Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs on Centropyge Angelfishes Social 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, Nutritional, 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,

Beware of aggressive shrimps, cleaner and otherwise

Nothing can or will substitute for your careful observation of your livestock

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

Sick angelfish Centropyge flavicauda    2/8/14
Hi crew,
I'm in need of help! I've had my 300l tank for a year and a half.  In my tank is a red lawnmower blenny, a mandarin, the angelfish, a cleaner shrimp, two blue sea urchins and a few hermits and snails.  The angelfish was quite shy and retiring from the start,
<Very typical for the genus in the wild>
 which surprised me as a friend has one that patrols the rocks boldly. 
Mine found every nook and cranny to hide in.
<What they do>
  It looked healthy upon purchase and seemed fine.  However, after a few weeks I noticed the fins were getting a bit ragged.  There was no white edging, just raggedy fins.  It has now for the last twenty four hours been swimming at a strange angle, head tilted up toward the surface and has tried to leap a couple of times too.  The other fish show no signs of distress.  
What is wrong with him?  Any ideas?
<Mmm, my bet is on it having a tussle, perhaps eating some "things" like Bristleworms... I'd do a bit of random baited "fishing/trapping" here.
Read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/polychaewmcompfaq2.htm
Thank you
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

my angel fish keep dying please help me   12/5/12
... hey ... i just started  the saltwater world and i think i am about to go back to the freshwater world because of my tragedies.. for some reason my angel fish keep dying. Here's a rundown of my tank .. I have a 55 gallon long tank. plenty of cured live rock.. 1 sailfin tang,
<Mmm, really needs more room than this; this Zebrasoma gets very large given time; and can be/come quite aggressive toward fish tankmates>>

 1 black clown fish and 2 snails, 1 is a turbo snail, the other a zebra turbo snail. i have a heater that keeps the water around 74-78 degrees, i have 3 power heads, 2 - 275mph and 1 950 mph .. all positioned in different parts of the tank.
My tank has been running for about 2 months now.
<This is actually a very short period of time... the system is only just beginning to stabilize>

algae has been growing on the live rocks and spots around the tank. I have went through 3 angel fish, and they all had the same fate - they come into the tank and die after 3 days of being in there. I did not add all 3 at the same time, i only put one in and when that one died, i get another. i went through 1 coral beauty and 2 flame angels.
<And these Centropyge require more space as well really... A 55 of four foot length is just too narrow to give them "depth"
to feel comfortable. IF you're interested in keeping Pomacanthids in such a size/shape volume, I encourage you to consider the "dwarf dwarf" Centropyge species. Read here
re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dwfdwfangels.htm
I have been going to the fish store out in Latham, ny "Eddie's Aquarium" and they cure their fish and quarantine them (i believe) upon selling them.
The angel fish will usually do the same thing, swim in the tank - go into the castle and wont come out, to eat or anything, may poke its head out every now and then but does not want to come out.
i have a salt water test kit and i have been testing my water before i get them and during the time i will put it in my tank. even the fish store says i am doing well and they can't find out whats wrong. here are my readings always.
ph - 8.2
am - 0
NA - 10
NI - 00
Salinity - 1.024
i don't want to give up but these things are expensive. please help
<Read for now; and let your system age a few more months... Bob Fenner>
Re: my angel fish keep dying please help me   12/5/12

I did notice my sailfin tang being quite aggressive to the new angel fish i would place into the tank. do you think this is the reason why they were dying off quickly because of the stress of the new environment and being chased around time to time?
<Mmm, likely a contributing cause>
 I decided i am going to give in my sailfin tang today and get a dwarf angel .. so it will just be the dwarf angel and the clown fish and the two snails.. i can monitor the tank for now and maybe around or end of January, beginning of February i can add a wrasse? and a fire shrimp? is this okay or too quick for that time frame?
<Keep reading; and using a grammar checker! BobF>

The mystery of the disappearing Colini Angel   11/19/06 Hi crew, I have really enjoyed reading through your website- which has provided a huge host of information for us relative newcomers to the hobby. So a big thank you for all you do. <Welcome> I have a 6-month old reef system: 450litres (120galUS) 70kg (154lbs) live rock with a reasonable amount of growth of stuff on them. 3 x 150Watt MH 14000K bulbs 2 x actinic blue tubes V2Skim 1200 Protein skimmer Large canister filter with ceramic discs Heater (calcium reactor on its way) Parameters: SG 1.023 Temp 25degC Ammonia/nitrites nil Nitrates 5ppm Ph 8.0-8.1 Calcium 375ppm The tank contains: 2 x Percula Clowns and a poorly but alive BT Anemone (rescued from LFS tank- probably a mistake) 1 x Copper Band Butterfly fish that eats anything and is really a character 1 x Powder Brown Tang A few Emerald Crabs 7-8 Scarlet Hermits 5 x Cleaner Shrimps Turbo Snails Various softies and a few LPS and my trial SPS 12cm Maxima Clam (which is very cool) Derasa Clam 2 x Serpent Stars <Mmm... the chief suspects here> On Monday I saw a 3 1/2" Colini Angel at the LFS and the owner was a little concerned it wasn't eating. <Is a large specimen... too big for collection if I had been in the water> I went home, read up what I could about this rare and difficult fish, then went back to the LFS, took pity on it and took it home. To cut a long story short, I stupidly put it straight into my main tank in the hope it would eat off the LR, which it appeared to do, taking up residence in a small rock cave <Another clue> near the substrate. It was very shy and didn't come out to feed but I thought just give it time and it might become bolder. Anyway, it didn't really explore much. The Copperband was a bit nosey, but didn't hassle it. The Clowns and Tang left it alone completely. I fed it a little with target feeding of a mixture of Mysis, enriched brine shrimp, fresh Nori and angel mix frozen, each morning and evening. I saw it eat some of the food. Unfortunately, the cave then filled up with hermit crabs and the emeralds looking for an easy feed! <Likely so> And now it has completely disappeared. I have dismantled as much of the LR as I can without causing too much damage and stressing the other fish, but it is absolutely nowhere to be seen. I've looked around the tank in case it has jumped. <Good> I've used a torch/flashlight to explore the caves and other hiding places, and it has just gone. Weird and scary. I've never had a disappearing fish before. So, the questions... 1. Do you think it might just be hiding very, very well? <Not likely, but a small possibility> 2. If so, do I need to try to find it, to coax it out to feed? <Mmm, no, I would not... if it's still in there, it will come out when/if it wants to> 3. Could I have a hitchhiker, such as a mantis (if so, it would be the first fish take- but we've had some turbo snails taken- probably by the crabs)? <Yes... though I suspect the Brittlestar/s> 4. If it has died, how essential is it to remove the body from the tank, or will the clean up crew, well, clear it up? <This latter... it's very likely already gone... you might discern a slight "blip" in your measures of nitrogenous metabolites... might not...> Dismantling the LR will be a real drag, as the corals are all Milliputted in. <Like this term> Thanks so much for all you do for us hobbyists! Best wishes, Steve Spicer Milton Keynes, UK <Mmm, please do read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/brittlestarcompfaqs.htm This Centropyge might have perished from "stress" alone... and the consequences would be about the same as you relate... the opportunistic piscivorous invertebrates would consume it, the decomposing microbes in your system do the rest... readily/quickly... Not to worry re chemical, physical consequences in a system of this volume, gear-make-up, maintenance. Bob Fenner>

Dwarf Angel with Rotting Fin Caused by Shrimp? 10/25/05 Hi Everyone, <Hello Casper>  First of all, thanks for the great site, I read it everyday and try my best to follow all the recommendations you all make. First of all I have a Dwarf Flame Angel in a reef tank. He has always been happy and never seems to have a problem. Three days ago I added two Lysmata amboinensis "Skunk Cleaner Shrimp" (?) to the tank.  I was instantly amazed at how the angel reacted and started interacting with the shrimp. He spent the first couple days receiving constant cleaning from the pair. Today when I looked at him, I noticed that one of his side fins was missing about 1/3 of the fin.  The fin does not appear to be diseased as it is very clean looking. The fish is swimming around like nothing is wrong. He is not scratching, eating fine, has no other spots or marks, and this is isolated to only one fin.  Do you think that he is being over cleaned by the shrimp? Could there be some underlying disease that the shrimp are taking care of? Do I need to treat the fish with any medications? I gratefully look forward to any advice you might have.  <Casper, I would let nature take its course. Nothing to be alarmed about, fin will grow back. James (Salty Dog)> 

Unhealthy Coral Beauty I have a 46g perfect water parameters, Knop skimmer, AquaClear 300 filter, power head for extra circulation, 40 pd.s live rock (give/take).  <Just a note for future reference... "perfect water parameters" helps me to solve your problem just about as much as stating that you had beef steak for dinner: Oftentimes the problem lurks in water quality, and goes unnoticed by the fishkeeper. It helps a ton to give actual numbers.> Tank inhabitants: 2 percula clowns, 1 cherub/pygmy angel, 1 coral beauty (angels have been co-habituating for a month - no aggression) 2 cleaner shrimp plus various snails/hermits. The coral beauty has been eating great since his arrival - QT'd a month and in main tank a month. Sunday, I added 3 new fish (had them in qt for 2 weeks): a blackline blenny, bi-color blenny, small yellow goby. The clowns intimidated a little at first, but now all seem to get along well. However, the coral beauty has spent a lot of time with the cleaner shrimp yesterday and today is hiding and not eating. I haven't seen anyone harassing it.. it looks fine, just didn't have ANY interest in feeding today.  <Not a good sign.> It's always been a little shy, should I just wait it out? Or pull it and put in qt? <I would wait it out. A ton of factors could be at play here, and not enough information was given to pinpoint the problem. Do check out our disease pages, they are extremely helpful in identifying such issues. Best of luck, Mike G.>
Unhealthy Coral Beauty - Not Getting the Water Parameters bit: Part II
Definitely something wrong with this fish, it has been lying on the bottom. Tried to net it and move to qt, but it miraculously gets momentum and hides in the rocks... <Sounds like something wrong indeed!> I'd have to dis-assemble my tank to catch it.  Any clue as to why all of a sudden it is declining? <It could be any number of things. Again, please take a peek at our disease pages. Hopefully you will pinpoint the problem there. Mike G>
Unhealthy Coral Beauty - Still Not Getting it: Part III
I am very familiar with the diseases of marine fish, even to the point that I recognize them at my LFS and point them out to the employees. That is why I am stumped as to why I am loosing this fish. It "looks" perfectly normal.  <Aside from the hiding/not eating?> It is not breathing hard. It has always had a hearty appetite. Plus all tank inhabitants are also fine. Perhaps you are as stumped as I.... <Indeed I am.> It is lying on the bottom of the tank wedged in the rocks. I am resigned to the fact that it is on its way out. <I think that is a safe assumption. I am sorry that I cannot be of more assistance, I can't see the fish and, thus, I must rely on text to give me the information I need to know to assess the problem. I wish you and your Coral Beauty the best of luck, my hope is that the angel will recover on its own. Mike G>

Flame Angel Trouble >I recently bought a flame angel (1 week ago).  All was going well until yesterday when the angel started to pale in color.  She is now pretty pale and twitches slightly.   >>The animal sounds very stressed. >I do not have a q-tank (sorry!) and she is in a 30 gal with a dwarf lion and a b/g Chromis.  Please help I do not want to lose this fish.  I did a h2o change last night to try to help.   >>The water change will help.  If you have NO invertebrates in the tank, I would begin dropping the salinity till it gets down to 1.010.  If you can AT ALL, consider getting one of those stackable Rubbermaid tubs, those work GREAT as quarantine systems, just heat, add a sponge filter and go.  In the meantime, watch her, keep her eating, do lots of water changes. >She is eating well with no spots (just pale, slight scratching, and twitching once in a while).  Thanks >>Observe, and do get that tub for the future.  Best of luck.  Marina
Flame Angel BIG Trouble - II
>Flame angle took a turn for the worse.  So I went out and bought a q-tank and all the fixings.  I started a formalin treatment.  She had cloudy eye and severe fin rot.   >>Holy sheet!  This is moving quickly. >After 24 hrs in the tank the cloudy part of the eye fell off leaving a puffy eye with  a grey spot in the middle.   >>Oh man.. >Her overall color is very good.  Will she lose the eye?? >>If I'm understanding what you've described, it sounds as though she's lost the cornea.  I would not expect it to heal up "good as new". >Also, will the fins grow back (how long)?? >>Assuming this disease is under control and then cured, yes, they'll grow back.  How long is dependent upon many factors, though, not the least of which will be nutrition and EXCELLENT water quality.  I would expect, once cured, signs of healing to show within a month.  After that, full regrowth could be anywhere from within a couple of weeks to more than two-three months. >Thanks for you time and help w/the hard lesson about the Q-tank. >>Sage words, let your lesson be learned by others, yeah?  I'm just glad that the fish is still kicking around.  Marina
Flame Angel BIG Trouble - III
>Thanks for the quick response.   >>We do try. >I was just wondering if you thought my treatment was correct.   >>Without actually seeing the animal myself, and knowing that if it IS the result of parasitic infection, knowing that formalin is appropriate for both Ich and Brooklynellosis, my guess is yes. >Also I read to keep the sponge filter in the sump of my reef after the quarantine, but how do you remove the formalin?? >>What is meant by this is that it is good to keep a sponge filter inoculated with bacteria for q/t and hospital systems.  However, you can't just plunk them back in, you'll need to clean them (I, personally, would bleach) well.  In this case I would clean and sterilize, then run for a day or two with freshwater, using your nose to check for any scent of the formalin.  If in doubt, clean it all over again.  Marina

Unwell Bi-Color - 8/23/03 Hi There,  <Hey!  You've reached Phil today!> I searched through your site, but could not find anything regarding my question. <Let's solve this problem!> Here goes:  Just today I notice our Bicolor acting strangely - he would twitch while swimming.  It looks like the same movement as our clowns have when they are "submitting" to each other (yes the submit to each other-go figure).  Is this something to be alarmed about? <Possible... is he/she eating well?  Any signs of Ich, or anything for that matter?>   His breathing rate may be a little higher but looks perfectly normal otherwise. <What are you feeding the little guy?> History:  2 days ago, I noticed the fish weren't eating like normal, so I checked my 'stats' and the only thing out of whack were the nitrates they were a little high not bad though (20ish). <Not too bad.. but could cause a fish to show signs like this.>   So yesterday I did a water change and a filter cleaning and change (the filter cleaning was a normal scheduled thing anyway.)  This morning is when the twitching thing started?  Any relation?  <Very possible.  I would keep on top of your water changes and make sure water quality is second to none.  This could very well likely be a water quality issue.> Tank info:  72 Gal Bow front, 404 Fluval; Prizm deluxe protein skimmer; live sand, dead coral and Tufa rock for decoration. <I used this type of skimmer on my 29g tank at one time.  IMO, it sucks.  LOL  I would upgrade to a better skimmer.  I now use an Aqua-C on my 29g and it has made a huge difference.  Once you see what comes out of a better skimmer, you'll wonder how you lived w/o one for such a long time.>     Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate was in the 20s but now barely detectible; salinity between 1.022 & 1.023 and temp is 78-79. <Besides the nitrates everything looks good.  You didn't put your pH down.  Do you happen to know what it is?  Just wondering as they may be a factor.>   Other fish include one maroon clown, one false Perc, one green Chromis, two yellow tailed damsels, one purple starfish, misc. snails and three tiny hermit crabs. <Have you seen any of the other fish picking on the angel?  Damsels can be very aggressive towards any other fish that enters "their" space.> Any help would be greatly appreciated!    Any thoughts??  <I'm wondering what you're feeding the angel.  Is it possible he isn't getting enough food?  In the mean time keep the water quality good and watch for any other signs of illness.> P.S.  When this matter is settled and/or cleared up.... how many more fish could safely be added to this tank in the future, in general terms. <Well in time the two Clowns will probably fight... the Maroon will win, IMO.  So I would remove one of them.  In general terms you can add say two more fish.  To be honest nobody can really tell you how many fish to add/not add.  Read up on a fish you like, make sure you can properly house it for its entire life.  Then if it looks ok, get the fish.  You'll know when your bio-load is full.  Watch the water quality for any signs of excess nitrates and nitrites, etc.> Thanks in advance!  Wendy <No problem!  Good luck and keep me posted!  Phil>

- Coral Beauty Questions - Hi.  I would like to thank you with the info I needed for my 1" baby regal tang. Well anyways, I have a Coral Beauty that I had for maybe 3 or 4 months now its doing great. Not until this evening where I saw the fins on the angel seem to be like tiny rips on its fin. He is eating and all and also I saw on his anus that there was a green spot that had "bubbles" on it. I'm not sure if it was his poo or whatever it is. <You are most likely correct in this assessment.> There is only a coral banded shrimp is it possible that the shrimp is nibbling on it. <Possible, but not likely.> Are these kind of shrimps aggressive? <Among shrimps, yes... but rarely against fish.> And I spotted that sometimes the shrimp is near the Angel. <Wouldn't be concerned. Fish often abrade a fin or two while swimming in and out of places. Will heal in time... you can aid by adding good fish-vitamins to its food. Boyd's Vita Chem seems to really help torn fins heal.> I checked all of my water parameters and everything was great checked the temp same as usual 76F. He has never had this problem before and I hope he doesn't do it again. <No worries.> Thanks bye
<Cheers, J -- > 

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
Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: