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FAQs about the Imperator Angel Disease 1

FAQs on Emperor Angel Health: Emperor Disease 2, Emperor Health 3, Emperor Health 4, Emperor Health 5, Emperor Health ,
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Angels and Butterflyfishes & Crypt), Social, Trauma, Genetic, Treatments

Related Articles: Imperator Angels, Pomacanthus Angels, Marine Angelfishes

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Large (abused) Angel type?  Substrate question?  9/26/06 Hello,   A few quick questions for you if you don't mind.     First,  I am looking to buy a susposive <?> "Imperator" angel from a local guy at a great price.  It's 5"-6" long.    There are two issues.  One is that it looks just like an Imperator but it is missing the black mask.  It's face is all white??? <... Likely the result of an HLLE syndrome... I'd pass>   Any ideas on what or why this is? <History of poor nutrition mostly> The owner has had it two years and said that it changed form it's juvineile <Spell-check, please> color over a year ago.  I don't think that the water quality is so good as he does the water changes every 6 weeks.  Second is that it's top dorsal fin is kinda jagged and torn. <More evidence of poor environment, nutrition>   Is this any think to be concerned about. <Mmm... yes> I am getting the Angel and it's 4 tank mates for $75.  Here are the tank mates: 4" maroon clown, 5" Picasso Trigger, a 4"-5" raccoon butterfly.  The trigger is hand fed I know, I a little concerned about that to) and comes to the top so you can pet him????  They have all been together for 2 years in a 120 gallon.  Do you see any compatibility issues here? <... see WWM re each species...> What is the best substrate for this crew? <Ditto...>   Do you think that I can put my 4"-5" Green wrasse (I think it's a Halichoeres melanurus) with these fish in my 120 gallon?   Can I add a Cole tank to this bunch?     And last,  I have a bunch of 1/4"-3/8" crushed coral.  Is there any way to get this finer?  Maybe down to 1/8"?      Thanks, as always for you contribution to our hobby!!   Randy <Read on my friend, read on. RMF>

Sick Emperor I mailed about one week ago and received a gracious reply by Anthony. I had treated my Emperor Angel with copper, FW dips, Marex, and Greenex in a vain, uneducated effort to rid him of Cryptocaryon. I was advised to do FW dips for 8 days with daily vacuuming of the bare bottom. I have done 4 days of dips and vacuuming but the ich persists. In fact, the distal part of his anal fins are starting to shred. He still eats and acts normally, but his clinical condition is not getting better, in fact he is worsening. Plus, my last FW dip yielded some unusual results. The water I put him in was crystal clear, pH adjusted, and isothermic. After transferring him back to his quarantine tank, I noticed a few (4-8) scale-like objects floating around in the FW dip container. They were mostly clear, but they looked to me like large scales (2-3 mm clear plates). Potentially corresponding to less-pigmented areas that exist on his body and head, however he had this before the last dip. It doesn't have a head and lateral line distribution. Should I continue FW dips? <I would have made a decision on a good course of action and stuck with it. Jumping around from treatment to treatment (as it seems you have done) is not helping. FW dips and daily water changes can be very effective, but will not cure your fish over night.> Is this HLLE? <No, likely damage from the parasites boring into the skin and handling.> I am tempted to take my chances and acclimate him to the main tank. <Oh God no!> He would more stability of water quality and have a better variety of algae on the LR in the main tank. <And get to infect your entire tank, too.> I feed him angel formula, red and green algae on clips, and vitamin-enriched flakes now, but maybe he could get more in the main tank. Desperately yours, John <Please, for your sake and that of your fish, complete one full treatment protocol before going on to the next. -Steven Pro><<Flukes. RMF>>

Imperator Guys I bought a 5" Imperator from my LFS last week who had him for only a few days.  When you try to catch this guy he sinks to the bottom of the tank and curls up into what can only be described as a fetal position. After playing dead, all of his color drains.  If that's not enough, he has Ich so I am treating him with copper.  The problem lies in his coloration.  Even 24 hours after catching him and acclimating him to the QT, his color is blanched in various spots.  Craziest thing is that the places seem to change from time to time.  I have yet to see him without some parts of his body washed out.  Do you believe that this is a reaction to stress (new surroundings, movement, copper) or some type of bacterial infection?  Thanks as always. Joe <Definitely stress.  Provide some plastic hiding places and reduce the lighting to relieve stress. Move slowly and give him some time, stress can kill, be careful!  Test copper twice a day and make sure you stay on top of water quality in the QT.  Craig>

Off-color Imperator Greetings all. How is the weather in your area? Good I hope. All is well here in Florida. <dude... its December and I'm in Pittsburgh> On to my woes . . . I have been quarantining a gorgeous Emperor Angelfish for about 5 weeks now. Initially I gave him ich by doing a water change with ich-infested main tank water (my two tangs got ich due to a temperature fluctuation with has been corrected). I coppered him for one week with little to no improvement. <for future reference please know that angels are extremely sensitive to copper. Very fine line between cure and kill. I recommend formalin and FW dips instead here> BTW,  am doing 2-3 gallon water changes every other day with freshly mixed (and aerated x 24 hours) saltwater SPS 1.019 - 1.021. I am doing freshly mixed changes due to not be able to use the ich-infested water in main tank. The symptoms are gone now, but still doing fresh changes waiting to break ich life cycle. <excellent> After Copper Safe x 1 week, I replaced the carbon for two days and did 50% water change.  Next I tried Murex. That did absolutely NO GOOD, in fact he got worse. Now with splotches of white one his body. Carbon and 50% water change. Next I tried Greenex. <Aiiiieeeee!> He improved slightly. After three every other day treatments I started fresh water dips x 3 days. <FW dips better... easy on the drugs there dealer-man> The freshwater dips have worked wonders. <Oh, ya... as they should> He looked great three days ago. Therefore I stopped the fresh water dips. Tonight he has more ich on his pectoral fins and white splotches on his body . . . AGAIN!! What can I possibly do next? <no more drugs please. Without ever having touching a med, Ich can be cured in a bare bottomed QT tank with a single FW dip and floor siphon every day for 8 consecutive days (breaks life cycle of parasite). Tried and true.> I have treated this poor fish with just about everything I can think of.  <over treated my friend... the meds might kill him in the 2 months picture as some stored in fat cells get used up. Delayed overdose> I am afraid I am going to kill him with kindness. <I admire your hard work here greatly. Simply maintain good water quality, a quiet stable QT tank, and do the 8 day FW dip and floor siphon (5-10%) each day. All will be fine likely> He still eats very well, and behaves normally. Help. John Michael PS. The main tank has been symptom-free for three weeks. I was planning on putting him in the main tank this weekend, but I don't want to now that he his "sick" again., <there is no possible way that fish can go in now. They need to be 2 weeks disease free before entry. That means he is at least 3 weeks away. Best regards, Anthony>

Faded Imperator Hi Guys <Hello!> Quick question this time.  I just bought a 5" adult Imperator who is currently in my QT.  I noticed that some of his color blanched in various parts of his body.   <Possibly fright patterns> Now it appears that he has Ich (there were 2 spots on him  so I caught it early) and I am treating with copper.  The faded spots do not appear to be as abundant after a dip and 24 hours of copper.  Is this a reaction to stress or do these light spots represent some other form of disease? <I doubt the faded spots are disease. Personally, I wouldn't have freaked about two small white spots. I have a tendency to take a "watch and see" approach with my own tanks. I suspect it's just fright colors. Please read more about treating fish disease at WetWebMedia.Com I'm sure you want to get the procedure right...No?> Thanks as always <You're welcome! David Dowless> Joe
Re: Imperator Angel Faded Color
Thanks yet again lol:) <Yep- seems like it would work to me...Good luck with this project! Regards, Scott F.> First I have to say thanks for the great site and great book (The Conscientious Marine Aquarist). Without these, I would have given up the hobby a long time ago. <Thanks for the kind words, I agree, Bobs book is great, and this site is all kinds of fun.> I have the following setup: 200 gallon Oceanic (Reef Ready) Aquaclear SL300 Wet/Dry CA 4000 in sump pump (2) Medium Sized powerheads (2) 24" Marine-Glo Fluorescent Lamps (2) 36" Power-Glo Fluorescent Lamps 220 Lbs. live sand 100 Lbs live rock Ammonia:         0.0 Nitrites:             0.0 Nitrates:            0.0 Ph:                   8.2 Salinity             1.017 I have the following fish and inverts: (1)   3.5"            Niger Trigger (1)   6"              Red Volitans Lionfish (1)   5"               Emperor Angel (1)   4"               Purple Tang (1)   4"               Yellow Tang (1)   6"               Sailfin Tang (1)   3"               Sailfin Tang (1)   3"               Yellow Eye Tang (1)   3"               Lawnmower Blenny (1)   1.5"            Three Stripe Damsel (1)   6"               Panther Grouper (1)   12"             Snowflake Moray (3)                    Hermit Crabs I have been feeding the fish Mysis Shrimp soaked in Kent Marine Zoe.  I have been feeding the eel fresh shrimp from the local seafood market. Finally, the question I have is about my Emperor Angel.  It seems to have lost a good bit of color.  I bought it about six months ago and it was in the process of changing.  It has almost changed over to its adult colors, but it seems sort of washed out and faded.  Everything in the tank seems healthy including the angel.  No heavy breathing.  No diseases.  They all eat fine.  I was wondering if there is something that's missing from its diet.  Would you recommend changing anything? <I would agree that this is most likely diet related, these as with all other fish require a varied diet to live a happy healthy life.  Spirulina based foods and Nori should be included in their diet. These angels also need sponge, tunicates and other matter found on live rock.  Which brings us to another issue, the number of Tangs you have are surely consuming all the goodies from the live rock.  The mix of tangs is unnatural and will lead to a war when they all mature (the Zebrasoma species are going to trash each other in a year or two).> Is this normal for an Angel to loose some of its color? <This is not normal, but it does happen frequently.> Thanks for the feedback in advance.  Keep up the great work. Hal Brumfield <I would recommend shopping for a larger tank, maybe 500gal or so.  When you add the adult size of all of these fishes, you get over 8 feet of total length WITHOUT including the moray at 18-36". We are literally talking about over 10 feet of adult fish in a 200 gall tank.  They of course will not grow that big in a 200, they will stunt and die prematurely and/or begin killing each other first when elbows start to rub in the 3-5 year picture.  I would start by removing the Lion and the Grouper, both grow to nearly 24in as adults.  Hope this info helps, best regards, Gage>

Emperor angelfish breathing problems Hi, I have a 10 in. xmas island emperor angel. <please don't tell me this fish is in anything less than an eight foot tank. A magnificent fish and still has growing to do!> I've had him for 2 or 3 mos. now and he is doing great and everything. <hmm... was this animal quarantined for the first 4 weeks? Else, you need to get a large QT tank ready. Many parasites with the big fishes for stressful shipping> But the right gill seems to be not working. The gill opening is not opening and closing. It is just closed. <yep... this is a telltale sign of gill flukes. Tough to cure but possible. Needs meds in a bare bottomed QT tank though. Formalin is needed. Take aged water and a mature filter (with seeded media) to the QT tank. Be prepared to do daily water changes for the first eight days minimum to control parasites (larval cysts on bottom of tank) and for water quality (test daily at first). The display needs to run fallow for 4 weeks. 4 weeks minimum for angel in QT. No treatment in display... meds get absorbed and parasites flourish in sand/gravel> When I feed him he eats it then for the next 5 minutes or so his gill is working a bit but then it quits after those 5 minutes. The left gill is working good maybe breathing a little faster. What do you thin is wrong? Is it ick? <some sort of parasite that has begun in the gills... as most do> Please reply as quick as possible I fear he may not have much more time. Please help me and my fish. Thank you. <best regards, Anthony>

My angel fish is looking dull! Dear Bob <David Dowless standing in this afternoon> I have an Imperator angel I have had for about 5 years.   He is housed in a 100gal. aquarium. Filtered by 3 Eheim canister filters a 15 watt UV.  He has a few other tank mates such as a twin spot  wrasse, <Do you mean the Coris wrasse? This baby gets to be more than 21" long!> 6 fire fish, long nose hawk, Flame angel, Flag fin, 3 butterflies.  In, addition I also have a protein skimmer. <Is it producing a full cup of skimmate daily?> Water parameters are close to 0 ammonia <.1ppm NO2, N03 between20 to 60. <Ammonia and nitrite need to be zero all of the time.> Salinity 1.020, temp 77. This was not always the case, however , I thinned out the population some time ago.  I did this because I had difficulty keeping the water parameters within the range I proffered.  I had blue tangs and a Koran angel that both had bad HLLE.  The Imperator I believe was also developing HLLE so I became extra faithful doing water changes and adding broccoli and spinach to the diet.  This seemed to arrest any HLLE in the Imperator however his color has dulled.  I should mention that in every other way he is fine. <Poor water quality, poor diet, and overcrowding will do this..> I occasionally put carbon in my canister filter some say this contributes to HLLE also, I do not do anything to guard against stray voltage. <HLLE is an environmental disease: inappropriate diet and poor water quality due to overcrowding. Your tank needs to be thinned out even more. I don't know which ones to get rid of because I don't know their sizes or the specific species. Consider getting a copy of Scott Michael's Marine Fishes. It is an excellent pocket guide that would have helped you avoid overcrowding. You can get it online for less than $25>   My fishes diet is extremely varied including frozen as well as dry foods and fresh veggies. <Marine algae growing in the tank would also help> I would welcome any advice you may have. Thank you, Charles Rayburn <You're welcome, Charles. You can research even more on this and many other topics at Wetwebmedia.com...David Dowless>

Emperor Angel Mr. Fenner, <Steven Pro in this morning. Bob is off diving.> You've given me some very helpful words of wisdom in the past and I'm hoping I can trouble you for your advice once again. First of all, I purchased your book, "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" and it is wonderful. Thanks for writing such a concise, no-nonsense, interesting guide. Sitting out here in the middle of nowhere, it can be difficult to know where to turn to for fish advice. Now, on to the problem. I have an adult Emperor angelfish in my 180 gallon fish-only aquarium who has been thriving for about 4 years. Got her (?) when she was about 5 inches and had juvenile markings. Now she has her adult stripes and is probably about 6 inches, full bodied, fat and sassy! Over the past couple of weeks I noticed a nasty wound on one side which, given some pretty peaceful tankmates,  I'm almost certain she must have gotten from scraping up against a piece of coral. It is red and appears to be bleeding off and on. On that same side, her eye is cloudy and her fin is a bit raggedy from a light film of fungus. <It sounds like she took a bit of a beating.> Still, she is swimming and acting as normal, eating well; being her normal bossy self with the rest of the tank mates. I have just done about a 30% water change. <Good!> What else should I do? <I would consider moving to a quarantine tank (if you have one large enough), just so there is no possibility of abuse.> Your book mentions treating with an artificial coating, maybe even oral antibiotics. <Yes, Tetra makes a food with an antibiotic added. This could be helpful. It is labeled for treating bacterial and fungal infections.> Of course, I'm worried about lifting her out of the water to apply treatment and stressing her further. If I should go with the coating treatment or antibiotic, what brand and how to apply? <See above. If it gets worse, please write us back.> Thanks so much for taking the time. Sharon Leyrer <Good luck to you and your fish! -Steven Pro>
Follow Up on Ill Emperor
Thanks so much for getting back with me. <No problem. That is what we are here for.> I do have a 29 gallon quarantine tank and, although I'm worried about creating further stress, I will probably move her into it tonight. <I was/am concerned with this damage being exploited by the other fish.> It is a new tank, so I'm taking substrate out of my existing tank and water as well. <Ok, I would probably leave the Emperor in the main tank versus the uncycled QT tank. DO read through our articles and FAQ's about quarantine, suffice to say, keeping a sponge filter or power filter with biological capacity hidden somewhere on your main display and then move it and water over to the empty QT tank and you are ready to go.> My local fish store had recommended treating the angel with Maracyn II and suspects that rather than a coral scrape, it is actually a bacterial infection, given the cloudy eye and raggedy fin. <First off, Maracyn II is useless. Secondly, I believe there was a physical injury that now has become infected.> I suspect they are right in that diagnosis. What do you think? <See above> If I medicate the tank with Maracyn II, should I give her the medicated food as well? <Use the food instead.> Thanks so much, Steve! <You are welcome.> I'm really nervous about the quarantine tank. <As am I given its condition. Please see www.WetWebMedia.com regarding.> I've put sick fish in them before and treated them with Maracyn and never had much success. <Given that protocol, I do not doubt you. Good luck! -Steven Pro>

The Emperor's New...Disease? Hello my name is Ryan. <Hey, Ryan! Scott F. with you!> This is my second time writing with a question and I would like to thank you for the quick response and great information on the first. My question this time deals with a sick fish. The fish is an Emperor angel and he has developed some white clumpy regions around his face and also going on down his back. I read about Lymphocystis on your website and that was my best diagnosis. The spots are larger than ick and they almost have a pattern to them as they are only on the face and a straight line down the back. I prepared to let it run its course but some of the spots have gotten to the point where blood is showing around them. He has also stopped eating and is hanging out around the return flow from the filter. This makes me think that he may be having some respiratory problems. <Lymphocystis generally clears up on it's own. On the other hand, the fact that your fish appears to be listless, hanging in front of the filter return seems to be indicative of something more serious, IMO. In fact, the difficulty in breathing suggests the possibility of Amyloodinium. The spots may be the damage caused to the fish's tissue by the parasite. The tissue is essentially being liquefied. I would take the risk and operate under the assumption that this is the illness which you are dealing with. You must take quick action to save the fish's life.> Should I quarantine and treat? If so, what should I use? I hate to stress him out any more. I really need some help. <The first thing that I would do is read up on Amyloodinium to verify if this is what you're dealing with. Once you're satisfied that this is the case, I'd opt to remove the affected fish to a separate aquarium, and commence treatment with a commercial copper sulphate preparation, following the instructions of the product exactly. You may want to incorporate a freshwater drip prior to commencing the copper treatment. If this is Amyloodinium, it may be necessary to remove all fishes from the aquarium, and let the tank run fallow for about a month. This disease is highly contagious, and often fatal if left untreated. Monitor copper levels and observe the fish continuously during this period of time, maintain high water quality, and good aeration. Hopefully, with quick, decisive action, you'll beat this disease!> Thank you so much for your help. Keep up the great website! I have learned some much from your wonderful work. Thanks again! ~ Ryan <We're always glad to help, Ryan. I hope that, if we're right about this diagnosis, your fish makes a full recovery. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>
The Emperor's New...Disease (Pt2)
Ryan again. Thanks again for the quick response. I did what you suggested and did a little research on Amyloodinium. I sure hope that is not what I am dealing with! <Me, too!> As of now I am a little unsure. Everything that I read said that Amyloodinium looks like a rusty like powder covering the fish's body and infected regions. <That's usually correct...I'm a bit curious, though, about the apparent skin damage to the fish. I'm convinced that we may be dealing with some type of parasite here. maybe monogenetic Trematodes, or, perhaps, even Microsporidean (a protozoan infection). > This is not the case with my Emperor. He doesn't display any rusty discolorations, only the white raised regions that are about twice the size of ick spots. They do appear to be deep into the skin and he does have some cloudiness in his eyes. I am not sure where to go from here. Can Amyloodinium present itself in this way? <Amyloodinium does cause cloudy eyes and labored breathing.> Also it doesn't seem to be spreading to any of the other fish and from what I have read Amyloodinium is highly contagious. <Correct!> I did a water change and it seemed to help but my water quality has never been a problem (pH: 8, NH3: 0, NO2: 0, NO3: 10). I attached a couple of pictures. <Sorry, Ryan, I couldn't get them to open...> I don't know if they are detailed enough or not but I need all the help I can get. Thanks a lot for the expert advice. It is very much appreciated ~ Ryan <Well, Ryan, since we still don't have 100% ID on the illness here, we may have to attempt some "broad and simple" treatments, at least to get the fish on the road to recovery, without further stressing it. I'd start with freshwater dips, removal to a separate tank, and use of Methylene Blue, which is a very gentle (albeit not super effective) treatment. Perhaps these methods will turn the tide for this fish. If, however, more symptoms appear, or the symptoms are getting worse, I'd make my best guess as to the cause (assuming that it's a parasitic infection), and utilize copper sulphate, as per manufacturer's instructions. With labored breathing, and other symptoms present, this fish needs some help soon. Keep in touch- Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Emperor Angel concerns, observations Hey Guys! I have a few quick questions.  I just added 2 new fish to my tank and I have a few concerns. Fist I purchased an Emperor Angel about 4 1/2 inches in length.  He is doing unbelievably well, alert, attentive, eating everything in site (even out of my hand).  I've had him for about 4 weeks now.  In that time I have noticed 2 things.  On two separate occasions he has had some slight discoloration on his fins. Two small while cloudy spot discolorations, once on his pectoral fin and once on his tail fin.  Very small, but nothing physical is attached to the fins.  They went away in a day or two and then appeared again about 2 weeks later in different areas and now are gone again.  Definitely not ich. He is behaving absolutely perfectly.   Also the very top portion of his body from his dorsal fin to just below it, is not as brilliantly colored as the rest of him.  I am feeding frozen sponge (angel formula), krill, brine shrimp, chopped scallops, little necks and plenty of red and purple seaweed salad and flake to keep the colors bright.  Is this a sign he changing to his adult coloration? <Possible - these fish can alter their coloration depending on mood... you might also want to investigate the water quality... make sure it is absolutely pristine.> Otherwise he is fat and happy and no other problems.  He is without question my most prized fish.  Am I just being over concerned? <Perhaps a little of that too, but it's always good to be on the watch.> Secondly, at the same time I purchased my Emperor,  I also got a small panther grouper about 2 1/2 inches in length.  He appeared fine and saw him eat brine shrimp at the store.  I did notice I could see the redness of his lungs through his scales.  I wrote this off to his smallness and that his scales were very translucent and would darken with age.   He was kept in one of those small specimen tanks where fifty 1ft by 1ft by 1ft cubes are linked and stacked together on the wall utilizing the same filtration system with another panther grouper of similar size.  I cant believe it,  but he is not eating. <Not typical for a grouper... but I will just remind you that if it does start eating, be prepared for this fish to grow and dominate your tank. It is a grouper after all and capable of reaching over 18" in captivity.> I didn't think this would ever happen with one these guys.  From what I have read, these guys are supposed to be pigs. <That is correct.> Any time I place any of the foods mentioned above in the tank he is all over it, but I just don't see him eating it.  He will swim beside the food put his nose right up to it and stares at it. He even muscles his way for position among the other inhabitants to get close but just wont inhale it.  I did catch him take a small bite of chopped scallop about 2 weeks after I purchased him, and thought his shyness was cured but still not having much if any luck.  He is starting to look thin and bony and his color is starting to fade slightly. Although he is swimming strong and doesn't appear to have lost any activity with lack of food.  Any suggestions?? <You might want to isolate this fish in a quarantine tank until it starts eating again... give it space to itself, and also the ability for you to treat it should that become necessary.> Lastly,  Powder Blue or Sohal Tang what's the call??  I currently have the emperor, purple tang, 5 green Chromis, 2 Firefish, the panther and a snowflake moray. <Well... how large is this tank? The Chromis and Firefish will be toast when that grouper grows up.> I cant decide. Thanks for all your help. John Cape Cod <Cheers, J -- >

(Too small) juvenile emperor angel Good morning, I have a quick question, I hope.  I bought a juvenile emperor (about 2 inches in length) for my 220g FOWLR tank.  All water parameters are good as my other fish are doing very well.  The angel appeared fine at first, although it did take about a week to start eating (brine shrimp).  The last couple of days it has become completely lifeless, sitting on the gravel and not swimming and picking around at the live rock, also has stopped eating. I removed it last night as I noticed its fins becoming very ragged and its tail almost disappearing over night.  I've watched carefully and do not see any fish picking on it so I'm assuming it must be some type of parasite. <Or collateral "stress" reaction... resultant from capture, holding, shipping... through the chain of custody of the trade to you.> I gave it a fresh water bath for 8 minutes last night and put it into a quarantine tank.  I was going to put it through a copper treatment for a couple of weeks to see if this helps, do you think this is the right thing to do?  Any suggestions?  If I do put copper in this quarantine/sick tank how long should it stay in there.  Thanks <Mmm, please take a read through an old article on this species archived on our site here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pomacanthus/imperator.htm I encourage folks to acquire this fish at 10-14 cm... Yours was/is likely "too small" to start. I would not copper its water, but would isolate it as you have, place a bit of live rock for comfort, water conditioning, food availability, hope to coddle it back to health. Bob Fenner> Joe

Fish Disease Hello, I have an Pomacanthus imperator.  I purchased him two days ago, and added him to my 75 gallon tank.  I also have a coral beauty who has been in the tank for 3 months.  I recently lost a juvenile Emperor and a Powder blue tang to some type of infection/disease.  My new Emperor has some type of infection/disease.  There are white blotches all over his body.  He has cloudy speckles on his eyes.  He is also breathing heavy, but he hasn't gone to the top of the water, or near the filtration.  He was previously in a Dr.'s tank for three years, in which he was traded to the place in which I bought him from.  He is 5 inches and almost reached complete adult coloration.  He was eating fine the first two days, and now he is not really eating.  I added MelaFix today to the water.  I am not sure what he has.   What do you think the next step should be?  My coral beauty has been in there since the beginning and hasn't been sick once or shown any signs of illness.  He was my first fish, I have lost the Powder Blue, the juvenile Emperor, and now my adult Emperor is sick.  What should I do or what could the problem stem from.  I need to alleviate this problem.  Any help would be greatly appreciated! Respectfully, Michael P. Parks   <Hey Michael, could be some parasites lingering in the tank and only the stressed weakened fish are showing signs of infection.  The best thing would be to move the Emperor to a separate quarantine tank and get an exact ID of the disease, treatment with formalin should help.  The "Handbook of Fish diseases" by Untergasser is a good reference.  Best of luck, Gage>

- The Emperor has no Space - Hi Guys, <Good evening, JasonC here...> I have received good advice from the crew in the past and hope maybe you can help me with my current problem. I have an Imperator Angel 6" adult in a 90 gallon tank, I know this is small for this fish, but house is too small for bigger tank, I also have a 125 gallon community tank. <This fish should really be in the 125...> My problem is that the Imperator has large faded white spots all over it's body, I treated with Copper Safe and after 4 days the spots went away, I kept the copper in the 10 days as suggested then started to pull it out with copper remover, poly filter and water changes, within 2 days the spots started to reappear and are most noticeable in the morning and less at night. I then suspected that maybe it is a vitamin deficiency so I give the fish Nori algae every day and at first it seemed to work, the spots went away, I really thought I solved the problem, but within 2 days the spots came back. My nitrates are not terrible for a fish only tank 20ppm, I don't know what to do next, any advice would be appreciated. <The white spots are typically caused by water quality issues, but can also be a general indicator of mood, as in the fish is not happy in it's current surrounds. These fish get much larger that this and are used to much more room to roam. I would look carefully into collateral damage from the copper treatment, as it typically stalls out biological filtration. Do a couple of decent-sized [25%] water changes and go from there.> Thanks Fred <Cheers, J -- >

- Baked Emperor - Gentleman, <Good morning, JasonC here.> I have an Emperor Angel.  He has been fat and happy since the day I bought him.  Has just started to turn colors and has stopped eating and is quite lethargic.  I don't know what is wrong.  Water parameters are good although the temp gets to around 88 this time of year due to the heat and humidity.  Any suggestions?? <Yeah, do something about that temperature, it is much too high.> tks John Cape Cod <Cheers, J -- >

Fish health/disease Dear Mr. Fenner, Thanks in advance for your assistance! I have an adult Emperor Angelfish that has been in my Fish Only community tank for two years. Over the last month, he appears multi-symptomatic. 1) He is not eating and hides a lot. 2) He has a slight equilibrium problem (waddle side to side as he sits). 3) Breathing is regular yet his mouth seems almost a little more open then regular. 4) He flicks on occasion (every few minutes or during light feeding) but I never see him scratch against anything. 5) His pelvic fins are held close to the body and losing color. 6) He has white pits in the skin around the eyes. 7) He also has white patches in various spots on his body (scratch-like appearance and they disappear/reappear in different locations in a couple hours time). 8) His eyes are clear. 9) His tail and pectoral fins are cloudy white and receding from tip toward the body. In response, I've reduced the lighting and feeding in the tank to about 25%, increased aeration and have started lowering the salinity (1.019). Its been a few days since I did that and he's started moving around a little more. I still need to get a heater to raise the temp. Water conditions: 0 ammonia 0 nitrite 20 nitrate .2 phosphate 78-80degrees pH 8.0 Given past information you have made available, I don't think the condition is bacterial because of his eyes being clear. My local store says to dip him to help (maybe the flukes). Do you think this is a good idea? What is the likelihood that its fungal (the fin deterioration concerns me) and if so, how should I treat? <Hmm, I am inclined to not dip this specimen, and to think that this is either (most likely) a nutritional deficiency disorder (could be related to water quality) or a long-term internal parasite evidencing itself... Would do the following. Add the food supplement Selcon to this animals rations (soak it in a few drops for five, ten minutes) AND add some iodide to this (Lugol's solution is fine)... Do you have a way to culture some "live rock and macro-algae" in either this system or a related sump? I would... as an alternate food source and best way to improve water quality...> Thanks, Jason Lockhart <We will return this fish to health. Bob Fenner>
Re: fish health/disease
Mr. Fenner, Thanks for your quick response! I noted in #1 that the fish is not eating. He only flicks about when food is in the water or the tank is stirred up (cleaning). I do have a sump that is currently full with protein skimmer/return pup/carbon bag. I don't know if I'm ready to dump the plastic balls and do algae and mud. <Your livestock are ready> I have considered live rock but I'm afraid of the water being affected. <It will be... improved> I could still bring some home from the store as I intend to add a heater and purchase some Selcon (the other fish still eat). <Yes> Not to argue with your initial opinion, but I read a bit on the website about dipping. Won't it help to 'wash his slime coat' and nip the necrotic fin tissue temporarily? I know its stressful but I think it may slow down the rot. <Always trade-offs... and never be hesitant to challenge/query anything I (or anyone for the matter) might state... IMO/E your fish will/would suffer much more trauma from handling than any possible gain from washing... Perhaps a cleaner organism like a Lysmata Shrimp, Gobiosoma goby?> Thanks so much for your prompt response! You are very kind. <I am myself... and glad to offer help. Bob Fenner> Jason Lockhart
Re: fish health/disease
Mr. Fenner, Thanks again for your input. I will go ahead and add a couple pounds of rock and a heater to the aquarium. I do have a blue cleaner wrasse in the tank for parasites. I also have a dwarf potter, a yellow spot wrasse, percula clown and two damsels to top it off. I don't intend to add anymore fish esp. with my angel's condition and aquarium load. I'll let you know how it goes. Thank you and best wishes! Gratefully, Jason Lockhart <Ahh, life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Emperor and crypt We have had our Imperator Angle for approx 2 years in a 150 gal aquarium. About 1 week ago we started noticing white spots on her body. The spots resemble when a fish becomes stressed or angry and their color changes temporarily, then returns to normal. The Imperator has never acted stressed and has basically always ruled the tank. The white spots are not raised. None of the other fish seem to be sick. She is eating normally but the spots seem to be getting worse. She has them all over her head and body. Do you know what these spots could be and what we can do about it? >> Are they very small, almost salt grain size? If bright white, this is likely the marine parasite call "ich" or Cryptocaryoniasis... if rusty colored, it may be the algae parasite called velvet, or Oodiniumiasis... If the markings are symmetrical and mainly around the head, this might be indicative of a poor water quality condition... are no other fish species affected? This would be unusual if any but the water quality are the cause... I would do some reading and add something in the way of biological cleaners at this point to help tilt conditions in your large angel's favor... Bob Fenner

Imperator angel Bob, I have noticed that FFExpress often has their juv. imperator angels on sale. I would assume that the low prices create a large volume for the items that are on sale. This may mean that people are purchasing these fish that you say are difficult to keep healthy. <It's possible> I have read your Q&A and seen someone asking about HLLE on their imperator. My juv. imperator angel has also started to develop HLLE (I think?).  <Very common... environmental, nutritional difficulty with this species> The fish has enlarged holes around its face and patches where color has been lost. A couple of days past and I started noticing that the patches had progressed toward the tail.  <The same... maybe take a look at the species profile, nutritional disease, HLLE materials stored at the URL: www.wetwebmedia.com... I would spiff up water quality... add vitamins and iodine to its food... strongly encourage the implementation of an algae/mud filter... the last REALLY works on HLLE> The fish store assured me that I had created the disease by allowing electrical currents into my tank. The problem could be rendered for ~$20. I went home and read what your book had to say about the disease. Luckily, my judgment was correct as you also believe the electrical current theory to be anecdotal. I had just added a 30 gallon sump to my 75 gallon tank, so I feel that water quality was not a big player in the disease progression.  <I concur, and thank you> After checking my notes, I realized that I had only been feeding the fish the Formula I frozen food from Ocean Nutrition. Normally, I use Formula I and Angel Formula. I started giving the fish only Angel Formula and within 2 days the spots had disappeared. It may be a coincident, but I thought it was interesting since you book states that the cause may be water quality and/or diet. The angel has also been swimming around the tank much more since the diet change.  <Ah, a good intuitive statement and useful anecdotal account... You have just saved several (from the Middle English meaning "many") Pomacanthus imperator angels...> I thought that your comments on the subject may be valuable since the FFExpress frequently advertises the juvenile imperator angel. Jeff >> <And I thank you, again, Bob Fenner>

Emperor with Tumor Bob, I am the guy that wrote to you recently on the Emperor with the mouth tumor (9" Red Sea, on Oxytetracycline food), subsequent to your recent Q&A covering the very same subject. I dared accept the challenge. My son and I caught him, placed him in a five gallon bucket with aquarium water, prepared "Dip Away" solution, and cleaned several small utensils such as tweezers, knives, etc with alcohol. My son held him as I plucked slowly the tumor in multiple pieces. We dipped him in the Dip Away solution and placed him back in the main system. Well, he is doing great so far (about four or five days now). He is eating like a pig. No signs of any infections. I did leave a small stump as I was afraid to accidentally cut his mouth if over trimming. Do you think this  will be OK? <I'm hopeful...> Should I have taken it all off and chanced more damage?  <Hard to state... there are trade-offs, compromises...> My guess is he will be just fine given the results to date. What are you additional thoughts? <None worth positing here... congratulations> Thanks for the great advice. Regards, Carlos >> <You're welcome, Bob Fenner>

Problems with my Emperor Angel <flukes?> Hi Bob, I am writing about a problem with my newly bought Emperor Angel. I have a 125 gal. FO tank, only because I live in Hawaii and anything related to having a reef is illegal here?  <Do know of the laws in the fiftieth State, and disagree with them... > It has been set up and running for about 8 months now. All my chemistry is just about perfect. Anyway I bought my Emperor about three weeks ago, when I put him in a QT for about 10 days. Everything seemed fine, so I put him in the main tank. About two days later he started to scratch at both his eyes. It's now to the point where you can see little rub marks on the clear part of both eyes. I have had ich in the past, about three months ago. I treated it with copper sulfite and everything was good and still there is no signs of ich on any of the other fish or the Emperor, except for the scratching. I also don't have a cooler, so I use a fan for evaporation, therefore I am always replenishing with RO water. Any advise at this point would be great. Thanks for all the help you have already given in you column and book.  >> Sounds very much like a chemical or physical anomaly to me... not necessarily or directly anything "catching"... What I would do: Add a biological cleaner, my fave choice, one or two Lysmata amboinensis, the Pacific Cleaner Shrimp. And add a pad of Polyfilter to remove metals, possible biochemical problems... And lower your specific Gravity to about 1.018 to diminish the infectiousness of possible lingering parasites....increase gas solubility, lest there is insufficient aeration, circulation in this system. And place some macro-algae, even Ogo (wish I was eating some Ahi poke right now!) for "comfort food", improving water quality, absorbing some of that probable biochemical anomaly.... Bob Fenner who will be in touch
Re: Problems with my Emperor Angel
Hi Bob, again.... Well today I took the Emperor out and put him in a QT. He was looking worse than yesterday. His fins are almost totally cloudy now and spreading to the gills. He is also breathing more rapidly than normal. Also, he was hiding horizontally under some rocks, which really scared me when I first got home. He did come out to eat, but went strait back to hiding. <Bizarre... the behavior and looks you describe are very bad... but the fish came out and ate? Unusual> So let me get this strait, you don't want me to put any kind of medication in the QT. I did use a slightly lower specific gravity (l.018) in the QT. I just wish I knew what is wrong, so I don't make the same mistake again. I followed your advise and bought a poly filter and put it in the main tank, but of course there is never an immediate cure. Thanks again for any advise. Mark >> <I would not have moved the animal... but if I had, I would have run it through a Nitrofuran compound (probably Nitrofurazone) dip (about 250mg per five gallons, in slightly lowered spg water, for ten minutes) before placing it in quarantine... Keep your eye on it, Bob Fenner>

Emperor Problem Bob, I have a 9" Red Sea Emperor Angel with the same identical problem you note on today's Q and A. He has had it on the lower part of the inside of his mouth since I bought him (over a year ago) and always stayed the same size. It has shades of white, black and even red. It only seems to bother him in the sense he is selective in eating smaller bits of food but continues to have a great appetite. Two weeks ago, it suddenly erupted into many more "chunks".  I dipped him three consecutive days in Aquatronics Dip Away for 4-5 minutes and one of those times, he expulsed a chunk of one into the water when placed back in the main tank. It looked like a tumor with evidence of some blood where it was attached. It has improved but not gone away completely. I have been feeding him Oxytetracycline (so I have been told) food which he seems to enjoy. Do you really think I should mess with trimming this "thing" out of his mouth? It is something I actually considered but chickened out of.  After all, it is only about $300 to $400 to replace this prize fish. How would you address the possibility of an infection after the removal? I have a 225 tank which will be very expensive to treat with antibiotics and he is much to big for a hospital tank. Will the "Oxytetracycline?" prevent the possibility of an infection? It is really interesting to hear this is not as an uncommon problem as I thought it might be. Thanks for all the help. I really enjoy the column. Regards, Carlos >> Thank you for writing so lucidly... Yes, there is a fine line between "just waiting", hoping that such tumors will solve themselves... and going so far as to effect a surgery... If the animal ceases feeding, your hand may be forced to the latter... Secondary infection is a real concern in exposing a fish through this sort of manipulation... and is best dealt with through oral administration (feeding), and/or injection of appropriate antibiotics... And of the broad-spectrum, gram-negatives, Oxytetracycline is often used in foods... If you have enough "emotionally invested" in this animal, I would check with a local veterinarian who has some background with fishes (call and ask around, other vets know who these folks are in your area), and have them assist you in the actual surgery and injection of an appropriate amount, type of antibiotic. They are welcome to contact me re the last for opinions. Bob Fenner
Re: Problems with my Emperor Angel
Thanks for the advise. Today, I also noticed that the two front fins and the black area of the body, where the fins attach, seem to have cloudy patches on them. He also seems to be hiding more than normal, although he ate normally today. I am getting worried now and think I should take him out and put him in a hospital tank?  <I wouldn't move this animal... look to improving, keeping the present environment... moving it at this point is very stressful> What do you recommend for treatment?  <Zip, nada, nothing> I am kind of new at this and hope I don't do anything wrong! About your reply, I am kind of confused about gas solubility, I have two Rio 1700's for circulation. Is enough?  <Circulation is not equivalent to gas solubility, exchange... air stones, air intakes on your powerheads should be employed if there is any doubt of saturation> Also how do I go about getting macro-algae?  <Order them and place them... in the main tank, a lighted sump, or both> I thought that was something that came when you get live rock, which I can't get here? <?> Is Ogo a form of macro-algae, or fish food?  <Both> And finally, I have a porcupine puffer, will he try and eat the cleaner shrimp if I were to put them in? <Assuredly> Thanks again for the speedy response. I don't get much help here from the LFS. >> <Then seek to help THEM... are you on the Big Island (call Mr. Stokely), on Oahu? Call Randy Fernley at Coral Fish Hawai'i... tell them I sent you...> Bob Fenner>

Question: I sure hope you can give me some advice on this one. I have a (nearly) adult Pomacanthus Imperator, approximately 12-14 cm long. I acquired it from FFExpress last fall. Within a month or so of introduction to my tank, it began to developed a few small, 'pimple' like pumps, slightly discolored. They have continued to appear and spread in patches on the fish, and are getting worse. Most of the earliest patches have now gone away, and left only faint scars. What's more, they don't seem to bother the fish, with the exception of one time when a particularly bad patch developed a secondary infection. I treated that with SW Maracyn, and it quickly recovered. It seems to be a strong fish, and is an outstanding eater, although I have a tough time adequately varying its diet, as it will not take angel formula or any other gel-cube food. It does eat brine, bloodworms, lettuce, kelp, and hair or macro algae greedily. My attempts to treat (and prevent the spread of) this malady have consisted of lowering the salinity in my 150 gallon tank, where this fish is kept, to 1.011 SG (this is a fish only tank), and then treating with CopperSafe. Neither seems to have made any difference, and it has not apparently spread to any other fish. The fish is now in isolation, following the bacterial infection noted above. Is this, as I fear, some sort of parasitic worm? If so, why have lowered salinity and copper not killed it off? Is there some way to eliminate this? Some of the patches are getting pretty bad. One is so inflamed that my wife suggest I remove the 'bumps' with tweezers! I'm really at a loss, and I have never seen anything like this in 10 years of marine fishkeeping. Question: (follow-up to last month's question about discoloration on head of Juvenile Imperator Angel) Thanks for the information. I have moved forward improving nutrition and water quality. I wonder if you could explain what should happen given all conditions are optimum. I would like to hear what the normal changing process is for an imperator angel. It would give me some insight on what's suppose to happen. Thanks again, your knowledge is appreciated.
Bob's Answer:
The adult pattern really entirely supplants (replaces?) the juv. with its concentric blue, black and white flank circles. At first (usually 3-4" total length) the golden lines look wavy, but as the circles go, the line fill in and straighten out. I've seen all this happen in a few months and w/o much change in body length.

Bob's Answer: Hey Jim, thanks for writing so clearly and completely of this malady and your involvement. I too have witnessed similar happenings with large Pomacanthids... and am more or less convinced that the "root" of the occurrence is mainly a-nutritional. There is anecdotal evidence of various vitamins and Iodine lack being a/the causative factor and I encourage you to take a multi-prong attack at making sure these essential inputs are not limiting: I'd utilize a supplement mix (vitamins C, E and A at least) applied to your foods ahead of their being offered and administer Iodine in a useable format as well... And do look into putting in some live rock (cures many ills along with full-time supplementation of diet) after raising your spg back to something reasonable (1.018-1.021 plus). BTW the Emperor/Imperator gets much larger, to about sixteen inches overall length in the wild, and at least a foot or so in captivity.

Question: Bob, my wife and I have an adolescent Imperator who is suffering lesions induced from poor water quality. We were using a source which contained some metals for about 6 months. We've since switched to a cleaner source and have been using in for the past three to four months. However, over the time we were using the poor water our Imperator developed some severe lesions on and around is facial area. What is the best treatment to help him heal these wounds? We are currently using vitamin supplements with feeding. Also, he has stopped scratching completely since the change to the cleaner water.
Bob's Answer:
Do check out that supplement packet and make sure it has boodles of A, C, D vitamins AND useable/assimilable iodine. Additionally, want to give a big plug for TMC (Tropic Marine Center, UK) new carbon product. This stuff is amazing and well worth utilizing for removing phenols, scatols and short chain fatty acids associated with HLLE (Head & Lateral Line Erosion) and general water quality lesions...

Development of my imperator Hi Bob, I wonder if you could please give me your views on my imperator angel, namely on his stage of development. I hope you can open the file above, most folks can open .tiff files, using the imaging software, if not using ms paint. If not I can forward a bit-map image. <Shows okay... a bit fuzzy for 30k> He is about 4.5" or so, not including tail fin. I have him now for about 18 months or so, in which time he has developed from a juv. of about 3" or so, to his present stage. Would this seem like an ok rate of development, or does it appear slow to you ? <Looks fine, and healthy... good semi-adult coloration... okay size... better to not push this species on either aspect of development... live happier, healthier lives going slow> If you feel he may be underdeveloped, then I would like to take steps to increase his development (general health and happiness) rate. I am told by some folk that the about 1" a year is the norm, and up to 2 years for a full colour change ............ on the other hand I know of a guy who grew a 2.5" specimen to 8", with full colour change in about a year !!! <Not a good idea in my estimation...> I know things vary etc, resulting in different rates, but I was wondering if my guy is on track, or if he is lagging behind.  The picture portraits him in slightly different colours. His yellow tail is not quite as bright a yellow as that, and his stripes have a yellow tinge to them, rather than the white that the pic shows. Thanks for taking the time to read. Regards Matt PS. I am looking into the diving cert, and hope to get on a course a.s.a.p. :-) Cheers. >> <Ah good, and no worries re your Imperator... it's doing fine and will continue to do so under your care. Bob Fenner>

Emperor/help Mr. Fenner, I just bought a juv emperor from ff 10 days ago. He is just about to change from juv to adult and is 4" big and thick. He has been in a qt tank for over 10 days and today I went ahead and added him to the main tank a 125g w/LR over 100lbs, water is 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, little to no nitrate, temp 78*, sg 1.024, ph 8.2). I used the main tank water to start the qt tank and then did water changes 3 times a week.  <All sounds good so far> He was very scared and stressed in the beginning, but after about an hour he was fine and swimming around. Ever since then, he has done fine. I have feed him every other day and he eats. So I am so happy so far, except what I am seeing now when I got home from a run. I acclimated him for about 1.5 hrs this morning and then put him in the tank with the lights off for about 2-3 hrs. He seemed fine after about 15-20 min.s. I even gave him some angel formula and he ate it. He was swimming around and interacting with the Naso and damsels. But now about 5 hrs later, I come home and find him breathing pretty heavily and faster than he should be breathing. I checked all parameters before I even put him in this morning and everything is great. And on top of the faster than normal breathing, he also just swims on the side of the tank nearest me and my CPU and just keeps circling back and fourth looking at me. I am very concerned but don't know if I should be or not. <Hmm, likely nothing... other than the cumulative stress of being more... and so much newness the last month...> It may just be he is spooked or stressed and just breathing harder but why wasn't he like that in the morning and afternoon)? Is there a tiny amount of ammonia that is not showing up on the water testers?  <Doubtful> I need help ASAP because it is really scaring me how heavily he is breathing. It's not like as fast as if the fish was dying, but pretty fast. Any help or answers as to what to do, would be appreciated. I am also going to do about a 20g water change of the total 125g tonight or tomorrow morning. Thanks, Ryan <Not much more to say here... other than that what you describe "does happen"... and generally solves itself in a matter of a few days on its own... please try to be patient here. Bob Fenner>

Emperor Angel Bob, I have a 120 gallon diamond shaped tank in which I house a number of species of Marine fish. My Emperor Angels behavior has puzzled me for some time now. He/she seems to stress very easily. He/she swims to the back of the tank and rests on its side, breathing quite frantically, whenever someone gets too close to the front of the tank. He/she sometimes can be seen only breathing out of one gill. He/she also turns blotchy. I have had this fish for about 9 months now and as I said before, I am quite puzzled, because it happens quite frequently. Is this normal behavior for this species or might their be another angle to this angel? Thank you for your time, Doug <Hmm, yes, normal for either a "chintzy" specimen or one that is "being stressed"... this is a small volume for this species... and it needs "psychological" distance (rock, other decor) to "get away" from you, others... Bob Fenner>

Emperor Angel Bob, I recently ordered an Emperor Angel from FFExpress. He is about 3 1/2-4" and looked great when I got him. I placed him in a quarantine tank for 10 days and everything looked good except he didn't seem to be too excited about eating. <Typical... a very trying journey> I hoped that this would get better once I placed him in my main tank. After placing him in the main tank he has pretty much just hung around the bottom of the tank among the live rock. He still doesn't seem to excited at all about eating. I have tried frozen brine, plankton, flakes, seaweed selects, Spirulina, and angel formula. I have seen him eat some frozen brine and angel formula but ignores just about everything else. When he does eat, he doesn't come out to eat. He very lazily eats what just happens to fall right in front of him and even then he is very slow and lazy about it. I'm not sure if there is anything wrong with him because his colors look great, he breathes normally, and doesn't show any outward signs of anything being wrong. Another thing that concerns me about him is that he only sticks to the rocks.  <This is what juveniles of the species do in the wild... where they get their food (sponges, tunicates, algae...), and protection from predators...> He doesn't come up front in the open ever and never goes up top to eat. I have noticed him hanging out with my Foxface, which also isn't a big swimmer, and it almost seems like he is trying to hide his face. As I look at him I see him try to find a niche in between rocks and put his face in there. Sometimes, he even almost lays down in the sand behind a rock which seems like he is either trying to go under it or just hide. Does this sound like normal behavior? <Not unusual> Nobody picks on him or anything. The only other fish in the tank are a green dragon wrasse, Foxface, and two orange diamond gobies in a 125 gallon tank with around 70 pounds of live rock, two emperor filters, and a sea clone skimmer. All my water parameters are fine except that my nitrate is at 10 ppm and nitrite is at 5 ppm.  <What? is that a typo? Five ppm of NO2? This is way too much... I would upgrade the skimmer and cut back all feeding till this is under 1.0ppm... and likely increase the time your lights are on to help...> I think my nitrate level is a little high only because I keep trying different foods trying to find something that he likes. I would appreciate any suggestions you may have on what I can try feeding him and any thoughts on his apparent shyness and strange behavior of trying to hide. Thanks, Gianluca <Patience my friend. Get a better skimmer, try some live food, don't worry unless the specimen is getting thin. Bob Fenner>

Listing emperor angel Hi Bob, thanks for your reply. Sorry to pester you so often with so many queries .......... this will be the last mail for ages .... I promise. <No worries> If I need to move my clown trigger in order to be able to get cleaner shrimp, then I will, but I would rather avoid that if at all possible......he was a gift, as well as the fact I really like him .... but if he has to go, then so be it. You mentioned other facultative cleaners, other than shrimps, namely you suggested I looked at the small Bodianus wrasse, and Heniochus butterfly. I have also considered the 4 line red sea cleaner wrasse. Are there any other possible species to consider ?  <Many... do I list them on my symbiosis piece on the WWM site? Otherwise, am sure the Net searching would turn up exhaustive naming.> In your opinion, not including shrimps, what are the best facultative cleaners ??? <For a large Triggerfish? Maybe the Hogs/Bodianus or juvenile Angelfishes...> I assume that neon gobies would be eaten by the trigger, and maybe even my angels !!! Will Heniochus remain facultative cleaners into adulthood, or only as young fish, and would they be able to get into the gills of my emperor ??? <The gobies might well persist... as they're often identified as cleaners rather than food...> He is only 5" ? How about the Bodianus wrasses ....... could you suggest a few suitable species, preferably ones that continue cleaning into adulthood. <None into adulthood... axillaris, anthioides... others if more available, less pricey...> My emperor is seems to be displaying the gill flaring more and more, so I am anxious to get something sorted out ..... I am going to move the trigger short term, and put the shrimps in the tank ....... but that will only work for a limited time .... I am really looking for a more long term solution. I would appreciate your opinion on the best facultative cleaner for the job. Lastly, on a different note, while looking at the web page on Bodianus wrasse at wet web media, I see that the Cuban hogfish is a facultative cleaner while young. But I presume he would get too big to be an effective cleaner as an adult ? <Just don't clean when older/larger...> In any case, I would be interested in this species regardless of cleaning. You mention they are seasonally available .... when is the "season" ??? <About now for the next few months... affected by weather, collecting conditions, need for money by diver/collectors...> Thanks again for all your help. I really appreciate it, and I will not be bothering you again for a while (unless an emergency occurs !!!). Regards Matt (Co. Cork, Ireland) <Again, never a bother. Bob Fenner>

Ailing emperor Hi Robert, Maybe you can help. I've had a changing juvenile emperor anger in my tank for 3 weeks now. It has white "clumps" on the ends of it's fins and on both of it's gill spines. Besides the unsightly spots, it eats normally, swims normally, and interacts normally with the other species in the tank (150 Gallon fish only). None of the other fish show signs of the same ailment. What am I up against? Thanks, Scott <Almost without doubt this is a case of the environmental/viral condition called Lymphocystis. Take a read over the materials on the subject stored on the www.wetwebmedia.com site. Lymph can be cured... Bob Fenner>

Listing Emperor angel Hi Bob, Hope things are well. Getting out of AOL then. Didn't realize, I mail directly to the hotmail in future;-) <Ah good, and yes, tiring of their thumb-numbing delete-exercise you-paid-for it advertising... and auto-formatting problems of moving Q/A mat's to the site.> I am writing in hope that you can advise me about my emperor angel. Up until recently he has been doing really well. However, lately he is behaving very strangely. In general he appears in good health, eats well, good colour etc, still the most dominant fish the tank. What worries me is this. He keeps going through periods of inactivity. He hovers close to the bottom, and then begins to list to one side. He keeps leaning over until finally he is almost horizontal ........ (about 10 degrees angle) And then he hovers there, in that position for ages, until something stimulates him to move, then he swims off quite normally. (i.e. to chase another fish, food, etc) Another thing I notice is that sometimes he is "flaring" his gills out for no apparent reason, usually while he is going through the "listing" thing. He opens them right out like as if he is posing for a cleaner shrimp. <All sounds "par for the course" with this species but the last... Do you have a cleaner of some sort in the system? I would add a species of Lysmata Shrimp myself... if it will go with your other livestock> When this behaviour began, he used to move close to the rocks, and tilt his body such that it was parallel to the face of the rock. At first I thought he was probably looking for the cleaner shrimps so he could get cleaned, because this was where the shrimps used to hang around. However, there are no shrimps in the tank anymore, I took them out ages ago, because I got a triggerfish. <Oh... well, I would look into some other facultative cleaner types then... maybe a small Bodianus wrasse species? Heniochus butterfly...> Now he typically illustrates this "listing" (tilting) and gill flaring exercise at the front corner on the tank, just over a small piece of LR, that is only a couple of inches or so ....... i.e. there is no way he could think there was a cleaner shrimp hiding near by. <I wouldn't go that far... this "behavior" is likely more than learned... the fish is "seeking" help... very likely> Can you help me ??? Have you heard of this type of behaviour before ??? Is it a serious thing, and can it be treated ??? Does it need to be treated ??? Do I need to do something ??? <Get another type of cleaner, move out the trigger, risk other shrimp...> As I said, he is others in good health, and all the other fish in the tank are doing fine, including the queen angel (which I assume has more or less the same needs as the emperor, thus I count out any environmental conditions). He is not off his food, or showing any signs of sickness, and is breathing normally also. The only thing is that one of his eyes was cloudy for a short time, but I think this was only because the tank needed a water change ........ I had missed out on the regular biweekly change due to sickness ....... but the emperors eye cleared up fine after the water change. <Cloudy eyes? Not a good sign... do watch your water quality, and numerous whips with a wet net for missing the water change, regular maintenance...> Thanks for reading, and for any help you can offer. I would really hate to loose this guy now, I have had him for ages, and he has grown so much, and otherwise seems to be doing so well. Regards Matt (Co. Cork, Ireland) <Maybe add a couple of teaspoons of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) per water change to increase/boost alkalinity... Otherwise... Bob Fenner>

Question on Imperator Angel Mr. Fenner: First off, thanks for all the help and advice that you offer to marine aquarium folks like myself. I know it has helped countless people. <You're welcome. Deeply gratifying to hear, be part of> Now to my question, and the problem I am having. I have a 150 gallon tank, set up with live rock, a few leather corals, and some fish. The tank is maintained in a very meticulous way, with systematic partial water changes, monitoring of Ph, KH, Nitrates, Phosphate, and Calcium. The water is always crystal clear, and there is some nice coralline algae growth. The following are the readings on the water: Temperature - ranges from 79 to 81 degrees F Specific Gravity - kept between 1.021 and 1.022 Ph - 8.3 KH (in dKH) - 10.6 Calcium - 380 Nitrates - less than 10 ppm Phosphate - 0 Ammonia and Nitrite - 0 Fish In The Tank: Imperator Angel, Naso Tang, Purple Tang, Harlequin Tusk, Niger Trigger, Fox Face, 2 Blue Damsels, 2 Cleaner Gobies I have had a recurring problem with the Imperator showing signs of Cryptocaryon, primarily associated with its pectoral fins. I have had the fish for two months, and it was at the aquarium store for a couple of months before I bought it. The angel is in the final stage of changing from juvenile to adult colors. <This species is "touchy" in the way of easily contracting the common reef fish scourges, unfortunately> The other fish in the tank have not shown any signs of parasite infestation, and some have been in the tank for a few years. The Imperator's body does not show any signs of parasites, but there are splotchy areas in the pectoral fins, and the fish frequently rubs up against the side of the tank or smooth rocks. The rubbing seems to be directed toward the pectoral fin area. During the two months I have had the angel, I have given it fresh water baths, and also put it in a quarantine tank with copper safe for two and a half weeks. When I took it out of the quarantine tank and put it back in the main tank, it showed absolutely no signs of parasites, and was no longer rubbing up against the walls of the tank. After being back in the main tank for about a week, the splotches and the rubbing returned. I now have the angel back in the quarantine tank. Throughout all of this, the fish has remained a very outgoing and friendly fish. Even after being caught and put in the quarantine tank, the fish was eating out of my hand a few minutes later. The fish has remained active through all this, and does not act like a sick fish. The splotchy areas and the rubbing, however, make it clear to me that there is a problem. Because of the live rock and the leather corals, I know I cannot use copper on the main tank. I do have an ultraviolet sterilizer on the tank (with a new bulb) and an ozonizer hooked up to the protein skimmer. I may be wrong, but it appears to me that parasites are always around, to some extent, even in a well maintained tank (unless a copper treatment is in use). <Yes to the omnipresent possibility of "disease" (do read through "The Three Sets of Factors" that determine health, posted on the www.wetwebmedia.com site... you'll find yourself agreeing/nodding so much that you'll resemble an old Beatles doll in a fifties Chevy with poor shocks. A UV would likely help, I would not use copper... anything improving water quality and nutrition would be beneficial as well... Like more, better live rock, macro-algae, a sump/refugium...> Am I correct that parasites are always present to some extent, but that they only tend to become a problem if the water quality goes down or a fish's immune system and natural defenses go down? Is the Imperator Angel a fish that is prone to parasite attack, while the other fish in my tank do not show any sign of it? Is there anything that I haven't tried, that you would recommend to help solve this problem? <Not linear, mutually-exclusive events... some parasitic and infectious load is present in all systems, some organisms with complex (intermediates) life cycles are more easily excluded... there is an interplay twixt "initial state (genetic and developmental), suitability of the environment (a huge category) and the presence/degree of infectiousness of disease-causing organisms... read the above citation> I could return the fish to the aquarium shop, and trade it for another type of fish. I hate to do that, because it is a beautiful and outgoing fish and it has become a member of the family. But I don't want to continue subjecting it to fresh water baths and quarantine. <Won't help the specimen to be moved, or you/your sense of place in both your lives> Thanks a lot for your help. Pete Vosbury <Be chatting my friend, Bob Fenner>

Fin rot and sores on Imperator Bad news. Apparently, I burned my fishes with too much copper. My imperator angel now has his tail and pectoral fins damaged (missing portions) as well as suffering from body sores.  <Oh no...> I've been feeding him Zoe-soaked Mysis shrimp and Nori, and he eats well, as do all the fish in the tank. The sores seem to be getting a little smaller, kind of brownish-scabbed over, but still, this beauty does not feel well and my heart aches for the damage wrought on him by my mistake. Should I wait it out to see if he self-heals or treat him/the tank with an antibiotic? <Just wait...> He also is covered by little white things, not cyst-like as in ich, but kind of like tiny tufts, about 0.5 to 1 mm each in size. My Koran angel, while not suffering from body sores, seems to have a little of the edges of his fins eroded as well, and the yellow tang, while not having any fin erosion, seems to have some of the same white tufts (for lack of a better description) on his tail fin. <Could be some manifestation of the burn... or indirectly Lymphocystis... described on the www.WetWebMedia.com site under "Environmental Diseases"... a similar description physically> A couple of the other fish do, too (on their fins), but not to the extent of my imperator. What to do, what to do?  <Maintain high water quality, use cleaner organisms (shrimp, gobies)... and be patient> The hospital tank has turned into a disease tank. If you recommend treatment with antibiotics, please be specific about which one, and advise whether the neon gobies I have coming in a couple of days should go into the tank, and whether I should put my cleaner shrimp (3) in the tank now.  <Do both, now and when you get the gobies...> Bear in mind that I did treat the bare tank with copper and removed it with water changes, poly-filter pads, and carbon. I've also put some peppermint shrimp in there just to make sure they wouldn't croak...they've been in there for 3 days. Thank you, Sherri <Steady on my friend. Bob Fenner, in Cabo San Lucas>

Emperor Angel Hi Bob! Hello from HOT & HUMID Chicago! It's been a month or so since I last wrote about my Emperor (adult) that seemed to have fin rot. Since then the rot has stopped and it seems like the pectoral fins are slowly growing back. <Ah, good> In the last week he has seemed somewhat lethargic with his eating. He still reacts to me when I come up to the tank and comes up and eat out of my hand, but his intake is at least half of what he was eating. On the other hand he seems to hide more than usual (normally not much). I also noticed that some of his feces looked white and stringy (almost like plastic). I did my scheduled water change this week (10% every month) after I noticed his symptoms. not much change in the last two days. <Yikes... the lessened appetite and fecal appearance may well be indicative of internal parasite presence... You might want to administer an antiprotozoal to this fish's food> Besides that, nothing is out of the ordinary, he has lots of places to hide if need be and is the largest (king of the tank) fish in the tank. As always thanks for your help! Chris Goldenstein <Do study up on Vermifuges, Metronidazole/Flagyl, perhaps Piperazine... Bob Fenner>

Re: Emperor Angel (internal parasite problem?) Hi Bob, thanks for your reply. I couple of questions. I read up as much as I can find on the treatments listed below. In most cases it is preferred not to use any of these due to their toxicity. Is there anyway that something like this will pass? or will it just get worse? <Hmm, fin rot (almost always water quality related), yes, with time, optimized conditions... and often yes about the internal difficulties> One other thing, will trying to get him to eat fresh garlic work/help? <A lot of people endorse this approach. Don't think it harms the animals... I cook with this family of plants extensively... Bob Fenner> Thanks again! Chris

Imperator Angel Hey Bob, love your answers I have learned a ton from them. I have an imperator Angel who is a juvenile, still blue with white stripes. A while ago his face started losing color turning white. After a while as it progressively got worse, I realized it wasn't a discoloration but his face was slowly being eaten away by something. Now it been months, and his face is still all white while the rest of his body is fine. He seems extremely healthy, eating, even sometimes pestering other fish. I don't know why this happened or what caused it but I wish for him to get his facial skin and coloration back. Like I said it's been months and it hasn't gotten any better just stayed the same. Is there anything I can do?? <Yes, much... what you describe is a type/degree of what is termed HLLE, Head and Lateral Line Erosion... this condition has several possible "causes"; stray electrical potential, aspects of "poor water quality", and nutritional deficiencies... the latter are the most common... with folks advocating various treatments, including the use of "miracle mud" or just good live rock and macro-algae culture, and the addition of vitamins and iodide (iodine) to the animal's foods. Do avail yourself of at least the last protocol. More on this scourge under HLLE on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com. Bob Fenner> With thanks in Advance, Tom D

Emperor Angel Advice Hi Bob: Hope things are going well. I needed some fish advice and I thought I'd ask an expert, if you don't mind. I e-mailed you regarding your book back in 98 (time flies!). <Indeed. Tempus fugit> I recently bought an adult Imperator Angel. I have had him for about 3 weeks and he is eating like a horse. The only problem is that on  his right side, his eye is somewhat cloudy and one of his pectoral fins was not clear but more opaque. The fin suddenly got a bit ragged and he seems to be twitching a lot and will sometimes make a quick dash across the tank. His colors seem good and he even eats from my hand. Does this sound like a parasite? <No... very likely just the result of a mechanical injury... a "bump in the night" or the after-effects of a net-rub.> Should I do a freshwater dip or just hope he keeps eating well and it might run it's course.  <The latter> I hate to pull him out, it usually causes a lot of stress on any fish. what do you think? Once again, thanks for your time. Chris Goldenstein <Please read over our site: www.WetWebMedia.com re this species, the genus Pomacanthus and the Family Pomacanthidae FAQs sections... many cases like this. Bob Fenner>

Emperor angel Mr. Fenner, I have a quick question about my juv changing emperor angel. He is a beautiful, healthy, thick guy that eats like a pig and has been in my 125g tank for about 5 months and has done great, way better than I expected. My question deals with a kind of weird thing that happens to him every once and awhile this is the second time it has happened since I got him). He stops breathing out of his left gill and his right gill starts breathing harder. The first time it happened, I was very scared, but before I had time to email anyone or go to my LFS and ask what was going on, it was gone. He stopped using it in the evening, and by the next day, it was working again. Now tonight, I noticed it stopped working again, so what is the deal. I have a Naso tang, a few damsels and Chromis, and a red general starfish in there with him and they all are doing well as well as the angel. The water parameters have been steady for at least 6 months. Do you know why his gill stops working? <Hmm, no... but have seen this a few times in/with other specimens... and like you state... doesn't seem to be related to any "cause" and stops just as suddenly as it started...> Also, I notice every once and awhile a few times a week), he goes up to one of the powerheads (and only a certain one, not the other one or a rock or anything else) and brushes his left side up against it and then just swims off. I know fish can get things in their gills that itch and they are just scratching themselves, right? <Yes... some scratching is "normal"...> Just like a human or dog with an itch. But why would his gill stop? It is kind of scary seeing his gill breathing so fast, and it makes me think something might be wrong with him. But then I know that he is very healthy other than this gill thing, and shows no signs of discomfort. Thanks for the reply in advance, and as always I love getting answers or ideas from somebody that has so much experience. Ryan Fick <Perhaps too much to eat... maybe something going on inside the fish... Bob Fenner>

Imperator Angel (Lymphocystis, John Milton's lament) I recently picked up a small Imperator Angel approximately 4" in length. I purchased him with having Lymphocystis at the time, the shop owner was going to flush him, and he was doing well up till 2 days ago. I was feeding him Brine Shrimp soaked in Zoe and occasionally Formula Two. He has quit eating. He is in a 10 Gallon Med tank, with a simple over the back. I can add a sponge filter that has been floating in my sump for a while for just such an occasion. I read at FFExpress that perhaps a water change and live rock would help so I have done that. I am also shopping around to find someone who sells Ocean Nutrition Angel Food, I read it is mostly a sponge base food source. I knowingly picked up the animal ill, but I saved him from a flushing, what can I do to keep him alive? <Place this animal in your main display tank... there is very little chance it will "pass" the lymph on to other fishes... and very good chance it will perish soon otherwise> I have already spent quite a few hours simply staring at him in the tank and trying to talk him into eating, but I have has no such luck. I have a sincere problem about caring to much for Marine Fish.  <Is there such a thing? I refer you to the writings of John Donne... "If a clod be washed from England's shore..."> I am always picking up sick fish and curing them. I am getting better all the time and I know that I am doing some good by saving just a few animals doomed otherwise.  <Perhaps they are in turn saving you> This is my first angel and I must say they are somewhat more difficult than I had expected. I thought a case of Lymphocystis would be a piece of cake to heal from all the information I had read, and I am still sure I can cure him if he would help by eating. All the water parameters are fine. 0's on Nitrate, Nitrite, and Ammonium. Ph is 8.3 and water is 79-80 degrees. Lighting is timed with 2 24" fluorescents. Help me Mr. Fenner. I have a great deal of respect for you and hope to meet you one day to express all you have done for me and my hobby. Your book is my favorite and quite beaten and dog-eared on the pages that the binding still holds. <Do place this animal in larger, more settled quarters... soak foods with a liquid vitamin preparation and iodide... the viral infection it has is an environmental "disorder", imbalance... strengthen it psycho-emotionally by improving its environment, nutrition, and in turn it will cure itself internally. Bob Fenner> Sincerely, Joseph M Howell

Problem with an Imperator. Help Hello, <Hi there> My Imperator has been progressively getting worse. (I attached pictures) <I see> For the first three weeks he was doing great. Then he started to show a few white blotches. They came and went every day. He continues to eat very well. Lettuce only. I am feeding vitamin-enriched lettuce. <Stop using the lettuce... terrestrial greens period... not much nutrition, too much likelihood of having/supplying nutrients to your system> Over the next three weeks the blotches became worse. Copper and two types of bacterial antibiotics (At two different times) are not doing the trick. <Likely not parasitic or infectious but water quality/environmentally derived> I have a protein skimmer going with carbon and a 25W UV filter. The blotches are too big for parasites and they are not fuzzy. It is almost like he is loosing color in those areas. Definitely a skin problem. Any recommendations? <Look to the myriad of ways you can improve water quality. Do you have live rock? I would add it, or add more... Place live macro-algae in the system... Check over the filtration components, and compare notes with the many FAQs on marine filtration placed on WetWebMedia.com... do you measure various aspects of water quality? Switch to human-intended prepared algae (e.g. Kombu, Nori...) and soak these in your vitamin mix instead... Read through the environmental and nutritional marine disease sections on WWM. Bob Fenner John

Cloudy Eye on Emperor Angel Hi Bob, I had emailed you a couple of weeks ago about getting a lunare wrasse and a maculosus angel. I have my lunare wrasse now and he's doing quite well. However, I couldn't find a maculosus angel that was large enough (4 to 5") to hold it's own with the 5" lunare wrasse. So, I purchased a 6" sub-adult emperor angel from an LFS. He has a bit of Lymphocystis on his fins but it's not too bad. He appears to be doing wonderfully in my tank - quite active and a great eater! However, his left eye has become fairly cloudy over the last week - it's not Popeye, just cloudy. I read on the internet somewhere that this is most likely a bacterial infection and I should treat him with antibiotics. <Mmm, no, not in my opinion... If "one-sided" (unilateral), this cloudiness is likely due to mechanical injury (likely a swipe with a net)... and though there may be opportunistic bacterial involvement I would NOT use antibiotics here. Perhaps a vitamin addition to the fish's foods...> I am concerned about stressing him by putting him in a quarantine tank so I've so far left him alone in the main tank and watched him closely. His right eye so far looks O.K. - maybe the slightest bit cloudy or I could just be seeing things :-) What should I do with this beautiful fish? Here's a picture of him, but you can't really see the cloudiness on his eye in the picture. <I would leave it as is... do you have a cleaner organism? Maybe a Lysmata Shrimp would help remove/expedite the loss of lymph, the cloudy eye clearing... very likely this problem will resolve on its own. Our coverage of this species and Lymphocystis, environmental diseases can be found on: WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner> Holly L. LaClair-Bogedain
Re: Cloudy Eye on Emperor Angel
Thanks Bob! Wow, you got back to me very quickly! Is there a cleaner organism I can buy that won't get eater by a lunare wrasse and a flame hawk? I think those 2 fish would eat any that I could get... <I would try a Gobiosoma Goby... a larger individual if you can find it: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/neongobies.htm Often recognized as more of a "helper" than a snack. Bob Fenner>

Re: copper Thanks, I'm in the process of curing 45 lbs of live rock, but it won't be ready for at least a week. <I would place a few pieces... Now. A good deal of the live parts are edible to the Angel (sponges, sea squirts), and the chemicals produced/released will stimulate its appetite.  Bob Fenner>

Splotchy white areas. Thanks for the answer yesterday on feeding my Emperor, Well now I have another....sorry. I've had this Emperor for about two weeks now and he's doing great. He eats everything I put in there now and if anything my tangs are now getting the shaft. But there is one last problem....and it may be a bit serious. I HAVE had parasitic infestations in the past as I have bothered you guys about before. Once I got a UV sterilizer I achieved a "detente" as Bob so eloquently put it. My established fish have been spotless since and new additions usually get a little something during the first few weeks and they get through it. Seems the UV sterilizer breaks the cycle so when the parasites drop off they don't usually get a chance to re-infest. Well my Emperor got something.....definitely some ich, and maybe (I pray not) some Oodinium. I say the latter because of a haze he had over his eyes. I said I would never use "Kick Ich" and "Rally" again but I gave one dose of each so he would slough off what was on him and perhaps he wouldn't get reinfected. It seemed to work, but now he has something that I've never seen before. He has many white splotches on him. They don't look like parasites, but more like circles of discoloration. I'll estimate they are 2mm around.  <These markings are very likely from the treatment... and will go away in time... on their own... take care to maintain good water quality, proper mixed nutrition... and all should be fine> He eats like a champ and is the most outgoing fish I have ever owned. He gets red, green, brown algae, formula one, angel formula, and frozen mysids.......he eats better then me!!  I fear that I have velvet, although the times that I've seen it, it was never in individual circles like I have it now. I've always seen it as a consistent haze over the fish that ends up killing from the gills on out, not to mention the fish are usually visibly sick which this one is not. Any ideas? Could these be marks from where there "were" parasites? Either way I'm doing a mega water change tomorrow. Thanks for more of your time gentlemen....I look forward to your reply. <Patience my friend. Keep your eyes on the prize. Bob Fenner>
Thanks Bob Turn's out last night I figured out how to feed him anyway. I just put it right in his mouth! He comes to the top and takes it right out of my hand. I also noticed another more serious problem last night that I knew would appear. I emailed you a long time ago and told you that with my UV sterilizer I felt I had "won" the battle. You told me to call it more of a "detente". You were right. All my est. fish have been clean ever since but new additions usually end up with a few parasites for the first 2 weeks. Nothing compared to the way it was before the UV though and once they are clean they usually stay that way. Well last night I noticed my new emperor had a bunch on his eyes and elsewhere. Hopefully now that he is eating a full and diverse diet every day he will get through this period. If he doesn't I may have to go out and drink something! <A good idea all the way around. Relax my friend. Bob Fenner>

Emperors new clothes No question today Bob, just an update. Regarding the "white circles of discoloration" on my otherwise healthy Emperor: They're gone! All I did was a water change and refreshed my carbon. I also started adding vitamins to my frozen food. 2 days later........he's as perfect as he was the day I got him. In fact, he may be better. My purple tang tried to challenge him yesterday and the Emperor was barking at him!!! It was quite loud and quite amazing. Actually I heard they rub 2 bones in their head together, but whatever it was it worked. He is the king of the tank still. Thanks for your help..........Rick NY <Ah, thought as much would happen. Glad to read of your success. Bob Fenner>

Stress/Fright Pattern on Emperor Hey Bob (and Co.) <and strange company he keeps, indeed! Anthony Calfo in your service> As I told you last time, my Emperor's white discolorations disappeared after a simple water change and some vitamins in his food. I've only used the vitamins 3 times so I think it's the water change and refreshed carbon that did the trick. I noticed last night he was just starting to get them again. It's been about a week since my last water change so I'll do another tonight. It seems that my Emperors colors are a direct reflection of water quality and that they can change within a day. <precarious water quality if so. Maybe you are short in stature like me and dipping your armpits laced with aluminum infused deodorant is affecting the water quality so...hehe. Just a theory (with some truth in it! regarding toxicity!)> So it seems my water deteriorates to a point where his color is affected in about 6 days. My question is: Is this normal?  <not by any stretch of the imagination> I don't think so. Perhaps I have too much of a biological load on the tank?  <agreed...a very common and likely scenario confirmed with water tests> I'm considering removing one of my large tangs as they seem to produce a massive amount of waste. What do you think is going on here? <agreed on the tang... and also beneficial that the tangs intimidating presence (even if not aggressive) is removed (by virtue of his size if nothing else. Kindly, Anthony> Rick
Stressed Emperor
Thanks Anthony. <quite welcome, my friend> I'll get rid of a tang this weekend. One of them does challenge the Emperor once in a while but the Emperor puts him in his place every time.  <yes...but the constant threat and stress to do so takes a toll> The emperor actually makes a LOUD barking sound at the purple tang. <very cool. Hopeful not much longer though <smile> Anthony> Rick
Emperor Angel
If you don't mind Anthony, one last follow up. <no trouble at all...it is an honor that anyone should care to know one's opinion> If I hear you, I should get rid of both of my tangs (purple/yellow). <not necessary...but it would be nice. There are much less stressful tankmates> The tank is 75gall. I have no problem moving the tangs as I just love this angel and would be happy with him as the only big fish. <admirable> However, I would like to put something else (smaller obviously) to keep the tank active.  <considering the angels adult size...the next fish will have to be small if you add anything at all in replacement> Any suggestions ( I know you guys don't like to do this) I already have a maroon clown and a Levi Angel. <there are so many choices...but your goal should be to find something that is dissimilar in shape, size, and/or color and most importantly... a different feeding mode. For example, there are a lot of exciting wrasses (like fairies) that are colorful, active and not at all competitive with the angel. Choose carefully...some are incredibly hardy and others near impossible to keep alive. Look through some pictures and follow up with a short list if you want a second opinion> Thanks....for the last time I PROMISE. <no worries at all> Rick...overlooking ground zero in NY. <Ahhh...It actually brought a tear to my eye to watch the Budweiser commercial (during the super bowl) with the Clydesdale horses trekking to NY to bow at the Statue of Liberty...seriously. And I'm not even a beer drinker. Kind regards, Anthony

Emperor Angel Bob, <Steven Pro this evening.> I have a 6 inch Emperor Angel. I have had him/her for about 2 years now and have never had a problem. Yesterday, I noticed pits in his/her face. They somewhat resemble acne pock marks. I have a professional cleaning service take care of water changes, which I get done once a month, and just had one done last week. They use reverse osm. water. Chemically, the water tests out fine. Do you have any Idea what this could be? Thank you for your help. Doug <Sounds like the beginning of Head & Lateral Line Syndrome/Erosion. You can read more about this here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hlle.htm -Steven Pro> <Sorry, wrong link the first time. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm -Steven Pro>

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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