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FAQs on Centropyge Angelfishes Disease/Health 2

FAQs on Dwarf Angel Disease: Dwarf Angel Disease 1, Dwarf Angel Disease 3, Angels and Butterflyfishes & Crypt,
FAQs on Dwarf Angel Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Pathogenic, Genetic, Treatments

Related Articles: Centropyge Angels, C. loricula/Flame Angel, Lemon/y Dwarf Angels, A Couple of Lemons; the True and False/Herald's (nee Woodheadi) Centropyges, Potter's Angels, Reef Safari! Keeping Multibarred Angelfish By Alexander Thomasser,

Related FAQs: Best FAQs on Centropyge, Centropyge Angels 1, Centropyge Angels 2Centropyge Angels 3, Centropyge Angels 4, Dwarf Angel Identification, Dwarf Angel Selection, Dwarf Angel Compatibility, Dwarf Angel Systems, Dwarf Angel Feeding, Dwarf Angel Reproduction,

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Ich treatment for Dwarf Angels 8.11.05 Hello Folks, My main tank has come down with Ich.  I first noticed it on my hippo  tang, and shortly there after the spots appearing on all the other fish.   (I have 1 hippo tang, 3 dwarf angels, 1 lawnmower blenny, and 2 clowns) <Have the dwarf angels been together long. Over one year... six months even? An unnatural mix and some source of stress indeed> From what I've read angels don't do well with copper, correct?    <True> So I should use a formalin product like Kordon's Rich-Ich +, correct?    <This could be helpful... in a bare-bottomed QT tank. Never dose formalin in the main display. Nor organic dyes for that matter when you have live rock.> Do you recommend the full dosage (1 tsp per 10 gallons), or should I go with a  half dosage?   <Always full strength in QT> If I go with a half dose I'm assuming this will prolong  the treatment time? Thanks!! Travis <In addition to conventional medications, I like to soak food in garlic extract and beta Glucan (get from GNC health stores). I believe these to be very helpful. Best of luck, Anthony>
Ich treatment for dwarf angels II 8.11.05
the dwarf angels have been together for about three months.  they were  added at the same time and get along fine.   <It means little... and is hardly a test of time. If yours are like most, they will scrap in time (sexual maturity) and be a constant source of stress for each other. The mix is unnatural and ill-advised IMO> the reason I asked about the dosage is because I read something on your  site about certain fish being sensitive to such medication .   _ http://www.wetwebmedia.com/formalinart.htm_ ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/formalinart.htm) <understood> It reads: "Some groups of freshwater fishes (small Characoids/tetras, Mormyrids, loaches...) and marines (surgeonfish's, Rabbitfishes, dwarf  angelfishes...) are sensitive to formalin and formalin/malachite, and should not  receive more than half doses of these chemicals. Live plants are also made of proteins... and will die if exposed to formalin. Formalin kills microbes indiscriminately, including nitrifying bacteria. Hence you will need to monitor the accumulation of ammonia and nitrite, and take steps to prevent their  exceeding 1.0 ppm (likely by massive changes of pre-conditioned water)." Thanks. <Formalin by itself is no more stressful than most any other meds in general, but with organic dyes like malachite green, the angels can respond badly. Watch closely... but I'm still saying full dose and standard QT protocol (daily water changes form the bare bottom of the tank to reduce larval parasites, etc). Anthony> <<RMF would heed the manufacturer's warning and treat only half dose.>>

A useful, instructive case study of Centropyge keeping/disease 8/1/05 Salutations all.     This morning I noticed several white spots around the mouth and eyes and on the fins of my coral beauty which I believe to be Ich.  I dipped the fish in freshwater and moved it to a 10 gallon bare bottom quarantine tank with sponge filter, in which I am lowering the salinity to the 1.010 to 1.012 and raising the temperature to 82.  Is a product of such as Aquarium Products Quick Cure safe for Cent. angels [it is the only non copper med at the LFS], or is it even necessary?   <Mmm, you might want to read re this product (copper and formalin) on WWM... useful, but with a narrow range of efficacy>       I am struggling to identify the source of the Ich.  The tank is 9 months old and approximately 45 gallons.  It has 50 pounds of live sand, 30 of live rock, an Aqua C Remora skimmer and an Emperor 280, ph is 8.2 and ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are at 0.  6 months ago I added a lawnmower blenny, yellowtail damsel, and the coral beauty after month long quarantines each, during which I observed no disease.  There is also a skunk cleaner shrimp, and various Nassarius, Cerith, and Astraea snails, which were added after the tank initially cycled.  The only source I can think of is when the fish themselves were introduced to the tank, <Most likely, yes> but I have again not observed the disease until now, and now only on the angel, and am under the impression that Ich cysts can only remain dormant in the tank for 1 or 2 months.  Am I mistaken? <Mmm, no. There are instances of such "new" Ich occurrences with longer dormancy, but they're rare>   The angel eats readily and does at times swim furiously along the back glass. <Not atypical behavior... may be seeing a reflection...>   I am sure that it does occasionally scrape itself or hit its head on the glass, could this have stressed the fish, making it more susceptible to the disease? <Yes> Any ideas? <Mmm, this tank is too small a volume... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/index.htm Am hopeful that postings on the linked files above will be useful. Bob Fenner> Much obliged. Patrick

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

Coral Beauty Problems Hello Bob: <James, today> Thank you so much, your website has been extremely helpful for me in the past. Unfortunately I have a huge problem with Coral Beauties. I've purchased 4 so far, yes 4. I've finally managed to get one that's healthy and has been successfully introduced to my display tank. However, the third one I purchased is not doing so well, he's still alive and in quarantine. To make a long story short the first three fish had apparently the same problem...white fungus on the lips and pectoral fins, also they have a strange swim, almost a vertical waddle with the nose pointing up (the quarantined fish has successfully battled off the Ich and white fungus. The water quality is as good as it could be, I've never had any problems with any other fish. Right now I'm trying to force feed him as he hasn't eaten since I bought him on May 20th. He's not bobbing for air at all. Not pecking at the rocks. I have no idea nor does my LFS about what the problem could be. The owner of the LFS and I have become pretty good friends and he's been extremely helpful and not the type to try to make a sale at all costs. I really want to get this coral beauty healthy again and well although my tank finally has one, my roommate will be more the willing to adopt him. Any thoughts or suggestions you may have will be great. <Ross, I have a few questions.  First, how large is the quarantine tank, any medication in the QT, and, what is the salinity?  Also, how were the Coral Beauties acclimated?  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks, Ross Hutchings
Re: Coral Beauty Problems
Hi James: The Salinity is 1.022. The quarantine tank is only a 10 gallon. <If you had all four Coral Beauties in QT at the same time, that could lead to ammonia poisoning.  If so, did you monitor ammonia levels?>I was treating him with MelaFix for a week but since then I've done a 30% water change. <I like Maracyn myself. Might want to try that product.>  The way I've been doing the acclimations may be crude I'm not sure, but what I've been doing is floating them for a hour, then adding 1/2 cup of tank water every 20 min to a half an hour there after. I then introduce them into the tank after about 2 to 2 and a half hours. <The drip method much more preferred, shortens the acclimation time and offers a much more gradual acclimation to the new water.  Do a WWM search on acclimation for more info.> My other levels are: PH 8.2, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, Ammonia 0. Also, should I continue with the force feedings? <I wouldn't. I would put a vitamin supplement in the water such as Selcon.> Thanks for your help. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Ross
Re: Coral Beauty Problems
Hello again James: No, the Coral Beauties were all in succession and were always the only fish in the QT. I've read about the drip method before and will certainly give it a try. I'm going to see if I can find some Selcon, there are only 4 LFS's in this area, Tropical & Marine Pets (which is my LFS of choice), Pets Unlimited, Pet City, and a new privately owned store that I can't remember it's name at the moment. Thanks for the help. <You're welcome.  I get mine from Drs. Foster & Smith.  Been dealing with them for 15 years with no problems.  James (Salty Dog)>

Quarantined dwarf angel Greetings all.  <Hello, Jim.>  I have had a flame angel in a ten gallon quarantine tank for ten days. The tank is bare bottom, with a sponge filter, MaxiJet 1200 powerhead, and a piece of PVC for shelter. The fish looks very healthy; it is active and will eat nearly anything that is put in the tank. Anyhow, I have always had problems with high ammonia levels in quarantine tanks, and have measured increasing levels to about .25 to .5 as of this morning. I have been doing one or two gallon water changes every other day, with tap water treated with Prime and mixed with Oceanic salt. I also added a packet of BioSpira on the fourth day after testing ammonia levels of .25. Ammonia went down to 0 for a couple of days, but is now steadily increasing again. Would it be okay to do a freshwater dip and move the fish to the main tank, or is there something else I should do? Thanks to you.  <Jim, to be on the safe side, a minimum of 21 days @ 80 degrees to be sure. Preferably 28 days. With the sponge filter, keeping 3 to 4 hermits (feeding them of course) in there on a continual basis should maintain a decent bio filter that would readjust quickly with an added fish for QT as long as copper isn't necessary. For now, I'd add the BioSpira if levels exceed .25. James (Salty Dog)>

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

Potter's Angel 3/11/05 Still a relative newbie to things aquatic and need help ASAP w/ a Potter's Angel purchased 4 days ago from reputable LFS.  <hmmm... a difficult angel overall... does poorly in new/young community tanks... and is dearly in need of a proper 4 week QT period before putting into displays to train them to feed strong> My first tank...Have a 46 gallon tank w/ two small percula clowns and a sixline wrasse all who have done beautifully since introduction 6 months ago and continue to thrive.  <careful with that wrasse... very territorial> Have about 35 pounds of nicely encrusted live rock. 2 scarlet hermits and various snails. A modest hang on tank skimmer running that seems to be doing the job w/ my modest bio load. I now know that the Potter's was the wrong choice for a relative beginner such as myself... but I guess I didn't do enough pre purchase research. <it is very difficult indeed. It is unlikely to survive one year if even six months for you. Do take note if this is so (or not) either way. Perhaps a hard lesson.> I seem to have a curse trying to add fish #4. Royal Gramma died within a week of introduction about 4 months ago.  <lack of QT again and a very poor choice mixing Atlantic fishes with Pacific. Asking for an Ich outbreak <G>> Gave it about 6 weeks, added a Firefish and found him half eaten one morning only days after introduction.  <the wrasse likely harassed/killed it at night. Bad mix> (Also lost an Emerald crab about 3 weeks ago.) Waited about 6 weeks, since losing the Firefish and added this Potter's-about 3 inches long. (Water parameters all check out fine including calcium and alkalinity) <please read, understand and apply the use of quarantine tanks> First few days went fine until this morning when I noticed he was not swimming out of the corner and his bright yellow fin on his side is half ripped off!  <*cough*... *wrasse*... *cough*> He is obviously struggling to swim and from my limited knowledge, I think his outlook looks grim. Can it be the little wrasse as the culprit?  <does a bear bring a Reader's Digest into the woods?> I didn't observe any aggressive behavior but if it was disease, wouldn't I see it on the other fin or tail as well? What to do?! <QT, QT, QT please> Can he be saved?  <pull the fish into a spacious isolation tank, add vitamins with B12 (Vita-Chem or the like).. also get some Beta Glucan from GNC, and perhaps vitamin E for food/water> Do I try to catch him? Bring him back to LFS?  <surely will kill it> Once a fin is torn as badly as this is, can it heal?  <easily... with vitamin E and with HUFA/lipid rich foods (Selcon)> Am I seriously cursed?  <bad husbandry... you can learn :)> Should I not be adding any more fish besides these 3 little guys? Help Please. MUCH Thanks... <get thee to QT :) Anthony> 
Help w/ Potters angel-Quick! 3/11/05
Thank you for your quick reply Anthony... got myself a QT and some treatments for it... <ah, great!> ...but woke up to see the poor Potter's had died.  <sorry to read of it my friend> An expensive mistake for me and what's worse, I feel awful about the little guy.  <understood... but the sacrifice is not in vain. I am sure your husbandry will improve for the happening and other creatures will fare better for it> That being said, I have tried earnestly to find species that ARE indeed compatible with the 6 line wrasse (he may be a tough, but he oozes personality and is very beautiful to boot...would hate to trade him in.) A lot of info says they are compatible with quite a few popular species but my wrasse is clearly not typical? <indeed... oddballs and exceptions do occur... they haven't read the books we have to know how they should behave ;)> So the question is please advise on colorful and HARDY species (perhaps only Chromis will do at this point? or are there others?)  <you need active and aggressive community fishes that stay small> I only planned on adding 2 more fish to (have a total of 5) and I will consider the tank well stocked. <many possibilities... all to be supervised closely for that wrasse (Grr). And have that QT ready if needed: options - sunburst Anthias.. tobacco or harlequin Basslet... yellow watchman goby (blue spots)... Chromis damsels perhaps... hamlets... dwarf eel (Hawaii)> My LFS is obviously giving me wrong compatibility info since they sold me the Gramma, Firefish and Potter's! <yes... poor choices for the age/nature of the tank. They would have done best by you to recommend a QT tank before all. Anthony>

Coral Beauty sudden death Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2005 Hi from Nebraska. <Hello Doris>  I am sure glad to be able to consult with you. You guys have really helped in the past. My question is about a coral beauty that died in my tank today. Tank stats are: 46 gallon bowfront, some live rock, 1 yellow clown goby, one watchman goby, 5 blue Chromis, one pair of ocellaris clown. Ammonia: 0, Nitrite: 0, Nitrate: 40, pH: 8.2.  This tank has been running for about five months or so. My problem started about two weeks ago. I purchased one ocellaris clown (to give my lone one a companion) and a coral beauty. Everything went fine until I noticed two days ago that the coral beauty was hiding more. It ate fine, often picking on algae at the live rock. I also saw it defecating, so I now it had enough to eat. This morning I noticed it close to the ground, breathing heavily. Nothing noticeable on the body. I added Amquel, some Poly Aqua. In the afternoon the poor fish was floating in the aquarium, still breathing heavily, at times standing upside down in the water column. Within minutes it was dead. This fish was added to my setup the same time the small clown was added. No problems with clown. Very active and eats like a pig.  I have a Penguin hang- on with two BioWheels, 2 bubble stones, protein skimmer, 9 watt 3x UV Sterilizer. About five days ago I added a Fluval 104, made sure of course to rinse everything before taking it into service. All my other fish are fine. I will not purchase any new fish for now. Want to wait to make sure everything will be fine. Besides I don't enjoy throwing my money out the window.  Anyways, is my aeration not adequate?  <I think your aeration is OK>  Are coral beauty fish sensitive to certain changes in their environment. <They have to be acclimated with care like any other fish>  Or was this just a condition that did not show itself right away? The coral beauty was in my tank about two weeks before the problems started. I hear that many problems can show in that time period. Any ideas on what could have caused the untimely death of my fishy friend?  <Based on what I read here, I would guess the fish was caught with drugs. Based on your two week time frame, it sounds logical. Even though they eat (if poisoned), very little nutrients are obtained. James (Salty Dog)> As always I appreciate your patience and professional opinion.  Thank you, D.B.   

Coral Beauty Angel, not eating & gulping???? Hey guys I just found your site last week and I LOVE it. So much info... I just started my tank about 6 weeks ago & everything is great. I've been working with my local fish shop (found it hard to find 1 I could trust) and my water etc is perfect.... I test almost every day.....Anyway, we have had a yellow tail blue damsel for about 3 weeks and he is great. We recently purchased a coral beauty (doing fine) and a mated pair of gold stripe maroon clowns and their host anemone. The female is clown is excellent and they are both using the anemone but our little boy hasn't eaten all week (since we bought him home). he swims around a little but seems to like to stay in the one area behind or under the anemone. She seems to bite at him often but he isn't scared away. She is bossy but otherwise friendly. He seems to be gulping?? quickly (hard to describe) and has a small scrape on his side but still seems healthy. I'm worried about the not eating and the gulping. <Me too...> Iv offered heaps of different foods but not interested. None of the other fish are having prob.s and I'd hate to lose my little Nemo (blame the kids). Sorry so long but hope you don't mind. Id give specifics on tank size etc but I'm in Australia and haven't figured out how to convert litres, kilos etc into gallons and pounds for you.......xxx Roxi <Have you read our archived FAQs on Dwarf Angel Disease, Feeding, Coral Beauties? Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/index.htm and the linked FAQs, Articles (in blue, at top). Bob Fenner>

Flame with cloudy eyes Hi-<Hi Wes, MacL here with you today> I am glad you guys are here to help!  I looked on the site, and did not find a direct answer to my problem.  I have a yellow tang, flame angel and clown fish in my 75g tank.  Everyone was happy for a couple months, then Ich started to appear. I began treatment with Rid Ich, vacuuming the gravel daily. Fish still ate and functioned normally during this time.  At the beginning of the treatment, I gave all three a fresh water dip (each in their own prepared water) which gave some relief. <Good to hear> When catching the flame angel for this dip, I was using a net to guide her into a container. She darted into the net, and was stuck in it for about 20 seconds, head first. I was able to loose her from the net without any force on my part.  After this, her eyes seemed cloudy - I don't know if this is a result of the net scratching them or something else. <It could be the net or could be the effect of the parasites or even possibly the left over bacterial infection.> I thought this would go away, as it did not seem to affect her in any way.  Over the last few days, sometimes it seems it is improving, sometimes getting worse.  Her behavior has remained normal, as though nothing is wrong.  When I fed this morning, it was as though she could not see the food clearly, and thus missed it. <She probably can't see clearly. I really would suggest some type of hospital tank and a course of antibiotics treatment. If she starts to show signs of Popeye you can use Epsom salts to give her some relief in that way as well.> Upon feeding tonight, she was able to eat some, but still seemed as though her vision is hazy. The Ich has improved a lot, the tang has no signs, the angel a very small amount left, as well as the clown.  I have been treating for 6 days.  Also, over the last 6 days I have slowly lowered the salinity to 1.017.  All other conditions are just right.  Please let me know what I should do to correct this problem!  Also, I have noticed that sometimes it looks as though my tang is showing signs of aggression to its reflection in the glass - is this something to worry about? <You don't mention the tank size? Does he have lots of swimming room?>  Thanks in advance for your help.  Wes.       

Flame angel ill I have had my flame angel for almost 6 months.  I came home today and noticed what seems to be white mucous on its gills, fins and tail. <He could have a slime coating from something irritation him> He is also swimming about quite fast so I'm having a real hard time getting a good look at him.  I don't know what it could be (I've read ick looks like salt, this doesn't look like salt, I don't know what ick looks like I've never had a fish that's had it or anything else for that matter). <First thing I would do is a water change. That's the first thing I always do when I have a fish that appears to be having problems.>  I have no idea what it is or what I should do. Any advice on helping Tigger would be great! Thanks. <The other possibility could be Lymphocystis. But it looks more like cauliflower growing on it. I really believe something in the tank has irritated him and he has a big slime coat. You need to figure out what did this AFTER you get him back under control. A water change is the first step to getting the water conditions correct.  Good luck Kelly from MacL> Kelly  

Coral Beauty and dropsy Whitney Alan Gray wrote: >Hello all, <Hi, MikeD here> >     Long time reader, first time writer here today.  My question >concerns a Coral Beauty with what I believe to be Dropsy.  No other livestock appear to be affected.  I have a 1.5 year old 46 Gal tank >with 50 lbs of live rock, a Hot Magnum, Magnum 350, asst powerheads, a >sea clone skimmer, a UV Sterilizer, and a 288W PC fixture.  As far as >stocking goes, I've got a yellow tang, a coral beauty, a lawnmower >blenny, an ocellaris clown, a royal Gramma and a Niger trigger.<Here's part of your problem, with the tank being severely overcrowded, usually a major precursor for problems such as yours>  I also >have a feather duster and a Condylactis anemone.  Water parameters are >fine, with nitrates being at about 20ppm. >      The story with the coral beauty goes as follows:  About a week >ago, I noticed a small white speck of what appeared to be fungus on the >coral beauty's side, and a small slit in it's caudal fin.  After >several days, the slit had gotten larger, and the fungus was now the >size of a large grain of salt.  With this, I decided to medicate (day1) >using Melafix and PimaFix.<These are primarily additives for recent injuries and not true medications, a waste of time as well in cases such as yours.>  I turned off my protein skimmer at this >time.  Two days later (day 3)  I had noticed no improvement in the fin >or fungus, and noticed that one side of its body was swollen, with >protruding scales.  At this point, I was still running three week old >carbon in the HOT magnum, so I removed the Carbon, continued using Mela >and PimaFix, and started using Maracyn two.<My suggestion here would be to run both Maracyn and Maracyn II to cover any eventuality as far as gram positive and negative bacteria>  Today (day5),  the coral >beauty is still very swollen, and its mouth appears to be very red.  It >is also breathing very heavily (no redness of gills that I can see) and >the speck and slit in tail are still present.  I figured the combo of >meds I was using would have knocked out the small speck of fungus I >saw,  but after about four days and no progress, I decided to cut the >magnum 350 (which still had filter media that may be adsorbing the >meds.)  I still left the HOT magnum and powerheads running.  Within two >hours of cutting the Magnum 350 and dosing the meds, the water was >cloudy, and my yellow tang was also breathing heavily.  I looked >around, and found my coral beauty near death, on its side at the bottom >of the tank.  I immediately cut the lights, turned on the skimmer and >magnum 350, and re-instated carbon into the HOT magnum.  Two hours >later, the coral beauty is swimming around fine (except for the swollen >body, labored breathing, etc- but hey, its not dead!)  Several  other >observations:  my UV sterilizer has been on the whole time<this is a piece of equipment that often to usually is NOT what people think it is>, no other >fish are affected, the coral beauty swims around fine, doesn't hide, >and eats fine.  Lately (before speck appeared), the anemone has been >moving around, spewing brown stuff (I thought/think its poop though), >and randomly deflating.  Since I've turned the skimmer back on, it >hasn't really removed anything from the water, despite being turned off >for 5 days.  I also don't think the swelling occurred until I dosed >with Mela/PimaFix either.  The left side of my fish looks like a >pinecone, and it appeared almost overnight.  Do you think the >Mela/PimaFix could have caused this (the dropsy)?<Caused it, no, but it certainly didn't help and lulled you into wasting valuable time during which you could have been using the correct regimen of antibiotics>  Do you think it is >dropsy?<Actually, it sounds like a bacterial infection aggravated by overcrowding and probably improper diet....remember, dropsy is a symptom, not a disease.>  I'm afraid to medicate after what happened today.  I know I >need to act fast, but what should I do?<Again, since you have the Maracyn2, I'd add Maracyn 1 but in a hospital or quarantine tank.....you're extremely lucky that medicating your display tank hasn't backfired and caused a total collapse of the system>  I thought the meds were >ineffective or being adsorbed my some filter media in the magnum 350 >(like a phosphate remover,  and another substance by sea Chem (not >carbon or Zeolite) that I cant think of the name of ... Purigen >maybe?)<I'd be VERY cautious about all of these panaceas you seem drawn to as they can do serious harm, particularly when used in tandem and regularly.  My basic advice in this area is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it, and then fix ONLY what IS broke!>so I shut it off and look what happened.  I thought the anemone >could have released some toxin into the water (on some of its >tentacles, there appear to be constrictions, like in a sausage), but if >that were the case, wouldn't all fish be affected and wouldn't my >skimmer be going crazy?<Yes, it would, but anemones don't release toxins into the water. What you were seeing was what you thought it was, an anemone version of a bowel movement. BTW I'd NEVER use products like you describe with anemones in the tank>  Sorry about the long e-mail, but I wanted you >to know everything so you could give the best advice possible.  I've >never seen anything like this, what should I do to save him?<No need for apologies...try the Maracyn 1 & 2 in a Q tank, improve the diet and you should have a good chance at success.> >Thanks, >Whit

Popeye On A Flame Angel? Trauma... leave lights on <Hi, Scott F. here with you.> I have a Flame Angel that has been in QT and doing GREAT! I added him to the main tank last night and all the lights where off. The QT tank has one piece of live rock in it so not really any caves. The main tank has a ton of LR in it so it has a lot of caves. He went in the main tank ok without issues and found a little cave to play in of his own. This morning we couldn't find him and started getting worried. Well, we finally found him and he had a bubble over one eye. Everything that I read on your site says that one eye usually equals being hurt. I just wanted to check and make sure that this is what you think the case is because he was swimming kind of funny too. Do you think that he probably hit his eye in the NEW caves and might be swimming funny (comes out of the rock, swims on his side, then straightens back up and goes back into the rock) because of the eye and new surroundings? <This is a definite possibility. Unilateral (one eye) Popeye is almost always caused by an injury. It is also entirely possible that the fish is a bit disoriented after this trauma. It's hard to be 100% certain without seeing the fish, but I'd bet that this is what's happening here. The good news is that this type of injury can be easily treated with Epsom salt in the QT tank to help draw down the swelling> The purple tang that was in QT with him and was added last night as well is doing GREAT. <Good to hear> I did notice that my cleaner shrimp really cleaned the Flame Angel for a while verses what they cleaned the Purple and the two Chromis. Almost had the Flame Angel pinned trying to clean him. Could this indicate some sort of bacterial infection? <Well, it's really hard to say. In all likelihood, the shrimp simply found very willing "customers" in these fish, and merely did a very thorough job.> Thanks for all the help AGAIN! JB <My pleasure, JB! Regards, Scott F.>  

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

LEMON PEEL SCRATCHING Dear Bob, <Hi Brenda, MacL here to try to help you. I think Bob is off diving, where I'd like to be I might add.> Please Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have had a Lemonpeel angel in a 10 gallon quarantine tank for 2 weeks and she is doing some scratching. Before I go into my fishes illness, I wish to say that setting up and maintaining my quarantine tank has been a real challenge. The only reason I kept with it is because of all the pro-quarantine info. <It truly does make a difference.> I have read. This last time ,I attempted to cycle my tank, everything seemed to go better (I cycled my tank with 2 green Chromis for 2 months then returned them to the pet store when done). My QT has a small powerhead and the Marineland 125 BioWheel, no substrate, and a fake rock thing she can hide behind or in that is made for saltwater aquariums. Well with everything appearing fine, I did small water change and then went to get my angel. I knew she would be a challenge but I did as much research as I could.  After having her in the QT tank for a week, my levels started going funky again( ammonia levels going up, nitrite levels going up etc.)<The addition of the food and the fish caused a mini cycle.> I did some water changes to pull my levels into the correct ranges, used Kent Ammonia Detox a few times, and cut back on my feeding. Levels at this time are: Ammonia 0, nitrites<.3 but the color is not a strong yellow, Nitrates 20ppm, pH 8.0-8.1 ( I am having to add a pH buffer every day to get pH to 8.1),KH 14,Calcium 420,salinity 1.021,temp 77-78 degrees.  I use Tetra tests do all my testing. <Something seems off, if everything else is up there your ph should be as well. Do you have a friend or a local fish store that could check your tests?> Well I think the combination of water quality and stress from water changes has stressed my fish and she has started scratching. She does not flash along the bottom of the aquarium but scratches around her eyes and gills. She has clear eyes and does not have any white spots or discolored marks on her body. Her two side fins have some spots on them but she has had that since the first day I have had her and that has not changed. <Could be a variety of things causing it> She is still eating well (she loves romaine lettuce, spinach, and Ocean Nutrition number 1, and will munch on Ocean Nutrition frozen Angel formula )is very personable, but she will periodically go into a fit of scratching on something and twitches as if she has something in her head. <There are multiple things that could cause that.> I went to my local pet store and they told me so many conflicting things I am confused. I know I need to get my water quality under control (all water changes done with RO/DI water). I have heard about dipping a fish and inquired about that at the pet store but they did not advise that because of the barbs on each side of her gills. <It works for parasites but its possible that something is just irritating her.> I tried to pull up articles on dipping but my computer is going funky, I just hope this letter reaches you. I did read an article that stated you should do a water change with half salt water from your established aquarium and half fresh water, would this help keep things more stable in my QT? <Putting the water from the tank in would also put the established bacteria into the tank and that might help some.> Also, I read some of your articles on lowering the salinity in the QT tank but once again, I am afraid to do that because of my water levels. <Hyposalinity works great for Ich but its possible what you have isn't Ich. Usually with Ich you do get the white dots.> Also, I am scared to treat with copper because of this type of fish and because my levels are so touchy. <I really hate copper, I think its done more damage then help. But there are cleaner shrimps and neon gobies etc that help with parasites.> Should I do a fresh water dip, if yes, please tell me the appropriate procedure. Lastly, when I did a water change I rinsed my filter pad in saltwater and there was a whole bunch of little crawly things in the rinse bucket. <That's curious> I have never seen anything like this before.  Could this be something that is making her sick. <Depends on what the little crawly things are.> I used a small piece of live rock from my main aquarium to attach food to in the QT. <In that case could be copepods and they are a good thing.>I have not seen anything like this in my display tank.  Thank you for any help you can give me. P.S. Can you recommend a good product that would help pull my pH up? I personally like the HGH blocks they seem to help stabilize the tank but I think its a good idea to double check your tests to be on the safe side.> Sincerely, Brenda

This bicolor angelfish will never sink a ship... 5/22/04 I recently purchased a Bicolor angelfish and am wondering why his lips fell off. <I hate when that happens> The fish seems to be healthy except for his lips. <riiiiiight> It does not seem to be under stress. <er... as defined by...?> Is this a genetic disorder or a treatable disease in my tank? <a pathogenic infection that may still need to be treated with antibiotics in a QT tank> So far no other fish seem to be effected. <there is some concern for a contagious infection (particularly if this fish has been owned for a while, which would suggest poor water quality). Else, if the fish is new... do know that these fish are delicate to keep and generally not recommended. Please do read more about this species in our archives> Thank you, Janice <best regards, Anthony> 

Bicolor Angelfish color loss Hi i am Kenneth My son's Bicolor angelfish is losing color on the dark blue part of it, it is turning a light blue is it anything I should worry about? THANK YOU <Possibly... are your other livestock "okay"? It may be that this animal is deficient in some aspects of nutrition (lots of live rock is a standard item here), or that some aspect/s of water quality are lacking... do you have sufficient skimming, regular water changing? Could be "just a sign of age"... as the blue does diminish in the wild with growth/size. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bicolor Angelfish color loss
Thank you Bob for your help i will add liverock and check water quality. <Real good. Please do keep me posted. Bob Fenner>

Sick Flame Angel (4/12/04)  Hi. Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer my question. <You're welcome. Steve Allen tonight.>  I have a 90 gallon FO with some live rock (1 Chromis and 1 flame angel). I have had the flame angel for over a week now and has been eating well (Mysis shrimp, formula 2 flakes, plankton, and just got some pygmy angel food because my tank has brown diatoms but no green algae for the flame to graze on). <Oops! No quarantine?>  Recently I noticed that the flame's color has paled quite a bit since I got him (especially his lips which are whitish), his fins look frayed and is swimming slightly erratically at times (up and down the side of the tank). His gill area is slightly gray in color as well, but no white spots or other signs of Ich. I know he's sick, but what is it? Ich? <Doubtful--the little white spots are classic.> He's still eating well <a good sign> and I'm unsure how to treat him. I know flames are copper sensitive. I thought it might be a water quality issue but all parameters are fine (ammonia 0, nitrate 0, nitrates 20). I just did a 5% water change in case. <Always smart. Sometimes bigger changes (30-50% or even higher) are best if a true toxic crisis is suspected.>  If I treat him, do I need to put him in QT along with the damsel (who looks fine; my QT is a 10 gallon set up a week ago) or can I dose Formalin into the main tank (will that kill the live rock?). <Will kill many desirable things. Never treat the main tank.> I guess I can't bear the thought of stressing him out by moving him into QT. <It's not really stressful. You can keep it darker in there and have some PVC fittings to hide in.> Do I need to then leave the tank fallow for 4 weeks if it's Ich? I'm really unsure of where to go from here. Thanks kindly, Angela  <well, this is a tough situation that could have been avoided by proper 4-week quarantine prior to introduction into the main tank. Again, I doubt Ich. Amyloodinium would be another consideration. Do look at some pix. However, this disease usually causes rapid breathing and is quickly fatal. I'm more worried about a bacterial infection. You really need to move this fish out of your display. I'd consider treating with an antibiotic. Keep the water in great shape & feed adequately, but not too much. It's OK to leave the Damsel behind for now if no signs of illness. If you suspect parasites, both fish need to be treated in QT and the display tank left fishless for 6-8 weeks. Unfortunately, a lot of Flame Angels have been doing poorly in recent years, especially for certain areas where cyanide is used, so it is not uncommon for them dwindle & die over the first few weeks. You can read more about this on WWM. Hope this helps.>
Sick Flame Angel 2 (4/13/04) 
Steve, thanks for your advice. <My pleasure> After reading more of the FAQs and articles, I suspect a bacterial infection as well, and not marine velvet. <OK> The main tank water has been slightly cloudy (which I attributed to the brown diatom algae growth) but now I suspect it is bacteria (?). <Could be> There seems to be a fine dust on the water's surface which the skimmer hasn't filtered. <A common occurrence in SW tanks. Try skimming it off by running a paper towel over the surface--it should stick to the paper.> I will move the flame to my QT, but which antibiotic medication should I use and where do I get it (Checked out marinedepot.com and they don't carry it, neither does my LFS). Please advise. My flame (his name is hot lips;) is still eating  but looks paler today;( -a <Sorry to hear. You might want to try Melafix, which is a natural tea tree product with antibacterial properties. Treating with actual medications is a bit of a problem because you don't know for sure whether is a gram-positive or a gram-negative bacterium. A broad-spectrum antibiotics such as Kanamycin or Nitrofurazone (available on the internet--search with Google--may be your best bet. Another option would be to start with Maracyn (gram-positive) and add Maracyn 2 (gram-negative) if a rapid improvement is not noted. These two products should be available at your local PetSmart or Petco. If not, try www.drsfostersmith.com  and search under fish for "antibiotics." Hope this helps. Good luck, Steve Allen.>
Sick flame Anger 3 (4/14/04) 
Hi Steve. Thanks for the reply again-your help is invaluable. <You're most welcome.>  I went to another LFS and Kanacyn was recommended to help with the frayed fins, pale coloring/lips and grayish gills. <Glad to hear that you found some. I gave the flame a freshwater dip but had to cut it short-at 30 seconds he twitched and keeled over. <Would not try again. This treatment is only of value for parasitic infestation.> I don't know if that did him more harm than good. I put him into the QT (10 g.) right away last night and administered the dosage of Kanacyn. The only remaining fish, a b/g Chromis is still in the main tank for now and still disease free.  My dilemma now: The QT has never cycled completely and so I had to siphon 10 g from the main tank to replace toxic water. Also, I was told the medication might destroy beneficial bacteria, which would hinder cycling anyway.<True> This morning it was (borderline) ammonia free and did a 20% change from the main  tank. I plan to do a 50% change tonight, but I'm really worried that the fish will suffer from the ammonia more than anything. <Yes, there is little possibility of establishing biofiltration in a medicated tanks. Water changes are key. I would measure ammonia daily and do 50% water change daily.> He looked good this morning (better color, and was still eating but hiding in pvc pipe). <Glad to hear this.> When I conduct daily 50% water changes, should I take this water from the main tank, and then replenish the main tank with synthetic saltwater, or should I use freshly made saltwater for the QT water changes? <I would use freshly mixed to avoid any possible contamination of the hospital tanks.> Due to lack of space, I only have 2 5-gallon buckets, so the saltwater will have aged for 1-2 days only (I usually age the water at least a week, but can't with such a high volume of water changes). <2 days with aeration should be plenty.> Also, do I need to re-dose meds accordingly with these frequent water changes? <I would simply give the recommended dose shortly after the water change. This should preserve its activity against bacteria.> The treatment recommends 5 day of antibiotics, but I'm assuming I should keep the fish in QT at least 2 weeks. (I recommend 4 weeks after completion of therapy to be sure that the fish is truly healed and to watch for other infected fish in the display tank that might need treatment too. Thanks for the help, -a very worried and stressed out (maybe more than the fish!) Angela <You are doing very well and have every reason to hope that this fish will recover. Good luck. Do keep us posted. Steve Allen>
Sick Flame Angel 4 (4/16/04) 
Hi Steve (thanks again for all the help) <Well, I hope it's really helping.>  It's about the flame again! To follow up, he looked better when I first started the Kanacyn treatment, but now he seems to have developed a whitish clump on his fins, and I did see him rub up against the pvc a couple of times and twitch a bit. <Possibly a sign of parasites.> He has some raised dots on his gills (one kind of looks like a white pimple). <About how big are these?> Did he develop Ich now? <Possible.> I don't want to put him through a freshwater dip again (see below). <Understood.> It's day 4 of the treatment, and I have one day left. Should I continue? Or start treating him with something else after changing the water? I am still constantly battling ammonia levels by doing 50-75% water changes daily; he's still eating well, has clear eyes, and has good color. Really confused <It can be very confusing at times.>  <Check some pictures of Lymphocystis to see if you think the whitish clump could be this. The white spots are suspicious for Ich. I hesitate to recommend a stressful treatment like copper or Formalin. Another option would by hyposalinity by gradually dropping SG down to 1.010 and keeping it there for a while. With the Kanamycin gone, you can build up your biofilter, possibly with Bio-Spira Marine. Read about these issues in the Ich articles & FAQs on WWM. The fact that your fish has better color, is active and eating is very encouraging. Keep working with it. Steve Allen>

Ailing angel 3/22/04 Hi!  Thank you so much for all of your helpful info--you guys are the greatest! <Glad to be of help!> We have a 20 gal reef tank (I know, very small for beginners) that we have had running nicely for the past 4 months. We have had an ornate goby for the last 2 months (very healthy) and just last week we introduced a Centropyge tibicen (keyhole pygmy angel) into the tank.  He looked fine when we first got him in the evening--exploring the caves, etc.  The next morning we noticed some cloudy eye, but he was feisty enough not to be caught for quarantining.  He ate some food, too.  On the third day, we couldn't find him.  When we put some food in, he came out of a deep hole in the rock and his eye was awful.  It was really swollen and white.  He went right back in his hole.  Now it's two days later and he won't come out at all.  We fear that he died in there and we won't be able to get him out without disturbing the whole tank.  The hole is pretty small. <I wouldn't tear the whole tank apart.  The fish may still be alive and may pull through.  If it is dead or does die, you should have enough "clean up" critters to take care of the body.  This experience underscores the importance of quarantine!> We have a serpent star, many hermit crabs, a small emerald crab, and a coral shrimp.  None of them are going in the hole to eat the fish yet, so he may still be alive. <This may be the case, or they may be waiting for the cover of darkness.> I worry about a dead fish polluting the water in our teeny tank.  Would extra hermits help if it appears that he is dead, or can we hope that he is just trying to heal in there and will eventually come out?  Thank you so much!  Jennifer and Ron <The fish may still be alive and hiding out, or it could be dead and already "cleaned up".  I am not a fan of any crabs in reef tanks, including hermits, so I certainly wouldn't add more.  If you did, they would need a continuous supply of food after the fish was gone.  A well established tank will handle the bioload of one dead fish just fine.  Best Regards.  Adam>

Environmental Problem, Or Disease? Hi! <Hi there! Scott F. here today> We have a sick Flame Angel and were hoping for some help. We've been looking through the Q&A and can find some similarities, but nothing that seems to fit all of them and was hoping you could help us. <I'll do my best!> We've had the tank up and running for over a year and we've had "Flamey" for about 6 months.  About a week ago, he stopped eating. Someone said to try feeding him something else, so we tried brine shrimp and he wasn't even the least bit interested.  He pretty much stays in one part of the 30 gallon tank. The very tips of his fins look a just a little straggly and  he's gotten very pale the past 2 days. Today I noticed that he's starting to twitch and swim a little erratically. I can't find anything on him (spots, fuzzy stuff.. etc). We've done 2 water changes in the past 5 days. When I checked the water today the nitrates were at about 20. The ammonium tests showed .5 on one and 1.0 on the other (I ran 2 different tests - one with a strip and one with adding drops) so I added some ammolock2 to the water. <Well, detectable ammonia levels are definitely problematic, and almost certainly contributed to the fish's difficulties> Any insight that you can give to help out our little guy would be great (we and his yellow tang buddy will be really upset if we lose him!) Thanks so much! Joanne and John <Well, guys- I think that a large part of the problem is the detectable ammonia level in the system. Erratic behaviour and damaged fins are often a sign of metabolite poisoning. I'd execute some water changes with quality source water. However, more importantly, I'd look for the source of the ammonia. and correct it immediately. In the absence of other symptoms, I'll bet that some husbandry adjustments (i.e.; stepped-up water changes, use of chemical filtration media, aggressive protein skimming, etc.) can make all the difference here. Do continue to observe the fish carefully, and run regular water tests to monitor your progress. I think that you'll see a difference after a week or so. However, make sure that you stay vigilant for possible disease symptoms, just in case. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Fish Disease (?) Greetings! <Salutem dicit> Sorry to bug you with so many questions lately but I can't find the right answers using search (and I have spent a long time doing that). What are these spots on my Coral Beauty? They are two white spots on his tail and rear dorsal fin.  They are not raised but look more like discoloration.   <Might be just that... possibly an internal or subdermal parasite... not likely much that I'd do to "treat" this> The one on his rear dorsal also appears on the other side.  He is eating fine and not scratching but he is visiting the cleaner shrimp often.  Picture attached (sorry for poor quality but best I could do). Thanks again for all your help. -Ray <I'd just "wait and see" unless other symptoms become apparent. Bob Fenner>

re: Coral beauty dwarf angel Thank you sooo much for the super fast reply.  I did the 3 day treatment and then the one day treatment per LFS recommendation (they were thinking more preventative rather than curative I think....or they were just clueless). <... not worth the wear and tear of a three day treatment... I don't know what was trying to be accomplished... unless the animal was treated and then moved to an uninfested system... two weeks is necessary. Please invest your time in reading through the marine parasitic disease sections archived on www.WetWebMedia.com> By biological cleaner do you mean a cleaner shrimp?  If not, what? Thanks again <Yes, either cleaner shrimp and/or Gobiosoma gobies. Bob Fenner>

Coral beauty dwarf angel Thanks for the reply.  I know you guys are busy but much has happened in the last few days and I really don't know where to go from here.  Sunday evening, I took the Coral Beauty out of the main tank and put him into my new 10 gal QT tank (dog broke last one).  It has a small hang-on filter on the back and I put in an airstone for extra O2.  I then treated it with Rid Ich + (formaldehyde & malachite green) for 3 days doing a 25% water change every day before the next dose.  I then did a 50% change, put carbon back into the filter for 24 hrs and then put in Clout for 24 hours. <... all sounded good until the bit about interrupting the treatment with Rid Ich... why only three days?>   Today, I did a 50% change and put carbon filter back in.   Now, the conditions of the tank have been fluctuating all week.  Ammonia and pH mainly.  Ammonia has gotten up to .5 and pH has been anywhere from 7.8 to 8.4! <Not good...>   The fish is now lethargic, swimming at the surface, breathing hard and very pale.  He also has not eaten in 2 days and he had a great appetite before. The white spot on the back of his dorsal fin is almost a complete hole in his fin.  The one on his tail now looks fuzzy and seems to be growing.  His pectoral fins also are degraded at the ends and have some very small white threads coming off them.  His eyes also have pale splotches to them. <Could be from the treatment, poor/vacillating water quality alone...> Is his rapid degradation due to over aggressive treatment, fluctuating water quality, disease or a combination of the three?   <Oh, yes> I was thinking of treating the tank tomorrow with Kanamycin as the previous two treatments did not seem to work. <Wait, wait! The previous treatments were not done to spec. And you've stated poor water quality measurements...> Giving his current health, I am weary to try another treatment that may stress him even more. <Me too. At this point (and probably prior) it's best to return the animal to the best circumstances, maybe try a biological cleaner/s> I am at an ends for what to do.  It was even suggested to me to transfer my red skunk cleaner shrimp to the QT tank to help clean parasites and dead tissue off of him.  I would rather do this than stress him out more.   Please help!!!!!!! -Ray <I would return the Angel to the main/display tank... whatever the root problem was/is, your further "treatments" will not improve it (or your main tanks) condition. Bob Fenner>
Re: Coral Beauty Angel Thanks again for the help.  He did spend 2-1/2 weeks in QT and was fine (dog broke QT tank and had to move him before he ran out of water) and then spent over a week in the main tank without problem.  They (and WWM) initially thought it was a viral problem given his lack of other symptoms.  I also gave him a 5 min fresh water/formalin dip before putting him in the main tank.  Tried a dip before moving him back to QT but he did no like it one bit so it was less than a minute.   Live and learn. The cleaner shrimp is acclimating as we speak.  I did another 50% water change with water from the main tank just to be sure to dilute anything left in the QT tank (and to make acclimation easier) before adding the shrimp.  For once, the pH's of both tanks actually matched! Thanks again for all your help and the super fast responses.  I'll update you if there are any major changes. -Ray <Real good. Thank you. Bob Fenner>

Re: Coral Beauty... Mortuus est Bob, Thank you again for all your help.  Despite my best efforts, my poor fishy died late this morning.  When he died, his tail fin was almost totally rotted away and the rear dorsal and anal fins were likewise degraded.  He was very pale and the bottom of the tank was littered with his scales.  I am heartbroken that this once beautiful fish that I so enjoyed died so horribly while under my care.  He was only the second fish I have ever lost, the first being a suicide (found him on the floor behind the tank). My LFS thinks that this was some sort of bacterial infection that took over when he got stressed by the fluctuating water quality.  Any input on that?   <Impossible to tell... but the brief history you related over the Net points to a succession of challenges in treatment, exposure to varying water quality... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm It will be of great worth to you to understand a/the "total picture" in equations of health/disease...> I want to learn from this so it does not happen again.  Could my QT setup have contributed to the dramatically fluctuating water quality? <Yes>   I have a 10-gal with heater and a TopFin power filter 10 and an airstone added for extra O2.   I am thinking perhaps adding a small powerhead?  I do not have a sump to keep a sponge filter in for immediate bio filtration. <The sponge filter would be of more use than a powerhead>   The closest I have is my Whisper 3 on my display tank. The good news is that all other members of my display tank appear totally healthy and showing so signs of stress at all so, whatever killed my fish, was limited to him. Thanks again for your help and providing those like me with a wonderful source of information. -Ray <Peace, life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Nagging Nitrite and Nasty Disease! Hi there <Hello. Scott F. with you today> My problem is this: I have a bicolor angel that does not really want to eat anything except pick at urchins. I have had it for 2 weeks and it developed a hazy eye which returned to normal, but it was constantly scratching on the substrate but without any spots. This morning it is in bad shape as it has spots and sometimes lies on its side. <Sounds like it could be either Cryptocaryon or Amyloodinium. Both of these require immediate attention and a course of treatment with a proven medication to affect a cure. Amyloodinium is fatal if left untreated, so do diagnose and act quickly. Much is written on identifying and treating these maladies on the WWM site> The 3 Marley Butterflies have also contracted it but are eating ok. I have started using TetraMedica in the main tank but how often do I use it? <Not familiar with this product, but I will definitely recommend that you do not dose in the medicate tank! Use a separate container or aquarium for treatment.> The anemone does not like this medication either, since it is closed ever since. <Another example why you should not medicate in the display!> Sorry, no quarantine tank yet, but am getting one. <Glad to hear that! it will make your hobby much easier!> Also added Red Sea vitamin supplement to try and boost the angel. On another note, my nitrite never seem to be 0. <Not good at all! Nitrite should be undetectable in an established tank. This is definitely a potential cause of stress for your fishes, which can lead to vulnerability to disease. Is this tank fully cycled? Do look for a cause and take corrective measures as soon as possible!> The tank has been running for 8 months with 2 powerheads of which one has a canister type attachment to it, the other one drive the Jebo skimmer and an Aquaclear 300. The tank is 55 gallons, with 1 Brown Tang, 1 Bicolor Angel, 1 common clown, 2 anemone, 1 Dragon Wrasse, 1 indigenous finger fin, 3 Marley Butterfly, 2 sea apples, sea star< 20cm diameter). <Wow! That's a lot of bioload for this sized tank. Do consider a larger tank, or giving some of the animals away. Th overcrowding could explain a number of the problems that you've been having...> Nitrite test is always lightly pink, and sometimes darker. Can u please reply to this e-mail address Thanks, Archie <Well, Archie- I think that the immediate problem is getting the sick fish diagnosed and treated properly. Then, you need to re-examine your stocking level in the tank. It seems fairly apparent that something is out of line here with the bioload. Do a little research and revise this fish population. Also, re-visit your husbandry techniques (water changes, etc.) to get an idea what has caused this constant nitrite reading. With a little homework and prompt action, you could get this tank back to normal soon. Good luck! regards, Scott F>

Bloated Beauty (2/2/04)  I'm resending this b/c my images were too large, sorry for that! <No problem.>  Hi all, <Steve Allen tonight.>  You guys and gals have been so helpful in the past now I am calling upon your expertise for a fish I believe is at risk. I have a Coral Beauty that has become excessively fat (bloated) over the past couple of days. <Yikes. Does look very uncomfortable.> He/She is in QT and has been for the last week; in which I have lowered the salinity from 35ppt to 17ppt, I was going to go down to 14ppt  tonight but "alarm" my prize fish is in trouble. <Is he in the QT for this or for something previous?> This coral beauty is ~5 years old and was big before the bloating but now it is enormous and looks like it is having trouble breathing. I have attached some pictures so you can see the girth. Should I add Epsom salt, or do I need something else. Thanks in advance from me and the fish. - Ryan  <Epsom salt is helpful for simple constipation. Lowering salinity is good for external parasites, but not internal. What is the purpose of your hyposalinity treatment? I'd be a bit worried about internal parasites or even a tumor. Consider treating with an antihelminthic. You may even want to consult an exotic animal vet in your area. Is the fish pooping? What is the poop like? I think that saving this fish is going to be an ongoing, intensive-care process. I recommend that you start a thread in the 911 forum at www.wetwebfotos.com to seek input from a number of experienced aquarists. You can more easily maintain an up-to-the-minute dialogue there. A lot of great folks there would love to help. I'll follow along there too. Hope this helps. Steve Allen>

- Ich on Flame Angel - Hello Crew, I really appreciate you looking at this for me! I brought home a 3" flame angel last week.  It looked great in the store, but as is often the case developed Ich spots a couple of days after I brought it home.  I have looked through the Centropyge FAQs, but am a little confused. Should I dose with copper, should I fw dip?  Opinions seem to be mixed about this regarding this genus. <As long as the fish is in quarantine, I would dip first, Formalin later if things don't seem to be on the mend. These fish are sensitive to copper so a weaker-than-normal dose is what's in order, or Formalin will work against Ich. Do not medicate the main tank.> He is currently in a 20H bare bottom QT. <Excellent.> I have been treating with RidIch, which is a Formalin/malachite green mixture for the past 3 days. <Then after 14 days, should be Ich-free.> I have been able to bring quite a few specimens back with this stuff. However, this fish seems to be getting more spots everyday. <Do check the water quality - likely need to be swapping out about half that tank every other day to keep the water quality in check. You'll need to add your medication after the water changes to keep the therapeutic level of the Formalin in an effective range.> I am feeding him Mysis soaked in Selcon and a little garlic. <Ahh... good on the Selcon, I've about lost my faith in garlic to do anything but load up the skimmer.> He is eating pretty well.  I also have some Nori in the tank for him.  He nibbles on this from time to time.  What is the best coarse of action for this situation? <You are on the right path.> Any advice is very much appreciated. Thanks, Jeff <Cheers, J -- >

Twitchy Beauty >I have a Coral Beauty angel that suddenly started to look pale.  He has been very hyper today, darting around the tank.  He also appears to twitch a bit every once in a while.   >>Sounds like the beginning of an emergent problem, likely parasitic? >Aside from looking pale, and being very lively, everything else is normal with him - no white spots or anything, and he is eating as normal.   >>Not seeing the spots doesn't mean there's NOT a problem, my friend. >I have had this fish for about two months, the first month was spent in quarantine.   >>Ah.. you make my heart glad! >I gave him a 9 minute FW dip when I bought him, which brought on Ich, I treated with formalin, and he looked fine.   >>Ok.  Sounds like you know your stuff here. >After his month in QT, he has been in my main tank looking very healthy.  Any idea what is wrong with this fish?  Should I send it back to QT?  I will be away for a week around Christmas, so this would be a really bad time to quarantine him, there will be none around to do frequent water changes.  Thanks! >>Hhmm..  problematic, to be sure, but if this IS an emergent parasitic problem, prolonging his stay in q/t won't help at all..  There are no medications truly suitable to treating in situ.  My only suggestion would be, if you have no inverts in this tank, to take it hyposaline.  Marina

Lemon Peel Angel I have had this Angel fish for almost two years.  It is in a 29 gallon tank with a Percula clown.  Recently the angel has gotten a hole in the tail fin and its fin on its back seems to be eroding.  I do regular water changes and monitor the ammonia and nitrate levels.  Any ideas? <A very small world for this species... it might be that its puny dimensions are manifested by the current development... or that what you're seeing is due to an ongoing nutritive lacking... Do you have much live rock in this system? I would add more/new... and try boosting the vitamin content of other offered foods by soaking them in a prep. like Selcon. Any chance that Santa might bring you a larger system? I hope so. Bob Fenner> Claudia Dimercurio

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

- Coral Beauty Problems -  Good evening gentlemen,  I am having a real problem with my Coral Beauty. He will not eat at all, and there is some mucus looking material on his head. It also looks funny where his fins connect to his body. <Funny how? An actual description of this would help... it's not obvious from the photo.> I have had a problem with really bad hair algae lately and I am pulling my hair out trying to control it. <Please read here and the FAQs beyond: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm > For some reason the fish are hiding all the time and I do not know why. I checked all the water parameters and they all seem in line. <What does that mean? What is 'in line'?> I did a 20% water change anyways and they seem to be doing a little better. <Sounds like your water quality may not be as 'in line' as you thought.> Any thoughts at what is wrong with the Coral Beauty? <Sounds like issues with water quality.> I want to help him but I do not have a hospital tank setup yet. <Time to get one... not much to set up. Get it running, have plenty of new saltwater made up and ready to do daily to every other day large water changes. No need to cycle a quarantine tank.> Any help would be sincerely appreciated. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mardisease.htm > Below is a link to a picture of the coral beauty if that helps. > Tank Setup:  55 gallon tank  1 Clownfish  1 Coral Beauty  60 lb live rock  4" sandbed  Power compact lighting  Marine Life Aquatics AVS-90 Skimmer  Emperor 400 Filter  2 powerheads  1 heater  Thank You For Your Time, Jim - Pittsburgh, PA  <Cheers, J -- > 

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

Fighting Ich The Easy Way? I'm starting to feel indebted to you guys for all the help you have given me.  Here is my question for the day.  I have a flame angel in quarantine, about 3 inches long.  He was brought in from Hawaii two weeks ago from LFS. <Excellent fish, excellent procedure, and the best place to get 'em from!> Curious about surroundings, eating some prepared food, nibbling on everything in sight, seemed healthy.  He is now in my quarantine tank, been there for two days, started showing some signs of Ich, 5 or 6 spots on him. Do I have to medicate, or can I just siphon 1 or 2 gallons a day from the bottom of the tank, hoping for him to battle this on his own.   <Actually, the procedure is 100% changes, siphoning from the bottom of the bare quarantine tank. By doing this, you're removing any encysted stages of the parasite that may be present. It's not that traumatic, actually, if you are using water from your display tank as the QT water. You're simply replacing the water in the QT with water of the exact same temperature and composition; the same water that the fish will be living in for the rest of his life. Really pretty safe! I'd try this before I'd resort to chemicals, particularly with Centropyge species. Lon-term use of copper is a definite no-no with these guys.> He is still eating.  I don't want to give him a fresh water dip (my usual procedure) because I gave him one when I first got him and he didn't like it, tried to jump, spitting water at surface, etc...  I think that the stress from the dip may have actually triggered the Ich. <Possible. Centropyge don't take well to FW dips on occasion! I agree with your decision not to do a dip again.> By the way I don't think I did anything wrong with the first dip, ph adjusted, temp adjusted, aerated R/O water, about 8 min.s long, the same procedure I have used with success on my tangs). <Yep- you did fine. A great procedure; it's just that some fishes don't take well to it!> If you feel I can wait this out, at what point, or what signs would you wait for to determine if I have to take further action?  i.e.: just watch him if he is acting normally with just a few spots, medicate him if he is showing further signs of disease like scratching and more spots. <You're reading my mind!> If I should medicate him, what do you recommend? <I'd consider a product with Formalin in lieu of Copper Sulphate> Thanks for your help. <Glad to be of assistance. I think that you are on the right track here. Keep this guy eating a variety of foods, give him excellent water quality, use the water change technique and he may just pull through without any other intervention required! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

- Flame Angel with Ich - I'm starting to feel indebted to you guys for all the help you have given me.  Here is my question for the day.  I have a flame angel in quarantine, about 3 inches long.  He was brought in from Hawaii two weeks ago from LFS. Curious about surroundings, eating some prepared food, nibbling on everything in sight, seemed healthy.  He is now in my quarantine tank, been there for two days, started showing some signs of Ich, 5 or 6 spots on him. Do I have to medicate, or can I just siphon 1 or 2 gallons a day from the bottom of the tank, hoping for him to battle this on his own. <At the very least get it a cleaner shrimp... sometimes you can keep ahead of an all out infection this way, but if you have to medicate the tank the shrimp would have to go.> He is still eating.  I don't want to give him a fresh water dip (my usual procedure) because I gave him one when I first got him and he didn't like it, tried to jump, spitting water at surface, etc...  I think that the stress from the dip may have actually triggered the Ich. <Mmmm... you can probably imagine, no saltwater fish is going to like a freshwater dip but many of them can take this treatment, sometimes for as long as 10 minutes. pH-adjusted, freshwater dips are a wise and useful first stop along the way for dealing with Ich.> By the way I don't think I did anything wrong with the first dip, ph adjusted, temp adjusted, aerated R/O water, about 8 min.s long, (the same procedure I have used with success on my tangs). <Excellent.> If you feel I can wait this out, at what point, or what signs would you wait for to determine if I have to take further action? <More, rather than less Ich - as long as the fish is still interactive and eating, it's on the positive side of things. If you do need to treat with copper, use a dose slightly less than normal and keep it up for 14 days along with daily to every other day water changes.> i.e.: just watch him if he is acting normally with just a few spots, medicate him if he is showing further signs of disease like scratching and more spots. <Oh... I should have read on - jolly good show.> If I should medicate him, what do you recommend? <Copper, but as I pointed out, should be a mild dose - angels can be sensitive to copper, but really have the most trouble with prolonged exposure to it, so it's meant to be a short term treatment.> Thanks for your help. <Cheers, J -- >

Say No To Copper (Treating A Centropyge With Ich) Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I have a Centropyge bispinosus with Ich. Is copper a safe treatment with this species. Or is hyposalinity a better route for them. Thank You. David <Well, David, I'd recommend using a Formalin-based remedy with Centropyge species, augmented with freshwater dips. I'm not a big fan of hyposalinity, myself... Copper can be rough on them. I hope that this helps! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Re: Bicolor Angel Sick?? Or Odd Behavior?? Phil, <Actually, JasonC this time...> Thanks for the reply. The bi-color angel is no longer twitching.  He/she only did it that day. <Ok.> He and all the other fish are swimming and breathing normally and eating like pigs as usual.  And NO signs of diseases (i.e.. spots, lesions, stray critters or color loss).  Currently I am feeding them Marine S pellets and frozen enriched brine shrimp alternated and the angel also pecks at the algae on the plants and rocks. <Yes, pecking at the rocks is what these fish do in the wild almost constantly during their waking hours.> This is the ONLY thing any of them will eat, they are very picky (they don't even like krill).  I have tried and tried many other foods but this is the only one that they will eat.  I have even tried the "Formula 1 & 2's" and frozen angel food (the one with sponges). The angel doesn't even like Nori. <Give it time.> Although I must say... all are growing well and don't look malnourished in the least. PH is 8.2 by the way... I forgot to put that in there. No body picks on "Wolverine" (justly named that for his attitude and being the colors of U of M - Go Wolverines!!)  :o) The blue damsels are territorial (big surprise) when others pass by their coral homes (even me), but its nothing more than a quick chase, nothing more and only when they are really close to the coral. Everyone gets along great, although we did find out that Wolverine doesn't like skunk shrimp in "his" tank. He promptly pecked at the two of them until, well I'm sorry to say cuz I really like them, they died. So no more shrimp. Tough lesson, kinda expensive too, but well learned. As for the skimmer, it does remove a lot of stuff from the tank. I realize there are better ones out there, but this one is the only one that would fit (we didn't leave enough space between the wall and tank). This one JUST fits. So until we physically move it, we're stuck with it. <Fair enough.> Something is better than nothing. <Indeed.> I will definitely get an upgrade when its moved. I do believe all are doing well now. Do you think it was the water change? <Hard to say.> If so, why? <Well... consider the analogy of the air you breathe... if it were full of dust and soot, would that affect the way you behave? Same goes for water quality and fish. There are many 'things' in the water that you can't see which could affect the quality of the environment.> (I'm fairly new to this-the tank has been up for only one year).  We are still learning, and am sure we will be for a LONG time.  We have had freshwater tanks for decades, but this is a new challenge. <Yes, keep in mind that freshwater fish are much more tolerant of variation - consider a lake or a stream that drops in water level, changes temperature during the summer, pH from run-off, etc... freshwater fish can live through many of these changes. Consider then that the world's oceans cover over 2/3 of the planet - which means that for the most part, things don't change much and when they do, it is a very, very slow change. Sudden changes can be disastrous for marine tanks and their inhabitants.> Although it isn't as difficult as I though (and heard) it would be!  What a great hobby-very rewarding!!  You're site is a life saver for us newbies...Thanks again! <Cheers, J -- >

What Happened to My Flame Angel? Cu poisoned - 08/24/03 <Hi Luke, PF with you tonight> I bought a Flame Angel two weeks ago with 3 other fish (clown, banner fish and raccoon b-fly). I've quarantined them. The fish got minor Ich a few days ago and I've added Cupramine as prescribed. Ammonia levels 0, nitrite 0, Ca 460, ph 8.3, high alkalinity, salinity 1.023, temp 26C. Ich disappeared after 2 days. Today I have noticed that my flame angel was turning white and was swimming kind of on the side near the surface. This was 4 days after adding Cupramine. The other fish are fine. There are no external signs of anything... no bacterial infections, Ich etc... nothing... What has caused this? IS the fish going to die? I've changed most of the water to fresh, but after 3 hrs there's no improvement. <Well, this could be a side effect of your use of copper. When you use copper you should always test it, and be sure and research the fish and their reactions to it. Clowns for example, are very sensitive to copper. How big is the QT tank you're using, and have you placed some pieces of PVC in their to act as an artificial reef?> Thank you, Luke <Good luck Luke, hopefully your fish is doing better.>

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

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>

Black Centropyge nox feelin' blue... Hi!! <Hellooooo, Kevin here> My husband & I found your website a couple weeks ago while researching the viability of getting a mandarin, and we found your FAQs very helpful. <Great, I hope it allowed you to make an informed decision.> This is my first time posting a question, and unfortunately it is not under happy circumstances. We got a black nox dwarf angel recently. <One of my favorite Centropyge angels, unfortunately they don't do so hot in captivity.> We quarantined little Jiji for 2 weeks, and since he looked fine, was active, and was eating well, we put him in our main tank Saturday night (adding him to Picasso the Sailfin tang & Gilligan the Ocellaris clown).  However, the other day we noticed Jiji was occasionally scratching himself against our live rock, and upon closer examination saw that he was breathing rapidly & had whitish patches on his sides & fins.  We removed him from the main tank & put him back in the QT last night.  I dosed the QT with Formalin last night, and we will probably give Jiji a freshwater dip this evening. <Good plan, run a full set of water tests on both the QT and the display.> As you may have guessed from the medication, I think Jiji has come down with Brooklynella.  I know the scratching is a sign of a parasitic infection, and the whitish patches are way too large for Ich or velvet.  But while his gills are moving very rapidly, Jiji is not gasping at the top of the tank, nor is he lethargic or not eating.  In fact, he is still quite active.  Does this mean that he is just in the early stages of Brooklynella or that he may have something else altogether? <It's likely Brooklynella, if not the formalin should knock it out anyway. Make sure it is well fed with vitamin enriched foods, lots o' algae, and if the formalin isn't working very well add some copper sulfate. This is also why I quarantine for 30-45 days, even though the fish may look bullet-proof they still can go downhill and get everyone else sick.> Also, since medicating the main tank is NOT an option & neither is removing the fish (we have no place to move them to), what would you suggest as alternatives to making sure this doesn't spread?  I am considering picking up some garlic extract to add to all the fishes' food, as garlic seems to bolster their immune systems. <I'd try the garlic, and if all the fish are healthy you won't have to worry about it spreading. Good luck, I hope everything goes well! -Kevin> Thanks in advance, Samantha

Quarantine Quandary Hi WWM crew, <Hi there! Scott F. with you tonight!> Sorry to write again so soon. But here is the thing. I just had a very pretty Coral Beauty die on me in my QT. <Must be a lot of that going around with Coral Beauties these days...> I feel I may have killed it but wonder if it might have been the reverse. The tank was started over---here is what I did: I put a new sponge (Whisper) in my main tank for 3 weeks. Then I put in maybe 6 gals of new water and added 4 gals of water (maybe more) from the main tank. <Good, although you could have used 100% tank water, too> The main tank is doing nicely aside from some nasty algae <This, too, shall pass> , but everything is thriving, and it has been going for over a year. The QT sat around like this for awhile. <Remember, a QT is not a permanent feature...You break it down when not in use> Anyway on to yesterday: I had the fish just about two weeks.  I had just done a water change (1 gal), this is in a ten gal. This was the second water change. The water change is from my main tank. During the water change I pulled some PVC around and the fish swam about briefly. It looked healthy but has been rather shy. Yesterday sometime or other the fish died. <Bummer...> I was rather busy yesterday and I think pulled the dead fish out today. <Not the best practice, but we all have busy lives to lead....understandable> Post mortem revealed no burning, spots or marks of any kind-- darn healthiest looking dead fish I have ever seen. When the fish was alive I don't remember seeing heavily clamped fins or trouble breathing. I turned the Whisper off last night. Today I did a water test on the Qt and found the following rather alarming figures. I must say maybe I have gotten a little unconscientious on the water tests. <Oops> Both tanks are usually almost boringly stable. Even the Qt. But anyway here are the test results: temp 7.8; SG 1.023; ph 8.2; ammonia .6 !; nitrite 1 ! and nitrate 10. <Don't like that ammonia level. or the nitrite level..> To me this looks like a cycle or maybe a recycle. Could a dead fish have caused this? <In a small tank with minimal filtration, it's entirely possible...> Or could the fish have lived that long in water that bad? I know a damsel might but this was a Coral beauty. Or was the tank just too unestablished? (BTW, this doesn't sound too dissimilar to how I have started up a QT in the past.) I can't say I have not had unexplained deaths in the past. Would I see no distress in a fish with this water quality or lack thereof? <You would most likely see distress of some sort...Again, I'd opt to break down the QT between uses...Do test the water during the QT period...Hard to be sure exactly what it was that killed the fish...It could have been the ammonia and nitrite levels, if they were detectible prior to the fish's death...Or- it could have been poor collection practices (entirely beyond your control), etc. Don't be discouraged...Hang in there! Regards, Scott F> BTW, I did look in the FAQs but didn't find anything quite like this mentioned. Also what to do at this point with it? Big water change or let the tank just cycle itself out. Only biomedia is the sponge in the whisper. Thanks.

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