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FAQs on Centropyge Angelfishes Nutritional 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, Environmental, 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,

Copper exposure typically results in non-feeding

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

Multicolor Angel and Ich 09/29/10
Hello All,
I've had a small multicolor angel (not quite two inches) in quarantine for 2 1/2 weeks. She is only picking at my rotation of food (Mysis shrimp, bloodworms, spectrum pellets, Cyclop-eeze, and a frozen herbivore preparation),
<Very typical>
but looking at the "kissing marks" on the decor and glass, I'm assuming substantial nutrition is coming from the diatoms/algae.
<And what's associated with them>
The good news here is that she is active in a normal dwarf angel way (darting in and out of hiding, curious- but cautious when I'm around the tank). Her eyes are clear, her belly is round and her feces are dark green and seen on a regular basis. She has one tank mate in quarantine, an orchid Dottyback destined for another tank.
The problem is that two days ago I saw her "scratch" twice and then go about her business.
Tonight I noticed three salt grain spots on various spots on her fins.
(The Dottyback has no sign of infection, yet.) After 12 years in the hobby, my gut is saying these are Ich spots, but for better or for worse I've never had to treat an angel for Ich. After looking through the FAQ, it sounds like there are many different opinions about how to proceed now.
I am particularly concerned that the angel is dependent to a high degree on foraging on the liverock and diatoms/algae and that chemical use would take away this food source.

The quarantine tank is 25 gallons, bare bottom, with two pieces of liverock for grazing, and some plastic hidey holes. I have two little hang on filters and a Prizm skimmer going. I do have a second potential quarantine tank (30 gallons) which has its own heater, but no filter or skimmer. I have about 15 gallons of pre-made salt water on stand by. FWIW, my display tank is a 46 gallon low light reef.
Considering the small size of this angel and dwarf angels sensitivity to chemicals, I would appreciate any and all advice.
My thanks in advance-Tricia
<I am inclined with small Angels (of size, not necessarily species), to especially be careful re the use of toxic medications... IF anything, I might use Chloroquine Phosphate (one dose) on/with this fish... but am more likely (if this were my own situation) to just do a cursory pH-adjusted freshwater bath (likely w/o any additional chemical presence) and place this fish in your main display. Yes, there is a risk (always) of spreading Cryptocaryon... but there is a very good chance that your and almost everyone's systems have resident crypt infestations (already). Bob Fenner>
Re: Multicolor Angel and Ich   10/28/10

Mr. Fenner (and crew),
I just wanted to give a short update. The multi-color angel is fairing well. The Ich did make it through the dip, so I decided to add a cleaner goby to help things out. The angel and goby found each other in about a week. Since then the Ich on the angel has decreased to the point that I can't see any more spots. The goby is also cleaning the wrasse on occasion, but I haven't seen any spots on the wrasse or the Firefish.
Everyone is eating well and no one is scratching (though the goby is growing quite fast!).
I am hopeful that my tank has reached "balance" with the Ich. I guess time will tell.
Thank you again for your advice-Tricia
<Thank you for this report Tricia. I do agree with the sentiment and hope expressed therein. BobF>

Bicolor Angelfish issue.. Feeding, QT too small.   3/17/10
<Hello Tyler>
I bought a Bicolor Angelfish from a reputable LFS three days ago.
I have placed (her, I think), in a 10 gallon quarantine tank.
<Too small>

This QT has been up for three weeks, with water from the main 120 gallon reef. They are not plumbed together. In the QT I have a small amount of sand, a few small pieces of live rock, and a frag of Trumpet Coral, Star Polyps, and a Tubeworm. These are there to test potential 'reef-safe-ness'.
<Good practice, but you will have problems here>
The problem is that this fish refuses to eat.
<Did it eat in the shop? Essential that you buy this fish already feeding, as this is a difficult fish. Have you read here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/c_bicolor.htm>
It is from all appearances in great shape- it swims constantly, all around, bothered a little by its reflection in the glass. Nevertheless, it just won't touch anything.
<It is not likely to in this setting>
I've tried 3 varieties of frozen food (2 Rods, one homemade gumbo), many more dry foods as well, I'm using garlic, and I hang small algae sheets in the corner of the tank.
<This fish needs live rock to pick on, and in which to hide. It will not feed if it does not feel secure, which is impossible in such a small setting>

I've read all the FAQ's on WWM I could find about this, but I'm bothered that I never hear how the suggestions end up working out.
<Have you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dwfangfdgfaqs.htm>
What am I doing wrong??
<The setting is too small. If you are going to try to tackle a difficult fish like this, AND keep good quarantine protocols, then you needed to have ready a much bigger QT system for it, with good live rock for it to graze. If you can't provide this then you will need to move this fish prematurely (after a week or so) to the main system, with all the risks that this action brings>
Isn't there something this fish can't resist?
<Not prepared or frozen, no>
I'd appreciate any help you could provide.
<No problem>
Tyler Smith

Sick angel... C. argi  10/16/07 HI, I have a 55 gallon tank with two O. clowns, one yellow goby, one royal Gramma, and a cherub angel. About a week ago, the angel stopped eating, and his fins became ragged and frayed looking. <Mmm, maybe the Gramma...> I put him in quarantine, where I noticed one of his eyes was bulging. I have been searching and asking everywhere for help, and a few sources said he has fin and tail rot and to treat him with Maracyn. <Mmm, no> However, I do not think that is what he has. His eye bulged for only one day, but is now back to normal. I am almost certain he is blind, He swims in circles all day long occasionally bumping into things, and he will not eat at all. I have tried holding food right up to him but I get no response. He has not eaten in almost 7 days, and I am really worried about him. Should I use the Maracyn? I don't think it will help, but I just don't know Charlene <Does the system afford sufficient dark areas for this little Centropyge to get out of the light? What foods, supplements have you been offering? If this fish is still feeding, I would try Selcon, and Spectrum pelleted food of sufficiently small diameter. Bob Fenner>
Re: sick angel, blind C. argi  10/16/07
Hi, Thank you for responding to me! I submitted the question about my sick Cherub, who I think is blind. The main system is set up with about 30 pounds of live rock, with some pieces of base rock arranged so there is many crooks, crannies, and caves. The angel really loved swimming through them, and the tank is taller rather then wider. I have been feeding him a variety of Mysis shrimp, pygmy angel formula from ocean nutrition, frozen emerald entree, and ocean nutrition green marine algae, which I would hang on the wall. Now that he is in quarantine, he is not eating at all, at least that I have seen. It has been 13 days now that I have last seen him eat. He swims from one side of the tank to the other almost without stop until the lights go out and then he goes over to one corner and turns almost completely white in color. I have added nothing to the hospital tank but vitamins (vita chem) and a little bit of Entice to his food (which has no effect) I have also been doing bi-weekly, small water changes to keep the water quality clean. Ph- 8.4, nitrates-o nitrites-o temp 78 SG 1.023 Is there anything else I can do for my little fish? <Mmm, perhaps a deficiency syndrome still...> Thank you, Charlene (do fish ever regain lost eyesight?) <Yes. Do keep trying the supplementation to foods. Bob Fenner>

Coral Beauty Dx HLLE Rx multiple approaches   1/6/07 Hello Everyone, <Hi Carol, Mich with you today.> I just came across your website tonight and thought you might be able to help.  I have had my Coral Beauty Angel for about 6 months now.  Right after I got it, the new Flame Angel got pop-eye and while treating for pop-eye the Blue Tang got Ich.   <Are you familiar with quarantine procedures?  If not please read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm  > Over the course of the next few weeks we lost several fish. <Sorry for your loses.> I got the tank, treatments and fish under control and have looking good water-wise for about 3 months.  The only problem left now is with my Coral Beauty.  At the end of the Ich, when the other fish either died or got better, it developed white divots around its eyes and down either side of its body.  His appetite and behavior has not changed.  It seems perfectly healthy, except for these divots.  I have asked 3 saltwater fish stores in my area and no body has heard of anything likes this.  Can you tell me what it might be and what I can do to get my fish beautiful again?   <Does look like HLLE Head and Lateral Line Erosion.  Is common in tangs and angels.  HLLE is linked with poor water quality, nutritional deficiencies, and the protozoan Octamita (Hexamita necatrix.  "Stray voltage" has also been anecdotally associated with HLLE.  To try to improve the health of your beauty, you will want to make sure you are keeping on top of you water changes, make sure your tank is grounded, to eliminate any stray voltage, and try supplementing your feedings with a vitamin supplement  (vitamin C and vitamin D especially) such as Selcon.   Steamed broccoli has also been used to successfully treat HLLE.  You can also read more here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm and here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs2.htm and here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs3.htm > My tank is a 75 gallon fish only that has been set up for 3 years. Thank you for all your help and time, <Hope this gives you a place to start.  Good luck!  -Mich> Carol

Sick Coral Beauty  9/19/05 Hi Guys <How goes it?> I kinda feel guilty having to bother you, but I have a Coral Beauty in need. <Not a problem, that's why we volunteer :)> I have a 20 gallon tank (a little small) with two protein skimmers, both for 60 gallon tanks and I'm using carbon and Poly Filter with 20-25% water changes weekly. <Sounds good> The water is 78 F, S.G. 1.024 , ph 8.2 , ammonia  0, nitrite 0, nitrate 0-5. <All good> The animals are 1-Coral Beauty (Sunrise), 1-Black Clown (Dab), 1-Banded Shrimp (Aunt Tennay), 1-Turbo Snail (Wetfoot). I've had them for a little more than a year. I was feeding Brine shrimp with Spirulina almost exclusively (my mistake I think). <Not nearly varied enough, and brine shrimp do not provide much nutritional value> I'm now feeding seaweed (red and green), Spectrum dry, an omnivorous and an Angel formula with sponge in it. <Great!> Sunrise has fading color to the point of spottiness in places, lightly tattered fins and has done some twitching and scraping, is losing his appetite and hides too much now. The quarantine tank is ready but I can't figure out if I should use it or what I would do if I did. <Keep up the varied diet...try to get a hold of some live Mysid shrimp (www.Reed Mariculture.com is a great source of live foods of all types) to feed Sunrise as well.  Don't make the move to a quarantine tank until you can positively identify a disease.  This will hopefully work itself out.  Everything else you're doing is fine, so for now it's just wait and see> Thanks for any help you can offer. <Anytime> James <Michael Maddox>

New Angel- Old Problem? (Encouraging A New Fish To Feed) To the crew, <Scott F. your Crew Member today!> Hey guys...first of all thanks for your help in the past.  I have a new problem.  I recently bought a Bicolor Angel and put him into a quarantine tank for observation before putting him into my main tank.  He has been in there for 5 days and this morning I noticed some orange spots on his body (none on his fins). From what I have read on your site and in some books, it sounds like a bacterial infection. <I'm not so sure...I've seen this before on this fish and Lemonpeel Angels without incident, so I'd observe for a while before embarking on a course of medical intervention.> I got him some Green Marine Algae sheets from Ocean Nutrition and some Spirulina 20 flakes from Aquatrol. He has been active, but I haven't seen him really eat since I put him in quarantine. <Not totally uncommon with this species. They can be a bit finicky at first. I'd recommend trying a more varied diet of items such as Mysis, some of the "Formula" foods from Ocean Nutrition, or even some enriched frozen brine shrimp, just to tempt him into eating. Also, placing a well-encrusted piece of live rock from your system may provide the fish some natural foraging, and may stimulate his appetite. If it's getting to be "desperation time", as far as getting the fish to eat, you may want to dose some aquarium vitamins, such as Boyd's Vita Chem, right into the water to give him some nutrition (Follow manufacturer's dosage recommendations, and maintain excellent water quality while using vitamins).> He is in the tank with a damsel and they seem to be getting along fine. Water quality seems good...0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, 30ppm Nitrates, and 8.4 pH.  Does this sound like a bacterial infection?  Could it have been caused by the Nitrates? What meds should I use?  Thanks! Mark <I doubt that the nitrates are an issue at this juncture. While I suppose it is possible that the fish could have some sort of infection, if the fish appears otherwise healthy, I would hold on medical intervention. More important to me is to get the fish eating as quickly as possible. My personal mantra of "a fish that eats is a fish that lives" applies here. If you can get him eating, that's half the battle. Should this turn out to be a medical issue, it will be relatively easy to treat with antibiotics, but only if absolutely necessary...Get this guy eating ASAP! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Flame Angel Flashing 7/29/04 Hey guys, <Hi Nathan, MacL here with you tonight> I have a Flame Angel that is flashing on some PVC pipe. I have never seen him flash or rub himself on anything else such as the rocks, fake corals or gravel.  He has no spots and no apparent problems. <Sounds like something is bothering his gills though. Is your tank a reef tank or a fish only tank? If reef you might want to invest in a neon goby or a cleaner shrimp.> He is eating well. Could he be rubbing on the PVC pipe because it is soft and a little slimy and feels good or do you think he has a disease? <I think something is irritating him for him to be rubbing.> What do you think?  Water conditions are immaculate. No Ammonia or Nitrites and Nitrates are below 5.<I got to say I'd prefer nitrates at 0.> Temp., salinity and PH good. I feed 80% my home brew frozen food from Bob's book of Spirulina, Green Algae, Zo? And a mix of Shrimp, Mussels, Squid and Scallops and 20% Algae, Formula 1 and 2 and Spirulina Flakes soaked in Zo? Is Spirulina good for Tangs and Angels? <Yes but angels do need some sponge in their diet as well. There are some good angel mixes.> Not as a primary food especially for Angels, but as a supplement especially when soaked in vitamins? I thought the ingredients of what is the name of that flake food that is made in Alaska, big company I am sure you know the name, herbivore looks good. What do you think? The first ingredient is Kelp and the second is Spirulina and then Salmon, and other fish. Is Kelp good for Tangs? <Yes, but so is the Nori you get in a Chinese store same thing much better price.> Is this a good supplemental food to go along with my home brew? <Yes but I would invest in some frozen foods with some sponge in them.>

- Flame Angel Issues -  Hi  My flame angel just came with this disease today. Can you identify it for me and suggestions on how to treat it, please. <Hmm... the picture is just blurry enough that I can't be 100% sure what that is. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say that it's probably Lymphocystis - a viral condition that comes and goes on its own. There is no treatment.> I have had him for about 6 months. Thanks in advance. <Keep on eye on the fish... as long as it's eating and otherwise doing fine, I wouldn't be too concerned.>  Gaurav  <Cheers, J -- > 
- Flame Angel Quarantine -
  Hi again,  Last question on the flame. She has been in the q tank for about 3 weeks w/no sign of infection for a week. She is still not eating. <Has the fish also not been eating for three weeks?> I was wondering if it would be ok to put her back in the main tank so she could feed off the live rock, I have tried all the normal food stuffs (Nori, Mysis, brine etc.) but she won't even look at it. <I would go ahead an place this fish - perhaps a ph-adjusted, freshwater dip before you make the move.> Any ideas would be great. <Hmm... if you can get your hands on the TMC Gamma frozen foods in your area, seek out their whole cockles in the shell. More often than not, one of these thawed out and cracked open is hard to resist for most any fish.> Thanks  <Cheers, J -- > 
- Flame Angel Quarantine, Follow-up - 
Yes, She had not eaten in three weeks. <Amazing... would not have predicted this fish could last so long.> I transferred her back into the main tank. She had a rough bought w/Brooklynella (sp) (lost an eye, wouldn't eat for 3 weeks, secondary fungal infection, lost most of her fins, and lost almost all her color). <You didn't tell this part of the story before... this explains a lot.> The color has returned and she ate 4 brine shrimp tonight (hard to get food past a dwarf lion that even eats flake food!!!) <Oh... no good. A one eyed fish should be in a peaceful tank without competition, or better yet with other one eyed fish.> I wonder if the loss of the eye will effect the way she eats?? <Oh for certain, the flame angel is now at a severe disadvantage.> She seemed to be missing them as they float by.  Maybe she needs to adjust to one eye or maybe too weak, time will tell. <Indeed.>  Thanks for all your help,  <Cheers, J -- > 
- Flame Angel Quarantine, Postscript - 
Also we do not have TMC Gamma food out here. Any other ideas???  Thanks  <Yeah, whole mussels in the shell. Just crack them open... but, you're going to have a hard time sneaking them past that lion. You really should reconsider your livestock list if you're going to care for this one eyed fish.  Cheers, J -- > 

New Coral Beauty Angelfish I brought home a coral beauty a day or two ago and I have him quarantined. <Good idea.> He has not eat any Mysis shrimp as of yet so he has me a bit worried. I was doing some reading and I came across this: "Dwarf angels are susceptible to the common parasitic scourges of Ich (Cryptocaryon), and velvet disease (Amyloodinium), and unfortunately sensitive to conventional treatment (copper with or w/o formalin formulations). " My angel doesn't appear to have a disease but I do maintain a small amount of copper in my tank to remove any disease on his body or anything that could infect my main tank. He has no problems other than not eating. My quarantine tank doesn't quite have the macro/micro algae growth that my main tank does so I was hoping he would get by on Mysis until introduction into the main tank. Should I be worried, remove the copper by doing a massive water change, or is his not eating just from being new? I've always read not to be worried if your fish doesn't eat for a day or two. but in my own short-lived personal experience I've never had a fish not eat after the first 24 hours. (notice I prefaced it with short-lived.) <I always recommend that people quarantine their new fish and perform daily, small water changes (10% everyday for the two to three weeks of quarantine. This helps to promote the fish's immune system and helps to remove any parasites. I would start doing this now and allow the copper levels to diminish. -Steven Pro> thanks for the help!!

Centropyge Angel Concern  Yo... would it be Anthony, Steve Pro or Bob?   <Oh wise Web publishing Garoo... you have Anthony Calfo here by the grace of your guidance and instruction (smile)>  I have a potters which has been in quarantine now for about a month,  <bless you for the discipline to run a full quarantine!>  and is a very enthusiastic eater. Anyway... this morning, it's quite faded... but still excited to eat and doing normal things around the tank. Water checked out normal. Given their propensity to crap-out before your eyes, I am concerned... any thoughts as to what this might be?  <singularly, the symptom on this fish that has demonstrated stability and acclimation otherwise is no cause for concern yet>  I've always though fading was either age and nutrition induced, or signs of impending doom.  <the former certainly not applicable with consideration for the short time that you've had it since import, the latter always a possibility for the very same reason>  I suppose attitude/psyche could be another. He's got a cleaner shrimp as tank-buddy, should I get him something else to interact with?  <if it was me... dancing girls would make me feel better. For your angelfish however, the suggestion of dither fish could be helpful but not recommended with due caution on the chance that we could be looking at a pre-curser to a pathogenic condition (although unlikely in my opinion)>  Thoughts?  <No worries yet... I'd suggest an observation period (3-5 days) looking for any evidence of repetitive or escalating symptoms. A fish that has gone through a month of quarantine, eats very well and shows now other or pathogenic symptoms should not be subjected to non-specific, prophylactic medication for example. It would not serve the greater good. Keep us posted>  Thanks. J -- <truly...thank you sir for the excellent education. We're carrying on smoothly, I believe, thanks to you. I may join up with you in San Diego later too... what dates are you and Zo going? Anthony> 
[regarding Centropyge fading]
Follow-up Uggh... doesn't look good. I guess it's good he's been eating for the month because I do believe we're about to "go through it" He was in his den this morning, chillin' which is abnormal - very gregarious most times. On observation from the opposite side, the fading was more pronounced and one of the fins looking ragged, eyes are quite clear and he is alert, albeit subdued, and perhaps a little bit of slime-coat slough-off?? Only guess on the fin was perhaps a run-in with the intake of the trickle filter... nothing else in that tank but a cleaner shrimp and [well inspected, quarantined] live rock. So... amazingly enough, decided to come out and eat/nibble - didn't feed very heavily, but it certainly had the energy to get around the tank for food vs. swim and sink, swim and fall over. Tossed in some live macro from one of the fuges as a day-nibble, see if that is interesting to it... not interested in the live rock fauna that is there it would seem. So... I have an idle 25w UV I can bring to bear on the system, but I'm thinking it might be a too-little, too-late type augment.  <agreed... but for posterity, perhaps add it anyway> In any case, will be stopping by HD on the way home to get some tubing and clamps so I can get this moving... anything else? Eye of newt? Will also be doing a double check on the water chem. tonight.  Cheers, J <bummer dude (my professional and technical opinion in a nut shell)... furthermore, please evaluate the fish head-on (narrow view, face-to face) and tell us if you are seeing any irregular or asymmetrical respiration: either gill closed or favored while the other pumps? seem faster than normal.  (say...1/sec)? any sloughing from gills? We're looking for evidence of parasitic organisms. Bacterial infection seems highly unlikely after a month of demonstrated good behavior in good water quality. Unfortunately, you may realize why a full thirty days is necessary for screen for disease... day 29 does not mean home free. Very sorry and hoping for the best. Again...keep us posted please. Anthony>

Lemon peel angelfish Hi, I have a 3 month old 50 gal reef tank. I recently purchased a Lemonpeel angel fish to add to my 3 other clown fish. They all seem to be getting along, however I never see the angel eating the frozen shrimp that is fed to the other fish. I bought some formula one today and it seemed to begin to peck at it. However, the thing that concerns me the most is that the angel has developed black areas around its eyes, and a small red bump right in the middle of his side. <Not good signs...> I will get another water check soon, however my last one indicated that my water is in good condition. My temp is ~79 and salinity is 1.023 at that temp. Any ideas or suggestions? The behaviour of the fish is the same as always, no scratching or anything like that. <Still... I would try expanding the food menu, using some types of algae (live, prepared), add a vitamin prep. directly to the water about once a month. Hopefully this specimen will rally. Please do read through the various FAQs on the genus Centropyge posted on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com... sometimes this species turns around... and is best kept in this sort of setting... though a larger system would be a plus.> Thanks, Deniz <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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