Matthew Bradshaw

The Use of Antibiotics to Treat Bacterial and Protozoal Infections within a Closed System Aquariums

SEA LIFE London Aquarium - 27th Jul, 2022

As with any other animal care team, the coral team at SEA LIFE London Aquarium have to keep a close eye on the health of these tiny colonial animals. For many years captive corals have been afflicted with Brown Jelly disease without any certain cause or any way to reliably treat the problem.


An outbreak of this disease caused large scale tissue loss in the main coral tank at SEA LIFE London Aquarium, meant a solution was needed to be able to stop the problem. Many of the common treatments used to treat Brown Jelly Disease were tried and failed to stop the spread of the disease. Upon further investigation of some diseased tissue, under a microscope and through histopathology, a bacterial and protozoan infection was found in the tissue of effected corals. After trying many different treatments commonly used by hobbyists and professional aquarists, none of them worked, so a more precise treatment was needed.


After completing a bacterial sensitivity test, a series of antibacterial trials were carried out as a bath treatment to see if it had any effect on the brown jelly causing bacteria and protozoans. Initial trials were carried out in isolation to ensure they had the desired effect, followed by a small scale trial in a quarantine system to check it did not destroy any beneficial bacteria in the LSS. Finally, once all the trials were completed to a satisfactory outcome, the treatment was performed on the main coral system, with great success.


This project has enabled a successful method to be found and trialled to allow future infections to be treated in aquariums across the UK. This has also helped other aquariums with the same issue to be able to treat and save corals from tissue loss in Australia too.


The full paper can be read from page 11 In Drum and Croaker Vol. 21 Feb 2021


This projected was submitted to the BIAZA Awards Animal Husbandry, Care and Breeding category 2022 and won a Gold award. 

Other Projects in this Category