Tropical Fish Site

Profiles Reviews Guides for Tropical and Marine

Hemorrhagic Septicemia Fish Disease

Infection that is brought into aquariums by fish already infected with a deadly virus called Viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV or VHSv).


  • A variety of different symptoms may occur, though some fish exhibit no external symptoms
  • Hemorrhaging of internal organs, skin and muscle
  • Bulging eyes
  • Bloated abdomens
  • Bruised-looking reddish tints to eyes, skin, gills and fins
  • Open sores
  • Abnormal behavior


There is no known cure for this virus. You could try using a fungus treatment such as protozin although this may not always work.


It is often advised that you should keep tropical fish in a quarantine tank before introducing them to your main tank. Although this wont prevent Hemorrhagic Septicemia in the fish you may have purchased with the disease, it will stop it spreading to your other fish if you are able to observe them and treat them before introducing to your main aquarium.

Tropical Fish Site takes no responsibility for diagnosing the exact problem with your tropical fish, this is purely meant as a guide only. Be sure to look at other common tropical fish diseases to ensure you have made the correct diagnosis as there is often crossover between them.