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FAQs on Freshwater Angelfish Disease/Health 10

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: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional (e.g. HLLE), Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic (Ich, Velvet...), Genetic, Treatments,

Related Articles: Freshwater Angels, Discus, Juraparoids, Neotropical Cichlids, African Cichlids, Dwarf South American Cichlids, Asian Cichlids, Cichlid Fishes in General,

Related FAQs: Angels 1, Angels 2, Angelfish Identification, Angelfish Behavior, Angelfish Compatibility, Angelfish Selection, Angelfish Systems, Angelfish Feeding, Angelfish Reproduction, & FAQs on: Wild Angels (P. altum), Cichlids of the World, Cichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid Disease, Cichlid Reproduction,


Angelfish dying - any advice is welcomed!      6/13/18
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, Neale.>
Re: Angelfish dying - any advice is welcomed!    6/14/14

Thank you so much Neal!!!
<Most welcome.>
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, then
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, Neale.>
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 fine.>
- any other plants to avoid?
<See above.>
Sincerely, Lisa
<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 last
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 haven't 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 internal issue.
<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 all.>
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, Seachem's Metroplex
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 medicine!
Cheers, Neale.>
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 serves.
<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 value of
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 water.
<Not sure why you're using Tetracycline at all. Unlikely to help Hexamita.
As for the Metronidazole, simply follow the instructions on the packaging.
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 the Metronidazole.
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      3/9/18
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 these cichlids.>
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 "lawn".
<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!>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Angelfish with a mark on its side        2/2/18
Hello ,
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.
Many thanks!!
<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
Hi Neale,
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 limited.
<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) Metronidazole.>
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,
<Hello Linda,>
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.
Thanks again,
<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
Ahh. Doh!!!
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!     2/16/18
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 https://www.ntlabs.co.uk
<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 you.
<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
Hi there,
<Hello Nicki,>
I was wondering if you could help me out with diagnosing my angelfish.
<Sure thing.>
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 per 20L).
<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 here.>
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.>
Kind regards,
<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).>
Kind regards,
<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>
See pictures
Thank you
<Bob Fenner>

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
<Hello Olivia>
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 now)
and I do a 20% water change twice a week. The temperature stays around 78.
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 flake>
Thank you!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Angelfish with ammonia poisoning       3/14/17
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,
<And these>
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.
<Ah, good>
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 with pet
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 sure
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 tank.
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 reading of
6.0 ppm. The color was darker then the 6.0 on the chart and nitrite was 200 ppm.
<Nitrate likely>
I don't remember the nitrite reading.
I was wondering what you meant Bob when you said, <Sounds/reads like a rogue>
<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 bucket.
I wanted to say thank you for the help and taking the time to read this.
<Certainly welcome. BobF>

Help needed on Angelfish disease.      3/5/17
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 herewith.
A expert advice is most earnestly solicited.
Thanking you
Deeptam Dutta
<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     3/1/17
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>"
Bob Fenner>

Angelfish - hole on its back      2/20/17
Dear Crew,
<Hello Imrich,>
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 over crowded:
7 not fully grown angels,
3 dwarf gouramis,
2 guppies,
6 tetra neons,
2 scissor tetras,
3 glass tetras,
1 male Betta,
1 Siamese algae eater,
1 kuhli loach,
1 Otocinclus,
3 platies,
3 harlequins,
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:
Temperature: 26'C
pH: 7.6
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!
Best regards,
<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.       5/28/16
This is a slightly blurry picture of my black and grey striped angelfish.
<And uncropped....>
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 fish.
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 later).
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.
Any advice?
<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 zero.
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 weekly water
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 water
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 you're
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 advice?
Thanks, Alexandra
<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 breeding right
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 system that
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 usual.
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.>
Thanks, John
<Hope this helps, Neale.> 
Distressed Angel Blackhawk - more info    3/14/16

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 fine.
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 morning before
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
Hi crew!
I had a bit of an incident last night when my angelfish jumped out of the tank.

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.
<Ah good>
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 antibacterial/antibiotic?
<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 just any>
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 Tetra there?>
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 infection?
<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 behavior>
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
Hi Bob,
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 carbon>

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,
<Bob Fenner>

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 time today.
<Ahh; great news all the way around>
Many thanks,
<As many welcomes. Bob Fenner

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