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FAQs on Centropyge Angelfishes Environmental Disease 

FAQs on Dwarf Angel Disease: Dwarf Angel Disease 1, Dwarf Angel Disease 2, Dwarf Angel Disease 3, Angels and Butterflyfishes & Crypt,
FAQs on Dwarf Angel Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Pathogenic, Genetic, Treatments

Related Articles: Centropyge Angels, C. loricula/Flame Angel, Lemon/y Dwarf Angels, A Couple of Lemons; the True and False/Herald's (nee Woodheadi) Centropyges, Potter's Angels, Reef Safari! Keeping Multibarred Angelfish By Alexander Thomasser,

Related FAQs: Best FAQs on Centropyge, Centropyge Angels 1, Centropyge Angels 2Centropyge Angels 3, Centropyge Angels 4, Dwarf Angel Identification, Dwarf Angel Selection, Dwarf Angel Compatibility, Dwarf Angel Systems, Dwarf Angel Feeding, Dwarf Angel Reproduction,

Do you have enough room? Is the system sufficiently aged? Is there enough forage (filamentous algae on live rock esp.)

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

Bicolor Angel with cloudy eyes... improper env., no reading   7/16/09
Hey WWM Crew!
I have a bi color angel fish. He was introduced to the tank about a week and a half ago. The tank is a 30 gallon,
<Too small for this species>

live rock system. It has a 55 gallon tetra carbon filter on it. In the tank are a bulldozer shrimp, goby, and valentini puffer.
<This volume is too small for a Toby as well>
(These fish are doing fine, if anything, the goby and shrimp are happier that the angel is not harassing them today.) The live rock has about 6 large mushrooms growing on them.
Today, the angel is in its favorite hiding spot. He did come out to eat, but he hasn't come out since. His caudal fin is a little tattered...
<Likely... could be the Goby or Toby>

like someone took a bite out of him. And his eyes are super cloudy. I wouldn't doubt that its hard to see. I was reading that the angel probably has a bacterial infection...
<Mmm, no... not first order... improper environment primarily>

I do not have a quarantine tank. What would you recommend as the course of treatment for the angel?
<Better world; more space, less agonistic roommates>
I was reading that Mardel has a good treatment for cloudy eyes, but also that a simple water change might work...
I am worried about the other fish and mushrooms should I treat with an antibiotic. I don't have a test kit either : (. I have never had any problems with my goby and puffer (except for some diet and dental issues, which have been corrected) so I have never needed to check all of the particulars of the tank. I do 25% water changes every month when I change the carbon.
What do you suggest??
Thanks for your continual help!
<Reading: http://wetwebmedia.com/c_bicolor.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

- Coral Beauty Eye Cataracts? 7/27/06 - Good Morning Gentlemen. <Good morning.> My husband purchased (for me) a previously owned 75g reef tank around May 7th, 2006 and one of it's occupants is a Coral Beauty Angel.  The previous owners had this tank for 3 or 4 years so I'm sure on the age of the Coral Beauty but I noticed that she had small white marks (for lack of a better description) on the lower part of her eye or eyelids when we got her.  She seems very healthy.  She eats well, is very active and interacts well with the other fish. However, I've noticed that these "marks" are slowly getting larger.  Could they be cataracts? <They could be, but it's difficult to be certain. If the white areas seem to be growing, do keep a lookout to make sure that it's not just cloudy - cloudy eyes are typically a reaction to water quality issues. You may want to run a test or two and prepare a water change, just in case.> Any assistance would be appreciated. Louise <Cheers, J -- >

Eye problem with my Lemonpeel angel fish   6/9/06 G'day crew, Chris from Australia here with a question for you. I visit and download as much info from your site as I can, as I find your information and help that is provided to be invaluable. My question for you is an eye related problem. I have a lemon peel angel fish in a 90 litre tank, <... too small...> and my water parameters are as follows; Calcium 350, Alk normal to high, ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 0, phosphate 0.2-0.5 pH 8.0 Specific gravity 1.025 I have had problems with cloudy eye, which I treated with Epsom salts which worked well. A brown algae build up in my substrate got stirred up and the above problem come back. <Very hard to keep small volumes stable...> I do a 10% water change every week to keep up my water quality, run an Aqua C Remora Pro skimmer 24/7 and leave the lights off to slow algae, which has been successful, but the eye problem has gotten worse. The eye has what looks like a hard crust over it building up from the outside in , as well as brown discolourisation and now the other eye is starting to go cloudy. <A bad sign> The fish stills seems healthy, eats a lot, swims around and through the live rock, possibly scratching and inflaming the problem more. I have tried to be thorough looking through previous responses to other peoples questions but I have found none that sounds like what my fish has. I know you may have answered questions like this before so any references or direct advice you could give me is much appreciated. Keep up the good work and thanks for helping by providing such a brilliant site. Kind regards Chris. <Thank you for your words of acknowledgement. As you point out, the highly likely root cause here is environmental... Fix this animal's world and you'll fix the animal. In all honesty it needs to be in a much larger system... 90 gallons or more, not 90 litres... Bob Fenner>

Possible fin or tail rot?  9/7/05 Hi <Hello Jeri> I have a coral beauty angel that is having some issues. We have a 46 gal tank. <Too small...> Wet/dry filter, 2 powerheads, and a penguin bio wheel power filter (to acclimate the wet/dry). We have 2 clowns, 1 coral beauty, 20 red leg hermits, 7 turbo snails, 1 emerald crab, 1 cleaner shrimp (Super cool), and a Condylactis anemone. And about 20lbs. live rock. Water conditions are ammonia & nitrite 0, nitrate 30ppm, Salinity 1.022, <I would raise, keep this near 1.025> Ph 8.2 & Temp 80 degrees. (which is high, we normally run at 76 - 78 degrees). We just got back from vacation and will remedy that problem. My Coral Beauty has what looks to be fin or tail rot now.  We thought the fish had Lymphocystis and let it run its course. We just tried to keep water quality good and fed healthy diet. <Good... this is what I would have done> Now the spots have fallen off and it looks like in most of the places the spots were he has holes. When we left him on Friday he had 2 holes in his tail. LFS asked if he was eating, which he is better than ever, and if the holes looked frayed. At that time they were not. LFS said it could be one of the clowns and that usually when you have a complete hole in the middle part of a fin that it is usually a bite from another fish. Said to watch fish for changes. <Mmm, no... very likely is water quality directed... from your wet-dry type of filtration, stress from being in a small system...> Well we just got back from vacation and the holes are frayed in the tail, the right side of his mouth is white (looks swollen and discolored), and he seems to have a nasty sore or ulcer on the ridge of his back. Also where he had the largest of the white spots. He is eating and swimming better than he ever has before. We are not sure what this is or what to do for him. <Could, can modify the wet-dry, add other filtration moda... DSB, Refugium, macro-algae... more live rock...> We do have a hospital tank available for him, but we just don't know how to treat him and our LFS is closed for 2 days. Our QT is 20 gal tank with a blue damsel in it. We have a separator net we use when quarantining a fish. Not sure what to do in the case of treating a fish. This tank has a penguin BioWheel power filter as well, powerhead, airstone, and some PVC. I guess my questions are: Do you know what is wrong with the Coral Beauty? <Environment mostly, likely nutritional, social aspects secondarily> What should we do about it? <Consider improving the above> If he needs to be treated in the QT, do we need to remove the biological filter? <Mmm, no benefit in moving this animal, not a pathogenic disease...> I think that is everything. Sorry for the long email, but I did searches on the FAQ about fin rot, white mouth, & Lymphocystis couldn't find the help I needed. Thanks, Jeri <No worries re length. State what you think is important (you have done this well). Please start reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm to gain an understanding, more holistic view of what "disease" is... then here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/index.htm for the linked FAQs files above on Centropyge "Systems", "Disease/Health", and "Feeding". Bob Fenner>
Re: Possible fin or tail rot?  9/8/05
Thanks for great advice. I will start raising the salinity slowly. There is one sore on his back that seems to be open and I can see some pink. It is where the largest white spot was. I know you said to improve environment, but would he benefit from PolyAqua? That was recommended from LFS and to improve his environment. <The PolyAqua will not improve the environment or benefit this fish> We are looking to get more live rock for the tank. Also I have heard about putting small pieces of Live Rock in the wet/dry instead of bio balls. Does that really work to keep the system clean? <Yes...> I had no idea that our tank would be too small for this fish. <You can read re... on WWM, books> I don't know what some LFS are doing. You ask for advice and assume it will be good. <My real "advice" is assume nothing in this world indefinitively> Glad I found you all here to double and triple check any other advice I get. We are saving up to buy a Tenecor Marine ready 150 gal tank. We may be buying sooner than we thought. I will check out the articles/FAQs that you recommended. Thanks! <Real good. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Possible fin or tail rot?  9/8/05
This morning the Coral Beauty is not eating, breathing very hard, laying vertical against a rock, and letting the hermit crabs & emerald crabs eat away at his fins. He is swimming into them and staying there like they are cleaner shrimps. Water parameters all same except temp is 78 and salinity is about 1.023. Clowns are eating and doing well.   <...> We are going to remove him from the tank so the crabs can't do anymore damage. What else can we do for him? Jeri <... read... what is your take on the size, type, quality of habitat... its suitability for this species? Bob Fenner>
Re: Possible fin or tail rot?  9/8/05
Our LFS has been testing our water quality every time we are there. They do not sell fish to people with unsafe water conditions. I was told by them and from things we have read that 40ppm nitrates is not toxic. <Depending on the "cause/s" of nitrate accumulation... In general, more than 20 ppm. is to be avoided...> We are trying to improve the water quality by adding more live rock, on the recommendation of WWM. <Good... takes time> I had read that dwarf angels need to be in at least 30gal tanks. <Only the "dwarf dwarfs" can be housed in such small quarters... most Centropyge require a minimum of sixty uncrowded gallons (not tank size, volume of water) for one specimen... Others here would say one hundred gallons> 1 angel per 50 gal of water because they can be aggressive toward each other (even when they have lots of room). They like to eat off of live rock. They are not the hardiest of fish, but not the most sensitive angel. <Yes> It was my understanding that he would do fine in our tank as long as we didn't overstock it. We were told that we would not have a problem with the 2 clowns and the Coral Beauty outgrowing the tank. And like I mentioned earlier we are looking to get a much larger tank by the time these fish are full size. <Need it now> We are trying to make more informed decisions by using all different types of references. A lot of the information we are receiving contradicts each other and as a saltwater novice it's hard to figure out what is best. We are doing the best we can and are not purposely setting out to kill fish, as that would be a very expensive & cruel hobby. <Agreed> I do thank you for all of your help and will continue to read your site and learn as much as I can. Thanks, Jeri <Jeri, it may seem self-serving, but I encourage you to "step back" here, read a "complete" book on marine aquarium keeping to gain a firm overall understanding, basis. I encourage you to visit your local library, check out what they have. I will state that I am the author of one of these works, "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist"... Bob Fenner>

Ailing angel 3/22/04 Hi!  Thank you so much for all of your helpful info--you guys are the greatest! <Glad to be of help!> We have a 20 gal reef tank (I know, very small for beginners) that we have had running nicely for the past 4 months. We have had an ornate goby for the last 2 months (very healthy) and just last week we introduced a Centropyge tibicen (keyhole pygmy angel) into the tank.  He looked fine when we first got him in the evening--exploring the caves, etc.  The next morning we noticed some cloudy eye, but he was feisty enough not to be caught for quarantining.  He ate some food, too.  On the third day, we couldn't find him.  When we put some food in, he came out of a deep hole in the rock and his eye was awful.  It was really swollen and white.  He went right back in his hole.  Now it's two days later and he won't come out at all.  We fear that he died in there and we won't be able to get him out without disturbing the whole tank.  The hole is pretty small. <I wouldn't tear the whole tank apart.  The fish may still be alive and may pull through.  If it is dead or does die, you should have enough "clean up" critters to take care of the body.  This experience underscores the importance of quarantine!> We have a serpent star, many hermit crabs, a small emerald crab, and a coral shrimp.  None of them are going in the hole to eat the fish yet, so he may still be alive. <This may be the case, or they may be waiting for the cover of darkness.> I worry about a dead fish polluting the water in our teeny tank.  Would extra hermits help if it appears that he is dead, or can we hope that he is just trying to heal in there and will eventually come out?  Thank you so much!  Jennifer and Ron <The fish may still be alive and hiding out, or it could be dead and already "cleaned up".  I am not a fan of any crabs in reef tanks, including hermits, so I certainly wouldn't add more.  If you did, they would need a continuous supply of food after the fish was gone.  A well established tank will handle the bioload of one dead fish just fine.  Best Regards.  Adam>

Environmental Problem, Or Disease? Hi! <Hi there! Scott F. here today> We have a sick Flame Angel and were hoping for some help. We've been looking through the Q&A and can find some similarities, but nothing that seems to fit all of them and was hoping you could help us. <I'll do my best!> We've had the tank up and running for over a year and we've had "Flamey" for about 6 months.  About a week ago, he stopped eating. Someone said to try feeding him something else, so we tried brine shrimp and he wasn't even the least bit interested.  He pretty much stays in one part of the 30 gallon tank. The very tips of his fins look a just a little straggly and  he's gotten very pale the past 2 days. Today I noticed that he's starting to twitch and swim a little erratically. I can't find anything on him (spots, fuzzy stuff.. etc). We've done 2 water changes in the past 5 days. When I checked the water today the nitrates were at about 20. The ammonium tests showed .5 on one and 1.0 on the other (I ran 2 different tests - one with a strip and one with adding drops) so I added some ammolock2 to the water. <Well, detectable ammonia levels are definitely problematic, and almost certainly contributed to the fish's difficulties> Any insight that you can give to help out our little guy would be great (we and his yellow tang buddy will be really upset if we lose him!) Thanks so much! Joanne and John <Well, guys- I think that a large part of the problem is the detectable ammonia level in the system. Erratic behaviour and damaged fins are often a sign of metabolite poisoning. I'd execute some water changes with quality source water. However, more importantly, I'd look for the source of the ammonia. and correct it immediately. In the absence of other symptoms, I'll bet that some husbandry adjustments (i.e.; stepped-up water changes, use of chemical filtration media, aggressive protein skimming, etc.) can make all the difference here. Do continue to observe the fish carefully, and run regular water tests to monitor your progress. I think that you'll see a difference after a week or so. However, make sure that you stay vigilant for possible disease symptoms, just in case. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Nagging Nitrite and Nasty Disease! Hi there <Hello. Scott F. with you today> My problem is this: I have a bicolor angel that does not really want to eat anything except pick at urchins. I have had it for 2 weeks and it developed a hazy eye which returned to normal, but it was constantly scratching on the substrate but without any spots. This morning it is in bad shape as it has spots and sometimes lies on its side. <Sounds like it could be either Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium. Both of these require immediate attention and a course of treatment with a proven medication to affect a cure. Amyloodinium is fatal if left untreated, so do diagnose and act quickly. Much is written on identifying and treating these maladies on the WWM site> The 3 Marley Butterflies have also contracted it but are eating ok. I have started using TetraMedica in the main tank but how often do I use it? <Not familiar with this product, but I will definitely recommend that you do not dose in the medicate tank! Use a separate container or aquarium for treatment.> The anemone does not like this medication either, since it is closed ever since. <Another example why you should not medicate in the display!> Sorry, no quarantine tank yet, but am getting one. <Glad to hear that! it will make your hobby much easier!> Also added Red Sea vitamin supplement to try and boost the angel. On another note, my nitrite never seem to be 0. <Not good at all! Nitrite should be undetectable in an established tank. This is definitely a potential cause of stress for your fishes, which can lead to vulnerability to disease. Is this tank fully cycled? Do look for a cause and take corrective measures as soon as possible!> The tank has been running for 8 months with 2 powerheads of which one has a canister type attachment to it, the other one drive the Jebo skimmer and an Aquaclear 300. The tank is 55 gallons, with 1 Brown Tang, 1 Bicolor Angel, 1 common clown, 2 anemone, 1 Dragon Wrasse, 1 indigenous finger fin, 3 Marley Butterfly, 2 sea apples, sea star< 20cm diameter). <Wow! That's a lot of bioload for this sized tank. Do consider a larger tank, or giving some of the animals away. Th overcrowding could explain a number of the problems that you've been having...> Nitrite test is always lightly pink, and sometimes darker. Can u please reply to this e-mail address Thanks, Archie <Well, Archie- I think that the immediate problem is getting the sick fish diagnosed and treated properly. Then, you need to re-examine your stocking level in the tank. It seems fairly apparent that something is out of line here with the bioload. Do a little research and revise this fish population. Also, re-visit your husbandry techniques (water changes, etc.) to get an idea what has caused this constant nitrite reading. With a little homework and prompt action, you could get this tank back to normal soon. Good luck! regards, Scott F>

Disease or parasite on a Keyhole Angel Hi Bob, I'm hoping you may be able to provide some insight here to my sketchy description. I have a 12 Eclipse tank set up in my office, containing 2 ocellaris clowns, a 6 line wrasse and a keyhole angel, <This tank is too small for this species> a cleaner shrimp, and approximately 10 lbs of live rock. The tank has been set up for approximately 1.5 months. My specific gravity is about 1.24. I do weekly water changes using water from my reef tank at home of 1 gallon per week. All of the fish, aside from the angel are healthy to the eye, and all fish including the angel are active and take food normally. The problem with the angel (I believe we've had him for 4 weeks) seems to be restricted to his mouth. The mouth appears to be "corroded" and white. It does not seem to be cottony. The mouth appears to always be open - I'm not sure if this is normal for a Keyhole angel since I've never kept one before. He does seem to eat normally and does not seem undernourished. I feed the fish OSI marine flake food, and put in a strip of seaweed selects (green) once or twice a week. The condition seems to vary, I honestly can't remember if there was any trace when we got the fish, but last week it seemed to be lessening, while this week it appears to be as bad as ever. <Hmm, this specimen may have some sort of genetic defect... or more likely issues continuing with damage... collecting/shipping or from physical trauma in the tank... with infection waxing/waning> Any ideas as to what may be going on here? And what would you recommend for treatment? Having the shrimp and liverock there, I assume my options will be limited without a hospital tank. Thanks, Rich Scheulen <Really... to trade/return this fish, and pick out something more suitable for your size/shape system. There are many choices... perhaps an Engineer Goby? Comical and intelligent... Bob Fenner>
Re: disease or parasite on a Keyhole Angel
Hi Bob, Thanks for the quick response. I have to take the blame for the fish being in the tank - the guy I share the office with jumped the gun and bought the fish because it looked cool, and I guess I didn't stress not buying things without checking with me first. Anyway, I'm wondering about the possibility of transferring the fish into my tank at home. The problem of course is that I do have a number of corals in the tank and am hesitant to risk the Centropyge/coral problem. Is this particular angel a big risk with corals (some polyps, and slipper coral, a disc coral, and a toadstool)?  <Small risk... maybe 10-20 percent chance of some nibbling in your scenario> And do you think the fish is a disease risk in my tank (75 gallons)? Any treatment if I do go ahead with this idea? <Perhaps a dip/bath in transit. Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm> As long as I've got your ear, I want to run 1 more thing past you. I have a slipper coral in my tank as well as 2 ocellaris clowns (in the 75 gallon tank, that is). Both have been in there for a good 2 years. Recently one or both of the clowns have been picking at the slipper to the point of it being stripped bare on one portion of the coral. I don't have an anemone for the clowns, but they've bonded with a nice sized conch shell that I have in the tank - the coral is fairly close to their shell. I've been thinking of buying a bubble anemone in hopes of distracting the clowns (that's all I can think of). Do you have any possible explanations or suggestions? <I'd move the Fungiid> Thanks a lot, and sorry to take so much of your time.-Rich <No worries my friend. Bob Fenner>

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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