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FAQs about Marine Angelfish Trauma

FAQs on Angel Disease: Angel Disease 1, Angel Disease 2, Angel Disease 3, Angel Disease 4, Angels and Butterflyfishes & Crypt,
FAQs on Angel Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environment, Nutrition, Social, Pathogenic, Genetic, Treatments 

Related Articles: Marine Angels

Related Marine Angel FAQs: Marine Angelfishes In General, Angelfish ID, SelectionBehavior, Compatibility, Systems, Feeding,

Collection, handling damage... Commonly burn from shipping, inappropriate acclimation.

Forever getting damaged via nets and their opercular spines


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

16 year old French Angel sick      6/3/16
Hi Guys,
I have a 240 gallon FOWLR with the French angel, 2 clowns, hippo and lemon peel. Nothing new has been introduced in 3+ years, but now my angel is in bad shape. My LFS said it looks to be a tumor and that nothing can be done.
<If so; about right... directly... Some folks have done 'ectomies"; and indirect methods of using supplements (soaking foods, adding directly to water) HUFAs, probiotics, vitamins... iodide, are of use>
His mouth looked irritated at first and now seems to be disappearing...almost like something is eating it away. i can send you a pic. I tried a bacterial medication, but it did not work. He hasn't eaten in 4 weeks, but does still swim a bit and hover in the corner of the tank.
Do you think this is hopeless, or is there something else i can try?
<Can't tell from the lack of data presented... Not eating for a month is a bad sign>
Thank you for any advice you can provide.
Thank you,
<Bob Fenner>
Re: 16 year old French Angel sick        6/4/16

Hi Bob,
<Hello again John>
Thanks for the reply. I've attached a picture of his mouth as you can see the skin is pulling away from his mouth. If it is hopeless, should i consider euthanizing him? After 16 years, I'd hate to see him suffer.
<Am a "hold out" where giving up is concerned. Have seen such "sores" from whatever cause/s spontaneously heal. Again, please see WWM re supplements (use the word "Selcon" to find the FAQs files), and iodide/ate. I would
lace foods with these as well as add directly to the water... Marine fishes do drink their environment. BobF>
Thanks again,

Mouth Sore on Large Angelfish    3/11/14
Hi Bob,
I very recently purchased a regal angelfish from a local supplier and while has been in my QT tank for around 2 days now and just this morning i noticed a lesion/sore on its mouth and a little missing tissue on both gills.
<Yikes... likely damage from collection, holding, shipping>

The mouth sore seems to be swollen with some tissue missing as well. There is nothing in that QT except a few pipes to hide in and a sponge filter along with some air stones. The angelfish, since i recently acquired, it isn't eating yet and I of course don't want to lose him. This sore is the reason I am sure that he is not eating.
<Likely so... I would be putting in, rotating in some very healthy live rock pieces for its eating et al.>
I started treating with quinine sulfate on day 1 when i got him for preventive maintenance against Ich which is what I always do before i add any fish into my FOWLR. Aside from that, I have not added anything else into the tank. I am not sure what else could have caused this. I was reading on WWM and it seems most consistent with some sort of bacterial infection. Is this assessment correct and if so, how do I get him better?
<Just ultra good care, low-stress, and optimized, stable conditions... and offering a wide mix of foods in small quantities...>
Thank you and any advice would be greatly appreciated.
<I wish you life. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mouth Sore on Large Angelfish        3/11/14

Yeah, I did also think it was from shipping. The strange thing was that the first day he was there, he was totally fine. All the damage came out on day 2.
 Is that still possibly from shipping?
 I contacted the supplier and they said they put copper on all their tanks even on the angelfish. Could that possibly also be the cause?
<Is a contributor; yes>
Thank you again for the advice! 
Ryan Uy
<Mabuhay, BobF>

Re: Salt water angel foggy eye       10/29/13
Hi Mr. Fenner
Should I be putting him in a hospital tank and treating him with maracyn 
Carlo- Electric Eel
<You should be reading. BobF>
Re: Salt water angel foggy eye       10/29/13

I read up in the FAQ and what I gather is that with good nutrition and good water quality it should go away on its <own>
<Ah yes>

 but should I put something in the water to protect my angel against bacteria infection?
<If you're going the treatment per se route, better to get "whatever this is antimicrobial wise" into the fish... via feeding; best by injection (intraperitoneal- or intramuscular-ly. B>
Carlo- Electric Eel
Re: Salt water angel foggy eye       10/29/13

Do you have something to suggest I use ?
<Chloramphenicol Succinate... of course. B>
Carlo- Electric Eel
Re: Salt water angel foggy eye       10/29/13

Thank you. I will research to see where I can get it. Thank you for your help
Carlo- Electric Eel

Re: Salt water angel foggy eye   11/1/13
Hi Bob
Our angel has stopped eating. Could it be something else?
<... what is "it"? Likely the injury alone could/does acct. for a loss of appetite>
Carlo- Electric Eel
Re: Salt water angel foggy eye   11/1/13

The it is just still his eye being swollen and reddish. He hadn't eaten today so I was wondering if the swollen red eye could be a symptom of something else
<Keep reading
Carlo- Electric Eel

Re: Salt water angel foggy eye     11/12/13
Hi Bob
It's been a couple of weeks now and the angels eye swelling went down but is still red. I noticed he is starting to get a couple of red spots of the side of his body. He is also breathing a little heavier than usual. Could he have a parasite of a bacterial infection. ?
<... sure; how can/could you tell for sure? Sampling, 'scoping. B>

Please help. I really trying to get him better. I have been feeding food with garlic and keeping the water quality good but he doesn't seem to be getting better. All the other fish seem fine.
Thank you
Carlo- Electric Eel
Re: Salt water angel foggy eye     11/12/13

What do you meaning ...sampling scooping ?
<.... 'scoping; as in microscoping...>
 Can I do something to help ?
Carlo- Electric Eel
<Re-read re eye issues of marine fishes on WWM. Just good care is all I'd do here... HUFAs, comm. soak of foods; optimized water qual. READ! These "eye issues" take time>

Re: Salt water angel foggy eye    11/17/13
My angel really isn't doing well. He is pretty much at the bottom of the tank leaning against a rock just breathing.
 It seems like there is something else going on cause his fins look like they are shedding.
<Very bad>
 I included another picture . At this point is there something I can do to save him?
<Just hope at this point. I would turn the light/s off on the system>
If I put him in a qt tank will I just make it worst ?
<I would not move this fish>
 I live in Canada and I don't have access to many meds like the one bob had suggested.
<No sense treating this fish at this point. Bob Fenner>
Carlo- Electric Eel

Re: Salt water angel foggy eye   11/18/13
I don't get it though ? How did it get to this point ? I mean initially it was that he had just scraped himself right ? Did he
catch something else ? I have been soaking his food and keeping quality levels up . I do t get it
Carlo- Electric Eel
<... damage, stress; perhaps a bacterial infection. B>
Re: Salt water angel foggy eye   11/18/13

Ok so I closed the lights and he started swimming around a little.
Should I prep a qt tank just incase ? I have a 10 gallon that I use for my smaller fish but my angel is pretty big. What size should I buy as a good qt if the answer is yes ?
Carlo- Electric Eel
Re: Salt water angel foggy eye   11/18/13

Forget my last email. He is still breathing but upside down so I don't think he will live thru the night
Carlo- Electric Eel

Revisiting An Old Topic...Passer Angelfish With Popeye - 05/19/08 And I hate to revisit old topics, which means I have a recurring problem. <<Oh?>> In this case, the Popeye seems to be returning to my Passer Angelfish, on the same eye that had it months ago. <<Hmm, so is a unilateral manifestation…this is likely a physical trauma…again>> I'm curious as to whether or not they are more likely to have a recurrence once they've had it once. <<The original injury may have made the eye "more sensitive" to degrading water conditions or physical contact than it was previously, yes>> My aggressive substrate vacuuming has really slowed the growth of this Cyano, fortunately, and water quality is very good, with minimal nitrates < 10 ppm. <<I see…then perhaps this is another "bump in the night" or a result of aggression from another fish>> The only thing I can think of is that perhaps with me moving live rock and vacuuming, perhaps he bumped his eye, but I cannot see any damage or injury. <<A real possibility I think, and the swollen eye is proof enough of injury…any "damage" is likely internal and thus invisible to casual observation>> As in the last time, no other fish is affected, and since I removed the snowflake moray, the bio load is at its lightest in my 200 gallon (Yellow tang, Lunare wrasse, Passer, all about 5", and a tomato clown). <<And all are possible aggressors>> Any thoughts on this happening again? <<As stated>> I know that we'll have to let it run its course again, I suppose. <<As long as good water quality and a good diet are provided…and any aggression from other fishes is not too overt…the Angel should recover>> Aside from the eye, he is in wonderful health. <<Very good to know>> Thanks again, Thomas Roach <<Happy to assist. Eric Russell>>
RE: Revisiting an Old Topic...Passer Angelfish with Popeye - 05/22/08
Well, it's definitely unilateral. <<Okay>> The other eye, in fact the rest of the fish, looks perfectly gorgeous. <<A good sign, indeed>> Last time when this occurred, I guarantee it took every bit of 2 months to fully return to normal. <<Not unexpected…and will likely take a little time to resolve itself again. Adding some Epsom Salts to the display tank (is safe to do so) at a rate of one level-teaspoon per ten-gallons actual water volume can help to ease the swelling, though the underlying trauma will still take some time to heal of its own>> At first the eye cleared, then it seemed that a gas bubble caught under the membrane of the eye worked its way 'up' and stayed just beneath the surface until somehow it relieved itself. I've of course been monitoring them really close, and all is well otherwise except for this Cyano. I'm wondering if there are other measurables besides nitrate that can indicate whether or not a protein skimmer isn't performing well? <<Hmm…the physical performance (bubble size/density, skimmate output) of the skimmer…the overall health of the system (i.e. - large presence of nuisance alga)…>> I did add another, one which I know you guys are not a big fan of. I purchased a Prizm Pro for about $75.00 brand new, thinking that since they retail around $200 and are 'rated' for a 300 gallon tank, it would at least be worth a test. I actually like the unit, it is producing more waste (good waste) than the 'SeaClone 180 gallon' model has. <<Mmm, yes…I would expect the Prizm to outperform the SeaClone...but for a little more than the money you have invested in the pair, you could probably have purchased a suitably sized AquaC or ASM skimmer…with much better performance overall>> I've left them both on the tank, thinking that you probably can't have too much protein skimming. <<A rare occurrence indeed…in my opinion>> At worst, if I need to purchase another skimmer, I can sell this Prizm for a decent price on EBay. <<I do think you would be surprised at the difference a better skimmer could make>> It seems like it moves a great quantity of water and that the air/water contact is really quite turbulent. <<Not necessarily a measure of good performance>> Is Wet Web's criticism of these units more along performance lines or due to them being more tricky in 'tuning'? <<Both, really… A skimmer that requires constant fiddling is not performing up to its potential much of the time. A skimmer that is poorly designed/constructed..well…...>> Finally - the Cyanobacteria. It seems that this goo goes from slow growing to quick, then back again. I'm fortunate it has remained on the surface of the substrate and has not moved to my live rock (yet). I'm continuing the netting of it off the substrate, along with rinsing filter media more aggressively. This weekend we are due the 20% water change as well. <<With "filtered" water I hope>> I still have not had a water test with nitrates greater than 10ppm, and it is still vexing, but not overwhelming. I've got probably 5 weeks before adding the Atlantic Blue Tang to the tank, IF he arrives this week and spends a few weeks in QT. I'd like to get this Cyano cleared up prior to then, so if you can think of other 'problem' areas, please point them out. I think I've attacked any possible causes and it still remains. <<Mmm, I don't know what you have done previously…but I would step up chemical filtration with the addition of a small canister filter or two (depending on the size of the system)...adding to these some Carbon AND Poly-Filter. I would also consider adding a small reactor with an iron-based Phosphate remover (I would think you are feeding these large fishes well and often…as you should be). And too, increase water flow throughout the tank…and certainly along the substrate>> Take care, Thomas Roach <<And you my friend. Eric Russell>>
R2: Revisiting an Old Topic...Passer Angelfish with Popeye - 05/23/08
That's funny, prior to reading your reply but after writing the last question, I purchased a Poly-Filter pad and put it in my overflow for complete pass through. <<Excellent>> We'll see what colors we get here in a short time. <<Likely brown to black…unless you have some copper in your system>> Wonder what the life expectancy of one is? <<Depends on the amount of material available for scavenging…the quicker it turns dark, the more it was needed>> Do you have an opinion on the large 'nitrate filter pads' (also, Phosphate Filter Pads) that can be purchased? For some reason I'm wary of them. <<These can be of utility on an occasional basis. As with even the iron-based media, I would not use these full time (I do not include the Poly-Filter here…DO use it full time)>> True, regarding the skimmers, if I had not purchased them in time separated by months. Not that I won't purchase another one, but I will watch for a good deal on something that large $$ wise. <<Okay>> Not that I don't support local fish stores, but the only store locally that carries those brands is down in the high society area of Houston and is ridiculously overpriced, they cater to those beyond my means :) This Prizm Pro, though, seems to be quite an improvement over the SeaClone. For me, it doesn't require a lot of 'fiddling', really, once it is set. <<Very good>> Now it may not be the best in effectiveness, but the improvement should get me through until I can find one of the models you recommend. I'm looking now at AquaC's website link off of your webpage, and trying to determine what would be good for my set up. Due to the Stand construction I cannot get a sump bigger than the wet-dry that's already below the tank without taking the whole tank down... so a hang on model is probably my best option at this time. The EV-240 might work if I can configure it, it looks as though their largest hang-on is only rated to 120 gallons. <<Thomas, send an email to Steven at AquaC (you can tell him I sent you) and explain to him your system and its physical limitations and he will advise/assist you in selecting the best model to suit. I can assure you that Jason and Steven will do everything they can to help…their customer service is among the best>> I have had quite a recent bloom of 'nuisance algae', the green glass coating variety, but I attributed that to recently increasing my lighting by 190 watts. <<Indeed…but the lighting is only the catalyst…the fuel for such blooms was/is already there>> Thomas Roach <<Regards, Eric Russell>>

Adult passer angelfish, shipping trauma. 12/15/2007 <Very common... specimens more than about 4" total length don't "ship well"> I recently received a large adult passer angelfish from a mail order fish store which shall remain nameless since they have been nice about this. The fish arrived in terrible condition, dazed and confused and in ~65 degree water that was loaded with waste. I've had it in my 175 gallon tank for a day now and not surprisingly it won't eat and it is very sluggish though mobile, taking laps around the tank occasionally. <The last behavior leads me to have hope...> I wonder if any of you know what types of stress tropical marine fish can take and what the prognosis for such a fish is and what I can do to maximize chances of keeping it alive and even better acting like the bold, curious fish it is supposed to be. It really is very sad seeing such a beautiful fish like this fall apart. Thanks, Omar. <I'd keep the lights off to low... if you have to for other livestock... and not be overly concerned if the fish doesn't feed, do much of anything for a few days. Again, the swimming about behavior is a good sign. Bob Fenner, who did collect this and other "key" (i.e. expensive) species al sur off and on for decades.>
Re: Adult passer angelfish, shipping trauma.
12/19/07 Hi Bob and crew. The Passer has not visibly gotten parasites or anything out of the ordinary since I last emailed you but it is still not eating and has gotten very sluggish, lying on its side much of the time until today. <... I would notify the shipper... These symptoms are case-perfect for a specimen that has been chilled... Happens... quite often... in hauling, live-shipping "up the line" from its E. Pacific subtropical distribution...> I tried blowing Cyclop-Eeze at its mouth last night and I don't know if it was only coughing or eating but today it was more alert and even elevating itself off the bottom. I know you aren't here to see this fish but I'll ask anyway. Is this just a last burst of energy before dying or did inhaling the Cyclop-Eeze actually help it? I've given it Cyclop-Eeze several times today and after just about giving up on the fish I'm once again hopeful it may live. Its eyes are still presenting as very alert and actively scan and follow motion. It is just the fact this guy won't eat I think that is getting him down. Any suggestions beyond what I have done would be helpful. <There is naught to do really... Either this fish's protein-enzyme systems have been overly challenged and it will perish... or rally. Keep the system, specimen stable... and hope. BobF>

Spot on Marine Angel fish... owee from decompression procedure? 7/31/06 Hello crew, <Laurie> I've been researching on your website, but can't seem find an exact match for a possible issue with my marine angel. I purchased a Swallowtail angel two week ago. She is isolated in my QT. I did not freshwater dip her prior to putting her in the QT. <Not always advisable> A few days after bringing her home, I noticed a small white bump on her side. It's about the size of a scale. I thought that perhaps it might be a single parasite, so at that time I did capture her for a buffered (baking soda to ~8.2 pH) freshwater dip (with Methylene blue). However, I removed her after only 1 minute, as she started to thrash, which scared me. <Can be scary> Now, after about 10 days, it has turned a yellow-brown. No other spots are on her. I have decided to leave her in the QT until that spot is gone, but feel that I should know what it is, so that I can further treat her properly, if needed. <Good. This is what I would likely do as well> I tried to get a picture, but she freaks out at the camera and I can't catch her in a frame! Oh - I added a skunk cleaner, thinking that if it is a parasite, <Excellent> or actually, anything else that needs to be cleaned off, that he could assist. I have seen her letting him hop on occasionally. But, the spot is still there. Would you know what this spot might be? <Mmm, likely a "sore" from the process of capture... most likely a/the entrance of a needle to "decompress" this animal... Many marine fishes are caught at depths that make such "gas bladder bleeding" expedient, rather than the long-wait of bringing to the surface slowly...> Thank you for your help - both past and present. Regards, Laurie O. <Keep your eye on water quality, and don't be too wary of moving/placing this Genicanthus sp. in your main system. Very likely it is relatively disease free. Bob Fenner>
Re: Spot on Marine Angel fish 7/31/06
Hi Bob, <Laur> Thank you. That's great news. I will plan on moving her this coming weekend, then. (That will be a full 3 weeks in QT.) <Good> Water quality is pretty good in the QT - ammonia and nitrite at 0; nitrate at 20 ppm. I just did a 5% water change, too. I have another, unrelated question for you, if you don't mind? <Sure> I was poking around yesterday, and found on this page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm; under the section "Biological/Pathogenic Disease: Identification, Pathogens/Agents, a photo that shows zigzag lines/trails on what may be live rock (or is it a fish?). <Oh! Is a pic of nematodes, Roundworms encysted in the dermis of a Moray Eel...> It is the fourth photo down in this section. I looked at all of the links to the left, but could not find that photo in any of those links. Do you know what the zigzag lines are? <Yes... please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmdisfaq2.htm about mid-way down... the same pic> We've had three occasions of something looking exactly like these in our 110 display tank. <Mmm> Twice on the glass wall, once on a rock. We thought they were snail eggs. But, now I'm worried, because your photo is under the disease section! Thanks again, Laurie O. <There are many such-appearing living "things"... likely what you saw were actually eggs... most likely of a mollusk of some sort. Not to worry re. Bob Fenner>

Coral beauty's mouth is swollen open 7/10/05 I've had this Coral Beauty for about 8 months. It's normally real active as it is a big tank with few tankmates. Today I went to feeding and he didn't come out. And immediately that sick feeling came over me. Another dead fish you know. Anyway, 2 minutes later he pops out like he's interested in food, but his mouth is a little swollen and it looks like it is stuck in the open position! Might you have any clue? <Maybe a "bump" in the night... not much one can do but hope. Bob Fenner>

Holocanthus passer disease = Shipping/Temperature Stress Thank you in advance for your assistance. I purchased my king angelfishes from Costa Rica about a week now, they started sloughing on the second day. I did quarantine them for 4 days but decided to transfer them when 'sloughing' began to worsen. Treated with tetracycline & copper sulphate....when more died I tried Praziquantel about 1.5ppm for another 3 days; still no improvement; in fact more died. Now my other angelfishes is affected as well. Please advise. Tony yen <This sounds very much like "shipping stress", particularly the mal-affects of chilling. We used to collect and ship via air or boat this species... and if they were too long in getting to where they were going or the temperature dropped on them, they would invariably "break down"... as yours are. I would not add more medicine chemicals to their water, but would lower the specific gravity to about 1.018 and add a teaspoon of Epsom per ten gallons of water... and hope that some self-recover. Bob Fenner>

Quirky Swimmer, Marine Angel Good Morning Crew! Just a quick question. I've got an emperor angel that swims on his side...kind of. Maybe 20-30 degrees off vertical, been doing it since I got him three weeks ago. He seems to be in great health. Adult coloration, maybe 5 or so inches. Eats like a teenage boy. He's active and personable. Should I be concerned? Thanks! Scott Critter Cabana <Mmm, concerned for this animal's health, not likely, though it may be hard to sell. Likely it was "damaged in collection"... perhaps by mis "needling" (puncturing the gas bladder with a thin diameter syringe to facilitate rapid "decompression" from depth, or suffered some other gas bladder damage in too-rapid ascent. Sometimes (about half) these problems/traumas solve themselves (over weeks to months time), other times... the fish swim at an angle going forward. Bob Fenner>

Angel injury (reddish opercular spine, bacterial involvement?) I have a 7" angel (Goldflake) that appears to have injured itself. I gently caught it and placed it in a 55 gallon for now and am watching it. It looks like on one side, it has injured the 'spine' on the lower side of the cheek. you know, the one that only angels have, but butterflies don't. <Yes, almost all> It appears to have a shade of pink on that side in there. Not that large an area though, so I'm not sure if its from the injury itself, or if there is an infection of some sort. <Very common... likely due to a physical trauma... running/swimming into something in the tank, net damage, collateral shipping if the animal is newer.> I only noticed it when it was no longer eating after two days. Anyhow, after putting it in the 55, its just swimming back and forth (not too fast, not too slow) and that's when I noticed the spine injury. Anyhow, should I just watch it or should I put an anti-biotic in there. Or perhaps a light anti-biotic like Melafix ?  <Not an antibiotic product... I would try to boost the animal's health nutritionally, add a cleaner organism... at this point.> I know that these bacterial infections can work quickly, but not sure if it'll recover without anti-biotics or not. Also, how apparent is a bacterial infection ? is it just a vague light pink redness or is it pretty obvious and just red underneath the skin ? I see only a light pink in the area and not sure if its just from the injury or what. Thanks for any help. Jim <Only way to judge is through culture and staining, microscopic observation... Outside the realm of pet-fishing by and large in terms of use/applicability... Sometimes, while already manipulating such animals (not worth re-netting damage, stress), a topical anti-microbial can be applied (like with a Q-tip (tm)) onto the affected area... Bob Fenner>

Koran in trouble Do you have any idea what this may be on my Koran? I don't think its a color change. Looks more like a scrape or something. <Agreed. Apparent "sore" from a physical trauma> Water conditions are perfect, salt is 1.022. Temp is at 78. No AMMONIA, NITRATES, NITRITES. All the other fish appear fine. I have 2 cleaner shrimp and they don't clean the fish so I am assuming that it isn't a parasite. Does the picture help any? Thanks Bill <Does help... I might add an antibiotic (broad spectrum, gram negative) to this fish's foods... if the opening grows worse, consider netting it, applying the antibiotic mixed with a bit of Vaseline to the wound site... otherwise maintaining it in an optimized, stable environment WITH the cleaner... and hope time will heal it. Bob Fenner>
Sick Koran Wow thank you for a quick response. It appears that this is on both sides of the Koran, does that sound like anything? <Mmm, yes... like the problem originated with the specimen getting caught between two rocks... or pinched in some other way> Looks to be getting more red, just over night. Also he appears to be digging. He won't let me get a good picture at least not yet. I am afraid that netting him will cause unnecessary stress. Any ideas? Thanks Bill <Just the ones sent to you yesterday. Bob Fenner>
Injured Navarchus Beauty >Can you please help me identify what this is (see pic's)?  >>Hello, I certainly will try (GORGEOUS fish, by the way!). >I've had him about 3 months. I was not looking to purchase a Navarchus, the bonehead at LFS sold him to me as a Coral Beauty (I'm a bonehead as well).  >>You bonehead! I happen to think this is a much prettier fish than the Coral Beauty, and yours is fat and QUITE healthy looking, except for that little nick in its side. >He shows no signs of discomfort or duress, eating well, hiding a bit since being alone in the 65 gal QT three days ago. I would like to treat but trying to identify problem first so I can treat properly.  >>Very smart move. >He was the 65 gal w/Naso tang, bird nose wrasse, Fiji blue dot puffer, flame hawk and Cuban hog. Moved them all (slowly after cycling) to new 150 gal about a week ago. I noticed the white marks on his side before moving him to the 150 so I decided to leave him in the 65 and use as a hospital tank until he has healed. Fresh water dip on Monday and Tuesday didn't seem to change anything. Do you think this is Lymphocystis? >>No, Lymphocystis isn't normally seen on the body of the fish, and this displays none of the usual nodular form. Freshwater dips will do nothing for Lymphocystis. In the photos you sent (excellent shots) it doesn't appear white, but pink, like flesh. To me it really looks like an injury, and since it appeared within a week of a move, that would be my first guess. If he's not scratching, breathing hard, otherwise behaving normally as you say, then again, my lean is towards injury. At that point you have some choices. First, ALWAYS go with providing best possible nutrition, which not only means great variety, but enriching with a good supplement, my favorite is Selcon. They can't heal if they haven't got the "tools". Second, by the looks of this fish I'd surmise that you're providing fantastic water conditions, keep this up. Now, the choice comes in whether or not you'll treat prophylactically. This would generally be antibiotics. I am of the general opinion (not always) that, if the fish is otherwise in best condition, and his environment is providing excellent conditions, he can heal on his own. However, I WOULD have on hand some antibiotic just in case you see secondary infection setting in. My favorite is usually Spectrogram, Maracyn is another good one. Have enough on hand to treat for one week. If you don't use it, at least you have it. Hope this helps! Marina 

Injured Navarchus Beauty II >Thanks so much for your quick response.  >>You're welcome. >Please continue your opinion on the antibiotic treatment.  >>There's not much else to say beyond what I outlined previously. I prefer Spectrogram because the applications where it's worked amazingly well (including stopping degradation in starfishes), and it's a good, relatively inexpensive antibiotic. >I picked up some "Aquatronics Paragon" last night in case I need to go that route. Do you know this product?  >>Yes, I do, and there is nothing at this time that indicates the need to use something this strong. Please go to the Aquatronics site and read the uses for *both* Spectrogram and Paragon. Paragon *might* be indicated for some parasitic infections, with antibiotics for the usually associated secondary bacterial infections. However, there is nothing in your situation that shows a need for this. Again, I strongly recommend Spectrogram. http://www.aquatronicsonline.com/  >Is there something else you might suggest? >>Not at this time. >I will add the Selcon to his food today. I have been using Vita-Chem with his diet of various frozen foods, Angel formula, flake, pellet and Seaweed Selects daily. I have the patience and time to treat him but I know he wants to be back in the main tank as he can see it and tends to stay on the side of the QT closest to the main. >>I'm sure he does.  >He and the Blondie Tang are buddies and even share the same sleeping areas. Thanks again. >>Remember, this appears to be an injury, don't simply treat to treat, wait it out, a few days to a week should be fine, and if he's doing well, carefully place him back in the display. I strongly suggest you do this as early in the day as possible so he avoids bumping himself. Hopefully no one will have established territories such that he has to stand up for his own turf. Marina 

Angel In Distress Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> Hoping you guys can help me out once again! <Let's give it a shot!> I bought a 3" French angel on Mar 4th.  On arriving he looked to be in fantastic shape.  I put him in my 40 gallon quarantine tank (has a small amount of lava rock, and cc). <Awesome!> The water parameters have been kept basically perfect.  He soon was eating from my hand a good variety of foods including marine angel mix.  On the 22nd day of quarantine he wasn't eating with quite the same gusto as usual, then that evening he looked like he had a bit of fading on his black and what I would call possibly Amy/velvet??? very tiny whitish spots...not Ich.  What I wasn't sure about was the correct diagnosis.  He seemed a bit lethargic and went off his food.  I immediately started copper treatment. <Well, could be Amyloodinium, so rapid intervention is not a bad idea. The fact that this illness manifested itself in day 22 of quarantine just reinforces the value of the quarantine process with new fishes. You simply can't take it for granted that a fish is healthy...good job!> On the 24th day he ate again, but now one eye has popeyed.  I so very badly do not want to lose this fish.  Can you tell me if I should also be adding penicillin or maracyn2?? along with the copper??  I started the copper 24 hours ago. <Well, if the Popeye is just in one eye, I would not utilize any additional medications...It might simply be due to some injury, and could decrease in a few days with continued high water quality and the possible use of Epsom salt in the water to draw out the swelling. Continue monitoring the fish carefully, and do check copper levels regularly to assure that they remain at proper therapeutic levels> Thank you so much, I really really appreciate it. Thanks again. Lynn <I'm sure that your fish will be okay if you follow through with the treatment protocol. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>
Angel fish on the mend
>Hi again, >>Hello the first time from me, Marina here this morning, Lynn. >Really hate to bother you guys again, but your the only ones that I can count on.  I wrote to you a few weeks ago and told you about my French angel. ( I'll just refresh your mind about it.  I bought a 3" juv French and kept it in a 40 gallon quarantine tank. Water parameters where kept perfect...literally. PH 8.3, temp 82, A=0, Ni=0 Nitrate 0   On the 23rd day of quarantine he quit eating, but not chasing the food, looked a bit off and had some what I would almost call a fading or spots around the face and front of him. (not crypto, but possibly velvet)  I immediately started copper with him and did this for 6 days  ( 20 ppm)  He didn't seem to pick up a whole lot but didn't get worse either.  I also lowered the salinity to 1.015 and added Maracyn 2.  On the sixth day I decided that I must have diagnosed his disease incorrectly as I believe I should have seen more of an improvement within that time.   >>Wow, smart!  I'm impressed with your whole method, very good. >I then did a 35% water change and added carbon etc.  The next day I added quick cure (1 drop per gallon)  within 48 hours he was eating again and looking definitely livelier.  I was greatly relieved. This was on April 4th  that I started the quick cure treatment for 7 days. (removing the filters) but keeping the water pristine.  I then quit with it and added malachite green for a few days.  The angel is acting normal and eating but I can still see " marks" on him...around his face and front end?? 
<Chem./treatment burn. RMF>
  >>This will take some time to heal (whatever they are--assuming it's not the beginning of HLLE, but that is SO unlikely I can't even suggest you consider it).  Good feed with good supplements will help this.   >I decided to do a freshwater dip as well, but only left him in for 6 minutes.  He kept laying on his side, and I couldn't take it anymore! >>LOL!  They always lay on their sides, it's when the fins become erect and their breathing clearly becomes stressed that you need to remove them.  No worries though. >Am I worried for nothing here? >>Naw, not for nothing.  I think you're doing everything right, my only other suggestion is to also get some Spectrogram (a gram positive/negative broad spectrum antibiotic) because I think you're a judicious, prudent person and keep your first aid box well stocked.  It's good stuff. >or should I be doing something else. What else can I do?  What if I have diagnosed this wrong again? Help me.   >>I think your observations are your very BEST tool.  Just keep watching the fish, be sure you feed one or two of those very good angelfish specific foods, as well as supplementing (if he'll take it) with something like Selcon-soaked Nori or frozen Mysis/krill/squid/shrimp.  Variety in foods in one of the best ways to ensure good nutrition, for every living thing I can think of except flamingos! >I really appreciate your books and sites and must have read that book a hundred times over!  In fact I feel that I could be giving other people advice! LOL ...but when it concerns my fish  I feel  useless.  That's when it's time to turn to you!!  Anyways, I really appreciate the job you guys are doing!! and pretty much read your F&Q's everyday.  Thank you so much.  Lynn McKinney >>You're quite welcome, and we appreciate the props.  Good luck!  Marina

Re: bubble eye my flame angel has developed a large clear bubble over one eye.  It still swims and eats well.  What is this and will it resolve or kill the fish. Thanks, Mark <Due to it being "one-sided" this is likely a result of a mechanical injury ("bump in the night") and not some overt environmental or pathogenic result. Please see here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/popeyefaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Daddy's Little Angel (Cont'd.) Hello yet again, with respect to my new Chaetodontoplus septentrionalis and my original message to your site regarding the "pimple" structure on his lower jaw. It has since gone from bloody red to whitish in color and the swelling has gone down a tad bit. My new question is he has had an abrasion in the front of his back tail, I have been keeping an eye on it since it arrived (six days ago) and the scales were slightly raised a discolored. Today, all of the scales have fallen off and the underlying tissue is now exposed, what to do?  I should mention that on day two I gave him a FWD/formalin for the "pimple". After I put him back in his tank he started to breathe rapidly, sank to the bottom and literally curled up and did not move until the next morning. I thought I killed my new arrival! The next morning he began to slowly exhibit normal function, Wheeeew! This was not the first FWD/formalin procedure I had done and am thinking he is just really sensitive. <Could be...I would be more likely to utilize a straight freshwater dip, sans formalin.> Do you have any input on either or both problems? If FWD's are out it sure limits my arsenal. Steve Suniga <Well, Steve, at this point, I'd utilize super high water quality as a key "weapon" in my counterattack. I would avoid harsh chemical agents like formalin, and maybe just step up the water change routine for a while. You may also want to use a liquid vitamin preparation, added directly to the QT water. These vitamins are absorbed through the skin, and consumed by the fish directly...Vitamins can help the overall strength and perhaps enhance the fish's natural re-generative processes. Don't do anything too rash...Keep up the careful observations, and take action only as necessary. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

It Ain't Over Till The Bloated Fish...Lives (Centropyge "Bloat') Dear Piscatorial Crew: <Scott F. your Fishy Friend tonight!> Hola! <Good evening!> Could you please tell me more about the Centropyge "bloat" syndrome. I've scoured the net for info and apparently it's endemic to dwarf's. But why do they develop the bloating during initial shipment? <Well, this malady is thought to be caused by decompression trauma. Many of these fishes are collected at depths that require some decompression. Some collectors insert a needle into the fish's anus (yuck!) in order to "help" the fish decompress. This, and other decompression "techniques" can result in a serious internal infection caused by bacteria.> They are finicky eaters and I'd imagine it's hard to ingest bacteria. Also, there is an instance of a Centropyge Bicolor eating Cryptocaryon from a surgeonfish and contracted the disease 2 days later. How do you cure it apart from feeding antibiotics? Or does this mean, "That's all folks, the show is over"? Please advice. Best, Bazza <The resulting infection can be cured with antibiotics, either in the water, or in the food. It's quite possible to save an affected fish, if quick action is taken! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Locking Angel Jaw? >I'm sorry if this reaches you guys twice, I have been having a heck of a time getting emails to you guys....and since I considered this an emergency I am taking the change at being annoying.     >>We'll just delete the extra copy. >My original email from yesterday is as follows: Good evening crew, I recently purchased a 2.5" juvenile Flagfin angelfish (Apolemichthys trimaculatus), it is currently residing in a 20g quarantine tank for the next few weeks.  From the very first moment I brought it home, it has readily accepted both Formula Foods: Angel Formula  and also Nori....I took this as a great sign. >>I would as well. >Entering its second week now, I have discovered a problem.  I first noticed it this morning when feeding him before I left for work.  While picking at the food, its mouth seemed to get stuck in its extended position.  It swam around a bit and hit at the food again and it popped back in.  However, this evening, I came home and its mouth was stuck out again.  This time, I had to remove it to a bowl and manually massage it and it went back to normal. >>How long did you wait to do this?  Generally, I prefer to wait and see.  Fish are weird. >Do you guys have any idea what could be causing this and/or any sort of advice as to a long term solution?  I don't see removal practical once it goes into the main tank. >>It sounds like his jaw is popping, kind of.  I don't think it's good to stress him by removing him.  I'd simply ensure that he only gets very small pieces of food.  I'd also try making a "Nori wrap", of Nori (soaked in Selcon is good) that wraps fresh or frozen Mysis shrimp.  Tie it (rubber band) to a piece of rock or some other safe anchor, and hopefully this will exercise his mouthparts and body, making him work a little harder for his food.  At this point I wouldn't worry about it too much, unless you see obvious signs of disease as well, weight loss, and the like. >UPDATE: Since then, I have been hesitant to feed, however, I did very small portions this morning.  Once again the mouth got stuck, however the fish was able to work it to where it folds back in.  I'm assuming you guys are very familiar with how the angelfish extends its mouth to nip food off of rock, etc...if a picture is required I could perhaps get one.  Thanks for any clues, Ryan A. >>Ok, as I said above, I'd just leave him be.  Oh!  You can also try fresh, clean romaine lettuce leaf tied to an anchor also.  If he likes it this can be left in the tank for a couple of hours to let him spend some time picking at it.  This is psychologically beneficial to many animals, as well.  Best of luck!  Marina<<
Angel Unhinged- And Improving!
Thanks for the reply Scott, sorry for the extra mail you got yesterday....my biggest fear was that I was somehow causing the problem and that my email fell in a crack with how busy you guys are. <Never a problem, okay? That's why I do this!> I feel I handled things pretty well then (reduced food size as recommended already) but there was still some general panic :-). <I know that feeling all too well!> This update is a positive one.  Now about a day and a half later, at feeding his mouth is "sticking" less and less with each feeding.  I even provided a few larger pieces to confirm that the condition was improving.  My guess is now similar to yours, I think it experienced some form of trauma...most likely caused by striking food from either the glass bottom, pvc cave, or small piece of base rock. <Yep- that really seems to be the most likely cause- disease doesn't seem to be a factor> I attempted to take a picture of it again but it doesn't occur long enough, and frankly, that is fine with me.  I did include a picture of him in general, as well as one of him greedily coming to the turkey baster for food.  I have trained him on this from day one and it makes feeding very easy (and should make feeding in the main tank a breeze).  For being "difficult", he is showing great promise other than this small mouth hurdle we appear to be getting over, I will be keeping a detailed journal on my experience of this fish to hopefully help uncover ideas and improve the success rate of this fish.  I'll keep you guys updated. Thanks again, Ryan A. <Outstanding! I'm really glad to hear of your success! And, the idea of keeping a journal is great! By recording your experiences and observations, and sharing them with fellow hobbyists, you'll help add to the body of knowledge of the husbandry of a fish that may not be considered "difficult" once we figure out what it needs! I think that this is a really good idea for anyone who is keeping a fish that has a reputation for being difficult! Thanks in advance for your effort! Regards, Scott F>

Angel one sided breathing >Thank you in advance, I received a five inch Blue Line angel on Wed, I dripped acclimated it for three hours then put him in my Q-tank. >>You're welcome in advance, I sure do hope I can help you here.  You've been very prudent in your acclimation procedure, I couldn't have done any better.  When you say "received" I'm assuming this fish was shipped to you.  How long was it in transit?  Did you get it from a wholesaler, retailer, or direct from collector? >There is only two pieces of pvc, a filter sans media and a heater. I didn't attempt to feed him on day one >>That's my own practice as well. >but tried frozen Mysis, different flakes and a variety of frozen formulas without success. Today, I noticed he's only (very rapidly) breathing on one side and I've not noticed any visible signs of trauma. >>Since you seem to know your stuff about acclimation, I'm also going to assume that your q/t water is NSW.  Now, here's the hard part, I'm not sure what fish is a "blue line" angel, but if he's from the South Pacific, it's possible he could have been exposed to cyanide.  If so, it's simply irreversible. >I have gone through the forum and files and couldn't find any suggestions. I have thought about a fresh water dip with Methylene Blue but am not sure if its the correct path, I am starting to get very concerned as this is the holy grail of fish for me. >>Ok, let's assume that he's stressed, but that you've got perfect water quality.  If you can see no external parasites, then let's not stress him more by f/w dipping at this point.  If you think he's been stressed to the point of allowing any Ich tomonts to gain a foothold, or you think there could be any other parasites lodged in his gills, then a f/w dip is the place to start.  Have on hand some Spectrogram/Melafix (I like to have both on hand, myself).  Also, I'm going to link you to a site that lists some common medications and what they're indicated for.  IIRC, if O2 might be an issue, I've heard of folks using small amounts (maybe an ounce at a time) of H2O2--Hydrogen peroxide--to help boost O2 saturation.  It's also a mild antiseptic, again, IIRC.  Here's the link--> http://www.petswarehouse.com/Fishmed2.htm >>And another, hopefully helpful--> http://www.biofilter.com/diseases.htm  Good luck, I hope he pulls through!  Marina <Shipping burn, stress... SEE WWM re acclimating RMF>
Re: one sided breathing
>Marina, thank you for the advice. >>You're quite welcome, I hope that it's been of some help. >Its taken years to accept but I finally realize we all need help from time to time. >>I learned a while ago to just give up the idea that I don't need help.  LOL! >Also, on a positive note my Blue Line (Chaetodontoplus septentrionalis) angel began breathing from both sides yesterday and respiration slowed to a more normal rate. >>Excellent. >He had not eaten since receiving him which has been five days so I tried minced clam on the half shell which was received well. >>Great, getting him started is half the battle.   >Thinking he cannot sustain on clams alone I mixed in frozen Mysis with the minced clam. How and what other foods do you suggest I introduce, I've refrained from live brine so far and would like to stay away if possible. >>I would, too.  If you're more concerned with getting him fattened up, keep giving him the clam (soaked in a good supplement like Selcon), and you might try instead of the live brine more Mysis.  Also offer a bit of squid, krill, maybe even bits of other fish.  Soak everything in Selcon at this point, once he's on his way then you can reduce it to a few times a week. >I've gone through the related files and the forum sections without success. Of course given the size of your site I probably flew over them, Ha! I floated a piece of washed spinach but it didn't get touched, I didn't mention that I set some live rock in for him to graze on, though it hasn't been successful. >>Don't give up yet.  Do you happen to have on hand one of the frozen angel formulas?  IIRC they also have bits of sponge and whatnot that the larger angels seem to really like. >I'm thrilled that he's begun to nibble, its a starting point. >>Absolutely! >I've done my research but can't seem to find a whole lot. Any thoughts? >>I'll link you to the FAQ, but I'm guessing you already have it.  I'm going to do a quick Google, as well as searching reefs.org.  Be back in a minute! http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/chaetodonoplus/faqs.htm http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?siteid=21&pCatId=1140 http://ichtyonb1.mnhn.fr/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=11124 >>This one searching via Advanced Aquarist online zine http://www.advancedaquarist.com/cgi-bin/websearch.pl >>I know this isn't much, but it's a start.  I do hope it helps, especially the one link that speaks more specifically to feeding.  I don't think this angel will be very interested in vegetable matter outside of the algae it might choose to nibble at.  Good luck!  Marina

- Quarantine for a Majestic Angel - HI Guys <Good morning, JasonC here...> I have been QT'ing a new Majestic for 6 days and noticed that his mouth (lips) looked swollen, puffy but still pinkish almost raw. I hadn't noticed it before. Could this be the beginning of a fungus infection? <Or just physical damage from something else.> I only have a large PVC pipe in the tank so he couldn't have cut himself on coral or anything like that. I began treatment with Melafix.  Is this the proper treatment? <Probably not directly - Melafix fits into the category of homeopathic remedies and has not been used/documented by the sciences as being useful. I'd make sure, above all, that this fish is eating and that the water quality in the quarantine system is excellent. In fact, this is the type of fish that usually won't do well in an extended quarantine, so if it is otherwise doing well [no parasitic problems] AND eating, put the fish through a pH-adjusted freshwater dip, and put it in the main display. In any case, the damage will heal over time, but these fish are not easy in the early stages.> Thanks as always <Cheers, J -- >

- Fish Question - Hi!  I bought a male and female Watanabe Angels from your company a few weeks ago. <Very interesting - considering that we're not a company and we don't sell fish.> I am noticing that the male is having more difficulty staying down than floating up.  When he does try to swim down his face is down on an angle - it doesn't really look that serious, but is there any prevention that I can do without putting him in my quarantine tank (it's only a 20 gallon). <Hmm... not much you can do beyond quarantine.> I know I broke the rules and put him directly in the main 110 gallon reef tank when I first got them, so catching him won't be that easy or fun.  I've heard "shelled peas" might work? <Work with what? The floating problem? Have never heard of this and would not rely on it. If you're having issues with this fish eating, then you want to offer a proper fish food - for instance Pygmy Angel Formula or Formula Two.> Any insight you have would be helpful. Thanks in advance. Jim <Cheers, J -- ><<Very likely this fish's swim bladder has been damaged in collection (hauling up too quickly, mis-needled), or in handling... may cure on its own in time. RMF>>

Question: I wanted to e-mail you to let you know that I have just finished your book "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" and I thought it was fantastic . The way that you use scientific terms and mix it with layman's terms gives someone relatively new to the hobby a feel for what we are really trying to accomplish here . We are not just keeping a "fish tank" we are keeping small eco-systems in are homes . The scientific names reminds you of that fact. Thank you!
I have been following your advice about picking out fish to the letter, leaving questionable ones behind. I just made a rather significant purchase as far as fish are concerned. After about two weeks watching a Pomacanthus Annularis in the local pet shop, I brought it home . As you can imagine it was quite expensive, but it was well worth the wait and expense. Until today that is.
I've noticed that the eyes are starting to cloud over. In your book you go over Popeye briefly, but don't mention cloudiness. I would appreciate any direction you might have regarding this subject or any references you might have that I could look up. I understand that you must get thousands of e-mails , and can't possibly answer them all , but please try to get back to me. I WOULD RATHER SEE THESE FISH STAY IN THE REEFS OF THE WORLD THEN TO SEE THEM DIE IN MY SYSTEM!
Bob's Answer:
Richard, thank you for writing, and your kind words re: my efforts at writing. I share your concern re the Annularis, and will try to help you. First of all let me state that any eye cloudiness is a bad sign, but that esp. with larger fish specimens, it is not uncommon. Especially when netted, they get scratched and this coupled with the stress of being moved and new water, light and even social conditions in the new system can add to the problem...
But generally the cloudiness is not based on an actual infection of any sort and SELF CURES. Now some important questions. How long has the tank been running? Tell us/me about your set-up, filtration esp. What other sorts of organisms do you have (an important clue)? Do you have sufficient decor that the angel can get out of the light? In the meanwhile of waiting to see if the cloudiness has stopped progressing (it may take a few days to weeks to regress completely), please don't add medicines of any sort to the system or even the animal's foods. And for browsers, particularly industry types, do utilize soft nets at the worst, and just your hand and a waiting submersed doubled bag at best to capture these fishes in captivity.

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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