FAQs on Freshwater Angelfish Disease/Health
FAQs on Angelfish Disease:
Angelfish Disease 1,
Freshwater Angel Disease 2,
FW Angel Disease 3,
FW Angel Health 4,
FW Angel Health 5,
FW Angel Health 6,
FW Angel Health 7,
FW Angel Health 8,
FW Angel Health 9,
FW Angel Health 11,
FW Angel Health 12,
FAQs on Angelfish Disease by Category:
Nutritional (e.g. HLLE),
Infectious (Virus, Bacterial,
Fungal), Parasitic (Ich, Velvet...),
Dwarf South American Cichlids,
Cichlid Fishes in General,
Angelfish Reproduction, & FAQs on:
Wild Angels (P. altum),
Cichlids of the World,
Angelfish dying - any advice is welcomed!
I am getting so frustrated with my 36 gallon planted aquarium
that I used Activ Flora Red in about 3 months ago. The plants are doing
great in this, however all the fish I add die within days.
<Which is alarming, for sure.>
I started adding some angel fish and the water parameters are good -
nitrates less than 20ppm, nitrites - not detectable, ammonia -
not detectable, ph - 7.2, temp is 80, kh & gh 4 -
<This all sounds reasonable.>
the angelfish die within days as if poisoned, I added 4 initially and
one by one they died within 1 week, added 4 more from a different
supplier and they all died as well. They were healthy and eating when I
placed them in the tank and within 72 hours they start acting weird -
both batches of them.
<Which strongly suggests an environmental issue rather than a pathogen.>
Within 72 hours of acclimating them into the tank, they will be hanging
at the bottom or the top, not eating, then they start swimming strange
as if they are drunk, then they pass, I considered an infection or
parasites possibly? Or the only other thing I can think of is the
substrate which is the Activ Flora red, as I was reading the bag last
night it seems high in metals - aluminum, iron etc. I contacted the
manufacturer today and they could offer no advice and said they have
never heard feedback on the product that fish were dying. There are 3
airstones pumping out nicely, 2 HOB's one is seachem Tidal with poly
filter and chemi green along with matrix media from seachem, I also
added Algone for good measure. The other is scaper's flow hang on
canister with sponges and matrix media. I'm at a loss. I use RO water
and add equilibrium by seachem and ph neutral along with fresh trace.
Any advice is welcomed. I used to keep angels 20+ years ago and never
had issues, I had a spawning pair and I was not even vigilant with water
changes like I am now. The RO system is an Aquasana -
<Looks neat, but surprised that removing fluorine is seen as a plus!>
I thought maybe the remineralizer on the system is causing it as well. I
really don't know, I am at a loss. Any advice is welcomed.
<I am not a fan of using domestic water softeners for fish tanks. The
types of minerals used to soften the water can result in 'unnatural'
ratios of ions, such as more sodium ions than would normally be present.
So while plain RO water, with Discus Buffer added, would be pretty good
for Angels, this unit of yours seems to be concocting something designed
to be suitable for drinking, and that's less attractive as an idea.>
<I'd start by skipping the domestic water softener. By all means use RO
if you want, and then add Discus Buffer, or more easily (for farmed
Angels at least) a 50/50 mix of hard tap water and RO water should
produce something more than acceptable, i.e., no more than medium
hardness, and around pH 7-7.5. I'd also try setting up a clean
quarantine tank. Why? Because I'd want to get the Angels settled and
feeding in a system where I can control all the variables. So no soil!
Just plain glass (perhaps some washed gravel if you must) and a simple
filter, suitable heating of course, but no need for lights. A 20-gallon
tank would be fine for a few juvenile Angels. While the aquarium soil
should be safe, you might have a contaminated batch. If the Angels
thrive in the quarantine tank, then there's perhaps a strong case for
stripping down the display tank, then rebuilding with plain gravel and
plants. Perhaps use another brand of aquarium soil. Are there other
species of fishing thriving in the display tank? If there are tetras and
catfish already, and they're doing fine, and it's just the Angels that
fail, then the easiest move is to simply avoid Angels. Try something
else of similar size and behaviour, perhaps one of the Gourami species.
But if the tank has no fish in it, and you really want an Angelfish
community, then testing out Angels with a quarantine tank would at least
help you rule out the aquarium soil as the problem. Do think about water
movement and oxygenation though -- plants consume oxygen 24 hours a day,
but during the nighttime they're not producing it through
photosynthesis, and in densely planted tanks with sluggish water
movement it is possible for oxygen levels to become depleted.
Air-breathing fish (like Gouramis and Corydoras) will get by, but those
fish unable to breathe air, notably cichlids, will suffer. You might
also consider some other, perhaps airborne, pollutant. Paint fumes,
insecticides and cleaning products can all cause major problems.
Sometimes solid materials fall into aquaria, such as bits of metal, and
these can also prove toxic, copper in particular. Hope this helps,
Re: Angelfish dying - any advice is welcomed! 6/14/14
Thank you so much Neal!!!
The tank is in a good area with a lid on most of it and I am very
careful with cleaning products, fumes etc.
I have been a fish keeper since I was about 7 years old when my older
brother purchased piranhas at the LFS and I insisted I have one in a
tank in my bedroom - this was back in the 70's in NJ.
I have never seen anything like this - my fish always live for years, in
fact I have torn down my salt tank at least 5 times over the past 15
years due to moves and never lost a one in any of the moves.
<Sounds like you're better at this than me!>
I lost my spawning clown pair over a year ago ( I had those fish for
close to 10 years)to a power outage from hurricane Matthew (I am now
prepared with a generator for the next outage) I did put one bushy nose
pleco in the aquarium prior to the angels and I assume he died and he
was never seen again within 30 days. The tank was met specifically for
angels so this is a flipping mystery!
<I'll say. But as a rule of thumb, if one fish dies, then another a few
days or weeks later, then another, and so on -- then a disease is
definitely possible. But if a whole bunch of fish die within 24 hours,
I'd tend to go with an environmental issue. The "trick" is determining
what's going on.>
I use the RO water because I did not want algae issues - and so far so
good with the algae - almost zero and the plants are thriving..sadly no
fish can survive this tank...
<Where's the tank positioned? In terms of direct sunlight, I mean. And
are you adding CO2, which if used incorrectly, can easily kill fish. Two
ways: Firstly, as dissolved CO2 goes up, pH goes down, and that can
stress/kill fish. Also, as CO2 is absorbed into the water, O2 is
displaced, which again can kill fish. Air-breathing fish can survive,
and bear in mind that 'in a pinch' physostomous fish like characins and
barbs can breathe air, whereas physoclistous fish like cichlids simply
cannot. Oh, and something from left field. What *sort* of plants are you
growing? There's a thing called biogenic decalcification that can happen
with some species (such as Vallisneria) if they don't have sufficient
CO2 dissolved in the water. They break down carbonate and/or bicarbonate
salts in the water, getting the CO2 out of those salts. It's a neat
trick that means they do really well in hard water. But if the water
doesn't have enough buffering capacity, this removal of carbonate and/or
bicarbonate will cause the pH to drop during
photosynthesis, sometimes very rapidly. I've seen aquaria "crash" this
way, all the fish gasping at the surface in obvious distress. Cheers,
Re: Angelfish dying - any advice is welcomed! 6/16/18
Thanks Neale - as far as plants, I did consider they may be a problem. I
did not realize that about some plants having that ability to affect the
water chemistry and I have reached out to many different people about
this and you are the first one to mention this.
<Oh! It is not a well-known fact perhaps, but reasonably widely seen
with hard water specialist aquatic plants. Egeria and Elodea are the
classic species, precipitating a chalky deposit on their leaves
(carbonate salts of some sort) as they absorb bicarbonate ions, take the
CO2, and get rid of what they don't need. Vallisneria are not quite so
effective, but I have seen them crash a tank once, in the sense the pH
changes so much and so rapidly fish were visibly distressed. Not that
they're not good plants --
they're great -- but I'd be careful about using them in soft water tanks
(with minimal buffering) with high lighting levels. Basically, any plant
known to be a hard water specialist probably does this sort of
decalcification, whereas soft water plants probably don't.>
There are Val.s in the tank and I do not use CO2,
<So guess where the Vallisneria are getting the CO2 they need, if
lighting is so great they consume the dissolved CO2? Yep, from any
bicarbonate salts in the water. Now, this may or may not be an issue,
but I'd perhaps monitor pH across the day, comparing, say, before the
lights went on to the pH level after 6-8 hours of photosynthesis. If the
pH has risen a lot, then the Vallisneria may be part of the problem.>
I was doing a "low tech" tank....I just put a seachem ph monitor on the
tank which seems to work well so I am going to start writing the levels
down as I check it throughout the day - I have been through vials of
test strips testing the water searching for answers. So Val.s should be
avoided for me
<Only under intense light AND low buffering capacity. They're otherwise
- any other plants to avoid?
<Hope this helps.>
freshwater angel 3/18/18
I've looked pretty thoroughly through your site and others and haven't
found exactly the right combo of symptoms. I've had this fish for 5yrs+
and has always lived in this 55g with 4 rummy nose and a Cory for the
several-where others over time. I have a BioWheel, sponge filter and an
undergravel at the opposite side.
<Okay... no further data, pix? Bob Fenner>
Re: freshwater angel 3/18/18
Sorry but my earlier message was in process when it got accidently sent.
I also want to thank you so much in advance, I've learned so much from
you experts that are so willing with your time. this is the first time I
been able find a problem just like mine.
To continue-the BioWheel is a Penguin 350 . This angel loves to hang at
the quiet end of the tank which is towards the kitchen and almost all
activity, watching and of course waiting for food.
Due to life and a loosing some enthusiasm (there at one time was also 9
15-30gs, 1 15g, a 10, several 3's and up to 8+ beta bowls) I let this
tank get into poor condition with surface algae that covered the glass
and objects and I rarely changed water. I know, what can I expect.
<Indeed! But some fish do thrive on benign neglect, notably many of the
hardier catfish and characins. They have quite a high tolerance for
nitrate. Angels, like most cichlids, are sensitive to high nitrate to
varying degrees, and are less good choices for tanks that need to be
ultra low maintenance.>
I'd never kept fish before this earlier onslaught, I was doing it
reluctantly for the man I took care of who decided he wanted to raise
guppies. The story is too long but needless to say the plan changed, I
got into it, had variety of fish and learned all I could. I'm one of
those that needs to get all the facts especially when things go wrong.
Now back to angel. About a week and a half ago he started to not eat as
aggressively and then having opaque stringy elimination.
<Oh darn! This sounds a good deal like Hexamita. Stringy clear or
off-white faeces are a good sign that the gut is evacuating extra mucous
compared to normal, which usually implies something is irritating the
gut. It might be
a worm infection, but much more likely to be Hexamita, which is almost
ubiquitous among farmed cichlids.>
He still acted normal-no outward symptoms of anything wrong. In past
searches for issues concerning previous fish, I came across an
explanation for the opaque discharge that made more sense than most
others that I'd
read or heard. It's merely the mucous that is used to accompany
elimination but either there's no waste or an over production due to an
<Do see above.>
Since he wasn't eating I figured it was the former. He then started to
breathe heavily, but didn't hang around the surface like he was gasping
for air, was swimming and positioning himself normally. I cleaned the
algae, did some water change and tested the water parameters. To my
surprise they were all perfect except the hardness and as I understand
if they are used to it that's ok. I then noticed the base of his left
pec fin has a red line and a very thin one along the dorsal and
pectoral. It hasn't gotten any worse-maybe a little better. I got
bloodworms to see if they made any difference in his appetite before
starting medication. He ate several the first time. he later had some
poop in his string, tried some more and but at this time will only scoop
them up and spit them out.
I have tetracycline on hand, enough to do a course of 4 day with one
dose per day plus one. Should I use something else?
<Yes! Hexamita is protozoan, and antibiotics will have no effect at
I also have some Duramycin-10 on hand but I don't know how to mix it
properly. It says there is 25g of tetracycline per pound. I measured the
contents of a packet and there's .066 oz. would that be the same
measurement for the Duramycin?
<Again, this is an antibiotic, and of no use here.>
Oh how do I find my answer?
Thanks again, Merri
<What you need is Metronidazole, about the only thing that works
reliably against Hexamita. In some places you may need to get this from
a vet, but in the US at least you can buy it from aquarium shops,
product for example. Use as instructed, remembering to remove carbon
from the filter (if you use carbon) as all that will do is remove the
Re: freshwater angel 3/19/18
Thanks so much, I don't bother with charcoal, again earlier read that it
only lasts a short time and by now I've even forgotten what purpose it
<Primarily, removes the yellowing chemicals that you see in the water if
you don't do many water changes. Was useful when people changed very
little water in their tanks for months on end, but since the 1980s, the
weekly water changes has been better understood, and most people change
at least some water once or twice a month. End result, water doesn't go
yellow, so carbon not really needed.>
I did isolate him last night and started the tetracycline while waiting.
I see API has a packet form that only calls for a course of once every
48 hrs with only 2 treatments and Seachem same but for up to 3 weeks or
until see improvement. Also mixing with frozen food. If he starts to
eat, is what's mixed with the food be the only dose or also treat the
<Not sure why you're using Tetracycline at all. Unlikely to help
As for the Metronidazole, simply follow the instructions on the
Mardel Clout and Seachem Metroplex are the two most popular versions, I
think. Clout is especially useful and works well with cichlids. You add
it to the water.>
I would guess longer than 2 doses is necessary. What might be the
prognosis as this may have been going on for some weeks as the stringy
poop was actually the first symptom but at that time didn't notice any
other issues. I hoped cleaning the tank would have been the answer but
also kept looking around the internet-even took pictures/video into a
pet store, was
maybe going to get furan 2 from research but wasn't sure. When Melafix
was recommended I moved on.
<Indeed, Melafix would certainly be useless here. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: freshwater angel 3/19/18
My last reply was confusing-made it more clear. I did pick up and start
Only the API brand is available around here. Looked up Mardel Clout and
I see it's exactly for his symptoms. Thanks again.
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: Lethargic angelfish mostly hovering near surface, nose up
Yes, the rainbows have been doing fine for the last 2 months that I've
had them. They're still young and growing into their colors (ranging
between 2"-3" long), though the older 2 Trifasciata males are mature
enough that they're starting to display and jostle for the females. All
are feeding ravenously and boisterous.
<Then I would leave them be, and leave water chemistry alone.>
The LFS I got them from (The Wet Spot, if you're familiar with them)
keeps a few large display tanks of rainbows in our normal tap water
(which is typically very soft and acidic) with minimal tinkering. I can
add crushed coral to the filter to buffer it and raise the PH if needed,
but then the angel and rams would probably be uncomfortable, right?
<Marginally, assuming carbonate hardness isn't wildly high. Angels and
Bolivian Rams would be absolutely fine in water around 10 degrees dH, pH
7.5. But if the Rainbows are fine, then softer water is optimal for
Plus I think it'd be harder to keep it stable?
<Shouldn't have this effect, no.>
The Red Tail Shark was full grown (grew up in the 75g from juvenile
size), but the angels grew up with it. Sadly the quarter size is the
largest I usually can find angels at my nearest store, and they're
typically from local breeders rather than being shipped in. I usually
only can find the larger ones at my downtown LFS (mentioned above). Up
until the fight neither fish had never shown any interest in each other.
The Red Tail was basically the grumpy old hermit of the tank and just
guarded the large tree stump ornament that she lived under. As long as
all the other fish left her stump alone, she was a model citizen. Her
aggression was usually limited to shooing all those "darn kids" off her
<A very accurate description of their behaviour, unless of course
there's another shark-like fish in the tank, in which case things get a
bit more serious.>
I'm not sure what sparked the two to go after each other that day, but
neither one came out of it well. Awesome fish, but not trying to keep
one in a community again.
Your explanation about "swim bladder disease" makes a whole lot more
sense than what I've heard on every fish forum. When I asked around
there everyone just told me that there was nothing that could be done...
And yes, the lack of energy for chasing the others around was referring
to the Angel, the Gourami is active and foraging around with the
Rainbows. Up until the lethargy/nose up swimming, the Angel has been the
queen of the tank; the other fish know it and do their own thing while
staying out of the way. None of the stores (2 LFS, plus various
Petco/Petsmarts) near me carry Kanaplex, so I've put in a next day
shipping order for it on Amazon.
I'll cross my fingers that helps turn things around! Thank you!
<Good move and good luck!>
Angelfish with a mark on its side
Hope you can help.
I have an Angelfish I bought around Christmas week. - I sent this in yesterday
evening on the site (attached image)- as I could see the pic on the page below
and it looks like the problem my girl has..
I went back to the page just now and scrolled all the way down and found the
description of the issue with the image ..
So I'm going to see if I can buy Merbromin, Mercurochrome in Ireland and see if
I can rub it on and see how goes..
Might be a help to put some sort of description/link on the pic - as you have to
scroll an awful way down to find the related info and the pic shows quite
prominently in a Google search but there is no real description.
<Hello. It's not exactly clear to me what I'm looking at. It's either pink blobs
on the fish (in which case Lymphocystis most likely) or pink wounds (i.e.,
ulcers or bites, in which case physical damage). Lymphocystis is not really
treatable as such, but the virus can be cleared up with consistent good water
quality and healthy diet. This may take some months, even years though. It is
rarely fatal unless the cysts block something important, like the vent or mouth.
Wounds and ulcers can be treated with anti-Finrot medication, eSHa 2000 being my
particular favourite if antibiotics aren't available to you over the counter.
Rubbing on antiseptic medicine is unlikely to work -- indeed, more likely to
cause further damage either by damaging underlying tissue or dissolving into the
water and poisoning something else entirely. So not what I'd suggest doing here.
However, identifying the causes is important. Angels are very prone to damage
from sucking catfish that 'latch' onto the fish to scrape away at their mucous.
The commonest culprits are Otocinclus, but Common Plecs have been reported as
doing this too. Hunger on the part of the catfish may be a factor, in which case
review their diet. Angels also fight, and can cause damage to each other. While
juveniles school together nicely, adults are basically territorial in small home
aquaria, males (or matter pairs, for that matter) staking a territory around 30
cm radius around their favoured rock or bogwood root. Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Angelfish with a mark on its side 2/2/18
Thank you very much for coming back to me.
I have 4 other better photos but they are all 1.4Mb each and am conscious of
sending you those as you advised on the website that your webmail space is
<True, but can you send one sharp photo? Maybe crop away the rest of the fish,
so it's just a nice sharp photo of its body?>
It is like a lesion with a little black dot in the centre and makes me think
it's bacterial/fungal or some sort of parasite.
<I agree; I'd be going with an antibacterial in the first instance (eSHa 2000 is
the best, in my opinion, within the EU) but keeping an open mind about Hexamita,
in which case eSHa HEXAMITA is your only choice unless you can get (from a vet)
It was on the fish when I bought her but I didn't think too much of it. It was
smaller then , less noticeable, seems like just a wayward scale design.
It's getting a bit bigger and the black dot in the middle is becoming more
prominent. Thanks for advising not to do the antiseptic. I will do a water
change and see what medication the pet shop might recommend.
<Often they recommend what they have, and sometimes recommendations are a bit
poor -- things like aquarium salt or tea-tree oil (e.g., Melafix).
Avoid anything that offers a "general cure" because these are rarely effective
once fish actually get sick (they have some usage as preventatives after fish
have been moved or after they have fought for some reason). You really do want a
specific medicine for Finrot and Fungus in the first instance (eSHa 2000 being
good because it does both).>
Let me know if you have space , interest/ time for more pics and if I can send
how many..If not , no worries, I really appreciate you getting back to me and
your response already.
All the best,
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Angelfish with a mark on its side 2/14/18
Hi Neale, Wet Web Crew,
Thanks for the tip about cropping, please find 2 images attached .
<Nope, nothing attached!>
The one labeled 7th Feb, was before a water change and is what the lesion looked
like at the start of Jan. The one labeled 13th Feb is what the lesion looked
like towards the end of Dec and again now after a water change. ( I bought the
fish just before Christmas)
She has laid eggs twice since I got her. But the Pleco ate them :-( So I've got
a piece of Perspex for separation in case it happens again.
<Do be careful sticking solid dividers into aquaria -- they stop water flow,
which stops warmth and clean water being evenly distributed. Mesh or grid-like
dividers are better, such as egg crate.>
I'm hoping these photos may help for a better diagnosis/prognosis/more advice
for course of action.
<Maybe try again with the photos? In the meantime, your range of options with
regard to lesions are limited. Assuming this is not "Head and Lateral Line
Disease" or "Hole in the Head", but merely a bacterial infection, then
a good antibiotic or antibacterial is the treatment. The key to success is
isolating the injured fish from anything likely to peck at or otherwise damage
its wounded area. Other Angels are prone to nipping at weakened
individuals given their territorial nature (as adults they are not really
social, and can be quite mean tempered). Plecs are another potential source of
damage, latching onto wounds and consuming the mucous as a tasty treat.
Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Angelfish with a mark on its side 2/15/18
Hopefully now attached, with my apologies.
<I see attached now; definitely an ulcer, treat as Finrot, with a reliable
antibiotic or antibacterial (not salt, not tea-tree oil, etc.).>
Wish I had said my plan about the Perspex in advance to you before going to the
trouble of getting it. Just one other Angel in the tank and they seem to be
mates as they were working together with the eggs twice now.
<Then it's a mystery where the wound came from. Heater burn perhaps? Stuck on
the filter inlet? Otherwise, this sort of ulcer is classic "Plec damage" when
Angels are kept with Suckermouth catfish. Treated quickly, should heal well.
It's a clean flesh wound. Cheers, Neale.>
7 Feb and 13 Feb
Re: Angelfish with a mark on its side- thanks!
Thanks a million Neale !
Will do as you say.
I bought her with it so she had it before entering my tank.
<Ah! The plot thinnens.>
Only thing will be the whole community will be getting the treatment I'd say
that won't do any harm though.
When I Googled Finrot/ ulcers in tropical fish. I found this UK product
site..seems alright and has a diagnosis tool
<Ah yes, a good company; though my preference / experience has always been for
eSHa products, which do (usually, and economically) deliver on what they
promise. eSHa 2000 is, I believe, the Finrot product. Have not use NT Labs
products myself, but they do seem to have a "Anti-Ulcer & Finrot" treatment!>
Just might be a useful reference/resource to give if people from the UK contact
<Indeed; and your message will be posted on the WWM website in due course.>
Doesn't stock in Ireland but I think I'm ok as I think I have the stuff already.
All the best, thanks again and kindest regards,
<Glad to help, and good luck! Neale.>
Angelfish mouth problem 10/3/17
I was wondering if you could help me out with diagnosing my angelfish.
He is a male, about 1 year old. I had him in a 4x2x2ft tank (~400L) with about 4
other angelfish. I do weekly water changes, around 20-30%, with water treated
with dechlorinator only. Water temperature is at 28degrees
Celsius and I have an Eheim 2217 running on the tank (containing filter wool and
biohome media only).
<All sounds fine.>
About a month ago he started displaying red streaks around his upper lip (still
eating), no other fish appear affected and there were no other physical markings
on his body. I separated him into an isolation tank
(stopped eating) and treated with high dose of blue planet tri-sulpha (1 tablet
<Were the Angels fighting? Cichlids, including Angels, will do a "tug-o-war"
with their mouths when fighting, and very occasionally the jaws become damaged
or dislocated, the latter almost always fatal in the long term. On the other
hand, so-called Mouth Fungus, or Columnaris (actually a bacterial infection) is
a fairly common problem in tanks with poor water quality and/or physical
injuries on the fish.>
He did not appear to improve at all, and there was some inflammation around his
fin. I then treated with Waterlife Protozin for 3 days, changing about 10-20% of
the water prior to treatments. He did appear to improve with the
red streaks reducing. However, on the 4th day (which was a no treatment day),
all the red streaks returned even more severe than before and he had lost a
considerable amount of his upper lip.
<This does sound like Finrot and/or Columnaris. Antibiotics will help, if you
can use them. Outside of the US antibiotics are usually prescription-only, but
there are alternative medications. Protozin is, as its name suggests, designed
for use against Protozoans, and of little/no help against bacteria. I would
recommend a reliable anti-Finrot medication such as eSHa 2000 instead.>
I was wondering your thoughts on what he might have. I don't think its mouth rot
caused by bacteria, but I'm not entirely sure if its fungal either (there is a
lack of any white or cottony appearance). I also doubt it is septicemia as there
are no other red or bruising markings on his body.
<Red streaks are almost always bacterial, so I disagree with your analysis
Even if he was to recover, do you think he would still be able to eat with most
of his upper lip destroyed?
<It is unlikely if the jaw bones are actually gone. Angelfish 'inhale' their
food by extending their jaws into a kind of tube, then sucking in food
particles. Without their jaws working properly, they really can't feed
themselves. You have to observe and see if your specimen is feeding, and from
there make the appropriate decision.>
<Most welcome. Neale.>
Re: Angelfish mouth problem 10/4/17
Thank you for your fast reply!
I haven't heard of eSHa 2000 before, it certainly isn't available at the local
aquarium shops but I should be able to order it online.
<Indeed. It's Dutch, but widely sold in the UK. Other medications for Finrot and
Columnaris are available, but I find this one particularly effective and good
value. The Waterlife products, such as Protozin, I've just been disappointed by
a bit in the past, so tend not to recommend them.>
I was wondering, if you suspect it is bacterial then is there a reason why the
tri-sulpha didn't work? As this is a broad spectrum antibiotic and more
effective than superficial treatments.
<Difficult to say. Not all antibiotics work against all bacteria -- which is why
we have to use so many different kinds. Antibacterials like eSHa 2000 use dyes
and other chemicals that are less effective but also more broad acting, so tend
to be better bets provided the fish isn't too sick.
Also, some people use all medicines in ways that prevents them working, getting
the dose wrong, or worst of all, leaving carbon in the filter (which immediately
removes the medicine from the water).>
<Good luck! Neale>
Angelfish.... trouble 5/6/17
Hi! I've searched, read, treated, observed, been patient but I'm stumped. I
bought some angelfish online that all died within about 3 weeks. A couple
were dead on arrival and they just kept dying. I threw everything away from
the tank. In the process of this, I spread something to all my other tanks.
The fish now have small white dots on filaments of pectoral and ventral
fins, fins are frayed and separating between the filaments, most have lost
their scales, "pinkish fuzz" from (see picture), along with fin rot. I've
treated with Furan 2 for 2 weeks, then Levamisole one treatment, then
CopperSafe for one month. Treatment hasn't cured. The fish are eager to eat,
act healthy but very hypersensitive at times. What should I treat with?
<Metronidazole... Flagyl... and hope>
Re: Angelfish 5/7/17
Thank you so much!!!!!
<Glad to share Jill. BobF>
Fwd: Angelfish 5/7/17
When do you think I'll see a different if it's going to work?
<Days to a few weeks. B>
angelfish swims weird 3/19/17
I have had my angelfish for over a year and she seems perfectly healthy.
I have her in a 20 gal tall tank (which I know is on the small side but
I didn't know better when I got her and I can't get a bigger tank right
and I do a 20% water change twice a week. The temperature stays around
I feed a variety of flakes, bloodworms, and shrimp. She lives with some
cherry barbs. I was just wondering if it is normal behavior for
angelfish to swim backwards and upside down.
<Not upside down, no>
She will usually swim normally, but sometimes she will swim kind of on
her back or swim backwards slowly
around the tank. She is very friendly and comes right up for food and
gets along great with the cherry barbs! The only thing is the weird
directions of her swimming and is that normal?
<Not; and the issue here may be mostly genetic. Freshwater angels are
tremendously inbred for most stocks. However, the flake food itself may
be influential; I would substitute a fine grade pelleted food for the
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Angelfish with ammonia poisoning
Good morning crew! I hope you can help me. I have several fish tanks. I
just love my fishies! I have custom made 82 gallon with 4 angels. They
paired up but not breeding. The boss is Triggered and his mate Curly.
They are biggest angels in there. Also 2 Bala sharks,
<Yikes; will get much larger!>
4 Bavarian rams, black ghost knife, 2 blood parrots,
1 pain in the butt male Betta and 2 Plecos.
Everything is still pretty small except Triggered, Curly and 2 Plecos.
As soon as my 150 gallon cycles most will be moved. Not the rams or
Betta but everything else will be moved to 150 gallon tank.
Well my daughter was having a problem with dominate angelfish in her
tank and we have tried this angelfish in about 9 different tanks here
with him beating every fish up or terrorizing them. We made arrangements
store to take him but we couldn't take him till morning. I wish I would
of thought about putting her angelfish in the bucket with the heater
before I put him in my tank for the night as well as 2 small angels
because they were beating up on a tiny angelfish in her tank. Well
Triggered flipped out and not only went after the big angelfish of my
daughters but he went after everything in the tank, shredding everyone
in his way.
<Sounds/reads like a rogue>
The newest fish is the Betta, All the other fish grew up together and
get along well. The Betta is kind of a bully. I decided to move
Triggered and Curly to 55 gallon for the night. Or I might of woke up to
dead fish. The 55 has 2 blood parrots and 2 angelfish aggressive green
Severums. I moved Severums to 5 gallon bucket with heater. Put angels in
tank, In the morning I seen Triggered was dying. I quickly
tested water and discover ammonia was
threw <sic> the roof. Higher the 6.0 ppm and nitrites 200 ppm.
My filter was not working, not sure how long it was off. Ugh. I took
water from 82 gallon and put into bucket, netted the 2 angels and 2
parrots putting them in the bucket. Tank temps are the same. I took them
to 82 gallon and released them. Curly and 2 blood parrots were
struggling but you wouldn't know it now. They are fine! Triggered was
down, gasping for air, breathing hard. I took daughter's larger angel
out and put in bucket, moved the other mated pair of angels to daughters
tank so the wouldn't stress Triggered anymore then he already was. I
seen Pleco's going near him and decided he would be safer in a
container. His fins are a wreck, his eyes were fogged. He had about
every symptom of ammonia poisoning. I put triggered into 2 gallon clear
container floating on surface of tank, so his water could stay warm. I
didn't want to cook him with my 5 gallon heater and didn't want the cat
to fish him out of the bucket. I put air stone in, prime, aquarium salt,
and Mela fix, I has been 4 days, His breathing is almost normal, I clean
40% of his water daily and been dosing with Mela fix. He is showing
improvement. His eyes are clear, fins are no worse. On day 3 he tried to
get up and swim, I think he is still weak. Today he is staying up little
longer than yesterday but still can't stay upright. He gets up but can
not stay up right for more than few seconds. He is trying so hard to
survive and he is my favorite angelfish so I'm not giving up on him. I
read fish can survive this, He doesn't have the red streaks or red
blotches which would mean internal bleeding. My question is am I
doing the right thing?
<Yes; just needs clean, stable water conditions>
I seem to be spinning my wheels. When using Mela fix <Am not a fan of
this plant extract. You can scan/search WWM re>
I'm not suppose to do water changes but he seems to be more active and
really tries to get up and moving afterwards. His water in bucket has
registered .5 ammonia. This is reason I'm doing water changes. I'm not
how, I have not tried to feed him. The 82 gallon has 0 ammonia, 0
nitrite, 0 nitrate. Could ammonia be leaching out of his scales?
<Mmm; no; but out of gills and wastes/vent; yes>
How soon can I let him outta the container once he can stay a float?
<Whenever you want; elect to do so>
Should I continue using Mela fix?
<I wouldn't. Of no use; and may be worsening the issue/s here>
I was worried about secondary infection and fin rot. Last question, The
other mated pair of angels (Sponge Bob and Sandy) Should I put them back
into tank before I release Triggered?
<Yes I would>
Not sure he will let them back in once he is out of the container and
back in his tank. They been raised together and they squabble once in a
while but the tank is peaceful except for the Betta who is somewhat of a
trouble maker. lol He defends his spot in tank and will flare and follow
whoever entered his territory. He and Triggered squabble a lot but no
damage is done. Their territories are next to each other.
<... Bob Fenner>
Re: Angelfish with ammonia poisoning 3/15/17
Hi Bob and crew!
I did typo
and wanted to clarify. The 55 gallon tank that I placed Triggered into
the night he went crazy over the other angelfish that was put into his
The 55 gallons filter was not working and I did not realize it when I
put Triggered and Curly in there. The ammonia when I tested water that
morning when I found Triggered struggling, was higher than the highest
6.0 ppm. The color was darker then the 6.0 on the chart and nitrite was
I don't remember the nitrite reading.
I was wondering what you meant Bob when you said, <Sounds/reads like a
<A rogue individual. Some particular freshwater Angelfish are REALLY
MEAN! Have to be kept solo; lest they attack other life.>
after reading "I decided to move Triggered and Curly to 55 gallon for
the night. Or I might of woke up to dead fish. The 55 has 2 blood
parrots and 2 angelfish aggressive green Severums. I moved Severums to 5
gallon bucket with heater. Put angels in tank, In the morning
I seen Triggered was dying. I quickly tested water and discover ammonia
was threw <sic> the roof. Higher the 6.0 ppm and nitrites 200 ppm.
<?!!!> <Sounds/reads like a rogue>
I had to move Severums out of the 55 gallon for the night before I put
Triggered and Curly in there. Those Severums are angelfish aggressive
and have torn the angels fins up before. Someone gave me the Severums
and the only tank mates they don't terrorize is 2 blood parrots who live
in the 55 gallon. I think because the two blood parrots are kind of
bullies so they don't let the Severums push them around. Those blood
parrots have never bothered the angelfish or any other fish that leaves
them alone. The blood parrots however don't like other blood parrots. So
I moved the Severums into the bucket because I was worried my cat would
catch my angels in the bucket. The Severums are much faster and tend to
stay towards bottom so I figured the cat wouldn't even really see them
and certainly would not try to fish them out of bottom of 5 gallon
I wanted to say thank you for the help and taking the time to read this.
<Certainly welcome. BobF>
Help needed on Angelfish disease.
Dear WWM crew member,
I have been immensely benefited in the past with your helpful tips and
suggestions. Thank you again for that. So I'm again seeking your help for my
Angelfish which became I'll suddenly.
My tank is 40gallon with these two angels and 4 loaches.
I live in eastern part of India. Today morning I noticed both the angels
seriously I'll but the loaches are fine however. I have moved them to a
bucket with air supply.
Please help me diagnosis of the problem. Only abnormal things I notice is
red spots on both sides of both the fishes. Kindly see the photos attached
A expert advice is most earnestly solicited.
<Any relation of Reg Dutta I wonder? Prolific tropical fish writer 1960s and
70s. Top man. Anyway, sadly I fear your Angels have something known as
septicaemia, which is difficult to treat without using a strong antibiotic.
The red patches on the flanks and the bases of the fins are typical of this.
KanaPlex is often recommended and probably your best bet, unless a local vet
can help you with something generic. Angelfish Septicaemia is quite common,
probably caused by environmental or dietary shortcomings. It isn't so much
the species is prone to this problem, but rather they are
often kept in smaller tanks or with poorer filtration than people would try
with other cichlids. They are cichlids though, and just as sensitive to
non-zero nitrite and ammonia, as well as high nitrate levels (anything above
40 mg/l). Your fish look quite fat and healthy otherwise, so if you can
medicate promptly, I'd be reasonably optimistic. Good luck, Neale.>
Angelfish with white spots that don't appear to be Ick
I searched your site for a problem that I am having with my angelfish that
has a few white spots on it's head that are not Ick.
<Agreed, not Ich; but mucus... perhaps Hexamita/Octomita involvement>
On your site I found this thread... Angelfish with white spots that
don't appear to be Ick 2/6/14
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWAngParasitDisF.htm I believe my fish may be
having the same problem. After reading the tread and replies, I could not
find any evidence of what
the final outcome was? I have a 120 gallon, planted community tank, that is
well established (over 1 year) and is stocked, with tetras, barbs, loaches,
Cory cats and 2 angelfish. I use Flora Max for my substrate and have crypts,
Anubias , Amazon swords, and java fern for my live plants. I have a couple
of photos that I will include and hopefully you can help me out with a
diagnosis and some treatment options. Thank you, Robert
<I do concur and re-suggest what I'd stated per the citation above: "Could
it be hole-in-the-head?
<Doubtful, but may be some sort of external protozoan. I would try a one
shot lacing of their foods w/ Metronidazole; and as this may be a
Fluke/Trematode, with Praziquantel as well>"
Angelfish - hole on its back
Concerning lesions had appeared on my koi angelfish. I've noticed a lesion
on its back about 6-7 weeks ago. First I thought it is just an injury caused
by a stone or a byte (I haven't seen any chasing or attacking),
<I would agree about a bite. I'd be looking at my fish carefully.
Aggression is the obvious thing. But opportunistic feeding can't be ruled
out. Puffers are the obvious suspects, but you don't have those. Otocinclus
on the other hand are known "fish grazers". They will latch onto minor
wounds, scraping away at the mucous and eventually the skin and blood.
Otocinclus do this mostly when hungry (they're almost always starving in
community tanks because they are quite specialised animals) so these would
be first choice suspects here!>
but about a month later a pimple appeared on the opposite side of it's back,
then it changed into a lesion and then they merged from each side and
developed into a hole. Now I can see through it's back and if I see right,
another pimple is developing next to it.
I have not treated the initial lesion for about a month, I was just
monitoring it because the fish was happily eating and swimming around, but
then I've tried to cure it with API Melafix, but no improvement.
<Not unexpected. Melafix isn't very reliable. Plus, if the fish wound is the
result of biting or feeding by some other fish, the medicine can't do much
to stop that. Isolating injured fish is the ideal, so that a suitable
antibiotic or antibacterial medication can work properly. In Europe, where I
live, I'd always recommend eSHa 2000; in the US, where antibiotics can be
purchased more easily, something like Kanaplex or the old Melafix 1 and 2
combo are much better than Melafix.>
The fish is still eating and swimming, but I'm concerned, because the lesion
is getting worse. It's not red, so I guess it's not inflamed, and the lesion
is not cottony either, so it's probably not infected with fungi.
<Quite so, which is why this wound looks as if it's being "picked at" and
kept clean. Otocinclus will certainly do this, but I've seen characins and
loaches do this as well; for example, Anostomus. So keep an open mind, and
in particular understand that this could be happening at night when the tank
is dark and the room is quiet.>
The tank is a 240 liter tank, very heavily planted, probably a little bit
7 not fully grown angels,
3 dwarf gouramis,
6 tetra neons,
2 scissor tetras,
3 glass tetras,
1 male Betta,
1 Siamese algae eater,
1 kuhli loach,
3 panda Cory,
2 torpedo barbs,
5 penguin tetras,
8 bamboo shrimps,
3 Amano shrimps
I'm adding 10 ml of liquidised CO2 every morning before turning on the light
and 3 ml plant fertilizer.
Weekly changing 25 % of the water and the water stats I can measure are:
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 20-40 ppm
Please advise with what should I treat the lesions and how. Thank you very
much in advance!
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Angelfish - hole on its back 2/21/17
Hi, Thank you Neale, I'll do as advised and will let you know about the
progress. Best regards, Imrich
<Glad to help, and good luck! Neale.>
Growth on an angelfish fin. Diag. w/ no data, blurry pic.
This is a slightly blurry picture of my black and grey striped angelfish.
it has like a white trail floating on the head fin. I can't tell if there
air bubbles tiny eggs but it's just floating on the fin. Is this a problem
?is this normal ?I've never had angelfish before.
<... it may well that the Pleco is riding it. READ here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Sick Angel 3/24/16
I've scoured your website to try and help me get a fix for my angel
I have a 50gal tank with 7 mixed Corys, 1 Farlowella twig, 1
clown loach (eating snails),
<Happier in a group>
a Mickey mouse swordtail, and a smokey angelfish. I also have a planted
sword and some hornwort. Ammonia, nitrite are zero. Nitrate
between 20 and 40ppm.
<I'd work on getting and keeping NO3 under 20 ppm. Please read here:
PH around 8.3. I've always felt my ph was high, but the fish have been
in there for 5+ months with no issues.
<I would not seek to modify this pH>
I do weekly 25% water changes with RO water.
<I'd use a mix of tap; at least 50%....>
The other day I noticed that my angel was not eating, sometimes hovering
under some decorations, gulping water, and looks like it has kind of a
bloody nose. No red/blood on fins or body. No other body
issues, and the other fish are fine. Sometimes it like shakes it head
(like having a spasm), I was afraid it was having some sort of aneurism.
It hasn't done that since (that I noticed.) I immediately did a 25%
water change, and am going to do another water change today (2 days
I can't figure out what its problem is, and I'm scared for it.
Any ideas on a bloody nose and gulping? The blood doesn't come out. It
just looks like it's under the skin right above the mouth. I'm worried
about adding medicine as I don't have a hospital tank.
<I fully suspect water quality is an issue here... Whatever is leading
the Nitrate concentration to be so high. Please read where you've been
referred above; and formulate a plan for nitrate reduction. Bob Fenner>
Sick Angel /Neale 3/25/16
I've scoured your website to try and help me get a fix for my angel
fish. I have a 50gal tank with 7 mixed Corys, 1 Farlowella twig, 1 clown
loach (eating snails), a Mickey mouse swordtail, and a smokey angelfish.
<I would review this collection. The Farlowella is hard
to keep long term unless you have relatively cool, clear water and
plenty of green algae and oxygen. Eminently suitable for life with
Corydoras and in fact the Swordtail, but the Clown will want warmer
water (25-28 C vs. 22-24 C for the Farlowella and the Corydoras) and on
top of that they're massive polluters, just what you don't want in a
tank this size. 50 gallons isn't a lot of space for Clowns, even though
it's a big tank for Farlowella and Corydoras.
Furthermore, Clowns are social, and their behaviour is (often) aberrant
when kept in insufficient numbers, ranging from nervous/shy through to
overtly aggressive bullies. If you can, replace the Clown. Do take a
look at a dinner plate sometime -- that's the size of an adult Clown.
They're huge! For sure they take years getting there, but still...>
I also have a planted sword and some hornwort. Ammonia, nitrite are
Nitrate between 20 and 40ppm. PH around 8.3. I've always felt my ph was
high, but the fish have been in there for 5+ months with no issues.
<Understood. Water quality mostly sounds fine. But if you're using pure
RO (which should be zero nitrate) but your nitrate levels are 20-40
mg/l, that is an extremely big increase in nitrate within the space of a
change. So assuming you're measuring correctly, that big jump in nitrate
level could be explained three ways: overstocking, overfeeding, or not
doing nearly enough water changes. Next up, pH 8.3 is high for soft
species like Clowns, Farlowella, Corydoras and Angels. All of these will
thrive between pH 6 and 8, that's true. But your pH is significantly
above that, and you should plan accordingly. Numerous Central American,
Rift Valley, East Asian, North American and Eurasian species that will
all do well in hard, alkaline conditions.>
I do weekly 25% water changes with RO water.
<This alarms me. RO water by itself is effectively toxic to fish.
No fish lives naturally in water with zero dissolved minerals. Mixing RO
with tap water, say 75% RO with 25% hard tap water, is much healthier if
keeping generic community fish; tetras, barbs, Angels, etc.. Hard water
fish (like Swordtails and Platies) are happier in harder water, even
"liquid rock" well water and the like.>
The other day I noticed that my angel was not eating, sometimes hovering
under some decorations, gulping water, and looks like it has kind of a
bloody nose. No red/blood on fins or body. No other body issues, and the
other fish are fine. Sometimes it like shakes it head (like having a
spasm), I was afraid it was having some sort of aneurism. It hasn't done
that since (that I noticed.) I immediately did a 25% water change, and
am going to do another water change today (2 days later). I can't figure
out what its problem is, and I'm scared for it. Any ideas on a bloody
nose and gulping?
<Hard to say but environmental stress is most likely, though
you can't rule out inter-species aggression; Clowns for example have the
potential to be quite aggressive at feeding time and at night, and
during the night
especially Angels are very vulnerable to disturbance. Even if the Angel
isn't attacked overtly, it can get scared, and being effectively blind
in the dark (most cichlids are day-animals, like us) they can end up
slamming into rocks or glass.>
The blood doesn't come out. It just looks like it's under the skin right
above the mouth.
<Physical trauma is one possibility, i.e., a bruise. But environmental
stress is another possibility. Some bacterial infections start by
blocking blood vessels close to the skin, causing the characteristic
bloody spots and flecks seen on skin and fins. Eventually the tissue
around the blockage dies from lack of blood supply. Fixing the
environment and treating as per Finrot should do the trick if this is
the issue here.>
I'm worried about adding medicine as I don't have a hospital tank. Any
<Hope this helps. Neale.>
Distressed Angel; FW 3/13/16
I have a 29 gallon tank with 4 angels and 6 zebra,
a few plants - it has been set up and running great for a year, the
angels were added 5 months ago at half-grown size. Since then the angels
have exploded with growth - they are already 4 inches and they are
there in the community tank (I let them eat the eggs because I don't
have the facilities to raise young angels). The zebra have also bred and
I am growing some of them in another tank. I have a freshwater drip
refreshes the whole tank daily - 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0-10 nitrate, ph
7.6. They are fed flakes, frozen bloodworms, and frozen brine shrimp.
<All sounds good.>
Yesterday "Blackhawk" (angel) began swimming strangely, "panting", stays
near surface, this morning his fins are folded closer to his body. Last
night when I fed him he ate a little, although not as voraciously as
All the other fish are still healthy. The only "change" I can think of
is I scraped some algae off the glass two days ago - but I do this
regularly to no ill effect. What should I do to help Blackhawk?
<There's nothing in what you've told me that's obviously wrong.
So you're going to have to go back to basics and tick off a checklist of
potential Angelfish issues. First up, check nitrite and/or ammonia to
make sure the filter is okay. It's never a bad idea to do a substantial
water change when fish are off-colour, just be sure to keep temperature
and water chemistry reasonably steady as you do so. Change maybe 25-50%
and see what happens.
If the fish perks up, then environment is likely an issue. Of course
check the heater is on, and check any extra gizmos like air stones are
working too. Next up, check social behaviour. One issue with Angels is
they're social when young, territorial when sexually mature. This is why
they're best kept singly, in mated pairs, or in groups of six or more.
If you keep three or four, any pairs that form are likely to bully the
remainder. In groups of six or more this is less of an issue because a
single pair can't harass four or more Angels too seriously, and to some
degree large numbers can actually form fairly stable social groups
(outside of spawning) that doesn't seem to happen when fewer Angels are
kept. Finally, look at social behaviour with other fish. While Zebra
Danios are reliable community fish
alongside other active species of similar size, they can be quite
feisty, both towards each other and anything too slow to get out of
their way. Look for evidence of nipping, for example. While the
Danio/Angel combination is
usually pretty good, in small groups Danios are less predictable than
they are in decent sized schools; say, 10-12 specimens.>
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Distressed Angel Blackhawk - more info
I just sent the question about my angel "Blackhawk". I neglected to also
mention that as he hovers near the surface he is also doing a sort of
rapid body shimmy. This shimmy, along with his gill panting looks
exhausting! See my previous email for full info.
<Again, nothing very specific. Rapid breathing can mean thermal stress,
bullying to the point of exhaustion, poisoning (including chemicals in
the air), rapid pH changes... you need to review aquarium conditions and
the room in its in and come to your own conclusions. Shimmying is
somewhat more specific, being typical of fish exposed to the wrong
environmental conditions, the classic case being Mollies in inadequately
hard freshwater conditions. But again, nothing obvious. I'd refer you
back to my original email about what Angels need and why they don't
always get along in small groups, and of course remind you that
isolating an Angelfish in a "hospital tank" that's too small or poorly
filtered will simply make things worse. By and large Angels are hardy
fish, but they are classic cichlids in being
among the first to become stressed if environmental conditions aren't
right. In planted tanks that can include over/mis-use of CO2, so one
step is to switch off CO2 for a week and see what happens. Plants'll be
Another problem can be lack of oxygen if there's a lot of organic matter
in the tank, including dead plants, and of course the plants themselves
use up oxygen by night, so if the Angel looks more stressed in the
the lights go on, that's something to consider. I'd also remind you
about biogenic decalcification, which in brightly lit tanks can be
massively influential. In short: plants absorb carbonate hardness as a
source of carbon for photosynthesis, resulting in much less buffering
capacity, and that in turn makes pH crashes likely. Not all plants can
do this, but those that can, such as Vallisneria, can be hugely
influential on water chemistry. Cheers, Neale.>
Injured angelfish 2/2/16
I had a bit of an incident last night when my angelfish jumped out of
I've had this fish for 7 years (he was the first fish i bought) and nothing like
this has ever happened. Sadly, I only discovered it had happened when I heard my
Siberian husky running around the lounge and came out to investigate to find my
beloved angel in his mouth. I don't know how long the angel was out of the water
before my dog found him. I was sure he was a goner, so was shocked to find he
was still alive after making my dog drop the fish. I immediately put it back in
the tank and he started swimming, albeit slowly.
He looked in quite a lot of shock and was breathing rapidly. I left him in quiet
not expecting him to last the night, but 24 hours later he's swimming, eating
and behaving as normal.
The reason I am writing is because he sustained a number of injuries in the
ordeal. His fins are a bit torn up, he's missing scales and, most concerning, he
has a large puncture wound at the base of his tail (pics attached).
<I see these>
The wound was bleeding last night but looks relatively clean now. There's
probably some internal injuries as well as my dog was pretty rough with him. Is
there anything I can/should do to help his healing process (that won't harm the
other fish in the tank)?
<Mmm; yes. I'd treat as if this fish had an infection... as it very likely will
develop such. Please read here Re:
I'm worried the wound
will become infected. Or is it best to watch and wait?
<Will become infected; best not to wait, but be pre-emptive>
Thanks for your time,
<And you for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Injured angelfish 2/3/16
Thank you Bob for your sage advice. I've been reading through the angel FAQs you
linked as well as some of the articles on treating diseases and am, admittedly,
a little overwhelmed.
<Let's review a bit at a time then>
I guess because a lot if this advice pertains to treating advanced infection and
I'm not at (and hopefully my poor angel will never get to) that point. I wanted
to run it by you before I dose my tank as I don't want to make a rookie error
and cause a larger problem.
<Let's hope so>
I see a lot of FAQs recommending against things like Melafix, for example, but
the Choose Your Weapon article indicated it can be useful as a preventative.
<Some folks believe so; I do not. These "fixes" can be trouble in terms of
modifying water quality, stalling nitrification. At best they're placebos>
That said, it sounds like I'm better off looking for an
<Yes; a real one>
I'm doing a preliminary online shop at my local LFSs and can't find much of
those listed in your FAQs (I guess cause I
live in Australia), will any antibiotic do?
<Mmm; no; some are better, more likely applicable... better to use none than
I see it also says many medications are not good with sensitive fish like clown
loaches (of which I have a few small ones and i don't have a cycled quarantine
tank to put the angel in) so I'm worried about harming them.
<You should be; again, I'd skip adding any real or faux med. here>
Also worried about causing a recycling event in my tank by killing the 'good'
bacteria so is there any specific medications to avoid for that?
<All to an extent can pose this issue>
Another article suggested that administering the medication via food was better
than immersion, but that getting accurate dosages can be tricky.
<Yes; tis so>
My angel is still very enthusiastically eating (during their feed tonight he
raced all the other fish to it and ate first as usual) so food is an option if
its safer for everyone involved?
<Better to buy a pre-made medicated (dried) food. Can you obtain those made by
If it's worth mentioning I've done a 25% water change (don't gravel vac any more
since the tank is now planted but if i should to prevent infection please do
tell) and am monitoring water conditions closely. Should I do daily water
changes or is this only important in cases where a dirty tank has caused the
<I'd stick w/ your routine... Likely weekly, no more than 25% change-outs>
Do you also have any advice of specific symptoms I should be on the look out
for, or should I simply be watching out for anything and everything?
<Growths on the wounds; more importantly a cessation of feeding; other aberrant
Sorry for the barrage of questions from this panicked fish mum!
Thanks as ever for your patience and advice,
<Thank you for your careful reading, questions. BobF>
Re: Injured angelfish 2/4/16
Thanks so much for clarifying! I went on a hunt at my all my LFSs and not a lot
of luck. All most of them had was MelaFix/pimafix/bettafix. One did have a very
small range of medications by Blue Planet, none of them being medicated food
(some Googling suggested there is no medicated fish food sold in Australia at
all, Tetra brand or otherwise).
<Is possible they are restricted there; or of such small commercial demand that
they're not carried>
The only antibiotic medication they had was called Aquari Cycline. It
calls itself a broad spectrum antibiotic with tetracycline hydrochloride as its
active ingredient. Should I try this?
<Yes; I would. NOTE that it/this (Tet. HCl) WILL change the color of your
water... at least slightly orangish... This color will not permanently stain,
and will decline with subsequent water changes and the addition of activated
The guy at my LFS suggested it was fine to use with clown loaches (he also told
me MelaFix or a salt bath was better so i don't know).
As for my angel he looks well still. He's eating and behaving like nothing
happened. His wound looks much the same, if not a little more closed over (hard
to get a good look at it as he always looks at me front on when I go near the
tank). His torn fins have almost completely healed. Over what time period should
I expect/be checking for infection to occur?
<A few days to a week>
Thanks once more,
Re: Injured angelfish 2/26/16
Hi Bob (and Crew!),
Its been almost 3 weeks since my angel's little incident. I just wanted to drop
an email to thank you once more for your time and advice. My angel appears to
have made a full recovery and remains happy and (to my knowledge) healthy -- and
as a bonus I have added a lot more knowledge to my fish keeping arsenal once
again thanks to you all. Here's a little mobile snap of my angel during feeding
<Ahh; great news all the way around>
<As many welcomes. Bob Fenner