Brooklynella & Uronemosis

(Brooklynella hotilis; Uronema marinum)

Common Indicators: Sloughing/Shedding of skin, furry mucus on skin, sluggishness, respiratory difficulty, loss of appetite


While different diseases, both Brooklynellosis and Uronemosis are caused by cilliated protozoan parasites. Brooklynosis is often also referred to as Clownfish Disease due to it being somewhat more common in these fish — although by no means is it restricted to Clownfish. In the contained environment of an aquarium, the parasites that cause these diseases can multiply extremely rapidly. Along with this will often be a white ‘furry’ coat of mucus over the body. Fins may also become opaque.

Early symptoms are relatively small areas of bleached or faded color that spread outward over time, eventually leading to skin falling off as the disease progresses. In the latter stages, thef ish will often exhibit rapid, labored breathing, hanging near the surface or settling on the bottom of the aquarium. They may also stop eating.

One of the difficulties of evaluating diseases in your fish is the similarity of effects and symptoms between a wide range of diseases. This is why careful observation is required. One way that may help distinguish between it and marine velvet, ich et. all is the thick layer of fur-like mucus on the skin.

It is generally agreed that poor water conditions provide a fertile ground for both these parasites, as polluted water both provides a rich nutrient culture for them and induces stress on the fish, reducing their resistance. High Ammonia/Nitite levels are a recognized contributing factor.

There is no consensus on effective treatment of this disease, with various sources conflicting on the efficacy of Copper Sulfate.


Bibliography & Further Reading:

Noga, Edward J. “Fish Disease Diagnosis and Treatment.” 2nd Ed. John Wiley & Sons; 2010

Stoskopf, Michael K. “Fish Medicine.” W.B. Saunders; 1993

Fenner, Robert. “The Conscientious Marine Aquarist.” TFH Publications; 2001

Bassleer, Gerald. “Diseases in Marine Aquarium Fish.” Bassleer Biofish; 1996


Blasiola, G. “Disease Prevention and Control.” Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine; March 1980

Advisory: The information contained in this article entry is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for consultation with a veterinary professional nor treatment under the supervision of a veterinary professional. New Life International does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information nor of the sources cited as reference. This articles is not a diagnostic tool or reference, nor should be considered treatment advice by New Life International.

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