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FAQs about the Flame Angel Disease/Health

Related Articles: Marine Angelfishes, Flame Angels

Related FAQs: Flame Angels 1, Flame Angels 2, Flame Angel Identification, Flame Angel Behavior, Flame Angel Compatibility, Flame Angel Selection, Flame Angel Systems, Flame Angel Feeding, Flame Angel Reproduction, Best FAQs on Centropyge, Dwarf (Centropyge) AngelsDwarf Angel Identification, Dwarf Angel Selection, Dwarf Angel Compatibility, Dwarf Angel Systems, Dwarf Angel Feeding, Dwarf Angel Disease, Dwarf Angel Reproduction, Marine Angelfishes In General, Selection, Behavior, Compatibility, Systems, Health, Feeding, Disease,   

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

Flame Angel-Eye Injury?    3/7/20
Hello Bob and team!
Hope you are well. I usually ask about wrasses but this time I’m switching it up a bit. I have attached a couple of pictures of my flame Angel who has a cloudy eye. It’s only one eye and doesn’t look like flukes or bacterial but would love your opinion. It’s not popping out like Popeye either...just like a film with a little bit of the film hanging off.
He’s a big guy, and often dives head first a feedings and I’ve seen him bang mouths with his tank mates before. He has the following tankmates in a 200g (2x Yellow Tang, purple tang, coral beauty angel (no fighting), Scott's fairy, Lineatus fairy, flame hawk, black fin fairy, Melanurus, solar fairy, Ocellaris clown, Niger trigger, Aussie tusk and mystery wrasse).
There’s no aggression in the tank at all, specifically the flame just minds his business and even now is acting normal. It is grazing and eating aggressively when I feed.
Do you think this looks more like an injury or some sort of disease/pathogen?
<Very likely an injury... mechanical; from bumping into something; as it is one-sided. At this point I would just observe (not treat); and read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PopeyeF4.htm and the linked FAQs files in the series (above in blue)>
Thanks Bob and Team!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Flame Angel with Injured Fin     4/3/17
Dear Crew
I hope all is well with you guys.
<Yes; thank you>
I "spoke" with Bob a few weeks ago about the loss of my fish (due to me stupidly using a product for lowering nitrates - which lowered the Oxygen content in the water, leading to the loss of my fish :() Anyway, I followed
Bob's advice and replaced the fish, two weeks ago, adding them at the same time to cut down on bullying - which worked - mostly! Thanks Bob! :)
All appears fine - the fish are all out in the open and eating and seem happy and healthy. However, last week I noticed my flame angel (Sparks) had stopped using his left fin. I am guessing he's injured it somehow - he and
the yellow tang (Percy) did have a falling out over an algae clip a while back, not sure if this altercation resulted in the injury...they both seem to have agreed to disagree now. Anyway, the injury doesn't seem to trouble him and he seems to be managing to swim about quite happily. I have been keeping an eye on it though and yesterday noticed that this fin seemed to be withering away a bit - if that makes sense?
<Mmm; yes... in that I "get" what you're referring to>
As far as I can tell, there's no fungal infection or anything, so I am not sure what to do now, if anything.
<Likely not>
Do fish manage with just the one fin?
<Often; yes>
Other than this, as I say, he's eating, he's curious and always pecking at the live rock and seems otherwise unaffected. Is there anything I should be doing other than keeping an eye on him? I feed vitamin enriched frozen
and flake food.
It is a FOW(some)LR and a mushroom (which was the reason for me interfering with my tank's water parameters that ultimately led to the fish loss originally - I will never ever use Red Sea's NOPOX ever again - ever!)
I have several species of macro-algae as well. I consider my tank to be more of a planted marine tank :)
Any advice you could give regarding Sparks' fin would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks guys
Kind regards.
Lesley Saxton
<I would proceed as you relate you're doing. If this pectoral issue is due to trauma or no; hopefully it will right itself in time. Bob Fenner>

Flame Angle with single white bump.     3/1/17
I was wondering if you could identify this white bump on my flame angle.
<Usually such single, whitish... are evidence of a physical injury... mucus accumulation>

She has been in the tank for 11 days.
<About the right time frame>
About 4 days ago I noticed the raise white bump. It has not spread. There are two Green Chromis in the tank and they do not seem to have any problems. All three fish are eating well, swimming well, and seem to be getting along. This is a holding tank, but I do have pond matrix and a piece of dry rock that has been in the tank for about 7 months. There is no
sand bed. Ammonia is 0 nitrite is 0 and nitrates are between 5 and 10.
Which I control with weekly watch changes. I am feeding them a varied diet and soaking some of there food In garlic guard. The rock inside the tank was a way for me to have a cycled observation tank to confirm fish were healthy before going to the display. Guess this was a rookie mistake because if I want to treat the fish I guess I need to remove the rock.
<Likely what the fish swam into; but I'd leave it now>
Hope I did not talk to much. Thank you very much for your time and assistance in this matter.
<I would maybe add a purposeful cleaner organism, leave all else as is; expedite the move to a/the main/display tank. Bob Fenner>

Sick Flame Angel       12/25/16
<Hello Adam>
I bought a flame angel about two weeks ago and until this morning he has been doing great.
This morning he just stayed in the rocks and did not eat and it appeared his mouth on one side was a bit swollen. My son thought that he has pop eye but I do not see that.
By early evening my son said his fins were torn.
<What are the other livestock present?>

Since the three strip damsel we have is a bit of a bully we thought he was causing problems but we did not see him getting chased. Since the family was over for Christmas Eve we turn out the tank lights to keep things calmed down.
After family left my son found the flame angel hitting the top of the water and swimming funny, on a bit of a slant and to some extent in circles.
<Not good>
Because of the hitting the surface I thought low oxygen and added an air stone in the sump.
While testing the water he seemed to improve, not hitting the surface but still swimming on a slant and swimming weekly. He got stuck to my gyre wave generator so I turn that off.
<Very bad>
Water tests came back normal. Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, PH 8.2, Oxygen 6 mg/L. I know this is a bit low and have the air stone running.
Will test again in a bit and add more another stone if the level does not come up.
The tank is 125 gallon reef startup with a 55 gallon sump. There is only one green bubble tip anemone which I thought initially he messed with.
Any advice would be appreciated.
<This fish may have been damaged in collection, handling... or by your present livestock. Do you have another place to move it to recover? Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Flame Angel       12/25/16

Hi, I received a response to my email from you but there was no content.
<Strange; I see it below... Do you? BobF>
Re: Sick Flame Angel       12/25/16

Hi Bob,
Thanks for such a quick response.
The other livestock include a yellow tang, three clowns, two yellow tail damsels, the three strip damsel,
<This species can be aggressive>
a royal gramma, a wrasse.
<Which species?>
two blood shrimp, the green bubble tip anemone, and about a dozen snails.
I have a tank that I use as a quarantine tank but it is empty right now.
Will have to set it up tomorrow if he lives that long. Right now he is swimming at the bottom of the tank, a bit on a angle, but better than before and the only thing we have done is increased the aeration.
On Monday and Tuesday of this past week we treated the tank with Chemiclean at the advice of the guy that owns one of the stores we go to.
<I would NOT do this... not a fan of antimicrobials for algae control. You can see, review my input archived on WWM, or a small book I have on the subject via Amazon.com>
It was to get rid of what I thought was a brownish algae, almost like felt we had building up in the tank. He called it Red Cyanobacteria.
Per the instructions we increased aeration during and after treatment, and after 24 hours did a 20% water change and ran the extra aeration until this past Friday.
<I'd execute a large water change (like 25%) and add a unit or two of ChemiPure in your filter flow path... Possibly more chemical filtrant use... Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Flame Angel       12/25/16

Hi Bob, I only see your original response. This is why I hate GMAIL and only use it in a pinch. After my original email I sent you two more. If you can send the response to those two emails to a new email address I would greatly appreciate it. The address to respond to is: <deleted>
<Have responded... do you see these? BobF>
Re: Sick Flame Angel       12/25/16
Hi Bob,
Just to add to my last mail.
We bought the angel on 12/9. We treated the tank with the Chemiclean on 12/12. Did the water change on 12/14. I shutdown the extra aeration on 12/16. All has been good until this morning per my original email.
Thanks again,
<... the added water change, addition of the filtrant/s. Poss. PolyFilter as well/in addition. BobF>
Re: Sick Flame Angel       12/26/16

Hi Bob,
<Hey Adam; merry Xmas!>
I see your responses now. Thanks.
I will look into your post and book on the subject.
<Ah, good>
We will start filtering water (RO) for a large water change. Based on the rate of our RO filter, may not be able to do the water change today, most likely on Monday morning. I will change out the carbon today and double the amount I have been using. I will pick up the ChemiPure tomorrow and put it in after the water change.
<Very good>
We are in the process of setting up the Quarantine tank and will move the angel over as soon as it is ready.
The angel is definitely better this morning. He is staying in one place on the bottom and still swimming a little on an angle and weakly so still have the lights out to keep things in the tank quiet until we are ready to move him. As far as his physical condition his color is good, his fins are torn up, and my son was right about the pop eye. The one eye is definitely popped out.
<Unilateral... a bump into something>

Other than getting him into the quarantine tank is there anything else we should do for him?
<Just the usual best maintained water quality and nutrition>

Thanks again,
<Certainly welcome. BF>
Re: Sick Flame Angel       12/26/16

Hi Bob,
<Hello Adam>
Sorry for not wishing you a Merry Christmas.
<No worries>
Well, we lost the Flame Angel. We got him into the Quarantine tank but a few hours later he die. I kept fresh water fish since I was a kid. From 1990 until 1998 I kept a salt water fish tank. Two year ago my son asked to setup a saltwater tank so I helped him with it and he did a good job taking care of it so when he asked to upgrade reef tank I was all in (I
always wanted to keep on). I have never lost a fish like this flame angel. We bought him two weeks ago. Initially he was chased by the three strip damsel but that stopped in about two days. He was fine, eating well and then all of a sudden he started acting strange as described earlier.
Fins damaged and never saw anyone hitting him until he was already weak and damaged.
<A note here; it is likely this fish was damaged in the process of collection, handling, shipping... Such stress often shows up days to a few weeks later. VERY likely this fish was in the ocean less than a month ago>
Any insight on what to watch out for would be appreciated and thanks for your quick response and advice.
<I'd have you read the FAQs on WWM: Re Marine Angel and Centropyge Stocking/Selection,
C. loricula stkg./sel.: They are here on this part of the indices: http://wetwebmedia.com/FishInd3.htm
Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Flame Angel     12/27/16
Hi Bob,
I will definitely take a read.
<You will enjoy, profit from the experience>
Have a safe and Happy New Year!
<Ahh, and you. B>

Flame Angel.... Dying... soft corals?       6/27/16
Hi there! I have a Innovative Marine SR 80 (80 gallon) aquarium. 100 pounds of live rock. IM Ghost protein skimmer. Nitrates 20ppm, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, PH 8.3, and salinity 1.025. It is a reef tank set up...with all soft corals...not a lot though. I have had this tank set up for 3 years. I have no dwarf angels currently. I have tried to keep the beautiful Flame Angel several times in the past and the longest I could get one to live was 2 weeks! So I gave up. I have your Angelfish book and your other book the Conscientious Marine Aquarist. I saw in there you rated the Flame as a "1". I am not sure what I am doing wrong.
I would like to try again...but I am a little stand offish. Do you have any suggestions or ideas for me? Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.
<I would place/keep the new Flame (actually all incoming organisms) in a separate system for a few weeks, and after this period, trade a cup or two of water twixt this system and the main/display. Am wondering if the soft corals (likely more than Alcyonaceans here right... hobbyists often list Corallimorphs, Zoanthids and more as such) are poisoning the Angels.
I might also add a unit of Chemipure and Polyfilter in your filter flow path ahead of introducing the new Angel. See WWM for the general term "allelopathy".
Bob Fenner>
Dwarf Angelfish help      6/27/16

Hi there! I have read book after book and all the info I can read on the web about dwarf angels. I have a 80 gallon aquarium, shallow reef tank, with soft corals, and 100 pounds of live rock. It has been up and running for 3 years. My issue is I have tried to keep Coral Beauties, Flame Angels, Cherub Angels, and a multi colored Angel. All with no success. I have tried different sources as far as LFS go. I have currently a Midas Blenny, Fairy Wrasse, 2 common blood orange clownfish, and a Vermiculated Leopard Wrasse. For my last fish I would like to add a dwarf angel. I am very discouraged. Will my tank not support a dwarf angel?
<It should... some of the fishes you list... the Macropharyngodon; are much more "touchy">
Is there something I am doing wrong? I make sure they are eating at the store first. Each one did well for the first few days, eating, eating seaweed off of the seaweed clips, and then within a week I would wake up in the morning to a dead fish. No trauma, not being harassed by another fish, eating good the night before. I am at a loss. Nitrates 20ppm, Nitrites 0, Ammonia 0, PH 8.3, and salinity 1.025. Please give me any thoughts or ideas. I will appreciate any and all advice. Thanks so much!
<Again; I fully suspect allelopathy is at play here; and if you can acclimate both parties to each other, the Angel should do fine here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flame Angel      8/28/16

That sounds like a great plan! Thank you so much for your quick response! I value your advice!
<Glad to assist your efforts. Please keep us informed of your results. BobF>
Re: Captive bred flame angel compatibility      8/28/16

Thanks for your help, the Conscientious Marine Aquarist was the first book I read when getting into the hobby but I hadn't spotted your book on angelfish, have just ordered the latter from Amazon which I'm sure will prove just as enlightening.
<And hopefully informative>
That's great I will definitely try a trio, the tank has 100lb's of rock and I have a few gaps to fill so may add another 20lb, the rockwork is nice and porous with many little caves so will hopefully make them feel right at home. I am in contact with the breeder directly (Syd Kraul at Pacific Planktonics) and am currently trying the wholesaler route but have also got the research ball rolling on importing them myself so I'm hopeful that one way or another my plans will come to fruition.
Since my last email my constant hounding of various fish stores throughout the country and emails to breeders in the USA has bore more fruit and I now have access to captive bred Assessor randalli and Meiacanthus oualanensis, both species not commonly available as captive bred in the UK. I was hoping you could advise me on compatibility of these with the angels.
<Can, will bite if crowded; as all Fangblenny spp.>
I would still plan to add a pair of ocellaris clowns but would switch the orchid dotty for either the assessor or blenny. I understand the blenny could probably handle itself but was thinking the assessor may be a little too timid to keep with a trio of boisterous angelfish?
<I'd stop stocking w/ the Angels; and you'll likely need more space as the loricula grow>
In terms of a stocking plan, I guess in an ideal world the angels would be the last in but do you think there would be any danger if I were to add either the clowns or the blenny/dotty after them?
Thanks again and I will for sure keep you posted on how things progress.
<I thank you. Bob Fenner>

Loricula quarantine       9/17/14
Hello Mr. F,
How are you? The time has come for me to ask for your help again: I have a Centropyge Loricula in qt for 5 weeks together with 2 Carpenter's wrasse.
The Loricula has developed after some time Crypt spots, very small and disappear every morning.
<Mmm; I'll respond here: I would not treat it>
It is eating great and in great shape. The Carpenters are spotless. I know I have Crypt in my system, even if it is not visible anymore on any fish ( including Acanthuridae and other sensitive fishes) so that's why I make such long qt to acclimate the new fishes to this. My question: should I give
this fish a fw and Methylene bath and place it in DT?
<I would not>
Or there is the danger to introduce a new strain of Crypt that my fishes are not used to?
Because there is no way to know if this fish came with a crypt or got in in my qt where I use water from DT .
I really would not want to expose it to strong medicines and it has been for a long time in qt and as I told you is fine.
Also, attached a small photo of my DT just do you make an idea, it is all thank to you and your beautiful site.
Thank you again , from Romania
<Welcome my friend. BobF, now visiting in Bali>
re: Loricula quarantine       9/17/14

Thank you for your answer Mr. F,
Maybe I fail to understand your advice, but it seems that you say that you would not treat the fish in qt, but also not place it in DT because it may bring an new strain of Crypt to the fish population that is stable and vibrant for months now.
What is the alternative then?
<To not treat with medication in qt, but to try to boost immunity there via foods>
And what about the other fishes in qt ( 2 carpenter's wrasse ).
<Leave them there for the duration as well; lest the "ongoing" Crypt be transferred to the main display>
Thank you again,
<Welcome. BobF>

Flame Angel fin damage      12/10/12
Hey crew! First off, let me say thanks for all the work you guys do with this site; it's outstanding and I would not have nearly as successful and stress free a tank as I do without all of your help. Really, thanks so much! As for my question, I looked through the appropriate FAQs but couldn't find anything that answered it. Naturally I might have missed my answer, so apologies if you've already answered this problem on the site.
I recently purchased a Flame Angel through my LFS and put him into my 20 gal quarantine tank
<For future reference; I'd run this fish through a prophylactic dip/bath  enroute>
 with a few live rocks for him to graze on, and a couple PVC elbows to provide some more cover for him, as well as a sponge filter that had been running in the display tank. Thanks to you guys I always quarantine new fish for at least 4 weeks before adding them to the display tank, so he is all by himself in this tank. He was ordered through my LFS and I didn't see him till I purchased him, but he is very small; about 1 inch to an inch and a half.
<Wow; tis small>
He has been in the QT since I got him last Thursday (4 days ago). He has been grazing the rocks and has even started eating the frozen brine shrimp and Cyclops that I feed. I have also been supplementing his diet with Ocean Nutrition Brown Marine Algae rubber banded to a piece of said live rock. This evening I was looking at him and noticed that his tail fin is ragged, as if something had been chomping on it. I looked at his other fins and didn't see any damage on them. He doesn't have any white spots on him, and his eyes are clear and non-bulging. He has been behaving normally and is still swimming around the tank and nipping at the live rock. I have been testing the QT throughout the past several days at the levels have held steady as follows: ammonia at 0, nitrites at 0, nitrates at less than 5, pH at 8.2, and salinity at 1.024. Also, to fill the QT I used water from my display tank and I only use RO/DI water with my fish. Basically, my question is what is causing this and what can I do to fix it?
<Maybe consequent to shipping stress, capturing damage... Perhaps indicative of coming trouble>
 I don't see any indications of ick or velvet, but I'm worried it's just because the more tell tale symptoms haven't shown up yet. Could he have hurt himself swimming around the rock and PVC pipe?
 And if  you recommend doing a FW bath, how do I pH balance it and go about it?
<Posted: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm
I urge the use of simple baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)>
Thanks so much for your help; I really appreciate it!
Sorry for the long question, and have a great day!
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Flame angel torn fin update      12/10/12
Hey crew, just wanted to send you all an update on my fish. Woke up today to find him covered in white spots; most certainly Ich. Anyway, there are plenty of FAQs dealing with this on the site so I will just peruse those.
Thanks so much for your help!
<Welcome Paul. BobF>

flame angelfish losing color       11/29/12
Hello All
Thanks for any advice you can give me.  On Sunday my husband bought me a flame angelfish, and I placed him in my QT.  My QT is my old 29g biocube with a bunch of Liverock.  Water parameters are all good except ph was a little low (i put in some buffer).
<Not directly in the water I hope/trust, but dissolved and added a bit at a time>
  So my fish has been hiding for the past 2 days, and he wouldn't come out to eat.
<Not atypical behavior for Centropyges, new fishes period, when moved, put in small confines>
 I was trying to feed it formula 1 pellets but I never saw him eat.  I thought he might be stressed and trying to acclimate so I just let him hide. 
Today being day 4, I decided to remove most of the Liverock to get a good look at him and put some pvc tubing in.  I was surprised to see that he is pale and one eye looks a little cloudy and bulging. 
<Stress; and the eye might well have been scraped... by netting, coming in contact w/ something>
I put in some brine shrimp targeted near him and he did eat anything that was near him, but he didn't go chasing or hunting it down.  First, what do you think it is?
<Just being new really>
  I don't see any spots, fins look fine... Second, what should I do?
<Me? I'd do nothing treatment wise. If the environment is stable, optimal... all should be fine. Just let this fish rest up for a week or two and maybe run it through a pH adjusted freshwater dip/bath on its way to being permanently placed in your main/display system>
  Most of the posts I have read online have the same story, pale cloudy eye and the fish is dead 4 days later. 
<Mmm; let's hope not. IF water quality is a concern, do change some out, using the water from your main tank to replace it>
Third, the only thing weird about this tank is that the bulbs blew out so no lights. 
<This is fine; actually better>
I keep the tank near a window with lots of natural light... could this have anything to do with it?
<No; highly doubtful>
  I just didn't want to waste money on buying lights for the tank.  Thanks Alice
<Welcome Alice. Bob Fenner>

Questions regarding a Crustacean parasite 10/2/12
Good afternoon folks!
Thank you so much for the wealth of info on your website. It is a large help for novices such as myself. Here is my issue, I hope you may be able to help.
<Me too>
I recently purchased a juvenile Flame Angel from my LFS for my 8 week old 29 gallon
<This is too small a volume for this species>

 reef tank as my last addition to swimming livestock. All looked good with the fish. It was happy and swimming around, fed well and to this point still eats good. It didn't show signs of disease when i purchased him. I must admit that I broke the cardinal rule of not putting it in a quarantine tank as I actually don't have one (yet). Currently it is housed with two False Perc Clowns, two Peppermint Shrimp and a Orange Spotted Diamond Goby. The other fish are doing fine.
Two days after I introduced him, I noticed a black and white object of some sort on the bottom of his right gill shaped like a grain of rice. It is very small maybe 2-2.5mm in length. I then noticed the other gill was developing the same.
<Mmm, branchiostegals... elements of the gills themselves... damaged by?>

 It seems to be a parasite of some sorts. I cannot get the fish out of the tank without pulling all my rock out and then getting it, and pictures are hard to come by as the angel likes to hide in the rocks. I will try to get pictures ASAP.
After reading your site, I did notice the page:
http://wetwebmedia.com/crustdisfaqs1.htm. Mid page there is a Flame Angel with the exact same symptoms I am having. problem is, I am just not understanding what to do. It states in the follow up that I should use a organophosphate and to read about Crustacean parasites. With that said, the treatment method seems to point towards Pond Fish (Goldfish / Koi)
http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/contrpdparasit.htm . In the medication section, i cannot really find anything that specifies the larger
types of parasites. Please forgive my inexperience, but I am confused.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks again
<I would hold off on treatment here. Do send along a well-resolved photo when you can. Bob Fenner>
Re: Questions regarding a Crustacean parasite Please disregard 10/2/12

They see gill spikes...
<Ah yes; no worries. Bob Fenner>
Re: Questions regarding a Crustacean parasite 10/2/12

Hi a Bob--
I still supplied some good pictures for you if you would like to add them for this specific non issue. I guess it would be good for beginners such as myself.
I am aware at this time that he is going to grow too large for the 29 gallon that I have. I have a 100 gallon tank that I will be setting up in the near future, and will be using the 29 as my Q tank.
Thanks again for the quick response
<Certainly welcome. B>

New Flame Angel Sudden Death   6/28/12
Greetings Crew,
<Salutations Ryan>
I've gathered the courage to finally ask you all a question despite your notoriety for requiring AP Style comparable spelling and grammar from the asker; my apologies ahead of time if I make any grammatical mistakes!
I am a new reefer with a 75 gallon setup running roughly 40 pounds of live rock, a Rena Filstar XP3 (no carbon,
<I would add, use; cycle half of it out every month or so>
just media pads), a Reef Octopus BH-2000 H.O.B. skimmer and two power heads for a total of roughly 2,000GPH - I intend to aqua scape soft corals when budget permits.
<I see>
My tank is 6 weeks old and fully cycled at about 4 weeks with current readings at 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 10ppm nitrates. Temp is at 78 and salinity is at 1.023.
<I'd raise/keep this at 1.025 for Alcyonaceans>
 Living denizens are one black clown, a fire shrimp, two emerald crabs
<Mmm; do keep an eye on these. Can/do become predaceous in time>
 and several snails for cleaning. The clown went in first two weeks ago and the invertebrates followed a week later.
Another week later ( yesterday) I added a flame angel which I drip acclimated for about two and a half hours. Upon releasing it into the tank I thoroughly enjoyed it for the nine hours of life it had. It swam amongst the live rock formations and was very active and healthy looking all day.
No signs of Ich, other parasites, or the like. At night during feeding time I released rinsed brine shrimp into to the tank and promptly the flame angel came to the surface, floundered around a bit at the food, let itself go to the current and died 15 minutes later.
I found this coincidental due to the fact I had just released food into the tank yet the clown, crabs and shrimp remained unscathed. This is more of a mystery to me than anything as I'm not a novice fish keeper by any means and i haven't seen anything quite like this happen - but I'm new to the saltwater hobby and had a good understanding that flame angels were very hardy, acclimated well and ate brine shrimp! Obviously the fish is beyond help but might you have any insight onto what could have happened? I really liked the flame and am very disappointed. Thanks in advance for your valuable time.
<And you for yours. Am hoping that this one Flame had some "other issue"; perhaps "too much stress" from collection, shipping, handling" enroute to your care. I would try other fishes for now (perhaps some Damsels), but not be overly discouraged re trying a Centropyge in a few months. Bob Fenner>
Re: New Flame Angel Sudden Death    6/29/12

<Hey Ryan>
Let me say that you are the man, and I appreciate the response and advice.
I've pretty much written this one off as a freak incident. I can't do an autopsy on the flame to find out what happened and the rest of the reef is in great shape so not too worried, but I won't let this discourage me from another flame down the road.
<Ah good>
Will write back with more questions in the future. Take care.
<And you, BobF>

Question about a Flame Angel and Green Hair Algae    2/3/12
Hello all,
I wrote to you several months ago about my Spotted Mandarin, and your knowledge saved me a lot of pain and struggle, so for that I give you a big thanks. My tank stats are as follows in my 14 gallon BioCube, which I am aiming to replace with a 30 gallon in the near future:
<Good; hard to keep small volumes stable, optimized. You need much larger for what you already have jammed in here>
Nitrates and ammonia are fine
Phosphates and Calcium both good
Magnesium is a little high, but falling a safe pace
My tank is about one year old, and I haven't had any serious problems, except for the ever rampant green hair algae in my tank. I did a water change about five days ago, and everything was fine. Literally about 10 minutes ago, my Flame Angel tried to jump out of my tank, giving me a huge fright. I ran over to look at him, and he had a crazy variety of symptoms that I'm not very familiar with, so i was hoping y'all could give me a hand with deciding how to treat him. He is:
'¢ Covered in white spots on the entire front half of his body (Ich?)
'¢ Breathing rapidly, and
'¢ His tail fins seem to be deteriorating
<... not good. Most likely Cryptocaryon>

I checked out my other fish and they are all perfectly fine,
<Odd; though mandarins are much more external parasite resistant>
 but this is seriously worrying me. This fish got Ich (we think from the shock of moving) a few days after I first got him (about 11 months ago), but recovered very nicely.
<Via what treatment? I'd be repeating it/this, pronto>
Since he has white spots all over him, I went ahead and treated the tank with the coral friendly Ich medicine
<There are none of these "coral friendly med.s" that are effective>
I have, but I'm wondering if there is anything else I can and/or should be doing. I was reading up on other things that people where asking about their Flame Angels, and people kept saying that a quarantine tank is best until he regains his health, but I've never bought one, as I bought all of my fish from the same provider, who quarantined his fish for a month before making them available for sale, so I (a newbie to the fish keeping world) didn't think they were entirely necessary.
What do you suggest I do?
<Read here, and quickly: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cryptasbfs.htm
you will find a link, urging to investigate Quinines...>
 Is buying a isolation tank the only option? Or can I try to go the less economically unfriendly route and keep him in my tank (I'm a senior in high school, so $200 tanks aren't the best/most feasible idea right now)? Also, do you have any suggestions for medicines I can give to him, without harming the invertebrates or corals also living in my tank?
<... time is (as always) of the essence. Read, now. Bob Fenner>
Courtney, HS Class of 2012, DFW Texas

Flame angel behavior? 12/9/11
I just put a flame angel in my 55 gal tank with a percula clown, scooter blenny, and a purple fire fish about 2 weeks ago. All seemed to be going well until today when I noticed the two pectoral fins on the flame angel are chewed up bad and it is having some problems swimming.
<Not good.>
I have not seen any aggression from other fish towards it but I have seen it get close to the live rock and just quickly dart rubbing up against the rock. I think this could be the issue but can not be sure. My question is will the fins grow back and is this normal behavior for a flame angel.
Joshua booms
<This is not normal behavior.  Flashing is often associated with parasitic infections, poor water quality, or a host of other issues.  Was this fish quarantined before adding it to the tank?  How is your water quality?  See here fore details
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/flameangdisfaqs.htm?h=scratching .>

Puzzling angelfish disease -- 08/13/11
Hey Guys
I have a flame angel that's been in QT for a few months and cannot figure out what she has I treat all incoming fish with PraziPro and Cupramine proactively, and she was given 3 rounds of Prazi. After the symptoms did not go away I thought it may be bacterial and treated with Maracyn 1 and 2, with no improvement.
Finally I am now about halfway thru a quinine sulfate/crypto pro treatment, and again the "spots" are only getting worse. I am at a total loss for what to treat with next..
thanks for your help
<I see abdominal swelling and some discrete white raised blobs on the side of this specimen... Could be a few "things"... Considering the exposure it's had to copper, Quinine and Vermifuges, I don't think this is likely a protozoan or worm complaint... Could just be "stress"... Do you have access to a microscope, the background to do a bit of look-seeing? Bob Fenner, done giving his pitches at the fish hlth. conf. here in Maine>

re: Puzzling angelfish disease, Flame    8/15/11
Thanks for the reply, unfortunately I do not have access to a microscope.
I hate to keep treating blindly,
<You already have>
but it seems like the only thing I have not treated for is a fungal issue so maybe try Pimafix?
<... see WWM re this scam. B>

Flame Angel HLLE battle    5/31/11
Hi WWM crew!
I've been on a crusade to improve the health of my pair of flame angels for about 2 years now. I am a hobby breeder of clowns and Banggai. This pair is another hopeful for my breeding program
<Mmm, really better by far to keep in a haremic setting... using overflow/s to collect spawn toward evenings...>
but I can't seem to get them healed. They are from the Christmas Islands.
I have seen them spawn but have not been able to verify the eggs are fertilized yet.
<Searchable... in extant literature>
Both fish display normal behavior and eating, no wasting away or muscle loss. They have holes or erosion around their eyes, typical lateralis degeneration. Recently these areas have turned black. Since there isn't a definitive cause of this I've tried a number of things. First some system stats.
Display System (current home):
1.5 year old 65 g with 40 breeder sump (approx 80 gal total volume)
Ammonia 0 (API)
Nitrite 0 (Hanna Checker)
Nitrate 0.25 - 0.75 ppm (Red Sea Pro)
Phosphate 0 (Hanna Checker)
<How kept at zip?>
Other parameters suck as Alk, pH, etc are within normal limits
Rock, Cone skimmer, biopellets, GFO reactor, mangroves, Chaeto
<The Ferrous Oxide may be trouble here>
Tank mates: pair clowns, RBTA, OBTA, diamond goby, green mandarin, pair skunk cleaner shrimp, CUC
Light: 120 watts LED
Breeding system (an alternate homing option):
2 year old 250 gallon system
<Add more females>
made up of 9-11 tanks and a 75 gallon sump. This pair of fish sometimes visit the 60 tall (home of 2 clowns) if I think that is a better home for them. I moved them to the display tank after reading the most recent about the possible correlation of carbon dust and HLLE.
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0 (Hanna Checker)
Nitrate 0.25 ppm (Red Sea Pro)
Phosphate 0.02 ppm (Hanna Checker)
Other parameters are within normal limits
Rock, Ozone,
<What is the RedOx reading daily?>
Rox carbon, biopellets, large Octopus skimmer
Light: Generally T12 shop lights, various Metal halides for anemones
Once or twice daily. Majority of their food is a homemade frozen food (marine fish meat, shrimp, crustacean meat, Nori, red algaes, Spirulina, Selcon, garlic, vitamins, fish eggs, Nutramar ova). Also sometimes New Life Spectrum pellets but just a few feedings per week.
<I'd use this as a/the staple>
Things I have tried (in this order) over the past 2 years:
Nutritional improvement. I think their daily diet (above) is both high in vitamins and HUFAs, balanced meat and veggies. This has been their diet for over 20 months.
Water parameters. Always a battle of course but 30% water changes are done every 3 weeks. Nitrates always under 1ppm. I struggle to get them below 0.25ppm.
Stray voltage. Tested with a multimeter. The Breeding system has a ground probe (and GFI) mostly for my health.
Removal of activated carbon in the DT. Then I did a 100% water change (temp and pH adjusted). Carbon is necessary in the breeding system b/c of ozone.
<Not really... see my posted comments on WWM, in print>
Protozoan treatment (Metronidazole + Quinine Sulfate treatment for 10 days in QT system). Lesions improved in appearance but returned to worsening within 2 weeks out of QT.
<Don't repeat these treatments>
No copper exposure under my care.
I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do next other than rehome this pair.
Do you have any suggestions?
<Drop the GFO>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Flame Angel; Disease, Parasites, Other?    5/28/11
Hello Crew,
I am generally not one to have to email or post for help, being an avid researcher, but this one has me stumped. I have a feeling that this may be an easy one for someone with more experience though, so I thought I'd write in the hopes that someone could help me nail this one down.
<Mmm, hard to "tell" such from gross photographs>
I recently purchased a lovely little flame angel through LiveAquaria. When he and his new buddies arrived I was extremely impressed with everything about them. Their colors were great, they were active, and they all looked fat and healthy. The packaging was excellent, and the shipping water didn't even have an odor to it. This was my first order with them after some unsatisfactory experiences with local stores, so I was quite pleased with Foster & Smith.
<They have a well-deserved good reputation>
Anyway, the flame angel looked so well that he was trying to graze in the bucket while I acclimated him, immediately after being unbagged. I am aware that quarantine can be stressful for dwarf angels, so I made the decision to freshwater dip him and add him directly to the display.
<Often the best choice w/ Centropyges, other fish groups>
He immediately cruised around grazing on the rock and it seemed that all was well. He ate what I offered, found a place to sleep in the rocks, and seemed to settle right in. On the morning of the third day (Friday; he arrived Wednesday afternoon) I discovered that problems had developed overnight. One pectoral fin had had a notch in it, which had developed some white residue and shredded. He seemed sort of stiff, resting on the bottom with his fins erect. I was alarmed of course, so I contained him in a large net near the surface to keep an eye on him and prevent him from being blown around. He was there for maybe fifteen or twenty minutes. I kept looking at him and he suddenly thrashed, still seeming kind of "stiff" if that makes sense, and went still. I thought he was resting again but, fetching my flashlight (lights had not come on yet) I discovered that he had suddenly died just shy of 48 hours after arrival.
I was obviously nonplussed. Thankfully LiveAquaria has their wonderful guarantee, so I removed him to photograph him and discovered something else. His stomach had turned white in a patchy way, and he may have been a bit bloated (it is hard sometimes to tell the difference between "bloated" and "well-fed.") Now, one of the primary reasons that I went to Foster & Smith was because a friend of mine purchased a small (about half the size of mine; body without the fins about the size of a quarter) flame angel from a local store a week or two ago. It also developed problems swimming, displayed shredded fins without apparent cause, and died with a white, discolored stomach within 48 hours. I went to a completely different source because of this and still ended up with a suspiciously similar- or rather identical, I think it is safe to say- flame angel death.
I have included one of the pictures I took within a half hour of its death.
I hope it is clear enough. I have no idea what the discoloration indicates, but I have a feeling that it may be something that a person with more dwarf angel experience will look at and go, "Ah, I know what that is!" Is it disease, parasite, bacterial?
<My guess from the rapid onset and appearance is the latter. Perhaps Vibriosis>
Is it, perhaps, something that has cropped up among flame angels collected from a certain area?
<Is an issue w/ this species at times... from Micronesia, the Marshall Islands; principal source... related to stress, holding practices there>
My friend has no idea where hers came from, having purchased it locally, but this one was labeled as coming from "Christmas/Marshalls." I am unsure of what to do in terms of replacing him. I would still like to go through LiveAquaria, but I am not sure if I should wait a certain length of time, make sure that the next one comes from a different batch, or order one that was collected from another location.
<Hard to get from elsewhere... Hawaii would be great but rare from there; more deepwater, expensive... Better to wait a few months...>
Thank you in advance for your time and help. Usually if there's an issue I can figure out what it is and proceed from there, but this one has thrown me for a loop.
<Culture of a swab of the area and some of the internal sites would be indicative... Not much anyone can actually do however to actually (pre) treat, avoid. Centropyge loricula do at times "die like flies" due to troubles caused on the collecting end. Bob Fenner>

Flame Angel/Centropyge Health 3/4/2011
Good Morning WWM Crew,
<Good morning, Elizabeth.>
I have a Flame Angel who had been in quarantine for one week. The QT is 10g, bare bottom with an air-stone, heater and small Aqueon filter.
<Mmm, no large diameter pieces of PVC pipe for security?>
After having this fish in QT for 2 days he started showing signs of ich. I am hesitant to treat chemically so I dropped the salinity, over a couple of days, to 1.010. I have been doing a 50% water change every other day and he seemed to be doing well.
<Would have been much better if you gave the fish a pH/temperature adjusted fresh water dip before placing into QT.>
The bumps are nearly gone and he seemed to be a happy, active fish. Yesterday morning he was behaving normally, eating well and had great color. Last night I could tell that something was off but I couldn't put my finger on it. This morning I fond him lying on the tank bottom. His color is still good in his body but his face seems a little pale. He is breathing a little fast and is listless. When I come over to the tank he gets up and looks at me expectantly, like he knows he's about to be fed. When I fed him he went for the food but did not eat. I would very much appreciate any advice you may have to further treat/rescue this beautiful fish. Is it time to try out chemicals or can they still be avoided?
<Is quite possible the fish may have been in shock due to lack of security retreats.
A pic or two would have helped.>
I apologize if this question has been asked before, I read the flame angel pages and couldn't find anything that seemed to fit his symptoms, and I want to be sure that I do all I can to save the fish.
<I suggest reading here. Will offer more suggestions than I have the time to say here.
Thank you.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Suicidal Flame Angel   1/10/11
Greeting WWM Crew. I have a flame angel that I acquired about 2 months ago. For the third time in as many months I have found it on the bottom of the tank, motionless, barely breathing.
If I move it around a little bit, it slowly starts to breath faster, and soon, after more coaxing it "regains consciousness" and begins swimming around, exhibiting normal behavior. As I wrote, this is the third time this has happened. I've always noticed it when the lights are off.
<Oh! Most reef fishes do "lie down" during the night, lights out...>
The fish is eating fine (New Life Spectrum and Mysis)
<Good products>
, and has even taken food immediately after one of these "spells". Weeks have passed in between incidences, all seems fine, and then I find it again and think it's dead. The tank-mates are a false percula clown and a blue damsel. The clown and angel fought a bit at the beginning , but rarely do I see conflict now. There are no signs of trauma or disease on the flame angel, nor the other fish. My system is a 4 years old 50 gallon FOWLR, PH of 8.2, temperature of 79, ammonia/nitrite/nitrate are all undetectable. Would you guys know what is going on here?
<Mmm, yes>
I'm close to removing the fish to protect myself from the flame angel dying and crashing the system. Any help/guidance is appreciated.
<I would not be concerned here. This is likely natural behavior... a good idea to not turn lights on/off abruptly though. Bob Fenner>

Hey again and Happy New Year! Damaged Centropyge, loricula   1/3/11
Guys/gals, I have a flame angel in qt at this point in time and he looks great, eats well and is very active. He is about 2.25" and has very bright and vivid red coloring. What I am confused about though, is the fact that he bobs his head up and down constantly at the water surface. I noticed he was doing this at the store but I thought it was going to be brief but I was wrong. Is he just playful or does he have brain damage lol?
<More the latter. Very likely resultant from trauma in capture, handling right after. May well resolve/solve itself in time>
His Gill movement is normal and there are alot <no such word> of breaks and waves at the surface.
When he bobs it doesn't look like he's gasping for air but rather trying to touch the lighting above him. Will this fade off or is it a serious problem?
<More the former likely>
Id much rather have an angel swim around and pick algae off live rock rather than constantly bob up and down at the surface.
Thanks everyone!
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Flame Angel: to continue QT or not   11/30/10
Hi Crew, Bob,
<Hey Roberto>
I have been a fan of your website for a long time and found it extremely useful - it is without a doubt the best resource available for aquarists on the web! Keep it up! I hope you can help me with a quick question:
I have a Flame Angel (Centropyge Loricula) in my 10G QT - he has been there for 15 days now. Upon arrival he behaved very well (active, eating, grazing) for the first 3 days. In the morning of the fourth day, I found him upside down in the bottom of the tank, unresponsive.
However, he recovered in the next hour or two and has behaved normally ever since (that was 11 days
Since I didn't know what was wrong with him, I dosed the QT with Instant Ocean Lifeguard for the next five days as per the instructions (Lifeguard's active ingredient is 1-chloro-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-4-imidazolidinone).
<Am familiar>
During the treatment and after, he continued to behave normally and eat very well - I am feeding him New Life Spectrum pellets, Mysis shrimp and a bit of Algae. I've also offered Ocean Nutrition's Pygmy Angel Formula but he's only mildly interested in it.
A bit of background on the setup: The QT is your typical 10G starter kit (Aqueon filter with "M" carbon filter, hood with lights) and I have in it also a piece of live rock (2 lb) and some plastic elements for psychological space. Before I brought the Flame Angel in, the QT was dismantled and I had planned on using filter media and water from the display tank to seed the biological filtration process (i.e. change a filter in the DT for a new one, and take the used filter media to the QT). That apparently didn't work and
I believe the tank is cycling. I have been fighting nitrites from the start - the levels fluctuate between 0.25 and 0.50 ppm (mg/L) and ammonia levels hover around 0.20ppm (nitrates are negligible). Specific gravity is 1.023, PH is 8.2, temperature is 78F and dKH is 10.0 (179 ppm).
To improve water quality, I am having to perform 50% water changes daily, and I am adding a few drops of Seachem Prime to reduce toxicity. I am really struggling because I believe in the benefits of quarantining this fish, but it is obvious that the water conditions in the QT are suboptimal.
<Very/too typical, yes>
My concern deepened because one morning, two days ago, his anal fin suddenly appeared "ragged" (see pictures).
<I do see this>
I don't know if this is caused by a parasite/disease, by poor water conditions, or by something else.
<The latter almost assuredly>
If this is a parasite/disease, I believe that I should keep him in QT and treat it, but if this is due to poor water conditions, then it might be better to move him to the display tank?
<Yes I would>
Could you take a look at the pictures and give me your opinion as well as any other suggestions you might have?
Thank you!
<I'd be moving this fish if it were mine. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Flame angel lump II  11/10/10
<Hi J S,>
I have another question. I am in the midst of stocking my tank and I am purchasing the fish that I want as I see them. I bought a 2 and a quarter inch flame angel two days ago which is now in a 20gal long QT.
<I'm happy to hear about the quarantining.>
I notice he has a lump with three very small white dots coming out (you can actually see them raised up from the skin when you look at angel from frontal view). I know its hard for you to diagnose without seeing but I don't know if this is a flatworm I am dealing with or something else. I can't find literature on WWM regarding this. I even Googled fish disease and looked at pics....nothing. I have quinine sulfate and Prazi-pro and I am unsure of which one to use.
<I am unsure what the malady is. I'll give this to the rest of the Crew to  check out though.>
Help! Thanks everyone.
<Hope we find you an answer,>
<Scott T.>
Flame Angel lump 11/11/10
<Does anyone else have input on this? I am not familiar with this malady.>
<<I'll give it a go>>
Hey, I have another question. I am in the midst of stocking my tank and I am purchasing the fish that I want as I see them. I bought a 2 and a quarter inch flame angel two days ago which is now in a 20gal long QT. I notice he has a lump with three very small white dots coming out (you can actually see them raised up from the skin when you look at angel from frontal view). I know its hard for you to diagnose without seeing but I don't know if this is a flatworm I am dealing with or something else.
<Most to very likely these marks are "just" bumps from handling... capture, physical trauma>
I can't find literature on WWM regarding this. I even Googled fish disease and looked at pics....nothing. I have quinine sulfate and Prazi-pro and I am unsure of which one to use.
<I would not use these or anything else at this juncture. In fact, if this fish appears fine, otherwise eating... I would likely summarily freshwater pH-adjusted bath/dip and place it>
Help! Thanks everyone.
<Please read through here: http://wetwebmedia.com/flameangdisfaqs.htm
and the linked citations where you encounter them. Bob Fenner>
Re: re: Flame Angel lump  11/11/10

Ok thanks for replying but how can I place him if he hasn't been in qt for even one week yet.
<Read where you were referred. B>
How can I be sure he wont come down with a parasite if he hasn't been through the full qt time period? Please let me know if you would advise to still place him in permanent quarters?

mystery death (or deaths) 10/23/10
Dear Bob Fenner,
I had a sudden death of my Flame angel during the night from an unknown cause.
<Does happen... more so w/ this species than others. "Cumulative stress" is a good catch-all term... resultant from trauma of collecting, handling...>
I have had him for about two months, and he was as healthy as can be. The other fish are acting very nervous, and the fire fish and orange-spot goby are hiding. My other fish consist of two Chromis and a small tomato clown, plus the gobies--that's all at present.
I have a 90g FOWLR + a green star polyp and several turbo snails. My parameters
are: ammonia, nitrites and nitrates 0, ph 8.2, salinity 1.25, temp. 79.5.
I do a 5% water change twice a week, and the tank looks great. I have a sump, protein skimmer in sump, and two power heads in the tank. The only thing that happened differently yesterday was that I took out the power heads to clean them, and the oldest one wouldn't start again. I went to our LFS and bought
another one (Koralia 850) and installed it. This morning when I removed the dead angel, the magnet and propeller from the old power head had accidentally dropped into the tank (the old model of Koralias had a tendency to fly apart when first plugged in; the new one doesn't do that). The magnet was a couple
inches from the dead fish. Would that have killed him?
<No, not likely at all>
If so, why are the other fish hiding?
<Perhaps related to the Centropyge death, decomposition>
I do remember that last night the Valenciennea puellis was breathing hard, sort of gasping, and didn't fix up his usual night-time cave.
He hid under another rock instead.
I am completely at a loss for what to do. I am afraid to add anything new to the tank, unless the magnet was indeed the culprit. Please let me know your thoughts on this. And thanks once again---I'd be lost without your advice.
<I would place some "good" quality chemical filtrant... Chemi-pure or equivalent, in your water/flow path... and stay observant. Bob Fenner>

flame angel diseases, Importer   4/7/10
I wholesale fish in Hawaii and receive Christmas island fish on a regular basis. It seems that every other shipment or so, the flame angel come in very poorly. they will turn white in the face, lose color, and literally die within hours. If I see it happening I do 100% water change and dose with a high concentrate of nitro Furazone...
Do you know or have any suggestions as to what it may be? I heard it was from collection/decompression issues, but there has to be something I can do on my end.
Thank you for your time.
<Have had a few conversations re this... issue of mortality of Flames... Other than "chatting" with/through your suppliers re improving conditions on their receiving end... Supplying better (i.e. larger "holding cups", with more holes, asking the collectors to do FIFO (first in, first out) shipping of their stock... there's not much more that I can suggest. I know of folks trying bubbling straight dissolved oxygen into acclimated arrivals... Oh, I should check/state that on arrival, all need to be met w/ pH-adjusted (some folks use dilute HCl, others CO2...) new water that matches the shipping... to flush out nitrogenous wastes... Please see here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/acclimat.htm
the second half. Bob Fenner>
Re: flame angel diseases  4/7/10
hi bob,
thank you for the quick response. I will improve acclimation techniques and increase the holes in my cups to start. I appreciate the help.
Thank you!
<Am glad to do what I can to assist your efforts. BobF>

Flame angel and clown fish parasite question, reading re ID and more   3/26/10
Hi to everyone! Chris K here (again)
<Howdy Chris>
It seems that I have been writing to you alot <no such word> lately and I do apologize for the bother.
<Not a bother. We are here to help (and inspire) you and other petfish friends and soon to be friends>
A few days ago I noticed what I believe to be some sort of gill fluke?
(parasite anyway) attached to my flame angels gill.
<Really? Can you take a well-resolved image of what you're observing and send it along?>
The flame is eating and acting normal. So I have been waiting a few days to see if my skunk cleaner shrimp or neon gobies would help. This fish is not a new fish, I have added no new fish to the aquarium recently, however I did add a few new corals just before I noticed the critter - its never been a problem before so I wonder if the new coral could be the cause.
The critter appears to be black with what looks like a white tail.
<Mmm, could be a few things... perhaps a parasitic Copepod of some sort>
Today I notice another one on his other side.
I am wondering what if anything I should do at this point- because I don't think the cleaner shrimp is handling the situation very well.
<May be too big, distasteful for its removal>
The flame is still colorful, active and eating like a pig. I would like your advice on the best thing to do at this point - because I am pretty sure its going to involve tearing my tank down to catch the little darling.
<I would be reading re the identification of crustacean parasites, perhaps worms as well... and their treatment. If this "tail" is a reproductive process... you may well have many more of these soon>
Also my ocellaris clowns seem to have an interesting symptom. I have noticed that they poop white - but not the long stringy stuff that I would normally associate with a parasite infection, but rather an "explosion" of many (a shocking amount to me) of - shorter stringy white things that look like tiny worms. The "worms" don't appear to be alive, but with the movement of the water who can tell? The clowns seem to be acting quite normal as well.
<A good opportunity re the "Worm parasite" reading again...>
I appreciate any help you can give. Thanking you in advance! Chris K
<Posted. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm
scroll down to the specified trays, read. Bob Fenner>

Re: Flame angel and clown fish parasite question   3/26/10
Oh thank goodness - Bob I do so much appreciate your response. I have attached two of the best photos that I could get - they are a little blurry - I am going to work on getting a clearer shot - I think you are able to notice the black spot with the white tail hanging off his gill near his front fin in both the photos. (another one smaller one forming on the other side, but too small to get a picture)
<I can barely make this out>
I managed to catch him and give him a fresh water dip - but the thing did not fall off. I am floating him in my aquarium right now, while I get a QT tank set up - do you have any suggestions based on the photos?
Chris k
<Yes... an organophosphate... per where you were prev. referred for Crustacean parasites. BobF>

Re: Flame angel and clown fish parasite question 3/26/10   3/29/10
<Hi Bob, Could it be that the querior mistook the flame angels natural gill "spikes" as a parasites?>
<could also explain why it is forming on both sides ;-)>
<There are indeed processes, likely branchiostegals... that can be viewed looking in toward fish's gills behind the head... BobF>

Re: Flame angel and clown fish parasite question   4/2/10
Bob -
I think I may have made a mistake regarding the parasite question on my flame angelfish. Unfortunately, I still can not get a decent picture of him.
Perhaps by good fortune, I have not been able to catch him yet either - as he cleverly avoids the fish trap.
<Smart fish>
I did, however begin to look closely at internet photos of flame angels to study some small details and have attached a photo of another flame angel, I have highlighted a piece of the fish - I believe its some sort of small
fin or part of the gill and I wish to know what that particular appendage is called.
<Preopercular spine... a salient characteristic of the family... Angels, Pomacanthidae. Used for defense mostly:
In the attached photo that particular "fin" is the same color as the fish so it goes relatively unnoticed.
<Mmm, yes... and a note: this process gets damaged, torn quite easily... Often in the process of netting... with some decomposition showing about the area while tissue regrows over>
However, what I believed was a parasite on my fish I now believe was actually this little fin changing color - first from white - now to black - on both sides. Does that indicate some sort of problem, damage or dying tissue?
<Damage and repair>
Is it even anything to be concerned about?
<It is not>
Have you ever heard of such a thing?
<Oh yes. This is quite common. If you handle a few (I've done thousands) of these fishes, you will get poked (Owch!) a few times, sacrifice quite a few nets in time. The area grows over in time, with good care>
In the meantime I am trying to get a decent photo of MY fish to you.
Thank you,
Chris K
<Certainly welcome. BobF>
Re: Flame angel and clown fish parasite question   4/2/10
I am so relieved! I do hope it is not damaged due to any sort of aggression in my tank - haven't noticed anything, but I'll keep a close eye!! Thanks again Bob - I am, as always so appreciative of you and your crew! Best regards to all!!! Chris K
<And you Chris. B>

Help For My Flame Angel 3/9/10
I just checked on my Flame Angel I have in my 10 Gal QT and he is on his side.
<Oh, not good.>
I just checked the water and parameters are PH:8.2, Ammonia: 0 Nitrite: 0.1. What to do? I will change some water... how much? Or would it be better to put in DT. He has been in QT for almost 2 weeks (no signs of disease) Up to this morning he has been eating and nibbling on a piece of live rock in the QT with him. I know the nitrite is a factor but could it also be the quarantine tank is to small and stressing him out. The angel is approximately 2" long.
<If it were mine, with no disease apparent as you mention, it would be going into my display tank pronto. Flame Angels require extremely good water quality and room to roam and is very likely the small volume of water he is in has declined in quality and obviously not to his liking.
The lack of security retreats just adds to the stress level. Has this fish been eating nutritious foods, or just picking at the live rock and refusing prepared foods? Now, what I meant by "pronto" is not to say throw him in, the drip acclimation process will be necessary to avoid further shock/stress. However you go about this, do avoid exposing the fish to bright lighting.>
Thanks in advance.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Help For My Flame Angel 3/10/10
Thanks for the quick response.
<You're welcome, Ian.>
I drip acclimatized him and put him the display tank, however, he is still looking very bad and on his side. Any
idea how long it will take before I see an improvement.
<Mmm, I was hoping the move into a larger system with stable parameters might have given it a spark.
Not looking too good at this stage but let's hope for a turnaround.
Without knowing what type of filtration you employed in the QT, it is likely this fish may have poisoned itself in the small volume of water it was provided with.>
With regards to feeding, I fed once a day switching from Mysis, brine and pellets. And each one he ate with gusto.
Thanks again,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Flame Angel/Angel Disease 2/9/10
Good day Crew!
<Hello Martha>
I read on here that Flame (dwarf) angels usually come in with at least the beginnings of ich/velvet causing parasites, so a dipping and QT are recommended. My question today is, after the FW dipping and QT, how hardy are they in terms of being susceptible to those parasites or other diseases afterwards?
<Much will depend on tank size, good nutrition, water quality, and last but not least, selection.>
Are they aggressive towards butterflies?
<Generally, no, unless placed in crowded systems and, more than I have the time to say can be read here and related articles/FAQ's
Thanks as always for your insight.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Flame Angel's Sudden Death/Centropyge Health 12/10/09
Hi everyone
<Hello Michelle>
I was hoping maybe one (or more) of you could help me out.
<Will try.>
I have a 75 gallon FOWLR setup going for three months now. I just recently added a Flame Angel and three days later he died. My levels seem to be good with zero of ammonia and nitrite, and 30 of nitrate along with around
8-8.1pH. The water has A LOT of circulation along with aeration and about 50lbs. of live rock. I noticed that this flame was unbelievably healthy at the store and then seemed to become sluggish after a day in my tank. He was breathing VERY heavy for the last two days before he died (what is the cause of this?). Do I have parasites that aren't causing any white spots?
I do have a UV running to at least help with the parasite potential. The only other thing I was thinking was that my salt level was about .012 when I added him. I was had the salt low to help fight off some ich a few months back. I did acclimate him very slowly for about 2.5 hours upon arrival to my display tank. Could the rapid breathing be caused by shock from major salinity differences from the fish store tank to mine? Your feedback would be of great assistance. Along with telling me what I did wrong and/or what I could have done different, please answer my questions (along with possible reasons as to why this fish may have been acting in such a manner) also if you could.
<First off, your tank is too "young" to introduce a Flame Angel.
Secondly, they appreciate pristine water quality, and with a nitrate level of 30ppm in a young tank, something here is amiss. A protein skimmer is a must in marine systems and you did not mention the use of one. Skimmers are a great boon in increasing water quality by removing excess nutrients thereby lowering nitrate levels. Environmental stress is likely what caused the death of your Flame Angel and the large change in salinity over a short period of time just added to the problem. Under stress, these angel species are highly susceptible to Brooklynella and Oodinium infections, and it is possible the later may have occurred. Did you notice any tan to blackish small dusty dots on the fish?>
Thanks a bunch,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Flame Angel's Sudden Death/Centropyge Health 12/12/09

No, no black or white spots at all. If I had velvet wouldn't my other fish have it too?
<Not necessarily.><<RMF strongly disagrees. All fishes would very likely be infested>>
And you think it's a possibility that the heavy breathing was caused by salinity changes and/or nitrates, or do you think it's most likely a parasite?
<The lowered salinity was likely the onset of environmental stress.>
And wouldn't the UV help a little bit with it, if it indeed was?
I am using a canister filter with bio balls and ceramic rings along with a sand substrate. Should I change any of this to minimize nitrates or can I leave it all alone and just purchase a protein skimmer?
<If you have a good deal of live rock, I'd remove portions of the bio balls and ceramic rings. They can promote nitrates because of their efficiency at denitrification.>
And if so, which skimmer do you recommend for a 90gal that is affordable? I don't want to spend much more than $100.
<That's a tough one there especially since it has to be a hang-on type. If I were on a budget, I'd likely go with the CPR Cyclone BAK-PAK"¢ 2R+.
See here. http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=CPR-2R&Category_Code=Bakpak.
 You may want to pose the skimmer question on one or more of the bulletin boards, will see other folks opinions on skimmers in this price range. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Flame Angel's Sudden Death/Centropyge Health 12/12/09

Thanks James.
<You're welcome, Michelle.>
I have a little over 50lbs. of live rock in my 90, is that sufficient enough to take out some bio balls and rings?
<Yes, when you clean your filter every week, remove 25% of them. Also would help by adding another 20 pounds
of live rock. James (Salty Dog)> 
Re Flame Angel's Sudden Death/Centropyge Health 1/10/10

Hey guys,
I forwarded this previous email so you would have an idea of what my situation is/was.
<Is appreciated.>
At this point in time, since almost every remedy for parasites failed, I will have to let my tank "go fallow". I discovered through research and everyone's' help here at WWM.com, that I do in fact have a very aggressive strain of Velvet in my tank. All of my fish are on their way out and the ones that are living through it I will take to the local pet store. My question is: Which number of weeks do you think is necessary to eradicate this parasite from my tank, 6 or 8? I want to be absolutely SURE that the life cycle of this parasite is over and finished before adding anymore fish. Is 8 weeks even long enough or shall I wait longer? And is this "fallow" remedy enough to completely eradicate the parasite from my tank considering there are no hosts for it?
<Six to eight weeks is recommended. I've seen an article where this process could be sped up (2 weeks) by elevating the temperature to 95 degrees,
but I would play it safe and go 8 weeks.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Flame Angel's Sudden Death/Centropyge Health 1/10/10
Ok thanks James, but will this 8 week period eradicate the parasite from my system considering there are no hosts?
<As Mr. Fenner states in his article, "None of these is 100% effective in eradicating Amyloodinium from a system."
Read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm James (Salty Dog)>
Re Flame Angel's Sudden Death/Centropyge Health 1/11/10

Hey, something I forgot to ask.......won't the 55lbs. worth of live rock in my tank act as a host for the Velvet? Or is it fish only? I plan on leaving my live rock and sand bed in there, will this be ok through the fallow period or will it decrease my chances of eradicating the parasite?
<No, the parasites will require the fish to survive through another complete cycle. Leaving your rock and sand bed will not only be fine, but likely be optimal.>
<Glad to help! -JustinN> 

Fluffy white on Flame 8/1/09
Could you ID this disease? I know the pic is blurry.
<Likely the viral-mediated complaint Lymphocystis... read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Sudden Flame Angel Illness... Mmm, more like long-term stress, env.    3/20/09
Dear WWM Crew-
I have searched the site and have found mostly info relating to newly introduced flame angels.
My dwarf flame angel has been in my live reef tank (30g)
<Too small...>
for 1 yr and 3 months. The tank has been established with no problems (outside of some algae outbreaks) for 2 years. My param.s are normal
and I do 10% water changes every 10 days. My dwarf flame has always been vibrant, active, an enthusiastic eater (pellets and vitamin soaked mysis but would never eat algae) and has never shown any signs of illness or aggressiveness with tank mates. There is a low bio load in my tank as I have a true
percula, bare bottom and various polyps, xenia, T. maxima, and a clean up crew. Suddenly this morning I woke to find him lying on his side on the bottom breathing rapidly. Occasionally he will try to swim around
but always winds up back on the bottom on his side. He appeared perfectly normal last night. I do not have a quarantine tank, as it recently cracked and fear I do not have time to get one established.
<Could just move some water from the 30...>
I should mention that recently, 4 weeks ago, I had a 6-line wrasse suddenly die.
<Yes you should mention>
I found him dead one morning. He, as opposed to the flame, had not been interested in eating for 2 days prior to suddenly dying, but also did not show any other signs of illness. Thank you so much in advance for any advice!
<Mmm... likely "just" cumulative stress, water issues with the presence/release of materials of the Pulsing coral, Clavulariids in this too-change-able small volume. Bob Fenner>

Flame angel with ich, 8/27/08 Hi, I recently purchased a flame angel. <Hello> Within a few days of being in my quarantine tank he started developing white spots on his fins. <Glad you QTed I bet.> I read that angels are sensitive to copper so I decided to try hyposalinity. <Not as sensitive as some others, chelated copper is often tolerated and effective. otherwise I might try quinine here.> I have had the salinity at 1.012 for four days and been giving him daily freshwater dips for 5-8 minutes. <This is not low enough, 1.009 is where you need to be, and you need to be accurate, use a refractometer.> After the first dips the ich seemed to disappear only to come back with a vengeance two days later. <Typical of the Ich parasite.> He now has many white spots on his body as well as his fins. He is still eating well, doesn't scratch against anything, but he does seem irritated and a little jumpy. <Probably uncomfortable.> Should I start treating with copper and slowly raise the salinity? <I would, but make sure to use chelated copper.> I worry about waiting too long before trying something else because the last fish I had that got the ich died because I started treating him with copper a day after he stopped eating. <Quick action does help, but so does a good plan. Daily water changes and siphoning of the bottom of the tank will help reduce the number of parasites until a proper copper treatment can begin.> The ich went away but he never ate again. I also worry that if the hyposalinity starts working it won't completely kill off the ich and the angel will carry it to my main tank. Thanks, Brendon <If done correctly hypo should work, but it is more difficult than it seems due to the small window of effectiveness, too low and the fish suffers, too high and the ich keeps on going. I would use a chelated copper here.> <Chris>

Re: Gas Bubble Disease? -- 07/10/08 Hi Crew, Still having my troubles with my pesky flame angel. (1) At first he had a clear bubble above his eye after being in the quarantine tank for two days, however, just like Bob predicted the bubble eventually subsided 4 days later <Ah, good> (2) Everything had been going great with the fish for the next 2 weeks. (No signs of any illness and fish was eating was eating like a little piggy.) However, last week (approx. 3 weeks after being in quarantine) the fish began a hunger strike, refusing interest in all food. (He had been eating everything (pellets, frozen food, flakes) and picking at the walls of the aquarium, filter, heater, and PVC stop) <Perhaps just the quarantine> After a couple of days, and after reading similar prob.s on your website, I decided to place a piece of live rock from my display tank in the quarantine tank to see if he would pick off the live rock. <Good> At this time The fish still showed no signs of any illness (i.e. no fin rot, no spots, no clamped fins, etc..) - only refused to eat. The fish has been in quarantine for almost 4 weeks now, and still has not returned to eating. However, i have noticed now that his gills have become paler and are contracting faster. He still swims around normal and appears not be struggling. (However, Every once and awhile it will appear as though he tries to scratch his eye on pvc piping). <I would move this fish to a larger, well-established setting...> Now my predicament, I'm not sure what, if anything, is wrong with the fish. I would like to treat him if something is wrong with him. Please advise as what treatment might be necessary. <Mmm, not> Also i am very confused on what to do with the live rock in the quarantine. I don't want to treat the QT with meds that will kill the live rock, but am wary of placing the rock back into the display tank because of the new issues with the Flame Angel. Please Help. Lastly, i was considering doing a bath and/or dip with ParaGuard. <? What for?> However, the directions on the bottle do not indicate whether it is to be a FW or saltwater dip/bath. <Can be used for either> My QT is 20 gallon long A Marineland emperor 280 power filter heater PVC pipes Heater ph: 8.2 ammonia: 0 nitrite: 0 nitrate:0-5 Thanks for all your help <Move this fish; it's "problem" is environmental. Bob Fenner>
Re: Gas Bubble Disease? 7/10/08 Thank you for all your comments Bob, Unfortunately. I was too late, when i came home from work i found the flame half a live being sucked into the power filters tube. I turned off the filter, and the flame proceeded to try and swim and eventually fell to the bottom of the tank lying and gasping for air. He looked in bad shape, i had no choice but to euthanize him. I am saddened by the lost, but still wanted to thank you for all your help and comments, <Ahhh! Sorry for the loss. B>

Flame Angel and Fin Rot 05/2/2008 Clear Day, Hello.. Just found this site, I cannot wait to read more. I have a question for you all. <<Sounds good, fire at will>> I have a 39 gallon "eclipse" aquarium. I have used it as a saltwater tank the last 4 years. I have 3 clown fish, 2 hermit crabs, and just bought (3 weeks ago) a flame angel and a yellow lighthouse goby. All is well, everyone eats the frozen shrimp and the frozen angel food when I put it in the tank which has been about 1 cube 4 times a week. I also sprinkle in some flake food that everyone eats as well. I bought an algae clip but they show very very little interest in it? <<Does not surprise me, as the algae clip itself probably would not taste very nice.....bum bum....sorry, British humor there. Seriously, the fish you have are more of a meat eating range of fish for their diet>> I have good salinity and PH. The ammonia is almost non-existent. BUT here is the problem... The Flame Angel is showing evidence of tail rot as well as his right body fin is looking a little rotted too. Today I noticed that his tail fin is starting to show rot too. He still swims ok, and eats but I know this cannot be good. What medicine can I safely put into the tank to treat him? Also, no one else (so-far) shows signs of rot... Thanks again.. <<I would give this fish a FW dip in pH adjusted water and return to the tank. Please read here on dips/baths http://wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm and linked articles and FAQ's for thoughts and logic.>> Scott <<Thanks for the questions Scott, hope this helps. A Nixon>> <RMF would move this fish to larger quarters, with lots of live rock...>

Flame Angel will not eat while being treated... coppered  3/1/08 Hi guys, I bought a flame angel fish and placed him in my 10 gallon quarantine tank. He was doing well and eating every type of frozen meaty foods that I fed him in addition to eating algae from a clip that I put in the tank daily. He was eating voraciously for over a week and now unfortunately he has come down with a case of Ich. I am treating the tank with Copper but now he has stopped eating. He hasn't eaten for 3 days and he seems to be hanging in with the copper treatment but I'm afraid he'll die from starvation while I am trying to cure the Ich. Do you have any advice for how I can get him to eat? I have tried putting some food in the tank but he just lets it float by and does not go after it like he did before. I'd hate to lose this fish! Any advice you could offer would be much appreciated! Thanks, Lynne <The copper... is mal-affecting this fish... causes it to go off-feed... I would NOT pre-emptorily copper Centropyge, Angels period... See WWM re Copper use, poisoning... I would summarily dip/bath and move this Flame to the main/display tank. Bob Fenner>

My flame angel seems to have fin rot/tail rot and the sides of his body is looking a bit whitish. Using WWM  3/1/08 I can't catch him to get him out the tank and into a QT. I have other fish in the tank, live rock (he keeps hiding in it of course) and some soft corals. mostly mushrooms and Zoanthids.. I know I really need to get him out of the tank but really don't seem to be able to do so. My question: If I have to treat the whole tank with Maracyn Two what will it do to the corals and live rock? <Mmm, don't want to put antibiotics in your main display, no> I keep seeing that it doesn't harm inverts but that's all I've seen except that you really should try a QT. Thanks so much - Kelly <.... read: http://wetwebmedia.com/mardisindex.htm Part. the areas on Antibiotic, Antimicrobial use. RMF>

Flame Angel QT question 02/220/2008 Hi guys, <<Hello, Andrew here>> I just purchased a Flame Angel for my 55 gallon tank w/invertebrates and tons of live rock. The tank's been up and running for 4 years and this fish is the last one I plan to add to the tank already inhabited by an ocellaris clownfish, royal Gramma and a Sixline wrasse. <<Ok, sounds good>> I have a ten gallon QT with live rock in it and usually keep my new arrivals in it for a full month before I transfer them into my main tank. <<I would remove the live rock from the quarantine tank as this has the capacity to harbour parasites and could be passed along to other fish added to the quarantine tank>> Since the flame angelfish is my largest fish and likes more space, what time frame do you recommend I keep it in my QT before transfer? So far it is eating well and is swimming normally. <<Sounds great. Stick to your one month routine, this is an adequate amount of time, and recommended, for quarantining fish>> Thanks for your advice. Lynne <<Thanks for the questions. Hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Sick Flame Angel, no useful info.... Not following directions in writing us  -- 02/07/08 I bought a Flame Angel 1 1/2 weeks ago. After 1 week in a QT he started to develop what looked like some small white blotches on the transparent parts of his tail and fins. Small at first and getting larger after a few days. <Mmm, may be just/simple residual effect from capture, handling...> He now has a covering over his eyes and they look like they may be bulging out slightly but it may be the fungus covering them. His color has also faded. I contacted the dealer I purchased him from when I first noticed the blotches and he thought it may be Ick. It did not look like any examples of Ick I could find. It appeared more like a fungus to me. I contacted another dealer who agreed that it was probably a fungus. I have been treating him with an antibiotic for 4 days, Maracyn 2, <Do watch your nitrification...> and although he is still active he is not feeding and is not improving any. I have done 2 water changes and checked the water daily and all the readings are good. <...? Of no use... need data> Any help you may be able to give me will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance Shawn <... Okay... read on WWM re Crypt, Centropyge loricula... Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm http://wetwebmedia.com/flameangdisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Flame Angel eating problems  - 1/24/08 Hi Bob and gang, <Joe> I'm concerned about a Flame Angel that I purchased about a month ago. I checked some of the articles on the web site, but I couldn't find one that fit my exact situation. I have a 135 G Reef tank (other fish, all in the tank over a year, 3 Percula Clowns, Yellow Tang, Hippo Tang, Gramma & Coral Beauty) with about 100 lbs of live rock. When the Flame was introduced about a month ago he adapted quickly, almost immediately grazing the rocks and showing no outward signs of stress. There also was no real aggressive behavior from the other tank mates (including the Coral Beauty). With in a week the Flame was starting to eat some of the frozen brine shrimp (I usually add Vita-Chem and garlic) and Spirulina flake food. A week later he was aggressively going after food I put in the tank. It was all good. Unfortunately, I've noticed some recent changes. The Flame has stopped grazing the rock and appears to have what can only be described as swollen lips. <Mmmm, not good> He also seems to have his mouth constantly open. <Very bad> The odd thing is that he still aggressively comes to the surface for food (like the frozen brine shrimp), but I noticed he'll then swim off and spit it all out? Any clue as to why this would be happening? Is it a sign of a certain disease? I'll admit, the Flame Angel is one of my favorite fish, but did you ever have that one fish that you never seem to have much success with? For me that's been the Flame Angel. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks, Joe <This Loricula was very likely damaged in collection, holding, shipping... not uncommon with ones from the Marshalls... Its prognosis is dim. Don't know much else to state that is pertinent, useful... Maybe contact your dealer so they can in turn notify folks (not likely) "up the line"... Not likely "something catching" here... Bob Fenner>
Re: Flame Angel eating problems - 1/24/08
Thanks Bob. That's kind of what I suspected, but wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. <Am sorry to not be able to offer more... compassion, reason/input to save this animal... I wish there was a simple/r means of making known what little I have experienced re this species... Suffice it to state that I have collected it myself in a few countries... and know of its history in our interest quite well... BobF>  

Parasite Identification... Flame angel... perhaps env.  12/10/07 We are very new to marine aquariums, we started up our first tank 3 months ago and have found lots of very useful information on your site! First off our water perimeters: <parameters> Ammonia-0, Nitrite-0, Nitrate-around 20, <Borderline high> KH-9, SG-1.025 We haven't had any problems so far until today when we noticed our flame dwarf angelfish has a visible raised white spot near her tail fin. <I see this> She has been in the tank for two weeks now and is eating well, behaving normally (as far as we know), she is not itching at all and is very active all day swimming around the tank, breathing seems normal. We have attached a photo, maybe that will help, the slight white patch you see above the anal fin is just a reflection of light, the only patch on the fish is the big one at the top of the base of the tail fin. We do not have a quarantine tank, as we live in a very small apartment in Amsterdam and don't have any space but we recently got a 15 gallon tank that we were planning to turn into a refugium today but maybe we could turn that into a hospital tank if necessary?? Do you think we need to treat our fish immediately? <Mmm, I would not. I would go ahead and add this tank as a/the refugium though> And what with? Freshwater dip? We have invertebrates in the tank (shrimp, crabs, feather dusters, cocoa worms) and don't want to harm them by using any copper based medication in the main tank. We have searched on the web for identification and cant find clear information or a definite identification. What do you recommend we do? Thanks for any help you can give us, much appreciated!!! Jess P.S. Your website is amazing, thank you guys for getting us this far!! <This mark does not appear to be pathogenic-derived... Perhaps is resultant from a physical injury some weeks prior... very common. If it were me, mine, I would strive to improve the environment (e.g. eliminate the NO3) via the refugium... mud/sand, macroalgae culture, DSB there. This spot will clear in time with improvement of the system. Bob Fenner>

Flame Angel with Damaged Fins Mystery 10/27/07 Greetings, <Salutations> I recently purchased a flame angelfish from an on-line retailer that I had good luck with before. However, the fish arrived with pectoral fins about half the size they should be for this sized fish (about 3.5" long). <Interesting... genetic? Damage?> The fins also have a very slight black line at their edge. <Mmm, some of this can be natural... Centropyge loricula do have some black edging in some "races"... geographic difference...> I thought at first this could be formalin burn as I have seen this with flame angels exposed to formalin. <Mmm, possibly> I called the retailer and they assured me that formalin is not used on any fish. I have no reason to doubt them as they have been very straightforward in the past. They also stated that the fish looked fine when it left their facility. I next thought ammonia burn, but after checking the water in the shipping bag it had very little ammonia (about .25 ppm, pH 7.6). <And the shortened pecs would not occur to be burnt back this much, this quickly... without the demise of the animal assuredly> The fins are relatively smooth at the edge, just really short. <Again... perhaps a heritable characteristic. Happens> I am thinking the fish arrived at the retailer in this condition and they just didn't notice. <Likely so> In any event, the fish is acclimating well, eating on the second day in quarantine. However, I am concerned about possible ammonia exposure previously that could lead to this fish declining later on. <Such damage should be adjusted for within weeks... Like ourselves, fishes regenerate blood cells quite regularly, quickly... Other ancillary challenges are made up for about as rapidly> Given the effort and time required for quarantining a fish, I don't want to start with a fish that is doomed down the road. What are your thoughts? Will the fins ever grow back to normal size. <Mmm, not if genetically determined, no> What should I lookout for? <General health, good behavior... I would not be overly concerned, and don't consider this specimen "doomed", if as you state it appears to be acclimating well... I would just "chalk up" the small paired fins and enjoy this fish> Thanks Much, Greg <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Flame Angel Scratching... English???   9/1/07 I've had a flame angel in a bare bottom quarantine tank for about a week.? <? I don't know, have you?> Tank parameters OK, ammonia 0, nitrite 0.1 (watching to go down to 0), nitrate 10-15 ppm, pH 8.2 (has dropped as low as 7.9).? Fish is doing well and eating.? <What is with the ? marks?> However, occasionally fish will scratch on objects using corner of mouth, not gill plates or sides.? Fish will shake and shudder right after scratching and then continue on normally.? Happens about once an hour.? No rapid breathing.? Did not do this for first 5 days.? I've been treating with 0.5 ppm Cupramine <Too high if this is free cupric ion being measured, and the cause of the odd behavior here...> for one week as prophylactic (I know this is controversial), no signs of Cryptocaryon at all.? Started treatment with Metronidazole and Praziquantel for other possible gill/skin parasites.? Seems to have helped, but fish is still scratching on corner of mouth less frequently.? Nothing visible in that area.? Any suggestions?? Do I keep in quarantine until all scratching stopped.? What if scratching doesn't stop, but fish seems fine otherwise after two weeks of quarantine?? Don't want to lose this fish as it is a large specimen with great coloration. Thanks Greg <I can't figure out what you are getting at. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/loricula.htm and the linked files above. BobF>
Re: Flame Angel Scratching. Source of ???   9/4/07
Well, I'm not exactly sure what happened.? <Greg, are you keying all these question marks? Is this just artifactual... an element of our software?> I didn't type any extra question marks, must have been changed by e-mail program.? <Oh! Thank you for this... Yes... some other ghost/s in da mahcheen> In any event, the flame angel has passed on.? I followed every instruction to the letter, but whatever parasite it was, Cupramine had no affect on it whatsoever.? <Mmm...> I kept the dose at 0.5 ppm exactly as Seachem instructs, but 10 days into quarantine the fish's scratching became very frequent along with increased respiration.? Also, fish began bobbing head at surface and opening gills over air bubbles from airstone.? Water parameters were all OK.? No visible signs of parasites were ever apparent.? No white dots, fuzz, etc...? Fish looked perfectly healthy and was eating, but exhibited constant scratching and rapid breathing.? If it was Brooklynella, how are you suppose to treat that without using formalin, since formalin is toxic and will kill the fish also.? <Immersion baths are best... see WWM re both the protozoan and formalin> This was my first attempt to get a fish through quarantine, didn't make it past 10 days.? Just about ready to throw in the towel on the hobby.? It's no fun watching fish refuse to eat, get sick, and die.? Any idea what this could have been?? Do I need to dump the quarantine tank and start over? <Yes... I would likely not treat a fish simply for scratching, nor for apparent spots... unless sure of a diagnosis... Isolation solamente... BobF> Thanks, Greg
Re: Flame Angel Scratching... ???????? 9/5/07
Bob, <Greg> Well here's another lesson learned.? As I wrote previously, I had a flame angel that was doing fine in quarantine for about 10 days with Cupramine at 0.5 ppm, then started scratching on objects, breathing heavy, opening gills over bubbles, and constantly bobbing head above water.? I was sure it was some form of a parasite that copper was not affecting.? So I tried a formalin bath (30 minutes at a 250 ppm dose, 1 ml/gal).? Turns out this was way to <too> high dose (even though I read everywhere that this was the dose for a short formalin bath).? Fish never recovered and simply laid down on the tank bottom after returning to QT.? I must say that stuff is toxic.? <Oh yes... a powerful biocide... kills all life... crosslinks peptides... Why it's used to preserve dead humans, fishes even...> I didn't think a low dose of 1 drop per gallon would be effective during a 30 minute bath, hence the lethal 1 ml/gallon dose.? I know? better from now on.? Now on to the next hard learned lesson.? After placing a coral beauty in the same QT tank, the fish began doing the exact same things as the flame angel had (bobbing head above water, etc...).? So on the off chance it was something wrong with the water, I began heavy carbon filtration.? Within hours, the fish began acting normally and is now picking at some Nori constantly.? Is it possible the Cupramine was irritating the fish's gills causing the erratic behavior?? <Yes... as previously stated...> I did up the concentration to about .7 ppm for a few days (SeaChem says no more than 0.8 ppm) trying to eradicate this "phantom" parasite that I never saw.? Also, ammonia stayed at 0 per a Seachem ammonia alert? monitor the whole time, but nitrites did increase to 1.0 ppm at times, not sure why.? <You're joking... posted on WWM> Is the Seachem ammonia alert? monitor reliable? <Not IMO> If so, could the increased nitrites have caused the erratic behavior?? <Could> I'm really not sure what caused the problem, but would like to know so I can avoid the same problem in the future.? <Knowledge... by reading likely> Lastly, I have a lemon peel angel that was exposed to the same high levels of Cupramine and nitrites.? He initially was picking at things in the QT tank, but then stopped and just swam around for a few days.? After carbon filtration he is now swimming around much more, but has yet to start picking at things again.? If he was affected by the Cupramine or nitrites, will he recover if water conditions are improved?? Or is there permanent damage that will cause him to not eat again.? This has to be the biggest lemon peel angel I have seen (around 5") and I really want to be able to keep this fish.? I ordered it on-line and never expected a fish that big.? Sorry for the rambling, but it's been a challenge and I am wondering if there is hope for full recovery from all the mistakes I made.? I feel just awful about the flame angel's demise due to my ignorance.? I just thought I had a resistant case of Amyloodinium with the scratching, rapid breathing, etc...? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. <Read> Thanks, Greg <Have just skipped down. Please check your settings for your email... You're the only person who sends us queries with??? BobF>

Ongoing Flame Angel problems... iatrogenic   8/3/07 Hi WWM crew! You've been a most invaluable resource for me for several years now and I have tried to refrain from bothering you on this one, but I am at the end of my rope here. I know you're going to fuss at me but I'm ready to take it. I've searched your FAQ's for answers and have an idea but I don't want to do anything to make this situation worse. I have a 39 gallon <Too small for this species> FOWLR, one huge feather duster that came with LR purchased about 3 years ago, 2 turbo snails, 1 yellow tail blue damsel, 1 percula clown and a bicolor Dottyback. <Likely a problematical mis-mix here> I purchased a flame angel on June 23rd, and he/she/it came down with Popeye after 3 weeks. I assumed (I know, I know) it was an injury because it was only one eye but I panicked and got some blue medicine <?> from my fish store and treated it for an hour for 3 consecutive days in a (sorry) 2 gallon bucket of water from the main tank. The guy at the store checked my water and determined that it was fine. He didn't have the medicine to sell me but gave me some from their stash in the back of the store. So I'm not sure what it was but Anyway, it cleared up for about 2 weeks, and guess what it came back, popped and left again and now is back with a vengeance in both eyes. <Something amiss with the environment... too small, the Dottyback...> I fear this angel is a goner. It hasn't eaten anything for 2 days now. I have been feeding a combination of flake and frozen with VitaChem drops added, have been doing 4 gallon water changes every week. ( I went on vacation changed the water before I left but I'm sure my niece over fed them so I changed it again when I got home) I was wondering about getting furazdidone/Nitrofurazone comb. and get her in some type of quarantine and treat her. Marina (?) in one of her answers suggested a new plastic tub with a sponge filter and heater to use as an emergency. Yes, the next 60.00 I spend will be on a quarantine tank you can believe that. I guess you guys get sick of giving advice and people not taking it huh? <At times...> If this angel dies I'm giving up school nursing and moving to Fiji. <Oh! See you t/here. Bula!> Thank you in advance, Sue <Please read on WWM re: http://wetwebmedia.com/popeyefaqs.htm and the linked files above. This fish should be moved to more suitable quarters... sans the Pseudochromid. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flame... Angel demise 8/4/07
Thanks Bob for responding. Unfortunately, my beautiful flame angel died and I feel terrible about it. I was wondering what size tank is suitable for them, and if keeping a Dottyback in the same tank is advisable. <Posted and not if the system isn't large enough...> I didn't think that Dottyback was the culprit but looking back it did get near and hang around the angel a lot. The clown is about the same size as the angel was and didn't take kindly the angel hanging in her corner. There are only 3 fish in my tank and I thought there was enough room. <Ah, no> I've learned a hard lesson. Crying hasn't helped. Do you think they need any school nurses in Fiji? <Oh yes... and Hawai'i, and most everywhere else!> Thanks for your help in all. You guys are wonderful. Sue <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/Centropyge/loricula.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Flame Angel Emergency?   7/17/07 Hi Crew, Hate to bother, I am trying to read to find the answer to this but as I sit here reading my Flame Angel is appearing to get worse. He is 5 days old in quarantine with a skunk cleaner I bought just to put in there with him. The tank is a 10g with a sponge filter, heater, one power head a piece of live rock I put in there with some algae for him to graze. He seemed to enjoy picking at the rock work and sponge and stuff more than interest in food, Although he has eaten bits of food as well. Well I got home tonight and he was in the bottom of the tank and spun around really hard against the bottom of the tank. Seems to only want to swim backwards. There is no discoloration I can see, no spots... now has himself suspended upside down against the outflow of the powerhead. His fins do not appear ragged but raised. Salinity is 1.26 (to high?) <Perhaps you mean 1.026... This would be fine> ph 8.2 dKH was at 12 nitrates, ammonia and nitrites all 0. Water change was done tonight quickly after noticing his behavior. Was acting like the current of the water is what is moving him about so I turned off the powerhead, breathing does seem to be faster than normal. Any help ASAP would be so appreciated as I would hate to lose this fish. If I am doomed to loose him an insight into what would be causing this would also be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much Sandra Caldwell <I am concerned that the shrimp may be perhaps predating the Flame... I would move it out stat... and consider dipping, moving the Angel if its behavior did not improve in a day hence. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flame Angel Emergency? Mmmm, QT sys.  -- 07/18/07
Thank you Bob for your response, <Welcome> The Angel didn't make it through the night. The shrimp never seemed to be aggressive towards the Angel , as he would go over to the shrimp and hang out often. I took him out and couldn't find a thing outwardly wrong with him. His color was good , no cloudy eyes nothing on his skin. I do wonder if he could have hurt himself. His behavior was like he was seeing another one and attacking it. <Mmm, not uncommon that this IS the case... internal reflection in aquariums... not usually able to be seen from outside...> One of those mystery fish deaths when you think you are doing everything right? <Seems like it, yes> Thank You so much for all the help you guys do Sandra Caldwell <Thank you for this follow-up. I do encourage folks to "darken" the outside of small tanks... with paper taped on... latex paint... Bob Fenner>

Flame Angelfish/Health 7/16/07 Dear Crew, I have a reef aquarium that houses two fish, a Flame Angel and a Firefish. My question is about the angelfish which I've owned for about one month. Since it was acclimated to my tank it has progressively developed a dark smudge-like blemish on its head above its eyes. The charcoal colored blemish appears to be spreading. I'm afraid this may be a sign of malnutrition or stress. <Bingo!> The fish seems to eat well. It eats Mysis Shrimp twice daily <Need a more varied diet and most importantly, soak the food with Selcon, or similar product rich in fatty acids, before feeding.> and is constantly picking algae from the rock contained in the aquarium (though this algae is only a thin coating). I also provide seaweed via a clip every other day. The fish also does not appear to be stressed. It boldly swims throughout the entire tank and approaches me as I come to feed each day. Have you seen this condition before? Should I be concerned? <A pic would help provide a better answer, but your main goal is to provide the excellent water quality and diet which this fish requires. Do read here and linked files above for more information on keeping this beautiful fish. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/loricula.htm> I always appreciate your helpfulness and expertise! Thank you. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Flame Angel Discoloration, hlth., formalin use f's     4/23/07 Introduced a Flame Angel a week ago after formalin dip and quarantine. Looked good for about five days and then started to develop a dirty or sooty-looking discoloration starting just behind the eyes and extending to the dorsal fin above the lateral line on both sides and back. <I see this> Just today, it looks like it is extending below the lateral line behind the gills. Behavior is normal; active, no flashing, eats well gets along with tank mates (Copperband, Sailfin and Chromis are showing no signs of trouble). Can't seem to find pictures or description of the exact same thing anywhere except for comments that, for whatever reason, there have been recent problems with Flame Angels dying prematurely and darkening is a general symptom of that process. Would like to save new fish, but more importantly, don't want to lose the others that I have had for years. What shall I do? Regards, George <Mmm, keep on doing your best to nutrify this specimen (soak foods in vitamin/HUFA prep. like Microvit...) and maintain water quality... This specimen looks like it was "burned", likely by the formalin exposure... The area affected is likely bilaterally symmetrical... It is displaying evidence of neuromast destruction... part of the Lateralis System... Only time, good care can/will heal this. Bob Fenner>

Question on Flame Angel health  12/5/06 Hello,   First off, thank you so much for all of the valuable information on the  website. <Welcome> I have been reading/researching many items on the  website for many years, and this is the first time I have had to ask a  question that I couldn't find anywhere.   What I have  encountered is a white spot on the "nose" of a new flame angel.   The spot is very small and in between his eye and mouth.  It  almost appears to be on the "barbell" that protrudes from the  nostrils. <Good description> The fish has been in a 29 gallon quarantine tank for  five weeks, with a royal Gramma and neon goby.  No other fish show  signs of illness.   <Mmm, am not so sure this is an illness either> The quarantine tank has about 25 lbs of live  rock, aqua c remora skimmer,  and 2 powerheads.  I did ten  days of treatment with Kordon's Ich attack, when all the fish were  introduced to quarantine. <Ahh! A clue> Performed a 20% water change,  reintroduced carbon to tank, and observed the fish for three  weeks.  At about the fourth week is when I noticed the spot,  removed carbon, and begun another treatment period with the Ich  attack.  I am now on the tenth day of treatment and haven't seen  the spot disappear.   <Is not "ich" or other treat-able protozoan infestation, assuredly> Unfortunately the flame moves so much I can't  get a good picture of the spot as it is fairly faint in color.   The flame is very active, attentive, very hungry (always eats, and  eagerly comes to the front of the tank when I enter the room), <Good behavior> the  flame also grazes the rocks often, and shows no other signs of  illness.  Other tank parameters, specific gravity is 1.024, Ph ~  8.1, Calcium 435, no detectable nitrates, nitrites, or ammonia. I am  anxious to get the fish in my display tank before the holidays, so I  can observe his transition into that tank (75 gallon), but thought I  would consult the experts first.  Thank you in advance for your  feedback, i truly value your opinion. (Whoever answers :) )   Matt <I fully suspect that this mark is not pathogenic... and would place this animal in my/your main/display system at this juncture. Bob Fenner>

Flame Angel has a mouth (jaw) problem  - 11/13/06 My friend has had a Flame Angel in quarantine for 4 1/2 weeks now. We noticed at 4 weeks that he had some scales near his left eye that were either pale or maybe gone. <Keen observation> We of course decided to keep him in the QT until he got better. He is eating just fine and the tank gets regular water changes. He's being fed mysis shrimp, emerald entree, and dried algae. He eats everything just fine. However, we noticed last night when we fed him some algae that his jaw will extend out while he's pecking at it and it looks like it's become dislocated. <Might have been damaged in capture, holding, shipping... this happens> It will stick out for awhile and then he seems to be able to pop it back in to normal. I've never seen this before. When he jaw is sticking out it almost looks like their might be some tissue missing around his mouth. I can't tell if this is just because it's stretched out or if he's losing tissue around his mouth. Hopefully you guys have some ideas on what to do.  Thanks!             Steve <Best to maintain in an optimized setting, perhaps to supplement, soak foods in a vitamin et al. prep... and consider (I would) moving this fish to the main display ASAPractical. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flame Angel has a mouth (jaw) problem   11/14/06
    Thanks for the fast reply!  We have been soaking his frozen food in vitamins, so we've got that covered! <Ah, good> However, I do have a couple more questions for you.  Will the jaw heal over time and if so about how long should it take? <May... perhaps weeks>   If he's still having the problem in a month should something else be done, or is this a permanent problem he'll have?   Thanks so much for the help!     Steve <Not much more that can be done presently. Bob Fenner>

Flame Angelfish Eye Damage, Follow-up 10/19/06 Hey, thanks for the quick reply. <Heh... well I apologize this response was not as timely.> Sorry I didn't specify- these "New" tanks are 20 gallon quarantine tanks, each set up with a well established Emperor 400 biofilter. 4L water changes are performed daily. I'll test the water at the lab tomorrow however, and find out if anything is amiss. <Well... can also try some Epsom salts, about one tbsp per five gallons... can help reduce the swelling.> Kevin J. <Cheers, J -- >

Flame Angel...Feeding/Health   9/16/06 Hi there!!! <Hi.> I have a quick question that I need to ask...Been looking through WWM and can't find anything that will help me.  I just purchased a Flame Angel not too long ago and I have been feeding it only meaty food like Mysis, brine, and blood worms.  He loves this stuff so much to the point where he won't eat any greens I toss in.  Will this all meaty diet affect my flame angel's health? <Should be fine.  He will get some algae supplement from picking at rock. Might want to try some Ocean Nutrition Algae Formula and add a vitamin supplement such as Selcon to the diet.>   Thank you for your help!!! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

- Flame Angel Problems 6/27/06 - Hello WWM Crew, I have a 75 gallon aquarium, all tests and temperature are normal.  However, I have a flame angel that is over a year old and is suddenly not eating, acting very skittish (hiding) and losing colour. It was the queen of the tank and a very active fish before now.  We haven't changed anything or added anything recently to explain the behaviour and apparent illness.  She doesn't have any spots or obvious signs of disease.  I didn't see anything in the existing database that matched our description, so I thought I would email. Thank You! Melissa W. <Melissa, this is a curious situation made more curious because you didn't reveal anything about your tank husbandry. Specifically, how often do you change your water? Have you done any water tests lately? What were the results? Have you changed the water since you've observed this problem? Fill us in with some more specifics and we'll try to speculate with a little more detail. Cheers, J -- >
- Flame Angel Problems, Follow-up 6/28/06 -
Sorry about that, by all test and temps normal I meant the water tests for pH (8.4), nitrates (20 ppm), nitrites (0) and ammonia (0), temp 79 degrees. <Hmm... ok.> We just changed the water in the last two days and so far, no change, but we're still hopeful! <Me too.> Her tank mates are 1 yellow tang, 1 blue devil damsel (much smaller then the flame and not an enemy), 1 sebae clown, 1 starry eyed hermit and 1 coral banded shrimp, in a 75 gal. tank. Any other ideas? <Not many... is a bit of a mystery. I'd look for some aggression, perhaps from the tang. Otherwise, just keep offering favorite foods and keep the water quality up.> Thank You, Melissa <I wish I had some better answers for you, but it's just not obvious what might be going on here. You may have to sit in front of the tank for a day or so to see what we're looking for. Best of luck. Cheers, J -- >

Flame Angel with Ich 6/17/06 Hi.. <Hi> Is it possible for a flame angel to develop itch due to being released into a new environment? <Only if the Ich parasite is present.>  I have a flame angel who developed itch when I first released him into the display tank, so I put him into a QT tank with daily freshwater baths, and when I placed him back into the display tank he developed itch again. <FW baths are only marginally effective with Ich.><<And the system is still infested... RMF>> What's the best course of action? I'm hesitant to take him out again because that would stress the copperband and I refuse to buy a cleaner wrasse due to the information on your site and cleaner shrimps are very expensive here in Australia. Thanks for your help. A <Remove all fish to QT, treat with copper or other proven remedies.  Allow tank to run fallow (fishless) for 6 to 8 weeks.  More details can be found here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm .> <Chris>

Flame Angel, read the FAQs and didn't see anything that fits the issue in my tank.  3/30/06 Hello Guys and Gals. <James... Di's family lived/s on Jewell Street there in Garfield> My question is on my flame angel. I read the FAQs and also the sections on disease. Now, either I am not seeing the symptoms/situation I have or I am misidentifying/not seeing clearly enough my fish's abnormality. A short while ago (month or two) there was a little white or what looked more like whitish scales (I hope I am describing this well enough) 'of' the fish around the face area. The color on the rest of the body and fins is quite brilliant and the fish feeds aggressively enough. The cleaner shrimp will no longer clean the fish since the fish picks at its whiskers. Maybe these are scales that need to be removed by the shrimp (by why wouldn't they be elsewhere?)? <Don't know> Of note, there are no noticeable salt crystal dots to denote ich; nor strange behavior. It likes mysis, flake food, prime reef, takes dried seaweed and the garlic pellets... basically anything food that comes its way. It is by no means thin or underfed; I place its BMI at a level of the best I have seen in any store or picture. Just the area around the face is puzzling. <Perhaps "just" mucus... from an irritation, injury... a "bump in the night". Happens> My regimen for the 75 mega-flow tank: 9-12% weekly water changes, pH 8.3 and yes I add marine buffer (the 8.3 crystal stuff, I don't have the container here or I would give the name) which I premix, 0 NO2, 10ppm NO3, kH of 250-300 and the temperature is a very constant 77-78F. I do add small amounts of Kalkwasser daily which is mixed into the fresh water top off in the morning; this has been a tremendous gain for the frogspawn and other inverts in the tank. I have approximately 80 pounds of live rock. Lighting is timed and I have power compacts running.   As heat will soon be an issue I will slowly start to cut back light time... about 15 minutes every 3-4 weeks until I am down to a shorter cycle that will allow for less heat build. What should I be looking at or looking for to identify what these white/clear 'scales' are? Should I consider quarantine (providing I can catch the wily gent!) for this fish? <Mmm, containment.... that the area is improving> The area of this is slowly increasing not decreasing. I do have another cleaner shrimp in a separate tank... this one might be more inclined to clean since it has not been picked at. What I believe I see just doesn't fit what I have read on the site thus far. Maybe it isn't anything to be concerned over but your input and opinion is deeply appreciated as my experience is only about a year in the hobby now so I don't always know, or trust, what I really am seeing at times. Sincerely, James Zimmer <I would switch out, add the other cleaner and see if this helps. You are soaking foods in Selcon or eq.? Bob Fenner>
Re: Flame Angel, read the FAQs and didn't see anything that fits the issue in my tank    3/31/06
Thank you as always Bob. <Welcome James> No, sorry, I have not been soaking the food in Selcon or eq. as this has been an oversight on my part. I mean to do many things and get others (food and etc.) at the LFS... yes, a list would keep me on track! ; ) <Ah, good to know ones self> This afternoon I will try again to persuade my other cleaner to come out and go to the other tank and maybe the peppermint shrimp too as I have some Aiptasia too close to the Frogspawn (in and about actually on the outcrops where the colony has yet to spread) to use my Ca(OH)2 slurry that close to zap them. Though, my little peppermint pal may not only want Aiptasia for this evenings main course... we shall see. James <Indeed. Bob Fenner>

Angel In Distress?   12/29/05 To the WWM Crew <Scott F. with you tonight!> Bob, thank you very much for your help about the Brooklynella/formalin but I think that my move was too late... Now I have another problem with a beautiful and young Flame. He is in another QT , 30 Lt. He arrived 6 days ago, is eating, and his behavior is ok. Something is wrong because is color is becoming pale and there white powder on is fins (not transparent). Sometimes he scratch the pvc tubes on the tank bottom. <Hmm...could be ich or some other parasitic illness.> I put CopperSafe in the tank, and will wait till tomorrow. So, please tell me if I must do something else. Best regards Flavio <Well, Flavio, if you suspect parasitic illness, medication is not a bad idea. However, do exercise caution with copper and Centropyge angels, which are notoriously sensitive to it. Monitor copper levels constantly and adjust as necessary to maintain a proper therapeutic dosage. Be ready to remove the fish or dilute the copper levels if the fish shows signs of distress ("burning" fins, loss of appetite, etc.). Formalin is preferred with these fishes. If you are very attentive, and continue observing and monitoring the copper level, you can be successful with this! Follow the manufacturer's recommendations on dosage and duration of the treatment to the letter. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Formalin and Flame Angel  - 1/6/06 To the WWM Crew <Jose> As you suggest I change the medication for the Flame Angel. Just to remember, I began with CopperSafe because the fish was not eating, was hiding and scratching. He also as the fins very "cloudy" (not transparent) and losing his general and beautiful orange color, becoming very pale. So, I put 5 formalin drops in the 25 litres QT and good aeration. He is much better in the next morning, swimming and eating and with a little improvement about the paleness. In order to free him of that formalin water I made two 50% water changes in different days and he seems to continue in good health condition. Two days ago, the same symptoms came back and today I put another 5 formalin drops in the QT. Please tell me if my procedure is ok. If I put/add some Methylene Blue it would be prophylactic ? <Yes. Worthwhile to add here> In another QT's I have 2 ocellaris and an C. heraldi. They are doing very well. Do you think it would be a prophylactic attitude to add some Mt. Blue to the other tanks or just let them "in peace" ? <I would add the Methylene Blue here as well> Best regards, and thank you very much for your "old" and very informative site. Grateful for your daily job Flavio <Thank you my friend. Bob Fenner>
Angel In Distress (Pt. 2)   1/7/06
Thank you Scott for your help about the Flame Angel. <You're quite welcome.> Today, after one night with copper, he is not better. The fins are moving faster and the gills, too. <Well, it's hard to say if the rapid respiration is a result of the copper, or a part of the illness...I might be inclined to give the fish a break from all medication for a few days, to see if his condition improves. You can always resume a course of treatment with Formalin, if the symptoms dictate.> Do you think it is better to change for formalin ? If you agree please tell me about the dosage and if you advise a dip or a continuous treatment in the QT. Thanks once again for your kind help Flavio <Well, Flavio, I'm inclined to use Formalin on a continuous basis in the treatment tank. Rather than a general dosage, I'd recommend that you follow the directions of the manufacturer of the Formalin treatment that you are using. Better to be safe than sorry with any medication. Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

Marine Centropyges: Flame Angel Rescue 10/27/05 Hi, crew. <Hi Roger.> I urgently need help in how to best care for a small Flame Angel I just rescued from the tanks of a major pet supplier.  <I understand how hard it is to see a fish suffer, heck even I might be suckered in, darn human emotions. To the point though, rescuing fish will only encourage folks to order and sell more fish in poor conditions.>  This poor fish was crammed into one of their small display tanks with about 10 Purple Tangs, a Coral Beauty, several Fire fish, and dozen or more Ocellaris Clown fish ( two of which were on the bottom) .  <Disgusting.>  Their fish arrive on Wednesday and I frequently stop by to see what's new. Imagine my horror to see this beautiful fish being tormented by the Purple Tangs and unable to escape. The flame was clearly distressed and obviously had only a couple of hours to live. After summoning the manager and voicing my displeasure about the flame's accommodations. We both looked for a suitable tank for it to recover. It took only a moment to realize this fish was doomed with no place to go. I now have a stressed-out Flame Angel at home in a 10 gal. tank.  <In a quarantine tank this small, I would do daily water changes.>  I bought it with the understanding that if it died I would get a refund or a replacement. The fish seems disoriented, though it is swimming around. It was so stressed that I skipped the usual FW dip. I didn't believe it would survive.  <I agree with your actions.>  The lights are off and have offered no food. Will do so tomorrow. I used water from my display tank, and a small Aqua Clear power filter, heater and PVC pipe for shelter. Other than that, I don't know what else to do other than wait. <You are on the right track. Monitor for signs of disease there may very be some from the conditions you describe at the store. Provide pristine water conditions and offer a varied diet perhaps with a nutritional supplement like Selcon.> <<It's also time to start offering food, animal cannot repair/heal itself without nutrients.  Nori, romaine, something it can free-feed on, along with meaty foods offered twice daily (don't leave in tank, siphon off uneaten), and do perform those daily water changes.  MH>> I appreciate any thoughts or advise. Thanks, Roger <Welcome, Adam J.> 
Re: Centropyge Rescue - Roger's Doing Things Right, Though 10/28/05
Thanks, Adam J. for responding to my request so quickly. <No trouble, you are welcome.> The Flame survived the night, and the rest of today, but the outlook remains grim. I mentioned that the fish seems disoriented.  <Probably still some trauma from his residence in such horrendous conditions at the Local Pet Store that you described.>  I now believe that's because he is blind, or extremely impaired.  <Possibly who knows what the conditions the tank you rescued him from were in. I'll guess some high nutrient levels at the least. Not to mention the intense levels of aggression from the purple tangs he was with.>  He is hovering in one place on the bottom and when he does move he bumps into the sides of the tank or his PVC shelter and just can't seem to find his way about. I was even able to reach in and hold him without any flight response.  <Not a good sign.>  <<Could be a sign of impending death - watch for stiffly held, erect fins, death comes very soon with that..  MH>> Could this have been stress induced and will it pass?  <Hard to say, even a stressed fish will run when in danger, a no- response shows weakness.>  I tried a little Mysis shrimp without success but will also try a small piece of Nori anchored where he hovers (thanks MH for the suggestion).  <Glad you saw that.>  My usual quarantine tank (29) is in use curing 30# of live rock, so the 10 gal. was /is an emergency room. Water changes will be done daily. How much of the volume? < Two to three gallons a day.> Any suggestions, thoughts or voodoo cures are certainly appreciated. <At this point the only thing you can do is keep water conditions pristine. Make sure the tank is efficiently aerated.> Thanks to all for the amount of time you take to help us out. <No worries, you are welcome.> Roger <Adam J.> 
Centropyge Update 11/2/05/b>
Hi, Adam, MH and all the crew. <Hi Roger, Adam here with you again.> I wanted to give you an update on the Flame Angel I rescued from the pet store.  <Okay.>  After nearly a week the little rascal is still alive and swimming, at least more than when I got him.  <That's good to hear.>  He still doesn't eat when food is offered, but does pick around afterwards.  <Still an improvement from your last e-mail.>  Since he still seems full bodied, I assume he's eating something.  <Yes the picking you mentioned, as per Marinas suggestion I would still offer some sort of macro-algae such as Grac. or the Nori she mentioned.>  <<Mmm.. another suggestion; This is what we used at LBAOP with picky/finicky butterflies -  live bloodworms.  This may induce a good feeding response in the angel, but be skimpy with the offerings, you don't want rotting worms in there.  MH>> So far there doesn't seem to be any sign of post trauma illness or infection other than a small puff of gray matter at the tip of one dorsal spine (an injury I suspect).  <Sounds like it, hard to say without seeing.>  I'll keep an eye on this, as I rather not medicate or remove him for a dip or a swab of the area (unless you recommend otherwise).  <No as this fish was recently and still possibly under heavy stress I would not medicate unless you can identify an illness.> His disorientation has improved dramatically and his obstacle avoidance system is finally working.  <That's a good sign.>  Daily water changes will continue until larger quarters are available or he passes on. Any other thoughts? <Continue as you have and keep the water quality pristine.> Thanks to all! Roger <Thanks for the update Roger, Adam J.> 

Centropyge loricula Rescue - Update 11/18/05 Hi, to Adam, Marina and crew. <<Hello, Marina today.>> Don't know if you recall, but about a month ago I rescued a Flame Angel that was being abused; nearly to death, by its tank mates.  <<I most certainly do!>> Happy to report that all is much better. <<Fabulous!>> He has made a remarkable recovery considering his near death experience. He's eating well and active, with no visible signs or behavior of disease. I'm upgrading my existing system to a 90 gal. this weekend and considered including him in the move, but probably not.  <<He's living the phat life right now, isn't he? Good on you, my friend.>> I did include a small LR and some Chaeto in his tank and he spends his time browsing and picking. You were so much help during this process, I thought you'd like to know. <<All will be quite heartened to read of this - how about a stand up for conscientious aquarists!?! HEAR HEAR! <stands up and cheers> >> Thank You! Though this may turn out to be a success story, there were times I wish I'd just walked away, as I'm sure I just got lucky. <<The fish got lucky, you were patient and diligent, persistent.>> Best wishes to all and thanks again, Roger <<Very glad to read of this, and may your little Flamer live the longest of lives, happy munching and all that. Marina>> 

Flame angel not looking good, please advise 10/10/05 Hello again WWM crew, <Howdy> I have another question, this one concerning a flame angel I just purchased. Situation is this, I just purchased a 2.5'' flame angel and 8 ~1'' blue green Chromis. All were drip acclimated and put into a 20 gal long qt tank. <Ooops... too many damsels/stress at once in a small space> The qt tank is being kept at 83 degrees and has some plastic pipe fittings for cover. After introducing fish to quarantine I noticed the flame had what appeared to be a sticker, like you or I would get from walking around in the woods. It was black about a quarter inch long and had what appeared to be a spike stuck in his side. <Good description... likely a crustacean parasite> I looked through my copies of The Conscientious Marine Aquarist and Reef Invertebrates and found nothing similar. My first thought was then to do a freshwater dip. I did this the first day I had him and also on the second for about 10 min.s each, the "sticker" still remained.  I performed a third dip on the next day and at the end was very surprised that the sticker still remained. At the end of the third dip I picked the flame up in a very fine mesh net and pulled the sticker off with a pair of tweezers, <Good> whole process lasted less than 30 seconds. I don't know if it was the right thing to do, but he seemed to be favoring that side and it clearly was bothering him. After removing the sticker and putting him back in the qt tank I noticed the small spike that was at the base was still in his side, it is about 1 mm in length. He has been swimming near the bottom for about 36 hours now in a 12'' by 6'' area. He has eaten a few pieces of bloodworms that I have put in for the Chromis. His coloring is still very good, but I have noticed that where the sticker is, his scales are slightly raised into what I would call a bump. I also noticed today that he had a few small white spots on his shoulder. I am wondering if this is ich, or just a result of all the stress he has been put through.  <Likely the latter> So far the Chromis are doing great (schooling as I hoped) and all have eaten. I am wondering what you would advise me to do about the flame though. My plan until I hear back from you is to continue my every other day 20%(4 gal) water changes from my main tank, and once a day feedings of bloodworms. Thanks for all the past help, and future help I'm sure you will provide. Cory <I would dip and move the Flame if it appears to disimprove <<You made up that word, didn't you Bob?>>... and next time if there is... I'd daub the area of the "head" exit wound with an antiseptic after removing such external parasites. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flame not looking good, please advise 10/10/05
Thanks so much for the quick response. I have a follow up to my question about the flame angel. When you say if he disimproves to dip and move, do you mean to dip him and move to my main tank (95 gallon, 100 lbs live rock, 5'' hippo tang, 2 cleaner shrimp) or to another qt tank? <Ah, to the main tank.> <<Now you have other people using "disimprove"!>> The only other tank I have is a 10 gallon which I think might be too small. As of right now he has another small patch of white on his shoulder. Thanks yet again, Cory <Mmm, if the fish stops eating, I would move it soon/er. Bob Fenner> 

What is this? Flaming out of the hobby 8/17/05 I am a new aquarist and about a week ago I added a Flame Angel to my 55 gal tank. To give you a brief description of my tank, I have about 40lbs of live rock, some snails, some red legged hermits, 3 sally Lightfoots, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 pink spotted watchman goby, 1 juvi regal tang, <Not a good choice period, and definitely not for such a small system> 1 ocellaris clown, 2 yellowtail damsels (I'm trying to get these guys out but catching them is a challenge- any suggestions?) <Posted, on WWM> and my new flame. A couple of days ago I noticed My flame wasn't using one of his pectoral fins to swim. Upon closer observation I noticed that at there was a white spot at the base of the pectoral fin on his body and this spot was swollen. <... you did/n't quarantine...?> It seemed as if the fin was ripped out of the socket.  Last night I noticed that part of his caudal fin was frayed and there were tiny white spots on the caudal fin. Any ideas on what this might be and how I can treat it? I initially thought it was some sort of Dropsy that are common to dwarf Angels but the white spots on the caudal fin are throwing me off. The fish itself is eating well although swimming a little awkward. <... much to relate to you... and not much time. Please start reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/flameangdisfaqs.htm then on to the root web of WWM proper, re Crypt... you are in danger of losing all your fish livestock. Bob Fenner>

?... Dead Flame Angel, toxicity of fish med.s... 8/20/05 Thanks for being honest, I really appreciate what you guys do here.  I started a QT last night with aged salt-water from my local pet shop - it had some live rock in it so beneficial bacteria was present. My water tests were all at acceptable levels. I moved all the fish from the display to the QT after giving each one a freshwater dip. Unfortunately, I found my Flame dead in the QT this morning. I guess he was just too far gone. Is that normal or should I be check for another cause of death? <This and other Centropyge do often perish "mysteriously"...> I'm treating with Rid Ich (it contains Formalin and Malachite Green). Is this a good choice? <For? Both compounds are, can be deadly toxic, and are rather harsh on already-challenged fishes... they are discussed on WWM... please learn to/use the indices, search tool there> I knew that the juvi Regal Tang would grow too large for my tank but I succumbed to the pleas of my daughter to get it. She wanted Nemo and Dory together in the tank. The LFS guy wasn't any help either- he said I could return it to the store for a credit once it started to grow too large. It's about 2 inches right now - do you recommend I take it back now? <... please include previous correspondence... there are a few dozen of us here... can't recall, easily find such information...> I am going to keep the fish quarantined for about 5 weeks. I don't have any fish in the display tank right now so hopefully all tomonts, tomites or theronts would have died by then - right? <Yes, should> Is there anything else that I might be forgetting to do?   <To not send correspondence in code, to send prev. corr.... or pertinent information (size, type of system...). Cheers, Bob Fenner>

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

Need help with my flame angel Hi Rob/Marina.. <Hi there> I finally have my first fish in my new tank, but alas something is wrong with my flame angel.  Tank was fully cycled for about 6 weeks.  this is a 90g tank with about 75# of live rock.  Water test are all normal, no ammonia.  Anyway, I have had the fish for about 2 weeks, doesn't really pay attention or eat the food I try to give it, the are some angel formula pellets.  But the flame does it the various algae, greens in the tank and what I believe are copepods (small with looking worms, I also see some very small specimens which look like tiny spiders, don't know what they are?  any the flame eats all of these things. <Pycnogonids likely... and the Flame is probably consuming all sorts of organisms that are the live rock>> I am noticing that one eye is cloudy, I also see on one side a little whitish patch (looks like a little explosion, i.e. a fungus? <Maybe> It is very hard to see, I can only see it from certain angles.  I also now notice that at times the flame is scratching often, and sometimes swimming erratically, I also see her actually resting along the rocks.  I don't see white specks on her but I suspect she has some kind of parasite. I have been searching your site, but simply don't know what she has??  Any advice and treatment suggestions would be very much appreciated.  I don't have a treatment tank, but could set one up if need. thanks. <I would just wait, observe this fish for now... unless it looks thin I would not be overly concerned with its feeding. Bob Fenner>

Flame continues to degrade... Thanks Bob (apologize for the previous typo), <No worries> I am getting more nervous now, this weekend I also noticed that the second eye is also cloudy and that her back fins are getting rotted (and their are no other fish/verts in the tank).  Still has what looks to be an open sore, kind of a whitish fuzz on one side. Are you sure their isn't anything I should be doing, I am actually surprised she is surviving cause she doesn't look very good.  Appreciate your thoughts. <Well... if you had a "better" system... basically one that was about the same, but had been set up longer... I might move this fish to it... Likely what is occurring with this Flame is resultant from its handling, care before you... best you can do is provide a stable, optimized environment and "hold on" at this point. There are no "wonder treatments" or additives you can put in the water that will help. Bob Fenner>

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

Sick Flame Angel 4 (4/16/04)  Hi Steve (thanks again for all the help) <Well, I hope it's really helping.>  It's about the flame again! To follow up, he looked better when I first started the Kanacyn treatment, but now he seems to have developed a whitish clump on his fins, and I did see him rub up against the pvc a couple of times and twitch a bit. <Possibly a sign of parasites.> He has some raised dots on his gills (one kind of looks like a white pimple). <About how big are these?> Did he develop ich now? <Possible.> I don't want to put him through a freshwater dip again (see below). <Understood.> It's day 4 of the treatment, and I have one day left. Should I continue? Or start treating him with something else after changing the water? I am still constantly battling ammonia levels by doing 50-75% water changes daily; he's still eating well, has clear eyes, and has good color. Really confused <It can be very confusing at times.>  <Check some pictures of Lymphocystis to see if you think the whitish clump could be this. The white spots are suspicious for ich. I hesitate to recommend a stressful treatment like copper or Formalin. Another option would by hyposalinity by gradually dropping SG down to 1.010 and keeping it there for a while. With the Kanamycin gone, you can build up your biofilter, possibly with Bio-Spira Marine. Read about these issues in the ich articles & FAQs on WWM. The fact that your fish has better color, is active and eating is very encouraging. Keep working with it. Steve Allen>

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

Flame Out? (Flame Angel In Trouble?) Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. here tonight> I've been treating all of my fish (1 Valentini Puffer, 1 Neon Goby, 3 Firefish,1 Flame Angel) with hyposalinity for ich for 3 weeks now. It's been almost 2 weeks since all the ich spots are gone. I'm slowly raising sg back to normal. (it's at 1.015 now, amm 0, nitrite, 0, temp 78.6, ph 8.0) Last week, my Flame Angel, however, wasn't interested in eating and was breathing rapidly. She soon improved (after a day) so I kept her in the QT with the other fish. She had what looked like a white pimple near the gills, but no ich spots. Again this week, I've noticed a decline in appetite and movement the past couple of days. She wasn't interested in food this morning and was breathing rapidly again. Is this ich (maybe in the gills so I can't see spots)? None of the other fish show symptoms. <Quite possible; or it could be some other parasitic illness...> I plan on moving the flame to another QT, where I will treat with formalin. Is this ok or should I wait to see if she improves again? I really don't know what's wrong with her, so I'm hesitant about treating her with meds. Thanks. A <Agreed. Continuous exposure to medication is never a good thing. On the other hand, the breathing difficulties are cause for concern.  My thinking is to observe the fish in quarantine for a few days. If the fish appears to be declining, or if other symptoms of ich or other parasitic disease manifest, then I would go for the formalin treatment. Hang in there...Be prepared to take action if necessary. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>
Flame Out! (Pt. 2)
Thanks for the advice. Sadly, the flame angel died later that night. <Sorry to hear that. You did your best...> I really wish I knew what was wrong with her. So far all other fish look good, and have a week left in quarantine. Should I wait several more weeks before putting them back in the display? Thanks again-a <Yes, I would definitely wait out a few more weeks to make sure that whatever it was that you were dealing with is gone for good. Remain vigilant! Here's to better days! Regards, Scott F.>

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

Can't Keep Flame Angels Alive (8/31/04)   I have had a fairly successful 125 gallon marine aquarium for 3 years. Though I started with a "fish only"  I've gradually developed my aquarium into one that sustains both fish and some of the tougher inverts and soft corals. I think of the Flame Angel as pretty much a perfect angelfish. <No disagreement from me, though there are many other fine ones, including the Coral Beauty. As a whole the Centropyge genus has a number of advantages over the larger angels.> It's small, very colorful, and not aggressive. <Well, others may beg to differ on that, but on the whole they are less aggressive than some of the others.> I've tried several times in the last 2 years to keep one in my "reef".  Each time, the angel starts out fine, but gradually "balloons up" until it dies.  When purchased it appeared as a well-fed fish; but this proceeds to raised scales on the sides and a stomach area that swells larger with each day.  In each case, no other fish in the tank has ever shown this. <Suspicious for internal parasites and/or bacterial infection.> There's no evidence of ich, or any external symptoms other than the swelling.  Since Flames are deeper water fish, I wonder about air bladder woes. <Well they are found as shallow as 30 feet. They do not appear to be unduly subject to such problems, which BTW, would seriously impair their swimming in your tank, not just cause bloating.> I do buy the fish from the same LFS, and I have read about this fish's unexplained loss of hardiness in recent years. <Indeed, and this may be the problem. However, many of us have thriving Flames. I wish I could explain why mine has been thriving for a year and yours all die. Perhaps there is some aspect of your tank that only affects the Angels, though it may be very difficult to pinpoint. You might want to network with other aquarists, on our forum for instance, to see what seems to be working for those who are having success. You may find something that way. Do you quarantine? An extended period might help. You might be better off seeking Hawaiian specimens, or even the newer, albeit expensive, tank-bred Flames, which are likely to be hardier and parasite-free. Food for thought, anyway. Steve Allen.>

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

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

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

Flame Angels and Ick (12/11/04) Dear Crew <Hi. Steve Allen tonight.> How easily do flame angels get ick? <Probably not as easily as Tangs, but they certainly are at least as vulnerable as your average fish.> I have had three of them so far from three different places Fiji, Hawaii, and Marshall Islands and each one has had it. They all appear healthy when I purchase them with no signs of ich, no scratching or signs of irritation, eating well, and behaving normally. Then, in a few days spots start to appear. However it just seems like a few spots that developed on the gill fins and tail fins and not the entire body. <That means the ick is in your tank, not on the fishes, though it is possible they became infested at the fish store.>  The ones from Fiji and Hawaii have both died on me after a month and the one from Marshall Islands I purchased a couple of days ago and has started to show signs on the gill and tail fins. I read through your site and see you recommend treating angels with formalin. <This is one way of doing so. Did you read about quarantine? This is the key step. Keep any new acquisitions in QT for 4 weeks. If they get ick in there, they probably brought it with them. If they pass QT and then get ick in your main display, then you have ick in there. The most effective way to rid a tank of ick is 6-8 weeks of no fish (aka "fallow")> I have been using Green-ex. How does this work? <Green-ex? Most would say it doesn't work.> Is it safe to use formalin in the display tank containing cleaner shrimp, hermits, snails, live rock, and one piece of coral? <No> I regrettably don't have a quarantine tank. <This is the root of your problem, and you will not solve this problem without one. A simple QT consisting of a 10G tank or a Rubbermaid container, air-driven sponge filter, heater, and some PVC pieces can be set up for under $50, which often is the price of one Flame Angel.> I have also been feeding fish with flakes containing garlic. Does this help? <Perhaps. It does stimulate appetite and may strengthen immunity. I will admit that I successfully treated a 300 gallon reef system with garlic, Bio-Coat, diatom filtration, $120 worth of No-Ich (allegedly reef-safe), and a $200 UV sterilizer with no evident injury to any invertebrates. I have seen none for 3 months now. I don't know which of these really was key. I was desperate and absolutely unable to catch and quarantine all of those fish. The only other option for me at the Tim was to tear down and quit. This all started when I was forced to pull a Tang out of QT a bit prematurely (after only 2 weeks). I think the reason the ick disappeared eventually was that the Tang finally died and the other fish were able to fight it off in conjunction with the treatments. The Tang could not. I still recommend quarantine/fallow as the best treatment. If there are just a few spots, you could consider something else, but putting the Flame in QT to do so is smartest. Check out the articles on ick at www.reefkeeping.com and www.advancedaquarist.com.> Please write back fast! Laurel <Hope this helps, Steve Allen>

Problem with Flame Angel Dear WWM Crew, I am quite new with saltwater tank hobby, I used to have a freshwater tank and a Koi pond for many years. I have changed my 125 gal freshwater tank into saltwater FOWLR tank about 9 months ago since I was very attracted with the beauty of marine aquarium. So far my FOWLR tank (equipped with sump and refugium with Caulerpa taxifolia and mangrove) seems running well. So far all the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate was not detected and there are no problem with all of my existing fish (1 yellow tang, 1 purple tang, 1 Kole tang, 1 Sailfin tang, 1 yellow face angel, 1 Koran angel, 1 mandarin goby, and 1 blue devil). A month ago I bought a flame angel, however this fish finally did not stay longer in my tank and it was died 1 week after introduced to my tank without any specific symptom appeared. 5 days ago I got a new flame angel. I used not to quarantine all of my fish before they were introduced to my tank, however since I have got a god advise mainly from WWM... <No gods here> ...that it was necessary to quarantine the fish therefore I do now the quarantine for this new flame angel before it was introduced to my main tank. I am using 15 gal tank equipped with skimmer and sponge (old sponge from my sump) filter for this quarantine tank and I have done a 10% water change every day. At the beginning this fish looks terrific and active, however since 2 days ago it looks less active and sometimes it shaking the body. Last night I do a fresh water dip of this fish and during the water dip there are something looks like a crystal salt falling down from its gills. What kind of disease with this symptom? <Maybe a trematode> How do I have to do to cure this disease? The colour of this fish still remain bright and no any white spot appearing on its body. Please help me on this matter, since I do not want to lose this beautiful fish for the second time.  Thanks in advance for your help on this matter.  Best regards, Petrus  <I would introduce a cleaner organism to your quarantine tank... likely a Gobiosoma goby... and move this on into your main tank when it's time. I would NOT add chemical medicines to the water at this juncture. Bob Fenner>

Losing Flames Bob: I'm a religious reader of your Q&A column and I've written you before regarding my "small" set up which has been up for 8 months. It's a 20 gallon long with about 15 - 18 lbs. of live rock (been there since the beginning) it's nicely cured with all kinds of micro algae and plants growing and flourishing. I have an A-Miracle 500 trickle filter with built in protein skimmer running full blast and two 300 powerheads for circulation. I also have a Skilter filter with the filter media and skimmer removed. About three months ago I put one lb. of live sand and a small live rock inside the Skilter "sump cavity" and put two Mangrove plants, propped in Styrofoam in, they are flourishing. I have one button polyp, one yellow polyp, one green mushroom and one "trumpet" coral all doing quite well. As far as livestock, I've had the same Australian Yellowtail Damsel for five months and it is doing extremely well. Here's my problem, I love Flame Angels. Each time I try to add one, which has been four to date, they don't survive. In the latest try, last month, the fish just died after four days. After two days it got lethargic and hid under a rock, but other than that there were no signs any of disease. I do a10% water change every two weeks, my "levels" always check out good. I add CombiSan every week and a calcium supplement with each water change. Why do you think I don't have success adding the Flame Angel? All else is doing fabulously well! Thanks in advance for your time and thoughts. Steve Eliot >> Hmm could be bunk specimens... there's been a spate of them the last couple of years out of the Marshall's and even Christmas Islands... But my real monies either on the tank being too small and/or the ill-effects of the calcium and Combi- combination... Take it easy with this stuff... if you have the supplement habit bad enough (no alkalinity to speak of is a good indication)... do occasionally (like every three months), pretty much change ALL the water in your system. This will rid much of the "Dead Sea" effect of additions...  Bob Fenner

Sick Flame Angel :( Bob, I've had a flame angel that has been very happy for at least 3 weeks. My wife and I went out of town on Saturday and returned Sunday evening. I noticed that he was acting a little strange and by Monday morning he had ich. I plan on moving him to a hospital tank and treating him with CopperSafe. He's in a 100gal with a mandarin, 4 cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) and 3 turbo snails.  Ammonia 0  Nitrite 0  Nitrate about 10  pH 8.4 SG 1.023 RSB skimmer AMiracle wet/dry 5 gal weekly water changes using Instant Ocean This tank has been set up since December and every thing seems to be dong  great except for the ich and lack of appetite. I'm getting a little  worried he's not eating but still active, will he survive? Also, what are the recommended levels for the copper treatment? >> Hmm, where will you move this fish to when it is apparently cured? CopperSafe for a couple of weeks should cure the Angel... but what about the ich in your main system? Use a test kit and shoot for 0.20 to 0.30 ppm total free copper. Bob Fenner

Re: Sick Flame Angel :( Bob, The ich seems to have cleared up but now he's not eating and looking a little thin... I'm getting really worried now, we really like the little guy. I was hoping that he'd do ok in the quarantine tank for a few weeks while I left the main tank void of fish to let the ich eventually die. Anyway is there anything I can do to spark some interest in food? I've tried Nori, flake and frozen brine shrimp. Thanks for all the excellent advice/help Scott  >> <Yes, do try soaking the intended food in a vitamin preparation (like Selcon, Micro-Vit, even human liquid "baby vitamins") for a few minutes before offering it... keep the light down... and if/when you're pretty sure the ich is gone, place some clean (no ich) live rock for it to nibble on, hide in. Bob Fenner>

Cyanide? Hey Bob I have a new flame angel that has been exhibiting some strange behavior.  Since day one my girlfriend kept telling me that he was brain damaged and maybe she is right.  I bought him by the book: a store that I trust, he lived in their tank for 10 days, he was eating (but wasn't a pig at all) and he and his tankmates visually looked good. I drip acclimated him to a reduced salinity 18 gal hospital tank, (also freshwater dipped him for 9min) where he lived for two weeks and than drip acclimated him to my 90gal FOWLR. My 90 has great water quality --no measurable anything-- and the hospital tank was kept clean with consistent water changes and never measured more than the smallest trace on my test kits of any of the nitrate, nitrite or ammonia levels. He never had any obvious signs of disease and ate Formula 2, Prime Reef, and mostly Dwarf Angel Formula but still was never an exuberant eater.  The strange behavior I mentioned started as soon as I got him home (never saw this in the store tank). He kept swimming moderately fast around every container he was kept in. He would swim with his mouth out of the water, his back also out and sometimes briefly would slide on his side. He did this in the acclimation bowl I use, the freshwater dip bucket and than in the hospital tank. At first I thought I had made up some "bad" water but it tested out normal, I had used Prime to dechlorinate it and it was 3 days old and the temp was 78. The water was well oxygenated with two power heads The behavior never went away, but other than that he seemed healthy so I put him in my 90gal. He hid for the first day 1/2 and than skulked around the back of the live rock. He has been rapidly opening and closing his mouth like a fish that was gasping for breath but he isn't gasping for breath--his gills are not involved like they have been in fish that I have seen gasping for breath. Also he isn't at the surface or in a stream of water like I would expect a fish to do if it was trying for more oxygen. Today he appears very weak and hasn't eaten. I expect he will die soon from the way he looks. Now that I have written you a book, my question is: is this cyanide poisoning symptoms? Or could it be something else. I felt I did everything by the book. Sucks to do that and lose a fish anyway.  Thanks, Rich M.  >> Thank you for your carefully crafted message. I have seen way too much of what you so aptly describe, and though it (the cause) is not cyanide, or an economic poison per se, the results are often as dramatic and destructive as you relate. The last 2-3 years the quality of Flame Angels (Centropyge loricula) has seen serious decline... and have seen direct evidence of this in the principal source of this species in the wild ... Has everything to do with "human" effects of economics and expediency and little to do with the fish itself. Let me explain. With the decline (perceived and real) of the Yen (Japanese currency), a good deal of the fishes that used to traffic through their part of Asia (and Asian influenced markets) stopped, dropped severely... The fisher-folk in the collection end kept catching, selling what they could to western markets, and there has/had been a great increase in availability of this animal at much-reduced prices... However, something else happened, factored in with all this... The processes of handling the specimens was altered... Due to less money, and apparent "need" to house, acclimate, in a few words, properly handle C. loricula, the species has been relegated to being "stored" in plastic cups, in bags hung off of the collectors boats/anchorages in anticipation of "gathering" by intermediaries for immediate shipping internationally... BTW the Marshall Islands species are generally MUCH better and less variable in quality than the Christmas Islands ones. The long and short of all this is that Flames are no longer a usually great aquarium fish species... they're too beat from the traumas described above to have much historical survivability... Unless you can be assured of having an initially healthy specimen (like waiting as you did from the Dealer's), I would seek out another dwarf angel type. Bob Fenner, disgusted at times.
Re: cyanide
Thanks for the reply, kinda restores my faith in my LFS, but not in the import industry. Which of the Dwarf Angels are hardy at the moment? How about Asfur Angels?  Thanks Bob Randy  >> Well, the Asfur is definitely not a Dwarf, but it is fabulous, particularly nice are the ones imported/bred in the orient... and do look on our site for a rating of all the Angel Groups. Home Page  Bob Fenner

Copper and flame angel Dear Bob: I tried to purchase one of the three copper test kits you mentioned in your last email. For some reason here in Iowa they are non-existent!  <This is Iowa as in a State of the U.S.A. right?> I've ordered a Salifert online and am waiting for it to come. The fish have been treated in copper for 2 weeks as of tomorrow. I took a sample of my 2 hospital tanks water to the LFS and he just called me with the results. He is using something called "dry tabs" and said one of the tanks is measuring between .25 and .5. He said that tank is okay. The other one with my flame angle is measuring .6. He asked me if she was breathing okay and I said yes. Upon hanging up the phone a looked at her very closely and noticed that one of her eyes has a "milky" hazy look to it.  <Yes... maybe from a too high copper contact...> I called him back and he said to treat with Melafix if it gets worse. What should I do if anything for this poor fish? Is it going blind from the copper being too high?  <Just wait... the copper will come down on its own accord... and the eye will repair itself> I just added about a quart of saltwater to the tank to dilute it down a bit. Should I stop treatment on the hospital tanks tomorrow (2wks) and do water changes to get the copper out?  <IMO yes... the "spots" are no longer evident?> Thanks for the help, as I'm really worried about my flame. Janey <Bob Fenner>
Re: Copper and flame angel
Dear Bob: I can't thank you enough for the quick reply:) Yes, that's Iowa as in the state of in the USA.....I'm part of the corn belt crew that depends on you! <I'll be there, here.> I will start doing water changes tomorrow in both tanks as the spots are gone. I plan on leaving them in the hospital tanks for at least 2 more weeks in hopes that the "Ick" will die off in the main tank after one month with no fish....again thanks for your help when I needed it most! Janey <You're welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>

Flame Angel troubles, copper? "flame angel, question" he has got cloudy eye! I have a U.V. sterilizer, and everything's running fine, just my flame starting to act up! why? <Maybe a "bump in the night"?> my changing juvenile emperor angel doesn't take a liking to him very much?  <Angelfishes will fight if not enough room, cover...> I'm just worried that he is not gonna make it for very long? should I douse the tank with CopperSafe? any input in this matter would be of the utmost importance to me.:) thanks again rob! <Why put in CopperSafe? You need to start back at the beginning... read over the Marine Angels sections and FAQs files stored on our website: www.WetWebMedia.com and the "Disease" sections as well. Bob Fenner>

Flame Angel needs help Hi, Bob, hope you had a good trip, your stand-ins did a great job.  <Alexander... thank you! We are still standing... either Bob agrees with you or he's too desperate to kick us out just yet...heheh. Anthony> I've got a sudden problem that I'd like help with even though I haven't had time to search the site. have to rush to work ASAP, but I woke this am to see my beautiful little flame angel(2-=3") looking awful and he was fine last night. He's been in a QT for ten days and was doing great, eating well, etc. (I may have overfed a little, cuz I had a tiny NH4 spike--to 0.25, with NO2 of 1.5 and NO3= 20 ) so I just did a 25% h2o change,. He's in a 26, alone with two sponge filters, temp=77, SG=1023, pH=8.0.. <minor concern...but maybe not: 8.0 is a low pH assuming your test kit is accurate and not actually reading a bit high (placing the actual lower). Furthermore... unless you tested the chemistry in the night when pH is lowest, it may be lower still. Point is that you have a bit of a low pH that must be corrected... although maybe not the rot cause of the problem. 8.3 pH minimum> Now he's just hanging out in the bottom corner, vertically, head up, "treading h20", no scratching, white spots, or labored breathing. One eye is slightly cloudy and there is a very faint suggestion of a fine white, powdery film around the head area (VERY faint)..; <symptoms of turbidity/mucous/web around the head region specifically sometimes signal a Brooklynella infection (nasty). Although somewhat seasonal... it is commonly seen in Hawaiian shipments... which does not rule out your buddy. Do some archive/net homework to see if photos of this symptom look familiar>  also not feeding for the first time.. was eating like a pig, alternating Spirulina flake with frozen Mysis. What to do? He's my first SW fish, a real beauty, and I' d sure hate to lose him!! Thanks, as always, regards, Al <whoa... bud! I did not see that one coming! First fish? As in...first you ever bought? I'm hoping I'm mistaken or need more information here. But if correct... how was the quarantine tank cycled, how is the main display cycled and who suggested that this should be your very first fish (I'm going to leave a dead snail in their locked car all day)?!? Please don't misunderstand me... Flame Angels can be quite hardy once established, but they are not a first fish for anyone by any stretch of the imagination (nitrate, copper sensitivity, and so much more). Which reminds me.. any copper added to the quarantine tank? Dwarf angels and Flames in particular are ultra sensitive to copper. Would easily stress or kill your angel. Please follow up with more history/info. Kindly, Anthony>

Flame Angel woes  Hi, Bob, hope you had a good trip, your stand-ins did a great job. <Thank you very much. It looks like we will be standing in for awhile longer.> I've got a sudden problem that I'd like help with even though I haven't had time to search the site. have to rush to work ASAP, but I woke this AM to see my beautiful little flame angel(2-3") looking awful and he was fine last night. He's been in a QT for ten days and was doing great, eating well, etc. (I may have overfed a little, cuz I had a tiny NH4 spike-to 0.25, with NO2 of 1.5 and NO3= 20 ) so I just did a 25% H2O change,. He's in a 26, alone with two sponge filters, temp=77, SG=1.023, pH=8.0. Now he's just hanging out in the bottom corner, vertically, head up, "treading H2O", no scratching, white spots, or labored breathing. One eye is slightly cloudy and there is a very faint suggestion of a fine white, powdery film around the head area VERY faint)..; also not feeding for the first time. was eating like a pig, alternating Spirulina flake with frozen Mysis. What to do? He's my first SW fish, a real beauty, and I'd sure hate to lose him!! <I hope he is still alive when you get home and that there is time to do anything about it. It sounds like Oodinium to me. It is a very common saltwater disease. Keep up the water changes. Daily would be best to keep the ammonia and nitrite under control and the use of copper would probably be in order. You want to follow the manufacturer's recommendations and probably buy a copper test kit to keep the dosage accurate.> Thanks, as always, regards, Al <Hope this email finds you before it is too late, Steven Pro.>

Flame Angel My Flame Angel has 2 white spots. From when I first noticed them they have gotten a bit bigger. I do have 2 cleaner shrimp in my tank. All the other fish have no spots. Should I administer a fresh water dip, garlic treatment, or administer copper safe? Or should I just rely on the Scarlet Cleaners? Thanks. <I would rely on the present cleaners... perhaps augment foods with vitamins, garlic... keep an eye on the specimen. Moving, treating with copper would be more stress/harmful than it's worth at this point. Please read the various sections on marine diseases, the Flame Angel posted on our site: WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Flame Angel... Bob, I have just recently noticed that my Flame Angel has what looks like a white cover over one of it's eyes?? What is it and how can I cure it?? <Likely just a growth/result of a mechanical injury. Please read through the "Environmental Disease" FAQs posted on WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner> Regards, Keith Broadbent

Re: Numerous Flame Angel losses Well, the flame was doing ok, then he stopped eating last night. He was dead this morning. This must be the 10th flame angel I have lost. Pretty depressing. But today's events have put that in perspective... I've sworn off flames before, but I think this time is for real... <Think this is best. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Patrick

Parasitized Flame? I have a flame angel just moved from quarantine to my 37 gal. tank. He is doing great and eating hearty, but the other day I noticed a small pinhole in the blue portion of his anal fin. The next day it was slightly larger and appeared to have a white parasite looking dot burrowed into the front portion of this hole. This dot is about 3 or 4 times the size of a normal Cryptocaryon. Then today I notice another similar parasite that looked to be burrowed under a scale in his lower tummy, which also has the appearance of a little vertical slice about 1/8". My purple tang is spotless, as is my purple Firefish. The only other known inhabitants are an impatiens cucumber, cleaner shrimp (which has been spending time with the flame), black serpent star, abalone and 6" Bristleworm. I have about 60 pounds of live rock. <Quite a mix... for your size system...> Just today I began feeding them garlic oil extract in their food. I also use Marc Weiss Reef Vital DNA product. Any ideas?  <About? Your angel may have a parasite, it may just be overly-stressed in its new circumstances and as a consequence of its recent moving... I would not be placing the above "magic potions" in this system (too great a likelihood these will cause the system to collapse... too little chance of them being of any help.) but rely on the cleaner, time going by to clean up this apparent problem. He showed no problems in the q tank and received freshwater dips before and after. Thanks as always for your help, Patrick Livermore, CA <Hmm, do start planning on your next, larger system... You've got the signs. Bob Fenner>

Sick Flame Angel First of all, this WEB site is awesome. I have read more about marine aquaria here than anywhere else. Thanks for your dedication to us hobbyists. <You're welcome my friend> I am looking for some advice. I just acquired a beautiful Flame Angel. After a day or so, I noticed one of its eyes was somewhat cloudy and bulging more than the other. Now it has been a week since acclimation to the tank and its other eye is now cloudy and bulging. I have also noticed reduced activity. It tends to stay in a crevice or hole most of the time. It does eat, but not as much as it did a few days ago. <Mmm, likely "just" the rigors of capture, handling/shipping showing here...> Am I destined to loose this beauty? Or is there something I can do to save it? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Walt Aquarium (volume) 80 Gallons Aquarium up time 10 days (transferred contents from my 55 gal) <Yowser, this is a very short, too small a time to wait before placing an angelfish...> Filtration, pumps and heaters. Wet/Dry system w/bio balls (brand ?)  <I would pull these out, regardless of make. See: http://wetwebmedia.com/wetdryfaqs.htm> Protein skimmer (brand ?) Heater is unplugged <Why? Set the thermostat and plug it in... to prevent dips in temperature... won't come on if water is warmer...> Lighting 1-40 watt actinic blue and 1-40 watt Spectrum V Lighting duration Blue for about 14 hours and the white about 13 hours Tank residents How many of each fish and how large are they? 2-Tomato Clowns, 1-large 5"-6" 1-regular 3"-4" 1-Yellow Tang, full size 1-Neon Damsel, large 5"-6" <This is a big one!> 1-Blue Damsel, 3"-4" 1-Royal Gramma Dottyback, 1"-2" 1-Flame Angel, 2"-3" 1-Bristle Star, 6" 1-Red Armor Star, 5" 1-small orange star, 3" Not sure what kind. 5-invertebrates Filter media or cartridges change Change cotton in overflow box 1-2 times a week Dump out protein skimmer as needed Water Changes 5-10 gallons per month (haven't done a change on this tank yet) Temp 80-85 (it's been hot in San Diego) <We live there/here... Mira Mesa> Latest water test results. Specific gravity - 1.024 pH - 8.1 Ammonia - 0.0 Nitrites - 0 Nitrates - 5 or less <No live rock? I would place some of this and a vitamin preparation in the water once a week, and on the fish's foods... and otherwise hope for the best. See you at the local marine club do's. Bob Fenner>

Sick Flame Angel Anthony, Started treatment of the flame angel today, he is hiding a bit (which I expected with the new surroundings) but seems to be taking to the medication just fine. Many thanks! Doug <very welcome, my friend. Glad we caught you before you used the copper... your e-mail would have been different if we hadn't <wink>. Best regards, Anthony>

What to do with sick flame angel ? Hi WWM Crew ! <Howdy. Anthony Calfo here thinking that you have a cool name for a Viking... Magnus> Thanks for such an extremely educational site. <our pleasure> However, I have not succeeded to find information to help me identify the disease my new flame angel have picked up (this is my first sickness). <do get a quarantine tank if you already do not have one for all new/sick fish> I have a 150 gallon tank, set up since 6 months (beginner), all water values seems ok (e.g. Nitrite=0, Nitrate=1mg/l). I have 1 yellow tang, 1 purple tang, 5 green Chromis, 1 Salarias, 2 baby tomato clowns, 2 blood shrimps and a couple of soft and stony corals. A week ago a added 2 baby blue "hepatus" tangs and a Flame angel (and 4 new corals). Unfortunately I did not use a quarantine,  <yes, my friend... this is sadly how many of us learn to appreciate the value of a quarantine tank> but I keep the new fishes in a sort of cage (3 gallons, with some live stones and macro algae for hiding) within the tank, to be able to do some close observation and easy capture if needed. <good sometimes for behavioral acclimation (not for infectious diseases of course)> The Flame angel did show a little cloudy eyes (both sides) after 2-3 days in its new home. I did eat from start, but only very small items (like frozen Cyclops). It is appearing very lazy and it sometimes shrivel like it tries to get rid of something. It does not scratch itself and I can not see anything else abnormal. Now after 6 days the cloudy eyes got worse and it seems also like they swell up (but not as big as some pictures I have seem on pop-eye).  <perhaps a bacterial infection, do add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) per 10 gallons to try to relive this symptom first (safe with your other fish and coral, yes)> I have identified a few (4-5) small white dots (like Cryptocaryon) on the body and fins, but they do not seem to increase in numbers. It is still eating but not much. No other fish seem affected. <Do recall that Centropyge are VERY sensitive to copper... QT the angel and use Formalin in a bare-bottomed hospital tank> Can you help me identify the disease and recommend a cure ? <without eatin well... medication through food may not be effective. QT with formalin and antibiotics may be necessary and is recommended> Thank you so much for the your help / Magnus Petersson <very best regards, my Viking friend. Anthony>

Sick Flame Angel Hey guys, love your web page. The strangest thing happened to my Flame Angel the other day. I've had him for over two months in a 135g reef tank. From the second I put him in the tank he has done great. He immediately started eating and has a healthy appetite. I make sure to keep his (and the other fish in the tank) diets varied. I usually mix my foods up between frozen brine shrimp, seaweed (all the different colors), frozen Spirulina, frozen blood worms and Marine A-1 soaked in vitamins. He behaved very normal. By this I mean He was very aware of his surroundings and was constantly grazing the rocks for food. When I woke up one day about a week ago I noticed he was acting very strange. He was hiding in the back in one place and not grazing like he normally does. He was "swimming in place" kind of like you see sick swordtails do. I also notice he looked a little thin. This surprised me because like I said, he has a healthy appetite, and he had just eaten the day before and looked fine. The only concern I had was that I did dose with Kalk that morning. But, I dripped it extremely slow and when I tested the ph it was at 8.2 like it always is. I've been doing it this way for a long time with no ill affects toward the fish. I have done it before with the Flame in there and he's had no reaction that I'm aware of. I fed the fish and he came out and looked interested but ate very little if anything. He looked like he was in daze. <Hmm> Unfortunately I went away on vacation the next day for six days. I figured he would be a goner by the time I came back. Someone came by to feed the fish twice while I was away. I've done this before and find that fish are fine if they have to go with only one or two meals in a week. There is also over 100 lbs of live rock in there. When I came home, to my surprise he was still alive. However, he was extremely skinny. I mean he's just skin and bones and a head. I'm very confident that they had enough food and all the other fish looked very healthy. Surprisingly His behavior had gone back to normal (grazing etc.) but he remains really skinny above the head and in the body. I've been home 4 days and I've been feeding them and he seems to be eating alright but he looks awful. <Any other fishes that are "suddenly thin", acting oddly?> What in the world could have caused this? Could this have something to do with my Kalk dosing? Is this a cyanide thing? Is there anything I can do to help him out? <Not Kalkwasser, not cyanide... perhaps an internal parasite manifesting itself... I would try augmenting the diet with a vitamin and HUFA supplements, adding some to the water itself weekly... even adding either fresh garlic or one of the "real" garlic prep.s sold in the interest (like Ecosystem's) to foods. Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance for your help.

Flame Angel QT decision Hi Guys: I have a situation with a Flame Angel amazingly similar to the posts below, although my QT tank is only 10 gallons (too small, I know) and my flame has been eating regularly since go.  She was gorgeous at the 7th day of quarantine.  Unfortunately, I had to go out of town unexpectedly on business for several days and upon return last night I noticed that one of her eyes has become clouded over (today is day 11).  Obviously, I did a water change last night since water quality has deteriorated over those days while traveling (NO3 was at 5 ppm).  She is still eating and appears very healthy and vibrant except for the clouded eye.   So what to do?   I read these posts on your site and am torn over which path to take: <Mmm, if this Angel is otherwise okay, appearance and behavior-wise, I'd leave it in quarantine another three days... If it appears to be suffering, the eye becoming more clouded over, I might run it through a pH-adjusted freshwater bath (Please see here re:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm) and place it in your main system. Bob Fenner>

Flame in QT Bob or who ever is answering tonight: I have a flame angel that is in QT tank for 2 days tonight I found 2 small bumps behind the one eye just behind the gill cover they look like pimples with a small white top. Would a fresh water dip be appropriate or what course of action should I follow? <I would just hold off... not to worry here unnecessarily... these bumps may well be due to the quarantine procedure, shipping... and will go with acclimation, adjustment, settling in to your main tank.> Thank you for the great web site. Pat <You are welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Flame in QT
Bob I'm sorry but I'm not sure I follow. Are you saying this could be from shipping and will cure itself? <Yes> Maybe I didn't make myself clear the flame is in a Qt tank and will keep there for min. of 4 weeks. It didn't have these 2 pimples when brought home 2 days ago. Not sure if this is a problem or not? <Not likely a problem. I would do nothing "extraordinary". Not treat it chemically. Bob Fenner> Thanks Pat

Flame Angel QT decision Hi Bob: <Hello Jim, I'm just a doctor! Oh, sorry, an old trekkie> Wanted to write again with a progress report on the Flame. After reading your response, I decided to try Furan-2 and Epsom salts (1 tbsp per 10 gallon) -- one, because I figured if she had to sit in QT another 3 days she might as well get antibiotics to be on the safe side, and two, for my own personal education.    At any rate, she just completed her 15th day of QT, 48th hour of Furan-2, and 24th hour of MgSO4.   Interestingly enough, her eye now looks worse rather than better!  It definitely appears to be Popeye, but I don't understand how the condition can look worse.   All of her other activity is good -- she's eating well, has typical behavior for a Centropyge, has vibrant color, and her feces is normal-colored although it has become somewhat stringy since starting the MgSO4, which I'm guessing is to be expected. <Yes> The directions on my Furan-2 box by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals states that it is a 4-day regime, not a 5-day as posted several places throughout your website for Furan-based drugs.   The antibiotic has a 03/2004 expiration date, and consists of 60 mg Nitrofurazone, 25 mg Furazolidone, and 2 mg (just a touch) of Methylene Blue per 10 gallons. I would greatly appreciate some more hand-holding here from you to help her through this.   I don't see her having a full recovery over the next 48 hours from the remaining two doses of Furan-2 based on how she looks now, but I could be wrong as I have no experience with Popeye.   Should I follow through with a second round of antibiotics, or a FW dip with Methylene blue and follow with placement in the main tank? <I would do the latter, hope for a self-cure>    Any explanation on why her eye looks worse now than better in this situation?    I did a 40-50% water change 48 hours ago before starting the Furan-2, so water quality is okay. <No idea. Depends on the root cause of the eye trouble... if it wasn't bacterial in origin, the treatment might not have done much good...> Thanks for all of your help and a great website.   You have done immeasurable good and saved a lot of fishes' lives and the ocean's reefs too by discouraging people from buying inappropriate species.    I look forward to the day when Flame Angels are routinely farm-raised, which I understand is fast approaching. <Yes> Happy Holidays, Jim <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

SICK FLAME ANGEL I just purchased a flame angel from the most reputable fish dealer on the net. Fish looked great in the bag, very bright red. Unfortunately, I had to move the aquascape after I released him into the tank. I did not quarantine the fish because it is the only fish in the 75 gallon tank and based on where the fish is from I've never needed to<You always need quarantine even if it is the only fish in the tank. > I now see where I was wrong. After 24 hours, the fish is pale white on the sides and scratching against rocks like a madman. It has no apparent ich spots on fins. Do I need to set up a quick quarantine tank, stress him out further, or is there a chance that him being the only fish in a tank that big he can kick it on his own with time?< Leave him where he is for now but if he does start to show spots he will need to be treated in a separate tank and your main tank will need to go fishless for at least four weeks, a cleaner shrimp would be beneficial > All levels are zero, and he has absolutely no competition. He picks at the liverock, but won't even chase Mysis shrimp. I'm really in a bind because this fish is so beautiful. It's a tiger striped variation of the flame. HELP! <Try feeding him an angel preparation such as the one made by Ocean Nutrition.  Please read through the pages highlighted in blue below for more info on quarantine and the flame angel. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/centropyge/loricula.htm Hope this helps, Cody>

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

- Sick Flame Angel - Hello, <Good morning, JasonC here...> It's been a while since I've used your services - a whole new look on the website, a bit intimidating for me so I hope you don't mind me just asking the question - I did try the search as your site requested, just no luck. Anyway, I have a Flame Angel who has been in the tank (180g.) for close to 6 months along with a few clowns, Chromis and a yellow tang - the Flame has been hiding in the reef, not it's usual lively self.  Upon closer inspection it appears to be very pale in the face, kind of off balance, gasping for air...  All the other fish appear to be fine, water parameters all check out.  I know what your thinking - same thing happens to Anthony after a few beers but I am concerned that it may be a disease... <Ah ha, ha ha ha... Actually, that wasn't what I was thinking... but, is anyone hassling your flame angel? It doesn't sound like any specific disease, but if you are concerned, I would isolate this fish in quarantine for observation and potential treatment should the symptoms begin to point to something more certain.> Please help me. Thanks in advance, Mike <Cheers, J -- >
- Re: Sick Flame Angel -
Thanks for your response Jason <My pleasure.> - interestingly it may be the Yellow Tang who is intimidating the Flame. <Well, I'm glad I asked - I once had a Rusty Angel [Centropyge ferrugata] hassled to death by a tang - there's only so much they can take, and need to graze as much as the tangs do.>  I will do as prescribed. The look has changed but the same excellent service you provide us mariners is still there - excellent! Regards, Mike <Cheers, J -- >

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

Flame Angel Trouble >I recently bought a flame angel (1 week ago).  All was going well until yesterday when the angel started to pale in color.  She is now pretty pale and twitches slightly.   >>The animal sounds very stressed. >I do not have a q-tank (sorry!) and she is in a 30 gal with a dwarf lion and a b/g Chromis.  Please help I do not want to lose this fish.  I did a h2o change last night to try to help.   >>The water change will help.  If you have NO invertebrates in the tank, I would begin dropping the salinity till it gets down to 1.010.  If you can AT ALL, consider getting one of those stackable Rubbermaid tubs, those work GREAT as quarantine systems, just heat, add a sponge filter and go.  In the meantime, watch her, keep her eating, do lots of water changes. >She is eating well with no spots (just pale, slight scratching, and twitching once in a while).  Thanks >>Observe, and do get that tub for the future.  Best of luck.  Marina
Flame Angel BIG Trouble - II
>Flame angle took a turn for the worse.  So I went out and bought a q-tank and all the fixings.  I started a formalin treatment.  She had cloudy eye and severe fin rot.   >>Holy sheet!  This is moving quickly. >After 24 hrs in the tank the cloudy part of the eye fell off leaving a puffy eye with  a grey spot in the middle.   >>Oh man.. >Her overall color is very good.  Will she lose the eye?? >>If I'm understanding what you've described, it sounds as though she's lost the cornea.  I would not expect it to heal up "good as new". >Also, will the fins grow back (how long)?? >>Assuming this disease is under control and then cured, yes, they'll grow back.  How long is dependent upon many factors, though, not the least of which will be nutrition and EXCELLENT water quality.  I would expect, once cured, signs of healing to show within a month.  After that, full regrowth could be anywhere from within a couple of weeks to more than two-three months. >Thanks for you time and help w/the hard lesson about the Q-tank. >>Sage words, let your lesson be learned by others, yeah?  I'm just glad that the fish is still kicking around.  Marina
Flame Angel BIG Trouble - III
>Thanks for the quick response.   >>We do try. >I was just wondering if you thought my treatment was correct.   >>Without actually seeing the animal myself, and knowing that if it IS the result of parasitic infection, knowing that formalin is appropriate for both ich and Brooklynellosis, my guess is yes. >Also I read to keep the sponge filter in the sump of my reef after the quarantine, but how do you remove the formalin?? >>What is meant by this is that it is good to keep a sponge filter inoculated with bacteria for q/t and hospital systems.  However, you can't just plunk them back in, you'll need to clean them (I, personally, would bleach) well.  In this case I would clean and sterilize, then run for a day or two with freshwater, using your nose to check for any scent of the formalin.  If in doubt, clean it all over again.  Marina
Flame Angel BIG Trouble - IV
>The flame has regained color.   >>Ah, small bit of relief.   >She is not moving around the tank very well (swims in one area), but her fins are starting to look a lot better.  She has not eaten in about a week and a half and shows no interest in brine or Mysid.   >>Hhmm.. have you tried vegetable foods? >She is also growing a white cotton fluff under her two side fins.  When one problem seems better another emerges.   >>So it seems, secondary.  However, if it looks wispy-cottony, it could be a fungal infection.  I would dose with Methylene blue, enough to turn the water blue.  This should not stress her, but can make viewing a bit more difficult.  Keep up with water changes rather frequently, too. >One other question, how safe is formalin???  Should you wear gloves?  Cover the tank?  Overall things to be concerned with?   >>The tank should be covered to protect from anything falling in and the fish jumping out no matter.  Formalin does contain formaldehyde, so if you think you might be sensitive at all, gloves are a very good idea.  Good basic safety precautions when working with chemicals are your basis here: no contact with open wounds or rashes, if you develop ANYTHING on your skin go see the doctor and make sure you come into no contact, that sort of thing.  I think you're doing a good job if she's still kicking around!  Marina

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

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

- Flame Angel Issues -  Hi  My flame angel just came with this disease today. Can you identify it for me and suggestions on how to treat it, please. <Hmm... the picture is just blurry enough that I can't be 100% sure what that is. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say that it's probably Lymphocystis - a viral condition that comes and goes on its own. There is no treatment.> I have had him for about 6 months. Thanks in advance. <Keep on eye on the fish... as long as it's eating and otherwise doing fine, I wouldn't be too concerned.>  Gaurav  <Cheers, J -- > 

- Flame Angel Quarantine -  Hi again,  Last question on the flame. She has been in the q tank for about 3 weeks w/no sign of infection for a week. She is still not eating. <Has the fish also not been eating for three weeks?> I was wondering if it would be ok to put her back in the main tank so she could feed off the live rock, I have tried all the normal food stuffs (Nori, Mysis, brine etc.) but she won't even look at it. <I would go ahead an place this fish - perhaps a ph-adjusted, freshwater dip before you make the move.> Any ideas would be great. <Hmm... if you can get your hands on the TMC Gamma frozen foods in your area, seek out their whole cockles in the shell. More often than not, one of these thawed out and cracked open is hard to resist for most any fish.> Thanks  <Cheers, J -- > 

Flame Angel troubles Crew -- <Bob> I 've had a Flame Angel in a 10 gallon quarantine tank for approximately 2 1/2 weeks.   I feed 2X a day with Bob Fenner's recipe from CMA.  It has been eating and very active.  I siphon out the uneaten food daily and perform daily water changes of 2-3 gallons.  I noticed a couple of days ago its normally vibrant red flanks appeared a little washed out.  Also, it has one slightly cloudy eye.  I searched the WWM archives and learned that good husbandry and water changes are the most effective "cure" for a cloudy eye.  Today the fish appears very washed out and its pectoral fins appear frayed.  It still appears to be eating and active.  Is this a bacterial condition?  Is there a treatment beyond water changes?  Please help, I'd really hate to lose this specimen. Thanks for your assistance.   -- Bob <Mmm, I am inclined to suggest (doing what I would do) that you place this specimen in the main tank at this point... The likelihood that its health will improve in the current setting is not "good enough" to offset the likelihood of its improvement in better surroundings. I strongly suspect you have established live rock, with much more for this fish to sustain itself on, much better, stable water quality... in the permanent display aquarium. I would move it, and not worry further about transmitting an infectious or parasitic agent. Bob Fenner> Re: Flame Angel troubles Bob -- Thanks so much for your prompt reply --  I was thinking along the same lines.  By the way, I really enjoyed your algae presentation at the MARS meeting in Sacramento last week. --Bob <As did I. Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>  

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