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FAQs about the Imperator Angel Behavior

Related Articles: Imperator Angels, Pomacanthus Angels, Marine Angelfishes

Related FAQs: Emperor Angels 1Emperor Angels 2, Emperor Angels 3, Emperor Angel ID, Emperor Compatibility, Emperor Angel Selection, Emperor Angel Systems, Emperor Feeding, Emperor Disease, Marine Angelfishes In General, Selection, Behavior, Compatibility, Health, Feeding, Disease,  

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Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Question. Emperor Angel beh., hlth.     11/22/14
I've been in the reef hobby for quite a while and have a 210 gallon tank with 75 gallon sump active for over 2.5 years. Plenty of LR, Live
sand, and clean up crew. I have a Skimz SM203, Calcium reactor, 35 gallon refugium (In sump), and great lighting (three 250 watt MH, T8's, and LED's).
As for my tenants, I have flame angel (2 inch), Blue tang (2.5 inch), yellow tang (4.5 inch), 3 Chromis (2.5 inch), pygmy angel (2.5 inch),
Bi-color angel (3 inch), six line wrasse (2.5 inch), 2 clowns (3 inch), neon Dottyback (3 inch), Blue angelfish (6 inch), and Emperor angelfish (5.5 inch).
Now that you have some background on what I have, my question is this:
I've had My Blue and Emperor angelfish over 2 years with no issue's.
Blue angelfish transitioned to full adulthood quite quickly however my emperor took much longer.
<Perhaps delayed/influenced by the Blue>

In fact my emperor is almost 75-80% changed from what I can tell however my question is that I'm seeing some white
blotches on the emperor however his breathing is fine, eating habits are the same (Eats like a horse), eyes seem fine (Can't tell if eyes
are cloudy or just dark from transition to adulthood?) Some days there are more spots and other days there are not a lot? Both angelfish
(Including all others) get along fine. Emperor is the king, Blue angel is the queen, and all others play along. I can't tell if this is an
issue or if its part of the emperor's transition to adulthood.
<Likely a bit of both; more the former that is of concern>
I did recently remove half of my LR and cleaned down and then did the same the following week along with a 40% water change. I usually do much smaller water changes weekly. I don't see any other issue's with any other fish besides emperor. Do you know if this is common for emperor's to get these blotchy spots during transition or do you think he may be stressing? Look forward to your response.
<Is not a part of transition... but as you suggest, stress-related. As long as the fish is otherwise eating, healthy, I would not be concerned to the point of moving one of the large angels. Bob Fenner>
Rick Geaslen
Re: Question     11/22/14

Thank you so much for your fast response. You definitely made me feel much more at ease about situation. I've always been the type of reefer that allows nature to take its course then to medicate.
<A bit of wisdom here>
That being said my emperor always looks much better during day and hardly shows any blotches. This issue has only been going on a few weeks hence exactly the time frame when I did complete clean out.
<Could be related as well>

I'm almost thinking I might have taken a lot of beneficial food from LR per clean down which I'm assuming emperor was probably snacking on. The only reason I cleaned down LR was because (I believe) after so many years
there are going to be a lot of spots you'll never be able to get to per the amount of decay build up. I never really have a lot of
nitrates (20ppm at most) however that's only when I have to go almost a month with no water change but I always catch up eventually. One other thing I forgot to mention was that when I did the complete clean down of LR I also added some phosphate/carbon pads to sump to help ease any nitrate spike when removing LR.
<These can also have adverse effects. You can search, read my cautionary statements re these media on WWM>
I've never used carbon with this tank until then so I'm almost thinking maybe that had something to do with it. I have since removed all pads.
<Ah, good>
Thanks again for your response and happy holidays to you and your family.
Rick Geaslen
<Thank you; and you and yours. BobF>

P. imperator... beh., comp.      5/20/13
Hi guys I have a quick question, I have a 5" emperor angel in my 187 gallon tank ( tank dimensions 60"x30"x24"), I've had him for around 8 months but recently I noticed blotchy white patches all over his body,
<Mmm, such are usually due to "emotional distress"; though can be physiological directly>
 I went to feed my fish today and as usual the emperor & my puffer
<Mmm, what species, size is this puffer?>

 where the first two fish up at the top of the tank but when I fed the fish he sort of picked at the food and didn't seem his bullish self now he has got me a bit worried, the blotchy white patches have appeared and his colour has faded a bit, is this a disease or is the angel still in the process of changing from juvenile to adult coloration?
<Perhaps a bit of the latter>
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
<I'd be keeping my eye on the puffer, other livestock here. Something is not to the Emperor's liking. Bob Fenner>
Re: re:     5/21/13

Thanks for the reply Bob
The puffer is a Stars and Stripes puffer he's around 7 inches,
<Mmm, the principal, a principal culprit>

But I've never seen either the puffer or emperor go near each other in an aggressive manner
<... just the same... could be intimidating the Angel>
 not even when food is in the tank in fact the puffer is the most docile fish in the tank. I know the emperor will get too big for the tank but I don't think he has to compete for space or food at the moment, I should point out that he isn't breathing heavily and is swimming around as normal and he has started to eat again and  be his normal bullish self so I'm pretty happy with that, but I was over in my lfs and they said I should give him a formaldehyde dip
<?! I would NOT do this. Too toxic and traumatizing>

but I don't want to stress him or do a dip just incase it has a negative effect on him, but the white patches are still bothering me so I was just wondering if you think  is it best to do the dip or have the poor fish go through unnecessary stress by catching him and putting him in a bucket if there is nothing wrong with him, I appreciate your input Bob.
<As prev. stated; I'd just stay observant at this point. BobF>

Re: Emperor Angel. beh., rdg.   8/28/12
Bob, Please read my email not size but age.
<Not really age dependent... such changes are overall developmental... hormonally derived... more related to nutrition and growth>

Emperor Angel. Beh./ RMF  10/18/11
Hi there, As always love your site! I just bought a Emperor Angel that is 75% changed. I was reading your info on them and could not find how long it takes for them to change to Adult colors. I was wondering if you tell me or give me link to look it up? Thanks, Jim
Will just answer here: A few to several months. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Emperor Angel
/ Simon   10/18/11
Hi there,
<Hi Jim>
As always love your site!
<It's pretty cool!>
I just bought a Emperor Angel that is 75% changed. I was reading your info on them and could not find how long it takes for them to change to Adult colors. I was wondering if you tell me or give me link to look it up?
<There is no definitive answer to this one Jim.. It all depends on the environment that the fish is kept in, space given, water quality, feeding/foods/diet etc. Read on the best available care for Pomacanthus
Imperator, provide this care and the change will be all the quicker and more complete. Sometimes, these fishes never fully change, or the colours are muted forever if the fish has been kept in conditions/ fed foods that are less than ideal.>
Thanks, Jim
<No problem, Simon>
Re: Emperor Angel, nutr.    10/19/11
Hi there, Will <?> he is in a 180 reef tank with no competition except a blonde Naso tang. They seem to take care each other. I am going to upgrade to a 300gallon tank in the next few years. I feed them new life spectrum pellets twice a day, Algae soak in garlic, Zoë«, or Selcon once a day, and mysis shrimp, with also Zoë«, garlic, and Selcon once a day. Do you think they get everything they need? I was thinking of buying a angel formula.
Thanks, Jim
<The Spectrum is fine of and by itself. B>

Emperor Angel Fish/Systems 12/8/09
Hi WWM crew,
<Hello Derek>
I am upgrading my 90 FOWLR to a 150 tall (need to stay with a 4foot tank cause I still have my 120 reef and don't have room for anything larger than a 4 footer) and I wanted to get an Emporer <Emperor> angelfish.
My question was do they always change to adult colors?
<In large systems, 200 gallons upward, with pristine water quality and a healthy diet, most will change into their adult colors.>
I've been reading that in the aquarium they don't change or change very slowly over a period of a year. I
know someone that completely changed in less than 2 months.
<Yikes, a person or a fish?>
I wanted to get one around 4 inches.
<Your tank size in gallons isn't too bad, but the length and width isn't the greatest for keeping this fish. As you likely are aware of, they can grow to 12"+.
These fish are best kept in larger systems. Do read here and linked information in the header.
James (Salty Dog)>

Re Emperor Angel Fish/Systems 12/8/09
Thank you, if I was to get one in my tank of about 4 inches would he change?
<I cannot predict what will happen to individual fish.>
or should I get one already an adult?
<An adult Emperor will not do well in this tank, will lead to environmental stress.>
I am aware of the problem of the length but he will still have the space to move around just not length.
<Why write for advice when your mind is made up.>
I meant that I knew a guy who had one that changed completely between Thanksgiving and Christmas last year, and that one was in a 120.
<Was just clowning and I find that this short time for a full color change very hard to believe. There are different stages of color changes Pomacanthus species go through and this takes more than one month. The pictures on the link I've provided show this.
James (Salty Dog)> 

Weird behavior from an Emperor Angel/General tank issues... Hello, I have a 120 gallon tank that includes (all juvenile) a bird wrasse, yellow tang, blue tang, and an Emperor Angel. <Needs more room than this...> I have about 120lbs of LR. I use an AquaC Remora skimmer and do monthly %10 water changes. <Too little, too much time interval...> The Angel was purchased as a small specimen maybe 9 months ago. It had been doing great until maybe two weeks ago. Since then, it stays at the bottom of the tank and I never actually 'see' him eat. He used to be very active and social. Looking at his body, I don't see any wounds or anything that could be parasites. <Psycho- and physio- logical stress has caught up with it> I just took another look at the blue tang which hides most of the day, and it looks like he has something over his body though. The Bird wrasse is active as usual while the Yellow tang seems to look fine, again, when he's not hiding. My nitrate, ammonia levels are low. I will remove the blue tang and put him in a QT to at least get a better look at the stuff on his body (he hides in the LR so its hard to really tell). SO guess my questions are: 1)Any idea what's wrong with the angel? <The above... water quality issues along with crowding> 2)Any idea why the tang is SOOO shy? <The same> 3)Would you think it best if I permanently removed the blue tang from the system? <... Would be a good idea for you to read (at least on WWM) re water change regimens... The rest? Bob Fenner>

Emperor Angel Behaviour The Emperor's New Aquarium (Acclimation of a new fish) 2/24/08 Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I've emailed you before for a different reason and you were a great help, very much appreciated. <We're glad to be here for you!> 3 days ago I upgraded to a new 140 UK gallon tank. I have checked the water parameters and they are fine (ammonia and nitrite 0, nitrates 10). <Sounds great. for now. Has the aquarium cycled? Did you mean that the systems has completed its initial nitrogen cycle and has been ready to stock for three days, or is this a brand new aquarium? This is an inevitable process, and the addition of animals to an aquarium established for such a short length of time is a grave mistake. Ammonia and nitrite will begin to climb as soon as you add life forms to the new system.> My Emperor Angelfish is staying in the top corner of my tank at a slight angle, and when he does move seems to swim erratically. He is not reacting to food and does not move often. When he does move he stays at the top of the tank. <Hmm...not a great sign. I am concerned about the lack of interest in food. These fishes spend a great deal of time in the wild actively foraging. This behavior should continue in the aquarium after the fish acclimates. The erratic swimming is not all that uncommon with many newly-received angelfishes, in my personal experience, so I would not be overly alarmed. yet. By the way, this is a potentially huge fish, and needs a very large aquarium to live anything close to its natural life span in captivity. Do consider the need for larger quarters for this fish in the not-too-distant future.> Otherwise, he looks healthy; good colouration, normal breathing rate, no marks on him. <That is good to hear. If the fish is breathing normally, and is not showing excessively bright coloration, this can possibly rule out things such as chemical poisoning (i.e.; cyanide, etc.). I say "possibly", because some of the signs of poisoning may manifest themselves at different times during the acclimation process. I would continue to observe the fish carefully and keep monitoring your environmental conditions to assure that they are in line. Also, it is prudent with a newly introduced fish to keep an eye out for any other possible signs of disease or stress, such as the aforementioned rapid breathing, visible sores, mucus, etc.> Am I needlessly worrying? Is he just stressed due to the move and will settle down over the week? Many thanks in advance for your kind support. <No, you are not worrying excessively at all. I commend you on your careful observations! One minor criticism that I do have is that you do not seem to have embraced a quarantine procedure. In my opinion, the quarantine of ALL new fishes and invertebrates for a minimum of 3 weeks is the single most valuable and effective way that you can manage the health of your animals. Not only does the quarantine practice eliminate the risk of introducing disease into your display aquarium, it also performs the valuable functions of enabling you to get a new fish to recover from the rigors of capture and transport. It helps the fish begin to eat captive foods in a more "calming" environment, and allows you to treat possible diseases that may arise during the acclimation phase. That being said, I think that there are several possibilities with your fish. First, if it is an adult Emperor, it may simply need more time to adjust to captivity. The foods and water conditions that we provide in captivity might be significantly different form those the fish encountered in its time in the natural environment. In addition, it is possible that the fish has suffered somewhat from the transport and acclimation to captivity, even if not collected with chemicals. Collection and transport procedures can be hard on the fish, so keep this in mind. Damage from decompression and handling also are possibilities. Give the fish more time, keep tempting it with quality foods, and observe it carefully for any signs of disease that may emerge. Keep disturbances (i.e.; getting your hands in the aquarium to clean, etc.) to a minimum, and maintain excellent water quality at all times. With some patience and diligence on your part, this fish should be able to make the jump to captive life. That being said, due consider the "newness" of this aquarium as a possible problem for this fish, and recognize that you will definitely need larger quarters for him/her at some point. Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

Re: The Emperor's New Aquarium (Cont'd.)   2/27/08 Hi, Thank you very much for your considered response. It is very much appreciated. <Glad to be of service!> In my panic I don't think I gave you enough detail as to my situation: <Happens!> The tank had cycled before I transferred the Emperor over. I have had the Emperor for about 3 months now, and he went to the new tank 3 days ago and seemed fine the first day of transfer. When I first bought him he acclimatised very well, ate from the off and behaved more "normally". I feed Ocean Nutrition flake, red and green algae (Nori) and frozen preparations (mysis, marine mix, Angel Formula) enriched with Selcon. <Glad to hear these details! Sounds good.> Tank mates are: 2 Percula Clownfish, 1 Banggai Cardinal, 1 Flame Angel and a Fu Manchu Lionfish. Should say that since the transfer no-one is eating, except the Lion. However, it is just the Emperor who is acting out of character, I expect the others to eat after recovering from the trauma of the move (this is how they behaved on introduction to my earlier tank)). <Okay- glad you've had these guys a while.> Water param.s remain stable after further checking. On inspection this morning he has a chunk missing from the centre of his caudal fin, which I am sure was not there yesterday, although I do seem to remember a discoloured patch where it has now disappeared. <Sorry to hear of the injury, but it seems to be recovering nicely.> I have been trying to keep disturbance to a minimum. On reviewing the tank last night after lights out (just using blue actinics for 10 hrs during the day at the moment, with led moon lights at night) he seemed to swim briefly very near the surface totally on his side. <Again, a behavior I have witnessed before in healthy specimens. As long as the fish is able to swim in "normal" fashion, I would not be overly concerned about this particular behavior. If it's accompanied by symptoms like labored breathing, scratching, etc., then it's a different story.> Appreciate your continued help; I'm concerned that there is more that I could be doing. Many thanks <Well, I still think the best course of action is to continue to monitor the situation, provide a good environment, and tempt the fish with quality foods. It's not wise to embark on more radical approaches, such as "prophylactically" medicating the fish against an as-yet-undiagnosed (or even un-manifested) "disease". I'd keep doing what you're doing, and be prepared to take action should it become necessary. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Re: The Emperor's New Spots... actually old   11/24/07 Hey, guys, hope you had a good Thanksgiving! <And you> I wrote in a couple of months ago regarding my 7-8" adult emperor angel; he was displaying small spots of discoloration and I couldn't figure out why. Of course, I don't expect you to remember that, so I will refresh. I've had the emperor for about six months, and he's been eating fine the entire time. I feed a very wide variety of food ~3x a day. I supplement this food with vitamins every two to three days. He's in a 265g and tank mates include a juvenile Koran, a flame, a semilarvatus butterfly, a fremblii butterfly, a lawnmower blenny, and a red sea sailfin. The emperor is the largest fish in the tank and nobody bothers him (nobody really bothers anybody for the most part, the sailfin and the fremblii go at it occasionally) so I can't imagine it would be stress. <Mmmm, am not so sure... some specimens are just touchy this way> There is plenty of rock work with a lot of caves and tunnels he can and does utilize. Tank parameters are and have been as follows: temp 78-80, pH 8.1-8.3, nitrite undetectable, ammonia undetectable, NO3, PO4-undetectable, dKH 9-11, Ca-380-420, Mg-1400-1500. Everything is good but the Mg, and I don't know how to get that down. <Might be your test kit/s, possibly the brand of salt mix, supplements...> I do water changes and keep the salinity at 1.024-5. I only dose Ca and buffer. <Look at the make-up of the buffer> The emperor and the Koran have been fighting intestinal worms. The only reason I knew they had them is because I could see them hanging out of their vents. Neither of them is acting at all symptomatic. I finished dosing with gel-Tek about a week ago and it seems the emperor has gotten rid of them. I don't think it's HLLE that's causing <Actually... got to interject... HLLE is not a cause... but a result...> the discoloration because it is not concentrated at all on the head or lateral line. The other day he had what appeared to be ulcerations on his belly. They were white, not red, and were shedding mucus. They have since cleared up, but in there place is more of the discoloration. I have never noticed any mucus shedding at any other time. Any ideas....? <Something still amiss... Doesn't read as environmental, nutritional... Am still thinking it's social... If you could remove each fish in turn... I think you'd find it was either the Koran or the Zebrasoma here...> Thanks in Advance Ben <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: The Emperor's New Spots  11/24/07 Now that you mention it, that Zebrasoma is probably the most rambunctious fish in the tank (along with the fremblii). <It is the alpha animal here, little doubt... and I do hope to make some 1080 images with my new UW digital video rig of the Hawaiian endemic BF... am just out in HI now> I am not attached to him at all, so I will go ahead and move him to another tank and see how it goes from there! <Ahh, good... Should be telling> Thanks again Ben <Cheers, BobF>

Angel Fish Question. Emperor beh.   5/23/07 Hello crew, <Jesse>              I have a question regarding my Emperor Angel.  I have had the small angel for about 3 months and I noticed this last week that he was occasionally flashing against smooth rocks on my sand bed. <Mmm, "do this" a bit...>   It was not very often and my other fish - Huma Trigger, Yellow Tang and Porcupine Puffer are showing no signs of stress.   The Angel is eating great and very alert, but this morning I noticed he seemed a little faded or blotchy. <Also not something to be concerned about if it comes/goes> I am not sure, if he has always been like this or if it is from adjusting to me turning the lights on in the morning. <This and general "mood"... and communication...> I thought that perhaps it was part of his change into adult form.  My specs are: 220g FOWLR, 0 ammonia, >.3 Nitrites (as good as the test will say) and 12 Nitrate.  Temp 76 gravity 1.023.  Just curious what the issue may be or if there is an issue at all. <I doubt if it/this is an issue... as you state your other fishes are fine>   I often feed him: Spirulina enriched brine shrimp, Mysid shrimp, plankton, small squid pieces and Nori . Most of my food I also soak in vitamins and the occasional garlic. Thanks for the input, Jesse <I would not be concerned here. You might try a small cleaner goby species (shrimp are too likely to be consumed by the Trigger, Puffer) of the genus Gobiosoma/Elacatinus... in an attempt to lower overall stress here. Bob Fenner>

Rapid Breathing Emperor   1/19/07 Hello Crew.  I have a 3 inch emperor angel that I have had going on 5 months now.  He is in a 120 gallon with a 50(?) gallon sump that houses an Aqua C ev-120 (that has yet to produce any skimmate). <Mmm, may not... your system may be in a sort of "balance"> The tank has vigorous water flow ( approximately 2000 gph).  The water tests out with 0 ammonia and nitrites, nitrates >25 ppm, <Do keep this under 20 ppm.> PH 8.1, temp is a constant 78 F.  I think the high nitrates and low PH are due to the fact that the tank is only 2 months old.  It has approximately 80lbs of live rock of the same age and 30 lbs of live rock from the previous display that is over a year old.  My angel has always had rapid breathing which I attributed to poor circulation and a possible low dissolved oxygen content in the old tank.  I believe that I can rule this out due to the fact that I placed him in the new tank about 1 week ago and the rapid breathing still continues.  I haven't completely ruled out a parasitic infection of some sort but believe it to be unlikely. <Mmm, a myriad of possibilities... can even just be resultant from moving, shipping stress...> My reasoning behind this is that in the 5 months that I have had him he has not displayed any other symptoms that one would attribute to parasites.  He eats like a pig (possibly over fed), never flashes or scratches, has never had a speck on him ( he is so bright and flawless he almost looks fake!), and other than the rapid breathing always seems very calm.  Which brings me to my next point,  he swims very oddly, often on his side and kind of floats through the water like a leaf falling from a tree. <Good description... and entirely natural... Many groups of fishes "do this" sort of "crazy", "flotsam" floating movement (or even crazier)... thought to deter predators... from discovering them (camouflage) and predating them... "I'm not eating that... could lead to trouble">   This hasn't really been a concern because I have seen this behavior and swimming pattern on almost every Pomacanthus imperator that I have encountered. <Ahh, you are observant>   The only other inhabitant in the tank is a 3.5 inch powder blue tang that seems to be in perfect health and breaths quite normally.  I would rule out any social problems that could or would cause this. <Me too> They get along very well and are in fact inseparable.  They sleep in the same cave and I have rarely seen them more than 1' away from one another ( almost seems like schooling activity)!  The angels gill movements are from 80 to as many as 200 movements per minute!  I am very worried and completely stumped on this one.   He is sometimes very active in the current and that is generally when he breaths the heaviest, but this still seems abnormal.  The only thing I can think of is that this is a genetic abnormality or some sickness that is beyond my narrow scope of expertise. <Good speculation... I would not be overly concerned here>   I apologize for the long e-mail but have done so in hope that it would give you a clear idea of what I am dealing with and possibly allow a more experienced "reefer" to point out anything that I may have overlooked. P.S. I am aware that if all goes well I will need to triple my current tank size to house these fish long term. I am looking forward to this!  I would also like to thank you for the great resource that you provide.  We are all in great debt to you! Thanks again, Jim <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Juvenile Emperor Angel - Stunted Growth?  11/21/06   Dear Bob and Crew, <Hey Claire, JustinN with you today>   I bought my Juvenile Emperor Angel over a year ago.  As far as I can tell it has not grown at all.  My friend bought one at the same time, and his is three times larger than mine.  These are the African caught Emperors so they are black bodied, rather than blue.  Is this something you have come across before?  Will it grow at all, or do you think it has some growth deficiency?  I have no problems with any of my other fish.   Thanks so much for your help   Claire <Well, Claire, this question is difficult to answer without any information on your setup. You give no indication of what size of tank you have, information on your husbandry, or what tankmates you are keeping with the angelfish. The way you describe it, without any further information, sounds to me like its growth has been stunted by improper living conditions. Have a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pomacanthus/imperator.htm and do take note of the adult size of this fish (up to 15 inches!), and consider this in arranging living quarters. Hope this helps you! -JustinN> Juvenile Emperor Angel That Won't Grow  11/21/06   Dear Bob and Crew   I bought my Juvenile Emperor Angel over a year ago.  As far as I can tell it has not grown at all.  My friend bought one at the same time, and his is three times larger than mine.  These are the African caught Emperors so they are black bodied, rather than blue.  Is this something you have come across before?  Will it grow at all, or do you think it has some growth deficiency?  I have no problems with any of my other fish.   Thanks so much for your help   Claire <Mmm, there are a few (classes) of growth-limiting factors that might be at play here... Metabolite build-up feedback loops, social/negative interaction with tankmates, nutritional deficiency syndromes... Is the system "large enough", foods fresh/supplemented? Do you do regular water changes, use chemical filtrants, have adequate foam fractionation? I take it from the above that other species (not listed) are growing... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GrwLmtChems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Juvenile Emperor Angel Acting Strange - 09/10/06 Hi Crew, thanks for all the wonderful info you've posted. <<Quite welcome...do take advantage of it>> I recently purchased a juvenile emperor angelfish.  It was great, nipping on my live rocks, feeding on the pellets and flakes that I fed him after the first day I bought it.  Tonight when I returned and turned on the lights, it's slowly acting fanatically. <<...?>> It first swims back and forth along the tank and then stayed at a corner going at it with the tank (seems like it's either attacking the tank or trying to break through) Sorry for the poor description. <<Clear enough my friend>> At times, it even managed to stuck itself between the live rocks, I had to help moving the rocks so it can get loose.  I don't see any visual signs of parasites nor physical damage.  Finally, when I try to feed it, it doesn't eat. Please advise. <<Mmm, hard to say what's wrong, possibly something environmental affecting the fish.  Check/test your water parameters...perform a water change...and if you can, move the fish to a quarantine/hospital tank (with dim lighting to help calm the fish) for closer observation and treatment, if required.  A do look through our marine disease articles/FAQs to see if you can find similar afflictions/treatments re.  Here's a good place to start: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/disFAQsMar.htm>> Thanks, Kwon <<Regards, EricR>>

Emperor Angel Breathing   2/14/06 Crew- Can you ballpark me for roughly how many gill respirations per minute are within "normal" range for an emperor angel? <Likely 30-60 depending on what it's doing, has been doing> I have a 4" juvenile owned for six months. Something just seems up with the fish, it seems visibly agitated in its behavior (no other fish to induce such agonistic behavior -- no water quality issues, it is in a stable setup that has been up for 1yr+; temp 76, ammonia and nitrite are zero, nitrate less than 10ppm), but manifests no visible signs of parasites or other maladies of the gills. With such little info for you or I to go on, what type of treatment would be prudent to pursue? <None...> Please be specific. Please trust that I am not paranoid, and go with the assumption that something is indeed wrong with the fish's respiration. <I'd assume nothing is wrong with it... this species, most Pomacanthids do "just" breath oddly at times...> I know this is an active fish, but even at rest something is up. I do not want to yank this fish out the display and treat in QT unnecessarily any more than you want me to. But I am of the mind that if I continue to wait and wait the issue will hit a critical point and nosedive beyond my control. I understand these fish naturally bear a parasite load, but respiratory ailments I am loathe to regard with ambivalence. you all are the best (and your advice is free no less)! Thank you for your time. Craig <I would take a cautious approach here... unless there is some dire reason to "fool with" this animal, leave it be. Bob Fenner> Emperor Angel behavior   1/26/06 Hi Crew, I have a gorgeous Emperor Angel ( 7" adult) that has been the dominant fish in my FOWLR since introduced 6 months ago.  The fish is aggressive, yet likes to hide a lot.  It frequently makes grunting noises with its swim bladder as a sign of aggression.  It was feeding aggressively until 2 days ago.  After a water change there was a bit of a live rock slide in the tank that did not injure any of the inhabitants.  I did my best to rearrange things back to their original shapes but had to readjust things 24 hrs later.  I notice that these fish absolutely learn their surroundings to such an extent that even this modest change resulted in some very inquisitive behavior in learning the new surroundings. <Yes> All of the inhabitants have finally adjusted but my Emperor still seems to be hiding quite a bit and comes out to look at food but does not feed.  I see no external signs of disease in any of the fish.  Others are feeding OK. Any suggestions ???? Is this type of behavior common ? Thanks Jimmy <Is common. I would not be overly concerned here. This fish will feed, adjust soon. Bob Fenner> Re: Emperor Angel behavior   1/27/06 Bob,    Thanks for the advice.  The Emperor has started to slowly feed. <Ah, good> It is amazing to me how meticulous this fish is at probing every crack and crevice in the tank and trying it maneuver around or through.  No inch remains unexplored! The fish is literally relearning which areas can be traversed forwards, backwards, upwards or sideways and remembers. Until this is all memorized the animal lays low. The fish feels far more comfortable with low light and looks to come out under the cover of shadows.  As it is relearning its surroundings, its aggression has started to return also.   <Good observations> I know this animal is doing "better" over the past few months since its coloration has become even more vivid (i.e. the white on the face and "cheeks" has now assumed a bluish hue as opposed just white ) I have resisted the temptation of constantly tempting the fish with food.  After all I went through this past summer to acclimate this fish,( quarantine, crypt etc )  I remember that when I first put this animal in a bare quarantine tank for crypt months ago, it plastered itself to a corner of the 55 gallon QT and turned blotchy in color as if it were going to croak. I thought it was acting this way because of copper treatment or because of crypt infestation, but I was wrong since a few pieces of dead rock for hiding stopped that behavior within an hour.  The fish was actually playing dead ! My children laugh and laugh every time the fish grunts with the swim bladder since they call this behavior "farting." I only try to emulate in captivity what this animal is comfortable with in the wild. I can honestly say that observing this behaviour has been captivating, fascinating and a sight to behold. As for my children, ages 5, 7, 9, they think this Emperor Angel only eats beans.   Thanks for your help...Jimmy   <Heee! Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner> Imperator Angel   1/13/06 Hi Crew,<Hello>   I have an Imperator Angel for about 3 months now but he basically hides in the rocks all the time only coming out to eat which he does well. He is the biggest fish in the tank. I was wondering if this is normal behavior for this fish? <Imperators are not generally shy but do like having caves/tunnels as a retreat.  May be other distractions in the area causing this.  James (Salty Dog)> One Gill Fish?  Or One Fish Gill?  Like Breathing With One Lung 10/7/05 In my many years of 'fishing' I have never seen this happen & could not find it on your (awesome) web site. <There are a few accounts of this there, of Pomacanthids> I noticed last night my Emperor Angel is only using one of his gills ! The left side appears to be closed (stuck?) <No... is "on purpose", sympathetic nervous control> He seems to be swimming and eating normally, at least for the time being. I don't know what could have caused this and is there anything I can do?? Don't want to stress the fish . Any advice is greatly appreciated . Thanks, Carol <"Don't panic" as Doug Adams might write... Will be fine. Bob Fenner> 

Emperor Angel Behavior >Hi Crew, >>Hello. >How are you guys? >>Doing very well, myself, thank you. >Quickie, my emperor seems to be irritated by something dashing, scratching, getting aggressive but when I come close to the tank he swims towards me and behaves normally. >>Aggressive? With what/whom? >I've had this guy for two months he is about 5 inches and starting to change color. >>Aaahh.. yep. >His tail had a few white dots I think it's ick. So I put him in quarantine and started treating him with hyposalinity for two weeks. >>What about the rest of the tank? Or did you let it go fallow? Two weeks is NOWHERE nearly long enough to fallow a tank for ich, though. Do search the site for "marine parasite/parasitic diseases", follow the links everywhere! >Whitespot was gone and his tail was transparent again, well almost half is turning yellow. He is eating like a pig everything: Marine green, Marine cuisine, Mysis, Angel sponge, Bloodworms and Brine (Once a week). >>Brine once a week? There's not really any need to feed it to him at all. >Nori everyday, new sheets. >>Sounds like an excellent diet. >When I put him back to the main system he started scratching and dashing towards my CBS and the Whitespot is back. >>The aggression is natural at "this age", though he could also be attacking "that OTHER angel", the one he sees reflected back at him. The ich, however, is to be expected if you didn't go at LEAST four full weeks fallowing the tank (do search that, too, btw). >The tank is 225 Gallons with following inhabitants: 4 Chromis Pair of Black saddleback clownfish 1 Social fairy wrasse 1 Purple Firefish 1 Lawnmower blenny 1 Canary wrasse 2 Sarcophyton 100 kg of live rock I know I should put some biological cleaners, but here in Australia the cleaner shrimp is too expensive. They get , not my preferred cleaner, the cleaner wrasse once in a blue moon. >>Neon gobies, mate. They also act as cleaners. >My water: 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite, 0.5 Nitrate, pH 8.3 and Salinity 1.022. Temp stable at 79F. >>All cherry. >I do weekly 10% water change, my skimmer is pulling one full cup every week. What should I do? >>Well, I think it depends on how bad the ich is - it IS established in your system now, all it needs is a willing host (which, apparently, the other fishes aren't - implied resistance, yeah?). This fish is its "target", your feeding, good water quality are all helping ensure it doesn't get out of hand. If you can, consider trying the neon gobies. >Could this phase because he is changing color? >>The aggression, MOST definitely! >My last addition (I think unless you have any suggestions???) would be Flame Angel. I am waiting for the Hawaiian shipment. >>Don't see why not, the tank is surely large enough, Pomacanthids and Centropyge aren't going to tangle with each other (not when there's so much to EAT!). Of course, do quarantine, and I'd wait to put the Flame in till after the Emperor shows no more signs of ich. >Thank your for time....Cheers - Dan >>You're welcome, and good job! Marina 

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
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