis parasite take over your fish, it is usually a better option to at least try a malachite green and formalin treatment.
We would always recommend that you use a quarantine tank if you are going to try this treatment though as it removes the risk to any of the other fish, shrimp, snails, and plants in the main tank that your blue spot jawfish usually lives in.