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FAQs about Marine Angelfish Disease Treatment

FAQs on Angel Disease: Angel Disease 1, Angel Disease 2, Angel Disease 3, Angel Disease 4, Angels and Butterflyfishes & Crypt,
FAQs on Angel Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environment, Nutrition, Social, Trauma, Pathogenic, Genetic,

Related Articles: Marine Angels

Related Marine Angel FAQs: Marine Angelfishes In General, Angelfish ID, SelectionBehavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding,


See the A's and BFs & Crypt FAQ to the left (link)... A's don't like copper exposure.

Dips, baths, formalin or no w/...

Not phony med.s 


Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

cloudy eyes... Cu exp.      3/18/14
Hey Bob,
A week ago I had a scribbled angel who developed some cloudy eyes. It was not unilateral, both eyes were of equal cloudiness.
<Yes; copper involvement speculated as I recall>

My uv light went out, and I am waiting for a replacement bulb to come in, and since then my water had some fog to it. (suggesting a bacterial bloom)
Could this bloom, have caused both eyes to become hazy?
<Not likely>
I pulled the fish out and placed in quarantine on Friday. I used Maracyn Plus, and the eyes are clear and as good as new again. It has been 4 days since using the Maracyn, is there a need to run it a few more days, just like people who need to run the full treatment of antibiotics?
<... the Mardel product likely is/was unnecessary>
Also, should I place him in there now, or wait till the UV light is on again? (should have bulb this coming Monday).
<I wouldn't have the lamp influence me one way or t'other>
I checked WWM, various queries with Maracyn plus, and didn't see anything on this particular antibiotic,
<... re-search: Erythromycin>
as well as full treatment time. The bottle says treat days 1,3,5, but doesn't state how long after day 5 to keep him in there.
Thanks again for all you do
<W. B>
Re cloudy eyes... Cu exp.      3/18/14
Yes copper was in place, Cupramine. I also have Cupramine in QT and the same level, and yet his eyes are vibrant and clear. I did this because I read on WWM that it is fine to run Cupramine and maracyn synergistically. I also wanted to see if in fact it was the .5 Cupramine causing this, and from what I have seen in QT, it is not.
If it wasn't the maracyn that took care of the eyes, not sure what else it could have been, since both tanks have equal amounts of copper, salinity. The only thing different from what I can measure, is the tank temp is running at 82, the QT 79. (degree F of course) Both are at a 1.022 SG.
Maybe the angel didn't like the 82 degree water? Again, the only comparisons I can make from my standpoint.
I will take him out of QT tonight, and place back into DT, with a short acclimation.
Re cloudy eyes... Cu exp.      3/18/14
follow up

Ok, Bob, I stumbled upon something I believe matches up. Amazing what one more piece of literature may entail.
The cloudy eyes were a result of something off in the tank. The maracyn may have helped expedite the healing process, but it may come back when he goes in to DT. So the real cause may lie in the tank. (nitrates, bacterial blooms, etc) In other words, it was a symptom, or secondary sign of something else.
Well considering I personally believe my parameters, (exception of Cupramine) are good, I may have stumbled on what caused it. From the time I got him, until the time he developed foggy eyes (5-6 days), he refused to eat. He was new, and therefore acclimating, but not eating (no nutrition) may have lowered immune system ability, therefore allowing an infection to occur, that may have not happened if he had been eating.
So perhaps rather than use antibiotics in qt, I should be focusing on strengthening him up, getting him to feed, before re-introducing him to DT.
I suppose initial logic and nature says to put the flames out of a burning house. A further superior mind says, to not keep flammables near an open flame to begin with!

Re: Large Angelfish et.al, hypo. no 3/5/08 Bob, <Kirk> In approximately a month, I plan on getting the large angels in my previous thread. I will be placing all the fish in a several QTs with a salinity level around 1.014-16. I have been reading some threads on WWM and some of the mods do not accept the hyposalinity approach in quarantining a fish. <I am one of these. In general doesn't produce appreciable positive results... just stresses the fishes> What would you recommend? <Posted...> These angels will be the most expensive investment of my tank, so I am taking the time to research this thoroughly BEFORE I get the fish and place them in my QT. The last thing I want to do is place a fish in a QT tank and produce more stress on it. Thanks, Kirk <Here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm  the first tray... Articles on Acclimation, Quarantine... BobF>

Re: Large Angelfish et.al, spg., sys.... Hlth. f' 3/6/08 Bob, <That gentleman named Kirk> Thanks for the information. I appreciate it. <Welcome> So if I read your articles correctly a good salinity level for QT tanks is between 1.021-1.023, but I noticed an article by Scott Fellman (http://wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm) who suggests 1.022-1.026. Which salinity level is preferred?? Will a level of 1.019 be too stressful for the fish?? Thanks Kirk <Anything in the stated ranges would work... raising to natural concentration/strength with time. BobF>

Triple Sulfa and Maracyn Plus... Chaetodontoplus, Angel dis. period 11/12/07Hi Crew, I have a gray Poma angel that was great for 2 months at the pet store. I brought him home and put in my 125 gallon FOWLR and was doing well for a few weeks. His fins starting getting cloudy and frayed and he had like white patches under his side fins that would look bloody at times. <Environmental... possibly with a social component> Well I removed him and treated him in a QT tank with triple sulfa and he did great with treatment which was a 4 day treatment. I put him back in the 125 tank and it came back during the course of a week. <... same env.> I removed again and treated again this time twice and once again he looked great even better since I treated him for 8 days. The instructions said I could treat twice if need be. Well this time after treatment I didn't return him to the 125 and did 50 percent water changes daily for the last 4 days in QT and can see his fins are starting to turn cloudy again since he finished his 8 day treatment. <Cumulative stress> It says I can use triple sulfa in the main display tank without hurting the bio filter. <Yes, generally> Is this true? I'm afraid to do that. My levels are all great. 0 Ammonia 0 nitrites and 20 and under nitrates. This fish was in a small 20 gallon for at least 2 months and did great health wise but always looked scared and was hiding in the pet store. <Also env.> I bring him home and he keeps getting fin rot? His tank mates are 1 clown and a small Kole tang that have o interest in him. Its driving me nuts and I'm afraid to put him back. I started treatment today in the QT with Maracyn plus. The instructions were clear with the triple sulfa but are not with the Maracyn plus except to treat on days 1 3 and 5. Nothing about partial water changes during treatment? <Monitor water quality, change-out as necessary, re-medicate...> Are if I do a fifty percent daily water changes do I add Maracyn plus to make up for the water change? One last thing the fish does not seem stressed and eats well in the main tank and QT. He did stop eating right before I started the original treatment is why I started and he was eating again the second day once treatment was started. Thanks in advance <This is NOT a pathogenic condition... What would really help is a refugium, mud... macroalgae, DSB there... It's the environment that needs improving... not the symptoms of the angel that need medicating. Bob Fenner>

Chrysurus Angel Sick, sel. - 10/18/07 Hi Crew I need help again please. I bought Chrysurus angel about a month ago. He's been great eating well chasing my clown here and there and what have you. The last week his side fins are turning white cloudy and inflamed at the base <Not good> and now he's hiding alot. <No such word> I don't see any signs of Ich or velvet. He did eat 5 minutes ago. He's a big fish 8 inches <Too large to start... a big part of the issue here...> in a 220 gallon tank with few tankmates. 1 clown and a damsel and a Coris wrasse. They all have no interest in him. I paid a lot of money for him and it is my dream fish. Was hard to find. Am not sure how to treat and was going to let it run its course but seems a little worse everyday. He does rub on the rocks here and there and also another thing he has like seizures? Like twitching. His body looks good otherwise. I have done searches on your site and have read the angel section but cant quit find what's wrong. Any help or thoughts would be so much appreciated. Thanks In Advance. <Do you know the origin (country) of this fish? As stated, for the genus and species, this specimen should have been left in the ocean... too difficult to ship, adapt at this age, size... What you are seeing is likely "just" resultant from capture, handling... Hopefully this fish will recover on its own here. No treatment is advised but good care. Bob Fenner>

Re: Chrysurus Angel Sick 10/19/07 Thanks for the fast response. I'm not sure of the area he was collected from but I thought they only came from off the Kenya coast? He is gorgeous otherwise. He was at the fish store for about 2 months and I guess nobody wanted to spend 160.00 on him <Likely the "freight" for this specimen was more than half this...> but from what I have seen I thought was a bargain. He was great at the fish store and stooped there 4 times in 2 months and always ate and looked great. The only difference is my SG is 1.20-1.21 while there's is kept at 1.15-1.16. <Both too low> Said they use that for parasite control. <Mmm, yes, and to save on salt mix, allow for greater/easier gas diffusion...> I have already taken your advice and will let run its course. He is still eating great and I have increased my water changes to twice a week and not sure what else I can do. My wife is waiting in the background to say I told you not to spend so much on a fish. How long should I wait to take any action do you think? <What action?> It does not effect any other fins. His color is great also. I will try to get a good pic to you today if I can. Do you think its fungal or a bacterial thing? Any knowledge you will share is always appreciated. <I think it's an "environmental thing" mostly... I would raise the spg, check and assure "reef" type conditions... BobF>

Re: Chrysurus Angel Sick 10/20/07 The action I mean is if it gets worse under ideal water conditions which are pretty good now? 0 nitrites 0 ammonia 5-10 nitrates 8.2 PH, not sure if I should treat for fungus or bacterial? <...> I think its bacterial. I noticed today after looking close that when he opens his pectoral fins it looks white on his body where the fins lay against. Not sure if that was there but I'm afraid it will spread. Thanks Again <... Please read... on WWM re infectious disease and marine fishes. B>

Re: Chrysurus Angel Sick 10/25/07 Hi Again I just finished with the 4 day triple sulfa treatment and what a difference! His fins are no longer thick and white though one is a little ragged but looks nice and clear. The blood in back the fins is gone just a little pink. He's went right back to his old self eating like a pig right away when I put him back in the main tank. He's better then he was when I bought him personality wise. I was tempted to treat him a day or two longer like the instructions said I could but thought he would do better now in the main tank. The triple sulfa I used was by API. It says I can use in the main tank and will not bother the bio filter? <Not directly, not likely> I treated in a QT though. Is that true with triple sulfa? I learned along time ago that everything else I used in the main tank caused more harm then good. I don't believe the store I bought him from would take him back. I'm going to try another place I deal with that has a 2000 gallon tank set up and see if maybe they will trade or what have you? I'm curious though with him eating so well and grazing on the liverock, why wont he have a chance to make it? He eats everything I give him? Silver sides, formula 1 and 2, frozen formula with sponge, algae you name it. I'm not 100 percent sure he was caught at this size or raised from a small size by someone who traded him in? <Interesting possibility> Well Mr. Fenner I'm sure you hear it alot but thank you and everyone else at WWM for making this hobby less frustrating. Without it alot of people would be lost including myself. <Welcome... please run your correspondence through a spellchecker before sending. BobF>

Live Sand Storage and Passer Angel... sel., dis. 8/3/07 Hi Crew, I just set up a 125 a few weeks ago for a Passer Angel I bought that is 10 inches. <Needs a world of more than twice this size... and large angels (for the species) are indeed not often good-adaptors to captive conditions... Best to start with a "medium size"...> I first saw him when I went to look for a Marine Betta that he was housed with and he bit off the Bettas tail right before I bought him. I still bought the Betta and his tail grew back plus the clerk cut 10.00 bucks off the price. He will not be having a rematch since they will be in separate tanks. I have the Passer in a QT tank of 50 gallons and he came down with velvet? <...> The pet store held him for a month for me and I bring him home and he gets velvet in a week? <Maybe... where is the parasite coming from?> This has happened in the past with all Angels I have bought? None of the other fish ever get it? <???> Yesterday I freshwater dipped him and today it was coming back and freshwater dipped him again and put him in another QT tank or hospital tank for his 15 day copper treatment. 125 should be done cycling by then. He looks healed after the freshwater dip and Im shocked how fast it comes back. In my QT tank I understand the copper will kill my bio filtration. How much of a water change should I do to keep water decent and how often? <As much as necessary. See WWM re> Also would I be better off using cycled water or premixed water for the water change? <The former... if you can be assured that it is parasite-free> One last question and Im sorry for be long winded. I bought a used 90 gallon just for the filtration because it was to good to pass up. The live sand I don't need right now and was wondering how I should store it? <Yes... but not as such. That is, it won't be very live with time going by in storage... and will need good rinsing, perhaps bleaching and dechlorinating ahead of future use> I see it in bags in stores but not sure if that's the right way. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I thank all you guys for making this complicated hobby make since! Rick <A bit of a definition difference. There are sand products that tout being "live"... but this is a bit of a misnomer... They may be primed for bacterial population growth, but definitely lack higher phyla presence. Bob Fenner>

Regal Angel HLLE 3/19/07 Hello Wet Web Crew. I hope all is well. <Quite well, thanks.> I wanted to provide some input (maybe beneficial to some reader out there is the same boat) about a recent experience I had with a Regal Angel and IMO a 'miracle product'. <I usually hate that term but I cheated and read ahead, and am in agreement.> About 6 weeks ago, I obtained a regal angel from a tank at a restaurant that I frequent. The little guy was not looking healthy and had the beginning signs of HLLE. I spoke to the owner of the establishment and provided my observations. I told him that these fish are difficult at best to care for. He explained to me that they have a company come in every two weeks to service that tanks and he would let them know. I went back a week later and the situation was the same. I spoke to the owner and asked if I could take the fish. He agreed and I went the next day (before opening) and got the fish. <Good for you and the owner.> I brought him home and placed him in QT for 3 weeks. <Good to hear.> Initially, I could not get him to eat anything (I believe this also to be the problem at the restaurant). I tried Mysis, frozen angel formula, Nori, flakes, Formula products, fresh shrimp, clams, and squid. He would not eat anything. He would pick at LR, but that is about it. I was out of options, until I was cleaning out a cabinet where I store my dry products and came across some New Life Spectrum Marine Formula pellets. I think that these were about a year old, as I had not been feeding them to any of my tanks at the time. I had nothing to lose at this point and dropped a few in the QT tank. I watched them sink to the bottom and the regal was uninterested. I came back a while later, and noticed that they were gone. I dropped a few more in the tank and the regal went nuts. I started feeding him 3 times a day with the pellets. He was doing so well on the pellets, that I started feeding all of my tanks the pellets. He has now been in my 210 gal main display tank for 3 weeks now and is doing awesome. His color has returned, no signs of HLLE, and he is now eating Cyclop-eeze along with his pellets. Aside form that, all of my fish never looked so good. IMO, the New Life Spectrum line is absolutely amazing stuff. This food should be a staple for anyone who owns a marine tank period. I have also started feeding my sun polyps the small fish formula and they seem to love it also. This stuff is truly incredible. I hope that someone from the New Life Company reads this. They should be proud of this product. Best Regards, Dean Oliver <I agree, I really love this food. All our tanks, both fresh and salt water get this line. Makes a great staple food, some even claim to feed it exclusively, although I still won't go quite that far. But don't minimize your work either, the QTing allowed the fish a chance to start eating which would not have happened if competing with tankmates. Congratulations on your success with this difficult fish and thanks for sharing your story.> <Chris>

Re: Metal Halide size and T5 question, Flagfin angel dis./recovery 3/1/07 Thanks Bob for the prompt reply, <Welcome Larry> I think I'm going to go with the 150 HQI due to heat issues. I just needed to make sure that I could keep SPS and clams. <Ahh, this would be my choice as well> I'd like to share a success story with you about a sick fish since you here so many failures by hobbyists. <Please do> I have had a beautiful Flag Fin angel for 3 years. It became ill when one of my older fish died and I didn't find out till 2 days later. The angel developed bilateral cloud eye, fin rot, hemorrhagic patches on both sides of its abdomen and mouth. I immediately place it in my QT tank. It progressed very rapidly and the fish just labored at the top of the tank. It was literally knocking at deaths door and I thought about euthanizing it. I started treatment right away with 2 antibiotics, penicillin and furan along with every other day FW and Methylene blue dips and every other day water changes to my QT tank. Well now I call the angel the miracle fish. Its almost back to normal except for some residual damage to one eye. This fish did not eat for 12 days and now its swimming around the tank and just starting to peck at food. Its not completely out of the woods yet, but if it starts to eat again I just may get lucky. <Yes... your diligence has paid well> By the way, I'm a emergency medicine physician and my wife and friends are calling me the fish doctor. Have a great day and thanks for the help. Larry <A good title. BobF>

Medicine Cabinet 11/5/06 Hello Crew; <John> Unfortunately, last night I lost a Coral Beauty Angel in quarantine. While it's certainly not the first fish I have lost, I believe it to be the first lost due to an outright infection. Don't get me wrong, over the years I have lost more fish than I care to think about, but, it's been due to predation by tank mates, shipping stress and the associated anxiety (the fish, not me), or what I suspect to be cyanide poisoning in the case of a Gramma melacara. I have suffered almost no losses with corals, including a Sebae anemone which I've had for 5 or 6 years. <Well-done> Anyway, the aforementioned fish quickly developed cloudy/puffy eyes and some fin rot after getting him from the LFS, <Centropyge bispinosus are by and large not "hardy" as they "used to be" years back... cumulative stress-effects from collection, holding... lack of nutrition in transition I mostly suspect> so with some trepidation, I performed a pH adjusted freshwater bath which cleared things up nicely for about a week <Good mostly for treating symptoms... not so much for causes/effects> when I noticed symptoms started to re-appear, just before I had to work three 12 hour night shifts doncha know. So I did a second bath, but he perished overnight (my own fault I suspect, because while I used distilled water adjusted to pH 8.2 with baking soda, I discovered too late that while letting the container come to temperature overnight before dipping, the pH drifted high. Perhaps burned his little gills). <A common, too common problem here> My question, finally, is: since, it seems to be a truism that trouble will strike at the most inconvenient time, what would you keep on hand in order to treat the various maladies that can strike our captive critters? <Ho-buoy! A cursory review of my feeble memory shows a distinct lack of such a cogent, detailed list... and rationale. I do wish I could commit the time/resource to generating such a "Pathologically Speaking" series of articles... perhaps a popular-slanted short book on the mass topic of captive marine/aquatic organism "health", including this important topic... We/WWM do have a brief piece by Tim Hayes: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i4/When_things_go_wrong/Oh_no.htm that delves shallowly here...> On another topic, what are your thoughts on a Chaetodontoplus mesoleucus in a 180 reef? <A very nice choice IMO/E> Right now the only fish are two false Percs, a yellowtail damsel, golden wrasse, and a pair of green Chromis. Other desired additions are a hippo tang, Kole tang, Forcipiger butterfly, and a fridmani Pseudochromis. <Also good choices> Currently corals are softies and LPS, but I plan to switch more to SPS since upgrading the tank and lighting a while back. Thanks; John <Thank you. Bob Fenner>

Tang with Ick Question 10/11/05 Hello Crew: <Hi Stan, James here today> I currently have a purple tang and a desjardini tang in my QT (20gal) <<RMF would NOT mix two tang species in QT>> which I plan on adding to my 150 gal reef system once they pass QT. They've been there for about a week and are both eating like little pigs and seem to be doing fine. I've been feeding them a variety of foods which includes Spectrum Thera-A Anti-Parasitic Formula, Julian Sprung's Seaveggies, Ocean Nutrition Marine Pellets Formula 2, Kent Marine Platinum Reef Herbivore Fish Food which are sometimes soaked in Vita Chem. However, in the last couple of days, I've noticed some white spots on my purple tangs body and fins. Can't really see if the desjardini has these same spots or not because the spots are not as contrasting as on the purple tang. I assume it's ick, or the beginning of it. So I looked here and read some articles that hyposalinity and/or a cleaner shrimp might do the trick without medications. So I added a shrimp a few days ago and then this weekend started researching how to do the hyposalinity treatment. <<Not with the shrimp present. RMF>> Instead of finding out how, I found more articles claiming that hyposalinity was a waste of time and wouldn't work long term. So I guess my question is, how would one go about treating ick long term in QT? Isn't that what a QT tank is for? <<Not really what "quarantine is for"... a period to review, observe health, behavior, possibly treat there/then... but also for "rest". RMF>> I know everyone has different opinions, but what do most people do? Medicate? If so with what? Any help would be very much appreciated. <Stan, if it were me, rather then stress the fish out with hyposalinity treatment, I would treat with copper. A copper test kit is a must along with daily testing to insure an effective and safe level is kept. Recommended dose to maintain is 0.015-0.020ppm. <<Dude! Of what? Free copper/cupric ion... PLEASE understand that there is a difference in reading/s with chelated copper and their corresponding kits. RMF>> I would treat for a minimum of 21 days @ 80 degree temperature. The ick cyst casings are unaffected by the copper so we have to wait till all hatch out where at this stage they can be effectively killed by the copper. The Ich that is embedded in the skin of the fish also is pretty much unaffected by the copper. Only in the swimming stage, after hatching and when they have to find a host, is when they are most vulnerable to copper. James (Salty Dog)>
Tang with Ick Question ? - Follow-up 10/11/05
Thanks James (Salty Dog): OK. So a treatment with copper it is. Any recommendations as to what copper brand / type to use? Isn't there chelated or non chelated ? <Yes, there are chelated/non chelated types. If it were me I'd go with Aquarium Systems Sea Cure Copper treatment along with their FasTest Copper Test Kit. Fortunately for me I've never had to treat a tank in 10+ years, but if the problem arose, the above would be my choice.><<... three weeks... with an unchelated copper... on tangs? I would NOT do this... I'd go with two weeks, and a chelated make/model with accompanying at least daily tests. RMF>> And I assume that I need to move the cleaner shrimp to my main tank since he won't make it thru the copper treatments right ? <Stan, all inverts must be removed. Google our WWM site on copper treatment for more info. James (Salty Dog)>

Emperor Angel and FW dips for crypt 9/8/05 Dear Bob, Thanks so much for all of your wonderful advice over the past couple of months. I have a 180g FO tank that had crypt introduced into it after I added an emperor angel, yes I used a QT 4 weeks but unfortunately still had the problem. I have had a problem ping ponging with crypt since. I have had no fish die. <A testament to your active, good care...> I have 3 Ich magnet tangs in a 55g QT ( large Naso, powder blue, purple tang ) they are doing surprisingly well though they are being treated with copper. Cupramine used to the letter of instructions. Powder blue initially got HLLE which is now much better since feeding with Gracilaria for a week. These guys will eventually be cured. <I admire your resolve> As for the other guys in the display ( Emperor 6", Majestic 5" , Foxface 5" 2 clown fish aggression amongst angels has not been a problem) they are all eating and doing fine. I initially treated the display with hyposalinity to a SG of 1.009 for 6 weeks which predictably failed to achieve a cure. Aggressive water changes, good diet etc have kept the fish alive but tank is infested. I now see the Emperor is getting some white discoloration at the distal end of his right pectoral fin. Probably crypt, <... or the result of hyposalinity, treatment, stress...> but I have seen this type of thing go away never to return on other fish many times. I am in the process of preparing a QT's of 55 gallons as well as 29 gallons. Yes That makes 3 QT's in all. Two 55gallon and one 29 gallon. QT 55 g 1 Cupramine Treated 1 Naso, 1 powder blue, 1 purple tolerating well Aggression amongst the tangs has not been a problem <Crowding has its benefits at times> Planned QT 2 55 G Plan to add Majestic, Foxface, damsel 3 clowns ( these guys appear disease free ) Plan on using copper added SLOWLY, testing twice daily Planned QT 3 29 g plan on treating emperor alone I have well cycled large BioWheel filters that I am planning to use on the new QT's ( used in curing live rock ) I have read at wet web media that FW dips and daily water changes for and FW dips for 8 days can effect a cure for crypt. <Some, sometimes> Is it likely that treating the emperor in the 29 G in this fashion will achieve a cure ? <Not the route I would take> The 180 gallon will lie fallow for 6-8 weeks. I will introduce and aquascape 150 lbs of beautifully cured LR as well as cleaner shrimp to make a new home for the fish that survive. <Good> I will most likely reintroduce 3-5 large fish and 3-4 small fish ( hopefully the angels, the Naso, clowns ) Do you think that this is a reasonable plan of action ? Thanks Jimmy <I would "risk" the use of copper (likely chelated... maybe the Cupramine product) on the Angel/s... Bob Fenner>
Re: Emperor Angel and FW dips for crypt 9/9/05
Bob, Thanks for the feedback. I am going to QT the angels and start Cupramine at a very low dose and move up to the recommended level. This AM both of these fish look great in the Display no visible signs of disease ( but that is why they call it crypt which is Greek for hidden ) but I know there is still crypt in the tank. <Yes and yes> I will fatten them up a bit until things are right for the QT. As an aside. What a difference a two foot wide tank makes on reducing stress !!! <Ahhh! Perhaps asking folks to consider how hard it is on them to make a turn in their car in a too-narrow street...> I think that when I put fish in QT their biggest stress seems to be the decreased tank width ( front to back ) of the tank until they re-adjust their swimming pattern when they turn in the water. My experience with my hobby this summer has taught me that there are times to act and there are times to wait. <My friend~! You are gaining/unfolding to enlightenment> Taking action, though important, at the right time can be detrimental when it is time to sit fast. Aggressive tank maintenance and excellent water conditions go a long way to allow for the fish's immune system to work. Constantly assessing if treatment is worse than disease is imperative. Treating in a timely manner when the disease is worse than the treatment can save fish. Treatment when the treatment is worse that the disease kills fish. Excellent fish husbandry oftentimes buys us some time to make this critical decision. <Ahhhh> Thanks Jimmy <Thank you... for the "Tao of fish keeping" insights. BobF>

Copper & Marine Angels 9/7/05 Hello and best wishes to the WWM crew!! <Thank you.> As always, thank you for the wonderful bounty of information and for always being there throughout the years. I have a question about copper and marine angels: I was "cruising" your website as I have done countless times (and am nowhere near seeing all of it!) and came across multiple articles which state that copper is very, very bad for angels! This came as a surprise because I have used copper on countless angels in the past and have never had anything but good results. I have to wonder if it is because I only use chelated copper (specifically CopperSafe)? Have I just been an extremely lucky guy? <Manuel, copper can be dangerous for all marine fish if dosed above safe levels. It has always been recommended to used a copper test kit to ensure a proper/effective dosage is. I've used copper on angels with no ill effects providing of course there is no overdose. James (Salty Dog)> Many thanks in advance, Manuel Alvarez
Re: Copper & Marine Angels 9/8/05
Thank you James, I feel much better! :) I perform copper tests on an almost daily basis during treatment and keep my CopperSafe level at 1.5ppm, which is the low-end of what is recommended for the product, and it has always worked for me at that level.
<Manuel, that is precisely why you have success with copper treatments. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks again and take care, Manuel

Medications I'm sorry to bother you with this question, I've searched the site for awhile and couldn't find a answer. I had a dwarf flame angel, a small Koran angel and a small Hawkfish in a 30 gallon quarantine tank. Is it possible for the 2 angels in a quarantine tank to get a disease, and not the hawk? The two angels eyes became very cloudy. I was treating the tank with Maracyn 2, MarOxy and copper safe. Both angel's eye's seemed to just waste away leaving what seemed to be two blind angels. After removing the two, the Hawkfish seems fine. It has been 4 days since taking out the angels. I've read some things about angel disease. Is this what happened?? <Angels can be a little sensitive to copper. Did you monitor your copper level with a test kit? The recommended level would be 0.15ppm. Another problem is too many medications in the tank at one time. Determine the disease and treat for that disease only. James (Salty Dog)>

Need some advice on damaged angel Hi, After waiting almost 3 months for one, I recently purchased a very healthy Red Sea regal angelfish. After literally seconds of being introduced to the tank it started to pick at some of the sponges. Within a few minutes it was even accepting flake foods. This morning I came to find that the angel had been sucked into the strainer of the Amp Master 3000 (which was on a closed loop), for a maximum of 4 hours. <Arggghhhh... no strainer?> <<Actually, there is a strainer -- that's what the angelfish was stuck to.>> The fish still swims, however, the fishes breathing is very heavy and there is a small wound near the stomach of the fish. The lights are off and the fish is hidden between the rockwork. Is there anything that can be done to save the fish? Quarantine is difficult for me to do (as far as catching the fish comes), but It's possible if there's no other way for the fish to live. Any advice would greatly help. Graham <Subdue the lighting, lower the specific gravity just a thousandth or two... and hope. Bob Fenner> <<I just picked up some Melafix. Do you know if this would be safe to use for a reef tank? It said it's fine for invertebrates, however, I'm not sure if this is actually indeed safe. Any opinions? Thank you very much for your reply!>> <I would NOT put this in my reef tank... a homeopathic leaf extract of questionable value, unknown properties. Bob F>

Copper As A Treatment For Marine Angelfish? Dear Marine Crew, <Scott F. at your service!> First. A BIG thank you for your kind service to all of us in this wonderful marine hobby on this planet. <We're glad to be here for you. I hope to help hobbyists in other solar systems, too, but the ones I've worked with on this planet are pretty cool!> I read extensively on your articles + Q&A on your site. Some confusion remains pertaining to the following & I appreciate some quick clarification as my Emperor & Majestic Angels are infested with external parasites (main suspect : marine velvet). They are in hospital tank now & I wait for your response before I proceed to medicate the hospital tank. <Good procedure- using a hospital tank is the way to go!> 1. It was mentioned sparingly in your site that Angel fish is sensitive to Cu treatment. Is this true & how so? Does it apply to all angels or just the dwarf angels? <Many fish with very fine scales can have difficulties with long-term copper exposure. In my experience, most angels (particularly the larger varieties) will do okay with copper, as long as you are very careful to adhere to manufacturer's recommendations concerning dosage and duration, and test regularly for concentration. Observe the fish in treatment for distress or other complications arising from the exposure to copper, and discontinue its use if there are problems. Centropyge angels are categorically more sensitive to copper. I have used copper to treat Centropyge angels, but I prefer formalin-based remedies for them.> 2. If Angels are OK to be treated with CU (if your answer in question 1 states that's the way), then I have the following brands at my disposal. Namely: Seachem's Cupramine OR Mardel's CopperSafe. Which of these two would you use as a personal opinion? <Well, ya got me on that one! I use and recommend both of those brands, myself. They are both produced by quality companies with solid reputations. Either one will do the trick, IMO> 3. If your answer to question 1 is NOT in favour of CU treatment to Angels, then would a Seachem's Paraguard be a good alternative? <Paraguard is a great product, IMO. However, is composed partially of malachite green, and is really best used as a medication against external fungal and bacterial conditions. I'd stay with one of the copper products, myself.> Please be informed that I cannot get my hands on any Formalin or Methylene blue stuff from my LFS here in my country. Best Regards. <I'd stick with either of the copper products that you mentioned. Best of luck! Regards, Scott F.>
Copper As A Treatment For Angelfish? (Pt. 2)
Dear Scott, <Hello again!> I am so grateful for your response to clear my confusion. <Glad to be of service!> As per your advice, I have started treatment using Cu ( but dosing only one third of dosage, hope to increase over time to observe the angels). <I think that you'll find copper to be very effective if administered carefully and monitored regularly.> But major problem is, my hospital tank is Not Cycled. It is a new tank & I have only bio-balls & filter wool as my filter, in additions to a protein skimmer working. I have been changing water like 25% - 50% for the past two days & for minimum of two times daily to minimize the Ammonia surge , with fearful understanding that Angels are sensitive to Ammonia & NO2 as well. (sigh.... ). <It's a real balancing act. The difficulty is maintaining a proper therapeutic dose of copper while keeping ammonia and nitrite down. This is one case where the "bacteria in a bottle" products can help. Use water from the display tank, too. In the future, keep some biomedia in your display tank's sump to keep them "colonized" and ready to go at a moment's notice> My other well matured hospital tank was occupied by another patient, a Sohal Tang....Hence this hospital tank is new tank. What can I do to minimize the ammonia & Nitrite in this new tank? I understand that your site recommends some filter wools in sump of main display tank be used in the hospital tank. I found it not effective in my case here. Any other suggestion? <Well, that is my preferred method...Usually, it's a sponge filter that can do the trick. I'd suggest media like PolyFilter, but this stuff excels at removing copper from the water, so you'd be sucking it up as fast as you're administering it! Water changes are the way to go here. Ammonia and nitrite are quite toxic, and need to be dealt with; it's almost like you're forced to make a choice between the lesser of "two evils", as they say!> It is a scary exercise... Putting the angel at risk of quality problem of water. Your experience in situation will help to shed some light on my probing in dark here... Thanks a lot, again. Warm regards. <Again, I'd go for the "bacteria in a bottle" products in the hospital tank to help speed things along. It will be a tough battle, and no doubt stressful, but if you stay on top of the water changes and copper levels, you can successfully treat this disease! Good luck. Regards, Scott F.>

Precious Fish Passed Away, But He Did His Best to Save It (4/5/04)   Hi there again Crew! <Steve Allen tonight>   Lost my prized queen angel....Gutted! And feel like giving up and forgetting about reef tanks etc. <So sorry for your loss, but hang in there.> I have gone around 4 years without any diseases at all. Including bringing back a yellow tang with terrible HLLE to a plump healthy beautifully coloured individual. <Good work. You have proven your abilities.> Have a couple of questions to ask you if I may? <Certainly.>   The only two signs something was wrong with the queen was increased respiration rate + refusal of any food. <A sure sign of disease.> I am not one usually given to knee-jerk re-actions, but in this case I knew I had to do something quick. I moved the queen to a hospital tank (with the water taken from the main display) and began treatment with copper. Now I know the queen (as are most angels I believe) are fairly intolerant of copper but as my bat was definitely suffering from Ich ( they were in the same tank) and until I QT'd the bat 4 days ago, I presumed that the queen had an infection which at this time was confined to the gills. From the first sign of distress to death was a matter of around 30 hours......Have you any idea if there was any other form of treatment I could have given? <Formalin can be a great alternative. It may not be the copper that killed the fish. Gill infestations are rapidly fatal. Angels have been successfully treated with proper copper dosing/levels.> Did I do the wrong thing? <Now> Should I have done FW dips? <FW or FW/Formalin dips are effective, but so is copper. Aggressive therapy was indicated here.> Should I not have used copper? <I do not think this was the big mistake you worry that it was. Something else may have been better, but I think your fish died because its gills were affected by the infestation, not due to your copper treatment.> There are still 4 fish left in the 6x2x2 should I remove them all or can I leave them until maybe 2 months has gone bye and after this time assume the disease has gone from the tank (The idea behind this being that if no other fish are infected then the Ich has not had a host?) or am I daft to think this? <It could still be lurking sub-clinically as long as their are fish in there. Have you any theory as to where the Ich came from? I'd say the safest approach would be to quarantine and treat them (hyposalinity and increased temp, with copper or Formalin if signs/symptoms) to be safe. Leave the main tank fish-free for 6 weeks or so for the parasites to die out.>   After going for so long w/out disease I guess I got complacent and put one piece of live rock straight in the main tank and from there on lost half my fish. <More evidence to support the prevailing WWM view that all living things be quarantined, not just fish.> Anyhow from a fed-up (and now very broke) aquarist of many years I wish you all a good day. And hope to speak to you again soon with some better news. <We look forward to that.> With many thanks. Simon <Don't give up yet Simon. Your techniques are fundamentally sound. Do the QT/fallow to be safe and then think about a new fish to add down the road. Nothing can "replace" a precious/beloved animal that dies, but you can find another to cherish in its own right some day. Good luck to you.>

What Happened to My Flame Angel? - 08/24/03 <Hi Luke, PF with you tonight> I bought a Flame Angel two weeks ago with 3 other fish (clown, banner fish and raccoon b-fly). I've quarantined them. The fish got minor Ich a few days ago and I've added Cupramine as prescribed. Ammonia levels 0, nitrite 0, Ca 460, ph 8.3, high alkalinity, salinity 1.023, temp 26C. Ich disappeared after 2 days. Today I have noticed that my flame angel was turning white and was swimming kind of on the side near the surface. This was 4 days after adding Cupramine. The other fish are fine. There are no external signs of anything... no bacterial infections, Ich etc... nothing... What has caused this? IS the fish going to die? I've changed most of the water to fresh, but after 3 hrs there's no improvement. <Well, this could be a side effect of your use of copper. When you use copper you should always test it, and be sure and research the fish and their reactions to it. Clowns for example, are very sensitive to copper. How big is the QT tank you're using, and have you placed some pieces of PVC in their to act as an artificial reef?> Thank you, Luke <Good luck Luke, hopefully your fish is doing better.>

Striking Back Against Disease! About two weeks ago I purchased a large adult imperator from the Fish Doctor of Canton.  I didn't quarantine the fish because it was at the shop for over a week and a half and it looked perfect and disease free. The reason I didn't quarantine the fish is because I didn't want to stress the fish out and because Marcus and Juan the owners of the Fish Doctor felt confident enough to say don't even bother. <Yikes! I strongly disagree with that advice and the theory behind it. I'm sure that they meant well - but it seems inconceivable to me that a fish in a store - even a particularly fastidious one - does not come into contact with water, equipment, rocks, etc. from other tanks; tanks that may have infected fishes in them...My advice- quarantine all new fishes, regardless of their source, or the apparent condition that they are in at the store. Quarantine does not need to be a "stressful" procedure. Frankly, I feel that the potential for infecting your healthy fishes is so great that it is well worth the extra effort. Ask the aquarists at any public aquarium or aquatic park- they will tell you that all new arrivals are routinely quarantined. They do it- and so should you! Lecture over!> Before placing the fish into the tank my 120 with seven other fish was in perfect condition free of any problems.  Since adding the fish I have had a few problems such as my angels eyes became cloudy and his gill fins started to fall apart and it develop a wound by its gills which looks okay. I cleared up these problems with a three minute fresh water dip and a 7 day treatment of Melafix and a water change. The angel looks excellent except for that small wound by its gills which looks as if it is getting better and the fins look like they are healing. What caused the fish to develop that wound and why are there some dead scales over the wound? <A number of possible causes, ranging from trauma resulting from netting the fish to damage caused by parasites, fish lice, etc. The scales surrounding the wound are probably responding to localized damage, and will probably regenerate or heal over time....Keep an eye on this fish.> However I am still having problems my yellow tang the other day developed a bunch of litter black/ brown dots almost as if they were freckles and he started to scratch. So I gave him a freshwater dip and all the freckles disappeared and he stopped scratching. <Good procedure and response. Sometimes a freshwater dip can knock out parasitic illnesses easier than medication, and with less potential for "collateral damage" to the fish.> What kind of disease is this? <Well, its hard to say exactly what the disease may be without seeing it, but there are a number of parasites which cause the condition known as...(what else?) "Black Spot" disease, most of which can be treated with simple techniques, such as the aforementioned freshwater dips, copper, or formalin-based medications> After the power outage, I noticed two of my other fish and the yellow tang have the same problem the spots and they are all scratching.  Its looks like for sure I'm going to have to medicate the main tank to make sure that i eradicate the problem, What should I use to fix the problems, that won't damage the tank biological load? <Whoa! DO NOT MEDICATE THE DISPLAY TANK! The potential for "collateral damage", or the potential to render many medications ineffective (because they can bind up with substrate, etc.) is too great. The best way to treat parasitic conditions (IMO) is also one of the toughest to shoulder...Remove all fishes from the tank to a separate container or aquarium for treatment with one of the aforementioned medications. In the mean time, let the display tank run "fallow", without fishes for at least a month. This will lead to a "crash" in the population of parasites, which will make it much easier for the newly healed fishes to fend off any possible future infections upon their return. It is not fun, but it is very effective!> Also I have one more problem, and that is my lionfish, which I have had since November-has almost completely stopped eating. The lionfish looks excellent with no sign of disease. I always feed my fish a lot of food. What do you think caused this problem? <It is possible that the fish is suffering from a minor intestinal impaction...Sometimes, these self-imposed "fasts" will help the fish "clear out" whatever is causing the blockage. Alternatively, it could simply be that the fish is going through an "ornery" phase, much like Oscars do, where they will refuse foods for a period of time...Lots of possibilities. Monitor the fish carefully, test all basic water parameters, and be prepared to take action if necessary.> Other than the few minor problems my fish are all eating.  Please respond soon and let me know exactly what I should do to fix these problems. My tank has excellent filtration with perfect water. I do have a UV and two invertebrates.  Sincerely, Chris <All the more reason NOT to dose the display tank with medication.  Chris- there you have my thoughts on the situation...I think that the "fallow tank" technique, annoying though it may be, is the best way to go...Do verify that the disease which you are dealing with is parasitic in nature (sounds to me like it is), and take the appropriate actions. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Black Centropyge nox feelin' blue... Hi!! <Hellooooo, Kevin here> My husband & I found your website a couple weeks ago while researching the viability of getting a mandarin, and we found your FAQs very helpful. <Great, I hope it allowed you to make an informed decision.> This is my first time posting a question, and unfortunately it is not under happy circumstances. We got a black nox dwarf angel recently. <One of my favorite Centropyge angels, unfortunately they don't do so hot in captivity.> We quarantined little Jiji for 2 weeks, and since he looked fine, was active, and was eating well, we put him in our main tank Saturday night (adding him to Picasso the Sailfin tang & Gilligan the Ocellaris clown).  However, the other day we noticed Jiji was occasionally scratching himself against our live rock, and upon closer examination saw that he was breathing rapidly & had whitish patches on his sides & fins.  We removed him from the main tank & put him back in the QT last night.  I dosed the QT with Formalin last night, and we will probably give Jiji a freshwater dip this evening. <Good plan, run a full set of water tests on both the QT and the display.> As you may have guessed from the medication, I think Jiji has come down with Brooklynella.  I know the scratching is a sign of a parasitic infection, and the whitish patches are way too large for Ich or velvet.  But while his gills are moving very rapidly, Jiji is not gasping at the top of the tank, nor is he lethargic or not eating.  In fact, he is still quite active.  Does this mean that he is just in the early stages of Brooklynella or that he may have something else altogether? <It's likely Brooklynella, if not the formalin should knock it out anyway. Make sure it is well fed with vitamin enriched foods, lots o' algae, and if the formalin isn't working very well add some copper sulfate. This is also why I quarantine for 30-45 days, even though the fish may look bullet-proof they still can go downhill and get everyone else sick.> Also, since medicating the main tank is NOT an option & neither is removing the fish (we have no place to move them to), what would you suggest as alternatives to making sure this doesn't spread?  I am considering picking up some garlic extract to add to all the fishes' food, as garlic seems to bolster their immune systems. <I'd try the garlic, and if all the fish are healthy you won't have to worry about it spreading. Good luck, I hope everything goes well! -Kevin> Thanks in advance, Samantha

- Raised Scales, Problem? - Hello kind keeper of the knowledge, I'm having difficulties treating my Koran angelfish. I had a bout of the dreaded ICH recently and treated it with copper. Then I treated the secondary infection with Erythromycin. After the last treatment I noticed that my wet pet had spiky scales around his head. I added some MelaFix (pond grade) to my hospital tank to fix him up but now he has these spikes all over his body. Are these just raised scales that will be shrugged off during the healing process or is it something I should be worried about? <Well... it's not a good sign, but worrying about it likely won't do anything. I'd stop all treatments at this point and concentrate on improving water quality. If the fish is going to recover it will, there's not much you can do to 'treat' this.> Also I bought a 30" 65 watt power compact w/ moonlight for my 49 gal bow front reef tank. I mainly have soft corals, mushrooms, and polyps in the tank under standard florescent (three 25 watt bulbs: 50/50, day light and one blue antic). They seem to be doing fine all but the Elkhorn (green) frag. This is my first hard coral. How often do they open up? <Depends on the origin of the coral - if it's wild, likely over night, but many corals adapt in time to stay open during the day.> I see tiny yellow polyps come out once in a while. They are about the size of a pinhead. Once my new lighting system arrives what is the best way to acclimate my coral to this stronger light? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm > And should I have bought the 36" 95 watt version or would that be overkill? I still have time to upgrade if need be. <With small-polyp, stony corals more lighting intensity is always better.> Thanks and Merry Christmas, Chad <Cheers, J -- >

Many marine angels, sick Dear Bob, <Jo?/John> I'm Jo? from Portugal. I don't know if this is the right way or contact to ask this but, I was reading the asks and answers so... here I'm... I'm 28 years old and I have reef and fish-only aquariums since 1990. I almost really don't know what species of corals, invertebrates and fishes I didn't had as least one time pass these years. To treat fishes, Pomacanthus imperators, P. annularis,  Apolemichthys, Zanclus, Nemateleotris, etc etc etc..... :)...... I always used (and I use), Waterlife products (Myxazin, Sterazin, Octozin, Cuprazin, etc) and some human medicines (Resochina for example), whit great results. But now, I have a problem. In one fish-only aquarium, I have at about two years ago, one Apolemichthys trimaculatus XXL and one P. Annularis S/M. They was simply sobered until, I bought two little Holocanthus Passer and putted with them, 2 week's ago, without the proper Quarantine...! <Que lastima! Spanish, my Portuguese is worse> The 2 Passer's died 1 week ago, with the symptoms that Apolemichthys and Pomacanthus are having now. They don't have ict? or criptocarie. They are eating and breathing normally. But they are grazing and when swimming they flick and flick and flick.....  the eyes are staying cloudy too, like what happened whit Passer's before dead. <May be flukes... monogenetic or digenetic Trematodes... a type of flatworm> I had already tried to treat them with Cuprazin, Sterazin, and nothing.... Today I did again a good change of water  (with osmosis and ionic change resin, red sea salt, oligo. elements, etc etc ), and I'm thinking treat them after tomorrow with Octozin! The parameters of water are excellent like always did. I'm very sad because first of all they are live. animals, second, I love them and I see that they are really trying to live, and I don't know anymore what to do. If you can, please help me to help them! <I would run your fishes through a pH adjusted freshwater AND formalin dip/bath as proscribed on WetWebMedia.com AND move these fishes to other quarters (another tank than the one they are in), AND add cleaner organisms (Gobiosoma gobies, Lysmata sp. shrimp). Bob Fenner> Thank you Bob. My best regards, Jo?
Re: Many marine angels, sick
Hello Bob and company! :) Thanks very much for the answer. <You're welcome> I had already put them in a 10 minutes freshwater bath. They are better. Almost don't flick anymore and the P. annularis have the eye less cloudy. They are either with Octozin. <Okay> One question, about the formalin baths, or Methylene blue, etc etc where can I find the right measures, time of baths, etc ? In this site I only found  "ten standard drops to one gallon water (37 percent food grade formalin.)... " <This information is posted on WWM (in various FAQs files... probably best/easiest to search using the "Google Search Tool" at the bottom of the WWM homepage. If you are looking for ONE good reference for fish disease, treatment, please see Edward Noga's "Fish Disease" book.> Other question, I hear we can give some products (Principe actives) in the food to reach some internal areas of fish and treat some infections, parasites, etc, because we can't reach some areas with fresh baths or others reasons. <This is so> I use Resochina (quinina) in Artemia to kill intestinal parasites and specially liver parasites. There're more products we can use/give in alimentation to prevent or treat some problems ? I hear of "methanol" for example... <I would not do this. Would NOT treat for various possible internal disease problems that may exist... Unlike George B. jr. and his ilk I do not promote "pre-emptive" attacks... much more harm (in both scenarios) to be had than not> What products (active principals, etc) can I use? For the treatments of? And how many times? In what measures? If you can answer me about this points or tell me where I can find them, will be wonderful. <Take a look on Amazon.com, elsewhere re Edward Noga's name. His printed work is the most up-to-date, complete, useful. Bob Fenner> I only found this site a couple days ago. It's delightful! :) Congratulations!! PS- sorry about my English... :) Best regards, John Silver
Re: Many marine angels, sick ok I'll do that! Thank you again. Congratulations for the well done mission that all of you are doing. Best regards, John Silver <Thank you, good luck, life to you. Bob Fenner>

Cloudy Eyes (5/19/04) Hello J <Steve Allen tonight> I had some problems before and you were helpful thank you for that. Now I'm back with another one. I bought a P. imperator she landed directly in the QT. After 3 days white spot visited her. My QT is 70L. Started the copper treatment with OODINEX. That's the only one available here . After the third day of treatment she stopped eating, started to stay at the corner of the tank and I don't like the way she's moving.. So I thought its from the copper so I made a water change stopped the treatment she's been now almost 3 days without copper and a daily water change. I think she's more relaxed I don't see any white spots but this morning one of her eyes was cloudy and she had some patches on her fins. <Copper can be hard on the eyes.> By the way my QT has a TUNZE skimmer for 600liters capacity and an EHEIM wet dry filter also for 600liters capacity and a regular filter with sponge. What shall I do if you tell me to go to antibiotics what kind shall I buy and what's the dosage for a 70 liters QT. (the fishes size is 6.25 inches) Or do you recommend something else. <I would suggest a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Choose one that is available to you and dose per the label instructions. The symptoms are indeed concerning for a bacterial infection. One more thing is it possible to keep a 6.25 inch emperor in a 70 liters tank for long. <For the 4 weeks that you need to quarantine to be sure the Ich goes away and stays away. Search WWM for more info.> And how long can she survive without eating? <A previously well-fed fish can go a couple of weeks and still recover.> Her response to food is very passive is it a hopeless case?? <Don't despair yet.> My regular tank is 1000 liters <nice tank for an Imperator> FO but I'm afraid to take her there because of the white spots. <Smart. Wait.> Thank you very much for your time, Viken <Hope this helps.> 

Angels with cloudy eyes I didn't realize it was that critical to keep the caps on or off. So here we go again I left for vacation and when I got back my Asfur angel and lion fish have cloudy eyes so I did a 50 gln water change and by the recommendation of the LFS I added MelaFix. Then 2 days later my Asfur angels left eye looks 10x worse and all the fishes color look terrible. I know the answer is somewhere on the sight and I will keep looking but desperate times call for desperate measures. Any help would be deeply appreciated<what is the water quality in this aquarium? nitrates, ammonia, pH? also most of the time things get worse before they get better, IanB>  Thank you Anthony

Angel In Distress? Hi guy!! <Scott F. your guy tonight!> My French Angel had cloudy eyes and some white parasites on his eyes and body that looked like little grains. I gave him a freshwater bath with Formalin-3.It did get rid of the parasites and cloudiness on his eyes. But 2 days later, he doesn't eat and his fins are deteriorating like crazy. <Hmm...sounds/look like it could be "collateral damage" from the Formalin. I've seen similar results with copper sulphate on some fishes. It certainly would be advisable to get this guy out of medication ASAP, if you have not already done so.> Right away, I put him in a quarantine with Maracyn Two. Here is a picture tell me what you think. Thanks. Derik <Well, Derek, I'd keep this guy in the quarantine tank for a while, but I'd remove any medications to give him a "break" for a while. Yes, it is important to keep the water quality high, but I'd avoid the medication unless symptoms get worse here. Hopefully, if this is not a disease, your fish should make a full recovery in a few weeks with good environmental conditions. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Problem With A Poma (Sick Angel) Dear Scott, <Hello again!> I bought a pair of gold-stripe maroon clowns on Wednesday and added them to my tank with the Grey Poma, but now I have noticed that the Poma has developed white-spot. <Yikes! No quarantine? I don't want to scold you now- but...Ya got to quarantine all new arrivals to avoid problems like this in the future, okay?> It is not a really heavy infestation but I know I need to cure it. The angel has been trying to solicit the boxing shrimp into cleaning it but I have not yet observed them doing so. The clowns are still free of spots but what is the best way to go about treating them? I know copper is toxic to angels, so I bought some Vertaid medication which contains Quinine hydrochloride and Malachite green from another fish shop and the guy there said to add 1ml per 70l for four days and do partial water changes if the fish or inverts look stressed. <Well, some angel species are very sensitive to copper, mainly Centropyge species. I have used copper on a variety of angels without problems. Of course, if you are concerned about this medication, I'd recommend a Formalin-based product as an alternative.> I impulse bought this product because I did not know what else to do. Should I treat the whole tank or isolate the fish in a separate tank and do it as it is going to take a while to set up a hospital tank? <Id treat all affected fishes in a separate tank, and let the display run fallow for a month or so. My advice is to NEVER treat in the display tank.> He said that he would not recommend a freshwater dip as this may shock the fish more. <Well, freshwater dips can be a bit rough on an already-stressed fish. Their effectiveness can vary, and I would not consider a FW dip a primary treatment method> Can you please put me on the right track to treat my fish, I do not want to lose them. Yours Sincerely Adam Harbeck <Well, Adam- I'd remove the affected fish to a separate system for treatment, and let the display tank run without fishes for a month or so. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter concerning dosage and duration, regardless of what medication that you choose to use. Follow through and keep observing your fishes carefully during the process, and I'm sure that your fish will make it through fine! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Treating a Flame Angel for Ich Hello.  I have a flame angel in quarantine that I just got two days ago.  The fish looked and acted fine at the LFS,  with no signs of illness.  But yesterday he developed Ich and wouldn't eat any flakes or frozen brine shrimp.  Your site seems to recommend the use of copper as a treatment, but I have heard that flame angels do not do well with copper because it eats away at their internal organs.  I can't seem to find any information on the procedure for using hyposalinity effectively.  Since the flame angel isn't eating, I don't think that garlic would work.  Should I go ahead and treat with copper?  I'm at a loss... any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Lisa    <Hey Lisa, good call using the QT tank.  You are correct, copper is not good for dwarf angels.  Try treating with a formalin based medication and freshwater dips.  -Gage>

Treating Marine Angels Thanks for all your advise. I really like the pygmy angels and would like to buy another. Two questions: first, I don't know much about freshwater dipping <do browse the parasitic disease FAQ's for insight, but the crash course is using buffered, dechlorinated and temp/pH adjusted freshwater (match sat tank readings on these parameters to minimize stress)... it is critical that you measure FW bath temp to be same or slightly warmer, NEVER cooler, fish must be caught quickly and gently (two nets and morning/sleepy time best), dip is to last 3 to 5 minutes minimum. In dip sluggish swimming and laying on bottom with labored breath is normal... but trying to jump out or spitting water at surface is hyper stress...remove fish back top seawater> and two, what other options are there other than copper?  <yep... formalin> By the way, the tang is starting to get better. He lost most of his color but he had very few white spots left and is starting to eat again. <very good to hear! Best regards, Anthony>

Help!!! Sick Bicolor Angel I came home today, to find my Bicolor Angle lying on its side at the bottom of my QT tank... It looked like he had some black spots around the gills. He had been swimming and feeding yesterday. There were no signs of infection or parasites. He was not eating much, but he was eating. The damsel that lives in this tank is healthy. <hmmm... not symptomatic of anything specifically pathogenic but this species is notoriously still drug caught. If you bought it for under $30 in most big cities in the US then it is a strong candidate for drug poisoning. Quality hand-caught Bicolors from Fiji and elsewhere are significantly more expensive than the cheap Jakarta and Philippine specimens. > I did a water test last night. Ammonia and Nitrite 0.. PH 8.3... Nitrate 60 - 80 ppm. I changed 2 gallons out of this 10 gallon tank while he was getting the FW dip. I scooped him out and gave him a 6 - 7 minute FW dip. I returned him to the QT.. He not lying on his side yet. What should I do? Continue FW Dips?  <hold off on the dips unless you see a specific indication of parasites (scratching, spots, sloughing possibly)> I looked closer, and his pectoral fins have a slight dusting of white spots.. Great!!! Ich!! I guess, I need to use Formalin II, along with the FW Dips. <Ok...fair enough... I agree <smile>. That will be $50 for the service call...hehe> Please let me know if there is anything else I should be doing... <singing in the rain is always delightful if it is warm enough outside> Thanks, Glenn <kindly, Anthony>
Re: Help!!! Sick Bicolor Angel
Hi Anthony, Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, my Bicolor Angel did not improve. He became more lethargic. His respiration was very high. I was sure he would not survive the night, so I decided euthanasia was the only humane thing to do.. I froze him.. <alas... I am sorry to hear about it> He had been in my tank for almost two weeks.. He appeared healthy. Unfortunately, he only cost me $25, so I guess he suffered cyanide poisoning..  <it is certainly a strong possibility. Take a look at the gill color as well... should be richly red/pink. If pale pink in color... another indication of an unsound collecting technique> That will be the last Bicolor I buy.  <or let it serve as a reminder that many such "difficult" fish are difficult because of prevalent collecting or shipping practices. You may just need to research and buy from a different source. Case in point... common Regal Angels are all but "impossible" to keep alive. But aquarists have found that the race called "orange throat" Regals from the Maldives and Red Sea are quite able to live in captivity. Unfortunately, they are much more expensive and generally need to be special ordered. Many other such examples (Moorish Idols from Hawaii, Coral Beauties from Fiji (mostly purple body... not orange dominant)). Indeed, many subtleties to research or look out for>  Not to mention from now on, I'll research ya'lls site before buying any new fish.. Thanks Again, Glenn <excellent... information is power as they say. Anthony>

I have an angel fish in my tank that has developed what seams a fungal infection much like patches of eczema in humans. I have treated the tank with antibiotics and followed the directions to the letter. The fish still has patches around the head area. Any suggestions? >> >> Most likely this is not a fungal infection... but might be a viral (Lymphocystis) or expression to some form of "bad water"... What else do you have in the way of livestock in this system? How long has this problem been developing? Any other fishes affected? I would be inclined to try a biological cleaner species or two at this point. Either Lysmata shrimp and/or Gobiosoma gobies are my favorites... Bob Fenner

Angels and UV sterilizers and Monkey crap After I added live rock to my tank, I have unable to keep any type of angel fish longer than two months. My LFS made the following comments to me today: "If you have live rock, angel fish will get coral reef disease and not last more than two months. The only way to keep them alive is to use a UV sterilizer." <that explanation from your LFS is not only the biggest pile of steaming monkey crap that I have heard in weeks, but also the most shameless yet creative sales strategy for selling UV sterilizers that I have ever heard of. Did they explain what it is in live rock that specifically kills angels after the magic 8-week time-elapse (they need to come up with a much better explanation than a mythical "coral Reef Disease" to temper their "Pinocchio Disorder") or how it is that angels in the wild survive while living on and in live rock?!?! Furthermore, what is it that the UV does to correct this?> I was able to keep a bi color angel alive for several years when I had only lace rock in the tank. So maybe he is right? <he couldn't be any more wrong with an honorable mention for being patently ignorant or patently fraudulent. Did it cross your mind that maybe the problem with your angels is the source (ahem...)> Also, won't the UV sterilizer kill some of the good micro whatever stuff in the tank? <not really... and it also does a rather poor job of killing parasites in display tanks too as evidenced by the sick angels purchased from this LFS...heehee.> Thanks for your time. <May I suggest that you be certain to QT all new fishes from a full 4 weeks and also consider that bicolor angles are rather difficult to keep to begin with and that most seen in the trade are stressed and or drug caught Philippine specimens. They only cost about $6 wholesale which is why some retailers like to keep selling this challenging species... tempting profits. I'd reconsider the species overall despite your previous success and I will say that live rock will be necessary to keep this fish more than 2 years in captivity with less fear/concern of death by dietary deficiency. Best regards, Anthony> 

When Life Gives You Lemonpeels.. Hello, I recently purchased a 2 inch lemon peel angel, a medium size powder blue tang & an arch eye Hawkfish. I put them all in my 20 gallon long QT. <Great procedure!> All three fish began eating well after about 2 days, especially the tang. I noticed the lemon peel rubbing itself on the bottom of the tank, but I didn't see any signs of spots on any of the fish, so I disregarded it until it continued for a couple of days. There were still no spots, but fearing Ich (at the encouragement of my local supplier) I treated the tank with copper, SeaCure to be specific. <Well, if it is Ich, it was not a bad move...but may have been premature> Almost immediately the lemon peel stopped eating. The very next night I read an article about lemon peel angels being hyper sensitive to copper. <Centropyge angels do tend to be sensitive to copper treatment. You should monitor copper levels very carefully when using this treatment with any fish, of course> I didn't do anything initially thinking it might be ok, but the angels eyes became hazed over. I immediately did approximately 35% water change and put in a poly filter to try and draw out the copper. I added the copper on Saturday, did the water change on Monday & by Tuesday his eyes were back to normal, but today is Wednesday and I haven't seen him eat since Saturday and he seems to stay in the top corner of the tank near the heater all the time. He looks fine and is not even rubbing any longer, but I wonder how long he can last without eating. I've tried Spirulina pellets, marine supreme, flakes for angels, even brine shrimp. The other 2 fish are eating fine, however I did notice the tang rubbing on the bottom today. I guess what I'm asking is what would you do concerning the angel not eating and treating for Ich and for how long. They've been in QT for 10 days and no visible spots. I was thinking of using formalin, but how long should I wait because of the copper. I also now know I should have never tried to introduce 3 fish  at one time !!!! Thank You, Gary <Well- Gary- you're sure learning a lot from this! At this point, I'd continue to execute regular (2 or 3 times a week) small water changes in the QT tank. Keep trying to get this guy to eat. It may take a while. You also might want to introduce a vitamin supplement, such as Vita Chem, into the QT tank. Since marine fishes do drink, this may provide some nutritional "encouragement" for the angel, until he comes around and start seating. I'd hold off on any further medication unless the need arises. Keep a very close eye on things, and I'm sure that the fish can recover. Best Regards, Scott F>

No more tears... <Hello again Neil, PF here this AM> Oh ye knowers of  fishy things, Forgot to save the original reply from you, <No problem> so here goes. I have a 3" Lemonpeel angel in a 20 gallon quarantine tank.  Have had "her" for about 2 weeks.  I originally wrote about what looked like a "tear" under one of the eye lenses, but that has cleared up nicely with a bit of Epsom salts in the water. <Good.>  Thank you.  This morning, I notice that the fish has started to do the gill flashing dance. No visible white spots anywhere, but I know that the flashing isn't a good thing.  Since the Centropyge angels are known to be sensitive to things like copper & Methylene blue, what are my best treatment options? <Try a freshwater dip, www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm  > There currently is a small black percula clown in there also, and a couple of pieces of live rock that is "extra, which I will pull from the tank before treatment, and put in a bucket with a heater for a minimum of 30 days, (I know no rock in the QT) and will not put it back in.  Can I transfer the fish to a 10 gallon tank for the duration of treatment, instead of the 20, or will that "crowd" the fish too much? <You can use pieces of PVC pipe (elbows, bends, T's etc) to make an artificial reef for them to hide in. Run all the pieces though a string, and tie it in the knot: makes it easier to take out and catch the fish when it's time to move them. A tip 'o the hat to Martin Moe, and Breeding the Orchid Dottyback for that particular tip/trick.). As for treatments, it may not have Ich. Try the dip first, then move the fish to the hospital tank and if necessary treat them there. Here's the FAQ on diseases and angel fish (the first one should look real familiar) http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/disease.htm . >  Thanks, Neil <Your welcome Neil, have a good day, PF>

Angel In Distress Hi, <hey there! Scott F. with you!> Your site is wonderful!  I've gotten a lot of great information here.  I have a problem I'm hoping you can help me with.  It's an emergency. <Let's get to it!> I have an asfur angel, about 3" long, with adult coloration.  I bought her last summer from FFE.  She looked pretty good and I kept her quarantined for several months.  She was growing very slowly.  When I put her in the 120 tank with live rock this fall she quickly developed HLLE.   <Bummer...> I followed advice I read on WWM and greatly improved her diet (Angel Formula with sponge, Nori, Marine Cuisine, Prime Reef, Formula Two, supplementation with Selcon and Garlic Elixir).  Also grounded the tank.  The HLLE was clearing up nicely.   <Nice work!> Tank parameters, ammonia-0, nitrite-0, nitrates-10-20ppm, S.G. 1.024, pH 8.0, temperature 74-78 degrees F. About 70 lbs live rock (more coming), AquaC skimmer, a couple of powerheads for circulation, Aquafuge 18" refugium with Caulerpa and Miracle Mud.  The tank is the JetStream by Perfecto, with two Tidepool sumps (I removed the bio-wheels). <Sounds nice> Tank mates:  5-6" harlequin tusk fish, 2-3" flame hawk, 3-4" mimic tang, 2-3" tomato clown (added in the last two weeks, had been quarantined eight weeks, appears to be sick).  No apparent conflicts. Around the time I set up the refugium, I had skimmer failure, fixed that, then had main pump fail.  Added a hang-on tank skimmer (BakPak) and a few powerheads for greater in-tank circulation.  Fixed main pump within a week.  Parameters didn't seem too far off, other fish looked fine.  Noticed cloudy eye on the angel (about 3 weeks ago). Around the time all of the above described things were happening (added refugium with Miracle Mud, skimmer and pump failure, addition of sick clown) the angel developed cloudy eye in one eye.  This became Popeye, then cloudy eye/Popeye in the other eye.  She was still eating well, so I continued with the good diet, feeding 1-2x per day and also fed first thing in the morning with Tetra medicated flake. I did not remove her because I would have to remove all the live rock to get her out.  I didn't want to treat the tank and mess up my inverts (mostly snails) and live rock. <Well, that was a good decision- never treat in the main tank> I was hoping good water conditions, good diet and the medicated flake would solve the problem.  I'm not very confident using medication anyway.  It seems like it's too easy to kill with the cure. <well, most aquarium medications are very safe if used per manufacturer's instructions> I monitored nitrates, they have been below 10ppm. For the last two days, she has not eaten much if anything.  Seems to be blind, eyes are so clouded.  She has been shimmying in some rocks.  I thought she died tonight, she was still and jammed in some rocks.  Then she moved!  I scooped her out and placed her in the quarantine tank.  I added Paraguard at the recommended dosage (basically a malachite green solution).  There's a good chance she won't make it through the night. If she does, can you suggest any treatment? <Well, this seems to me to be more of a bacterial infection, rather than a parasitic one...I'd use an antibiotic, like Maracyn> Also, my other fish are not looking as healthy as they used to.  The tusk fish is scratching his body against the rocks, the flame hawk has lost color and sits in strong current and the mimic tang spends a lot more time hiding.  So far, everyone is eating. <Hmm...the symptoms that you're mentioning could apply to a number of different diseases, such as Amyloodinium, Cryptocaryon, or possibly even others...Most of the descriptions of the conditions of the other fishes seem indicative of a parasitic infection...Lots of times, secondary infections follow, which may be what the Asfur is experiencing. I'd get everyone out of the main tank, and set up another QT for these fishes...I'd attempt to confirm which condition you are dealing with...review the WWM FAQs for information. Freshwater dips are a fine start, but the condition of the fishes may dictate a more aggressive treatment, such as Copper Sulphate (assuming a parasitic infection).> Do I need to catch the fish and dip them in fresh water or medication? <A good supplementary treatment> Should I treat the fish and tank with hyposalinity?  If so, what S.G. do you recommend? <I really think that you need to utilize medication...Not that hyposalinity doesn't work-but I think that medication is easier and more effective if administered properly> Any help would be greatly appreciated!  Please "reply to all" so I can check your answer at work and home. Lisa Darmo <Ok, Lisa- I hope that I've given you a starting point for attacking this disease effectively! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>
Learning From Tragedy
Scott, <At your service> Thank-you for your quick reply.  The angel didn't make it. <Really sorry to hear that. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, the fish has suffered damage beyond our ability to repair...At the very least, if this was a learning experience for you, the fish will have not died in vain> I will follow your advice to quarantine and treat the other fish.  It is still not clear what, if anything, they have. No visible spots on anyone, Tuskfish only rubbing a little.  Flame hawk still pale.  Clown seems to have Lymphocystis. Everyone eating well.  Since the angel was removed everyone looks better, don't know why.  Is it possible they knew she was very sick and got distressed?? <Hard to say, but a stressed out fish is certainly prone to many diseases. Quick action is required to keep a potential large-scale problem in this tank> I don't want to wait until things are so bad that I treat too late. <Agreed> Is there a course of treatment you would recommend that I do now?  I was thinking freshwater dip, then copper-formalin treatment.  Should I treat for the disease that could possibly kill them fastest (Amyloodinium?). <Well, I'm not one for just experimenting with medications. In this instance, however, we may be dealing with Amyloodinium or Cryptocaryon, so I think that the copper idea is worth a shot. Follow the manufacturer's directions exactly, and only administer copper in a separate treatment tank. Measure copper levels regularly, and observe the fishes carefully> Whatever they (may) have has me stumped. Thanks so much for your help.  Just a few other questions... 1)  What is the appropriate treatment for the quarantine tank I put the angel into before I add other fish?  It has a bare bottom some rock for cover and an internal filter (Duetto) for circulation.  Do I need to discard all water, do any bleaching, leave it fallow for 4-5 months? <A quarantine tank is not a permanent feature, so you need to break down and clean the tank and sterilize the filter media after each use. Since this aquarium has had a very sick fish in it, it's not a bad idea to do this before adding your other fishes. On the other hand, since you are in an emergency situation, I'd just change most of the water in the quarantine tank, add new water from the main tank, get the fishes in there, and medicate with copper. Also, remove the rocks, as they potentially bind with and absorb copper. Use inert materials, such as PVC pipe sections, for shelter for the fishes> 2)  How long after treating the other fish (but not the tank) should I wait before adding another angel fish to this tank?  I plan to quarantine any new fish for six weeks. <I'd let the main tank go fallow for at least six weeks. Most parasitic diseases require hosts, and the population of parasites will crash if deprived of hosts for an extended period> 3 Is there an angel fish you would recommend for this tank?  120H tank (5'long), AquaC skimmer in sump, live rock, plenty of circulation, decent lighting (PCs).  Tankmates: harlequin tusk, flame hawk, tomato clown, mimic tang, zebra moray (currently in another tank).  I loved the asfur, but am afraid to try one again.  Would you recommend the maculosus?  There have been tank raised maculosus available recently at a good price.  What kind of experience have people had with them?  How about a red sea emperor? <The tank-raised maculosus angels have proven to be very hardy and adaptable. Emperors can be somewhat difficult in many instances, if they are not collected properly. Smaller specimens adapt more readily to captive life. Honestly, I'd avoid a "full-sized" angel in anything less than a 300 gallon tank. People hate to hear me say that, but if you've ever seen a full-sized Emperor or other Pomacanthus species in the wild, you'll realize that these guys can reach almost 15 inches in length, and roam over a territory the size of a football field. It's just not right to confine them to a tank that's under 8 feet in length, IMO. I'd go for a Centropyge angelfish, like a C. eibli, which can reach a more modest 5 inches or so, or even a Lemonpeel (although these fish can be quite touchy if not properly collected and acclimated). Most Centropyge seem to adapt better to captive life, and, once settled in a system that is to their liking, can live long, happy lives, and reward you with many years of enjoyment> The whole reason I set up the 120 was because I wanted one spectacular large angel and the tusk fish to be the main occupants. <Well, spectacular doesn't always mean "big"! Think a bit different than everyone else, and you'll create a colorful, spectacular little world in their with modest sized fishes!> Thanks for any advice you can give me.  You guys are great! Lisa <Thanks for the kind words. Best of luck to you, Lisa! You'll be fine! Feel free to write back any time! Don't let the recent setbacks discourage you. Steady as she goes! regards, Scott F>

Coral beauty 8/17/05 Hello. <Hi Pat> I've been quarantining a coral beauty for Ich the last month and it has started to swim furiously back and forth along the glass, scraping its mouth white. I imagine that it is chasing its reflection, and that the stress of this action in the main tank probably contributed to it getting Ich.  Are there any things I can try to get the fish to stop?  Thank you <Try putting some pieces of PVC pipe in the QT tank.  They definitely need a place to retreat and relax.  James (Salty Dog)><<And cover an end panel (outside) w/ paper to discount reflection. RMF>> Pat

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