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FAQs about Marine Angelfish Disease/Health 3

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

Related Articles: Marine AngelsThe Ultimate Angelfish Aquarium; An amazing and challenging collection of marine angelfishes by Peter Giwojna, The Three Sets of Factors That Determine Livestock Health/Disease, A Livestock Treatment System  

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

Healthy angels are full-bodied like this robust Apolemichthys trimaculatus.

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Angel In Distress? Hi guy!! <Scott F. your guy tonight!> My French Angel had cloudy eyes and some white parasites on his eyes and body that looked like little grains. I gave him a freshwater bath with Formalin-3.It did get rid of the parasites and cloudiness on his eyes. But 2 days later, he doesn't eat and his fins are deteriorating like crazy. <Hmm...sounds/look like it could be "collateral damage" from the Formalin. I've seen similar results with copper sulphate on some fishes. It certainly would be advisable to get this guy out of medication ASAP, if you have not already done so.> Right away, I put him in a quarantine with Maracyn Two. Here is a picture tell me what you think. Thanks. Derik <Well, Derek, I'd keep this guy in the quarantine tank for a while, but I'd remove any medications to give him a "break" for a while. Yes, it is important to keep the water quality high, but I'd avoid the medication unless symptoms get worse here. Hopefully, if this is not a disease, your fish should make a full recovery in a few weeks with good environmental conditions. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Problem With A Poma (Sick Angel) Dear Scott, <Hello again!> I bought a pair of gold-stripe maroon clowns on Wednesday and added them to my tank with the Grey Poma, but now I have noticed that the Poma has developed white-spot. <Yikes! No quarantine? I don't want to scold you now- but...Ya got to quarantine all new arrivals to avoid problems like this in the future, okay?> It is not a really heavy infestation but I know I need to cure it. The angel has been trying to solicit the boxing shrimp into cleaning it but I have not yet observed them doing so. The clowns are still free of spots but what is the best way to go about treating them? I know copper is toxic to angels, so I bought some Vertaid medication which contains Quinine hydrochloride and Malachite green from another fish shop and the guy there said to add 1ml per 70l for four days and do partial water changes if the fish or inverts look stressed. <Well, some angel species are very sensitive to copper, mainly Centropyge species. I have used copper on a variety of angels without problems. Of course, if you are concerned about this medication, I'd recommend a Formalin-based product as an alternative.> I impulse bought this product because I did not know what else to do. Should I treat the whole tank or isolate the fish in a separate tank and do it as it is going to take a while to set up a hospital tank? <Id treat all affected fishes in a separate tank, and let the display run fallow for a month or so. My advice is to NEVER treat in the display tank.> He said that he would not recommend a freshwater dip as this may shock the fish more. <Well, freshwater dips can be a bit rough on an already-stressed fish. Their effectiveness can vary, and I would not consider a FW dip a primary treatment method> Can you please put me on the right track to treat my fish, I do not want to lose them. Yours Sincerely Adam Harbeck <Well, Adam- I'd remove the affected fish to a separate system for treatment, and let the display tank run without fishes for a month or so. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter concerning dosage and duration, regardless of what medication that you choose to use. Follow through and keep observing your fishes carefully during the process, and I'm sure that your fish will make it through fine! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Injured Navarchus Beauty >Can you please help me identify what this is (see pic's)?  >>Hello, I certainly will try (GORGEOUS fish, by the way!). >I've had him about 3 months. I was not looking to purchase a Navarchus, the bonehead at LFS sold him to me as a Coral Beauty (I'm a bonehead as well).  >>You bonehead! I happen to think this is a much prettier fish than the Coral Beauty, and yours is fat and QUITE healthy looking, except for that little nick in its side. >He shows no signs of discomfort or duress, eating well, hiding a bit since being alone in the 65 gal QT three days ago. I would like to treat but trying to identify problem first so I can treat properly.  >>Very smart move. >He was the 65 gal w/Naso tang, bird nose wrasse, Fiji blue dot puffer, flame hawk and Cuban hog. Moved them all (slowly after cycling) to new 150 gal about a week ago. I noticed the white marks on his side before moving him to the 150 so I decided to leave him in the 65 and use as a hospital tank until he has healed. Fresh water dip on Monday and Tuesday didn't seem to change anything. Do you think this is Lymphocystis? >>No, Lymphocystis isn't normally seen on the body of the fish, and this displays none of the usual nodular form. Freshwater dips will do nothing for Lymphocystis. In the photos you sent (excellent shots) it doesn't appear white, but pink, like flesh. To me it really looks like an injury, and since it appeared within a week of a move, that would be my first guess. If he's not scratching, breathing hard, otherwise behaving normally as you say, then again, my lean is towards injury. At that point you have some choices. First, ALWAYS go with providing best possible nutrition, which not only means great variety, but enriching with a good supplement, my favorite is Selcon. They can't heal if they haven't got the "tools". Second, by the looks of this fish I'd surmise that you're providing fantastic water conditions, keep this up. Now, the choice comes in whether or not you'll treat prophylactically. This would generally be antibiotics. I am of the general opinion (not always) that, if the fish is otherwise in best condition, and his environment is providing excellent conditions, he can heal on his own. However, I WOULD have on hand some antibiotic just in case you see secondary infection setting in. My favorite is usually Spectrogram, Maracyn is another good one. Have enough on hand to treat for one week. If you don't use it, at least you have it. Hope this helps! Marina 

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

Cloudy Eyes (5/19/04) Hello J <Steve Allen tonight> I had some problems before and you were helpful thank you for that. Now I'm back with another one. I bought a P. imperator she landed directly in the QT. After 3 days white spot visited her. My QT is 70L. Started the copper treatment with OODINEX. That's the only one available here . After the third day of treatment she stopped eating, started to stay at the corner of the tank and I don't like the way she's moving.. So I thought its from the copper so I made a water change stopped the treatment she's been now almost 3 days without copper and a daily water change. I think she's more relaxed I don't see any white spots but this morning one of her eyes was cloudy and she had some patches on her fins. <Copper can be hard on the eyes.> By the way my QT has a TUNZE skimmer for 600liters capacity and an EHEIM wet dry filter also for 600liters capacity and a regular filter with sponge. What shall I do if you tell me to go to antibiotics what kind shall I buy and what's the dosage for a 70 liters QT. (the fishes size is 6.25 inches) Or do you recommend something else. <I would suggest a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Choose one that is available to you and dose per the label instructions. The symptoms are indeed concerning for a bacterial infection. One more thing is it possible to keep a 6.25 inch emperor in a 70 liters tank for long. <For the 4 weeks that you need to quarantine to be sure the Ich goes away and stays away. Search WWM for more info.> And how long can she survive without eating? <A previously well-fed fish can go a couple of weeks and still recover.> Her response to food is very passive is it a hopeless case?? <Don't despair yet.> My regular tank is 1000 liters <nice tank for an Imperator> FO but I'm afraid to take her there because of the white spots. <Smart. Wait.> Thank you very much for your time, Viken <Hope this helps.> 

Majestic angel trouble <Hi! Ananda here this afternoon...> Hi I have a majestic angel which I have had for about 2 weeks. Until today he seemed fine. He swam around a lot and ate good. But, now he's hiding and refuses to eat he barely moves. His eyes are a little cloudy. The only other problem the tank has had was a rusty angel that died a couple of days ago. The water quality as of last night was ammonia .25 ph 8.2 nitrate .10 nitrite 0. <That ammonia is a problem, and probably why the fish's eyes are cloudy.> What do you suggest? <Water changes, *pronto*... Hopefully you keep some pre-mixed stuff ready to go for emergencies like this. If you don't have any ready, let new stuff mix for about 4 hours (with vigorous circulation via powerhead). And I'd also suggest some Amquel+ (got to have the plus since it's a marine tank!) in the interim. --Ananda> 

Sick Singapore Angel? Hello, <Hi there! Scott F. here today> My new Singapore Angel has Ich.  He is about 4 inches long, good color and has clear eyes.  I went to the store to buy Ich medication (Rid-Ich), but the owner steered me over to Mardel Copper Safe.  He said I only have to medicate once and with half the prescribed treatment because of the angel.  The angel is in a 10 gallon bare bottomed quarantine tank.  Should I treat with Copper Safe?  For how long and with what amount? <There is a lot of disagreement about whether or not to use copper with many angelfish species. I feel that CopperSafe is a good product, but the choice to use copper is a judgment call on your part. If it were me, I'd rather use a Formalin-based product than a reduced dosage of Copper. The use of copper is dependent upon a specific dosage, and should be tested for while in use. All medications should be administered in a separate aquarium.> I have had the angel for about a week.  Whenever I come into the room he hides in a cave.  He has only eaten live Caulerpa and nothing else.  How long can he go without food?  Will he eventually eat?  Thank you for your time. Sam Reef <Well, Sam, it's important that the fish eats as much food as possible, as soon as possible. Yes, these fish don't have the best reputation for being easy feeders. If the fish is ill, this could complicate things, but it is important to keep food available to the fish. Don't give up! Regards, Scott F.>

Angels with cloudy eyes I didn't realize it was that critical to keep the caps on or off. So here we go again I left for vacation and when I got back my Asfur angel and lion fish have cloudy eyes so I did a 50 gln water change and by the recommendation of the LFS I added MelaFix. Then 2 days later my Asfur angels left eye looks 10x worse and all the fishes color look terrible. I know the answer is somewhere on the sight and I will keep looking but desperate times call for desperate measures. Any help would be deeply appreciated<what is the water quality in this aquarium? nitrates, ammonia, pH? also most of the time things get worse before they get better, IanB>  Thank you Anthony

Precious Fish Passed Away, But He Did His Best to Save It (4/5/04)   Hi there again Crew! <Steve Allen tonight>   Lost my prized queen angel....Gutted! And feel like giving up and forgetting about reef tanks etc. <So sorry for your loss, but hang in there.> I have gone around 4 years without any diseases at all. Including bringing back a yellow tang with terrible HLLE to a plump healthy beautifully coloured individual. <Good work. You have proven your abilities.> Have a couple of questions to ask you if I may? <Certainly.>   The only two signs something was wrong with the queen was increased respiration rate + refusal of any food. <A sure sign of disease.> I am not one usually given to knee-jerk re-actions, but in this case I knew I had to do something quick. I moved the queen to a hospital tank (with the water taken from the main display) and began treatment with copper. Now I know the queen (as are most angels I believe) are fairly intolerant of copper but as my bat was definitely suffering from Ich ( they were in the same tank) and until I QT'd the bat 4 days ago, I presumed that the queen had an infection which at this time was confined to the gills. From the first sign of distress to death was a matter of around 30 hours......Have you any idea if there was any other form of treatment I could have given? <Formalin can be a great alternative. It may not be the copper that killed the fish. Gill infestations are rapidly fatal. Angels have been successfully treated with proper copper dosing/levels.> Did I do the wrong thing? <Now> Should I have done FW dips? <FW or FW/Formalin dips are effective, but so is copper. Aggressive therapy was indicated here.> Should I not have used copper? <I do not think this was the big mistake you worry that it was. Something else may have been better, but I think your fish died because its gills were affected by the infestation, not due to your copper treatment.> There are still 4 fish left in the 6x2x2 should I remove them all or can I leave them until maybe 2 months has gone bye and after this time assume the disease has gone from the tank (The idea behind this being that if no other fish are infected then the Ich has not had a host?) or am I daft to think this? <It could still be lurking sub-clinically as long as their are fish in there. Have you any theory as to where the Ich came from? I'd say the safest approach would be to quarantine and treat them (hyposalinity and increased temp, with copper or Formalin if signs/symptoms) to be safe. Leave the main tank fish-free for 6 weeks or so for the parasites to die out.>   After going for so long w/out disease I guess I got complacent and put one piece of live rock straight in the main tank and from there on lost half my fish. <More evidence to support the prevailing WWM view that all living things be quarantined, not just fish.> Anyhow from a fed-up (and now very broke) aquarist of many years I wish you all a good day. And hope to speak to you again soon with some better news. <We look forward to that.> With many thanks. Simon <Don't give up yet Simon. Your techniques are fundamentally sound. Do the QT/fallow to be safe and then think about a new fish to add down the road. Nothing can "replace" a precious/beloved animal that dies, but you can find another to cherish in its own right some day. Good luck to you.>

- White Blotches on Emperor Angel - Hello. <Hi.> I am desperately trying to sift through all the info. on the web about angels. I have a 3.5 inch juvenile imperator angel who has white blotches to his pattern. Does not look like anything attached as it would with an Ich type disease. He is eating and swimming about. My nitrates, nitrites, ammonia and salinity are all good. His eyes are clear. Is this just the beginning of his metamorphosis or is it a disease. <Sounds to me like an exhibition of the night/fright pattern on this fish. Typically shown when in an overall bad mood or nighttime. Not sure what your fish might be responding to, but have seen these blotchy patterns often enough on newly arrived or stressed fish. Do look for sources of stress in your tank, perhaps do a couple of large water changes to try and improve its mood.> Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Heather <Cheers, J -- >

Angel In Peril? Hi I was wondering if you could help me. I have had my tank raised half moon angel for about 6 months now he has be doing great until a few days ago he doesn't eat that much eats a bit a day, but he is usually a little pig. Besides that, his color and personality is the same. I saw him go up to my cleaner shrimp once since then I have gave him 2 fresh water dips. Should I treat with copper or continue with the dips. This has been going on for about 5 days. Thanks, love your site!!! best on to net! Morgan <Well, Morgan- I'd hold off on further, possibly stress-inducing treatments of any kind, until you get a handle on what this is. Usually, fishes go off feed for a variety of reasons, such as environmental lapses or illness. In the absence of other obvious disease symptoms, I'd look to environmental conditions as a possible cause. Do a full range of basic water tests to see if things are up to par. Otherwise, continue excellent husbandry practices, and stay the course with this fish. Hopefully, with your good care and the passage of time, He'll get back his appetite and things should work out. Hang in there. Regards, Scott F.>

- Raised Scales, Problem? - Hello kind keeper of the knowledge, I'm having difficulties treating my Koran angelfish. I had a bout of the dreaded ICH recently and treated it with copper. Then I treated the secondary infection with Erythromycin. After the last treatment I noticed that my wet pet had spiky scales around his head. I added some MelaFix (pond grade) to my hospital tank to fix him up but now he has these spikes all over his body. Are these just raised scales that will be shrugged off during the healing process or is it something I should be worried about? <Well... it's not a good sign, but worrying about it likely won't do anything. I'd stop all treatments at this point and concentrate on improving water quality. If the fish is going to recover it will, there's not much you can do to 'treat' this.> Also I bought a 30" 65 watt power compact w/ moonlight for my 49 gal bow front reef tank. I mainly have soft corals, mushrooms, and polyps in the tank under standard florescent (three 25 watt bulbs: 50/50, day light and one blue antic). They seem to be doing fine all but the Elkhorn (green) frag. This is my first hard coral. How often do they open up? <Depends on the origin of the coral - if it's wild, likely over night, but many corals adapt in time to stay open during the day.> I see tiny yellow polyps come out once in a while. They are about the size of a pinhead. Once my new lighting system arrives what is the best way to acclimate my coral to this stronger light? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm > And should I have bought the 36" 95 watt version or would that be overkill? I still have time to upgrade if need be. <With small-polyp, stony corals more lighting intensity is always better.> Thanks and Merry Christmas, Chad <Cheers, J -- >

Emperor Angel sick? Hello, I just bought a 4-5 inch juvenile coloured Emperor angel a couple days ago and he's just beginning to feed on brine shrimp and Mysid and if there is any other nutritional food that i should be feeding him please tell me.<I would feed your angelfish a mixture of foodstuff...such as Nori-which can be purchased at a grocery store. I feed my angelfish Lifeline (green for herbivores) and I also soak all foodstuff in vitamins.>My problem is that I've noticed an oval shaped brownish faded sore about 1 cm in diameter and from a certain angle it kind of pokes out a little, but not that much. I have heard of white blotches that these guys get when there changing, but I'm not sure if its the same thing. Is this nutritional or a skin disease?<It could be a environmental disease...A picture would help greatly. BTW.. test your water and give me your results.. pH.. nitrates, nitrites, ammonia. SG--Good luck, IanB> Please help me I love these guys sooo much. thanks

Emperor Angel fish disease? Hi, I just bought a 4-5 inch juvenile coloured Emperor Angel 3 days ago and I noticed a brownish pink discoloured spot on him about 1 cm in diameter. I am not sure if it is from transporting or if its a disease? Thanks <Did the spots look like the ones on the fish at this link? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/viraldislymph.htm If so your problem is a viral infection called Lymphocystis...If this is your problem please read the FAQ's that appear on the Lymphocystis page. Do keep in mind this is an environmental disease, so If it is a new fish I would not be too concerned. Good luck, IanB>

It's Not A Fluke.. Or Is It? Good Morning Scott, <Hi there!> Many thanks for your quick response. After observing my fish further, it would appear that my blue face angel has white, clear patches over his eyes. The patches seem to be loose. This fish only seems to scratch his head from time to time, not the rest of the body. <Hmm...> Do you think this could be flukes????? I have seen some type of thread item on both eyes about 3-4mm in length and orange in colour (worm)? It's hard to get a good look as he is shy at the best of time. <That is a distinct possibility> My purple tang is also looking well fat (like never before) even if I don't feed the tank for 24 hours. This is really unusual. I'm now starting to lean towards some type of internal / external worm in the system. <These fishes do occasionally come in with internal parasites...> I used to have a powder blue tang that passed away a year ago as each morning he would have what appeared to be bad white spot but by the afternoon it would be totally gone. Anyway the bug finally beat him and he died (poor thing). However after doing a heap of research, it would appear that monogenetic flukes (I think this is the correct name) can act in this way, leaving he host and return early in the morning? Quite possible that it was never white spot and monogenetic flukes (can look familiar to the naked eye). They may have been lying dormant and ready to attack in force. Understand that large angels are prone to this. Any ideas would be great as I'm thinking about treating the tank again with Sterazin (by Waterlife in the UK). Thanks again Che   <Excellent insights and research, Che. As you suggest, large angels are certainly prone to contracting these creatures. I'd utilize a treatment course using a Formalin-based product, if you suspect this to be the case. You really want to use it as a dip, rather than an ongoing treatment, but it is known to do the trick! You can find out more about treatment of flukes on the WWM site. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Angel In Distress? Thanks for the help in advance, <Glad to be of service! Scott F. with you today!> I have a 220 gallon FOWLR system running for 2 years with good water parameters, all the fish have been healthy.  I recently put in a 3-4 inch majestic angel after two weeks in quarantine, this shortened period I'm guessing may have been my downfall. <Well, better two weeks than nothing- but still too short, as you surmise> After introducing it to the main tank, it's pectoral fins in particular became very ragged and its one eye cloudy. I've been doing some water changes and bringing down the specific gravity in the system as this has helped with situations in the past. The fins seem to have stopped deteriorating and the eye is not getting any worse (this is over one week).  It is more or less impossible to catch the fish in my tank and I am wondering if the fact that the majestic is no longer hiding and now eating much better may allow it to heal without moving it to a separate tank for treatment. <Well, if capture is simply not possible, I'd keep trying to maintain stable conditions with excellent water quality, and feed the fish as much good-quality food as possible> Also how low would you recommend taking the specific gravity and for what duration (water temperature is 80). <Well, hyposalinity is a potentially effective treatment for some parasitic illnesses, but it may be ineffective for bacterial maladies. If you elect to go the hyposalinity route, make sure that you remove all inverts from the system, lower it slowly, and use a specific gravity of around 1.015. Depending on the malady that you are attempting to treat, I'd leave the specific gravity at this level for about 2 weeks or so, unless the fishes show additional distress. At that point, removal of all afflicted fishes to a separate tank for medical treatment may be required> I did notice on a few of the other fish tiny patches of cloudiness on their tails, not Ich like, any suggestions?? Thanks Joe <Well, Joe- hard to say. It could be the beginnings of a virulent parasitic disease, such as Amyloodinium, or a more treatable bacterial infection. If it is bacterial, it may also be important to focus on the root cause, which is usually due to some environmental lapses. Do review all basic water quality, in addition to any other treatment course that you may embark upon. Try to get a positive ID on the illness before getting too involved with a potentially hazardous treatment. Make use of the WWM FAQs for possible ID's. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Many marine angels, sick Dear Bob, <Jo?/John> I'm Jo? from Portugal. I don't know if this is the right way or contact to ask this but, I was reading the asks and answers so... here I'm... I'm 28 years old and I have reef and fish-only aquariums since 1990. I almost really don't know what species of corals, invertebrates and fishes I didn't had as least one time pass these years. To treat fishes, Pomacanthus imperators, P. annularis,  Apolemichthys, Zanclus, Nemateleotris, etc etc etc..... :)...... I always used (and I use), Waterlife products (Myxazin, Sterazin, Octozin, Cuprazin, etc) and some human medicines (Resochina for example), whit great results. But now, I have a problem. In one fish-only aquarium, I have at about two years ago, one Apolemichthys trimaculatus XXL and one P. Annularis S/M. They was simply sobered until, I bought two little Holocanthus Passer and putted with them, 2 week's ago, without the proper Quarantine...! <Que lastima! Spanish, my Portuguese is worse> The 2 Passer's died 1 week ago, with the symptoms that Apolemichthys and Pomacanthus are having now. They don't have ict? or criptocarie. They are eating and breathing normally. But they are grazing and when swimming they flick and flick and flick.....  the eyes are staying cloudy too, like what happened whit Passer's before dead. <May be flukes... monogenetic or digenetic Trematodes... a type of flatworm> I had already tried to treat them with Cuprazin, Sterazin, and nothing.... Today I did again a good change of water  (with osmosis and ionic change resin, red sea salt, oligo. elements, etc etc ), and I'm thinking treat them after tomorrow with Octozin! The parameters of water are excellent like always did. I'm very sad because first of all they are live. animals, second, I love them and I see that they are really trying to live, and I don't know anymore what to do. If you can, please help me to help them! <I would run your fishes through a pH adjusted freshwater AND formalin dip/bath as proscribed on WetWebMedia.com AND move these fishes to other quarters (another tank than the one they are in), AND add cleaner organisms (Gobiosoma gobies, Lysmata sp. shrimp). Bob Fenner> Thank you Bob. My best regards, Jo?
Re: Many marine angels, sick
Hello Bob and company! :) Thanks very much for the answer. <You're welcome> I had already put them in a 10 minutes freshwater bath. They are better. Almost don't flick anymore and the P. annularis have the eye less cloudy. They are either with Octozin. <Okay> One question, about the formalin baths, or Methylene blue, etc etc where can I find the right measures, time of baths, etc ? In this site I only found  "ten standard drops to one gallon water (37 percent food grade formalin.)... " <This information is posted on WWM (in various FAQs files... probably best/easiest to search using the "Google Search Tool" at the bottom of the WWM homepage. If you are looking for ONE good reference for fish disease, treatment, please see Edward Noga's "Fish Disease" book.> Other question, I hear we can give some products (Principe actives) in the food to reach some internal areas of fish and treat some infections, parasites, etc, because we can't reach some areas with fresh baths or others reasons. <This is so> I use Resochina (quinina) in Artemia to kill intestinal parasites and specially liver parasites. There're more products we can use/give in alimentation to prevent or treat some problems ? I hear of "methanol" for example... <I would not do this. Would NOT treat for various possible internal disease problems that may exist... Unlike George B. jr. and his ilk I do not promote "pre-emptive" attacks... much more harm (in both scenarios) to be had than not> What products (active principals, etc) can I use? For the treatments of? And how many times? In what measures? If you can answer me about this points or tell me where I can find them, will be wonderful. <Take a look on Amazon.com, elsewhere re Edward Noga's name. His printed work is the most up-to-date, complete, useful. Bob Fenner> I only found this site a couple days ago. It's delightful! :) Congratulations!! PS- sorry about my English... :) Best regards, John Silver
Re: Many marine angels, sick ok I'll do that! Thank you again. Congratulations for the well done mission that all of you are doing. Best regards, John Silver <Thank you, good luck, life to you. Bob Fenner>

Koran in trouble Do you have any idea what this may be on my Koran? I don't think its a color change. Looks more like a scrape or something. <Agreed. Apparent "sore" from a physical trauma> Water conditions are perfect, salt is 1.022. Temp is at 78. No AMMONIA, NITRATES, NITRITES. All the other fish appear fine. I have 2 cleaner shrimp and they don't clean the fish so I am assuming that it isn't a parasite. Does the picture help any? Thanks Bill <Does help... I might add an antibiotic (broad spectrum, gram negative) to this fish's foods... if the opening grows worse, consider netting it, applying the antibiotic mixed with a bit of Vaseline to the wound site... otherwise maintaining it in an optimized, stable environment WITH the cleaner... and hope time will heal it. Bob Fenner>
Sick Koran Wow thank you for a quick response. It appears that this is on both sides of the Koran, does that sound like anything? <Mmm, yes... like the problem originated with the specimen getting caught between two rocks... or pinched in some other way> Looks to be getting more red, just over night. Also he appears to be digging. He won't let me get a good picture at least not yet. I am afraid that netting him will cause unnecessary stress. Any ideas? Thanks Bill <Just the ones sent to you yesterday. Bob Fenner>

Emperor with HLLD >Good afternoon folks at WWM, >>Greetings. >After exhausting all resources I am finally breaking down to ask you a question.  First, let me start by giving you a brief description of my problem.  I have an emperor angel that has developed a serious condition of HLLD.  It is to the point that his entire face is almost completely pitted as well as his lateral line.  I have followed all suggestions found in all your related articles but nothing seems to be working.   >>It would be helpful to have an outline of what suggestions have been tried, to what extent, as well as timeline.  In any event... >My tank is a 90 gal. FO, up and running for about 3 years, with some ornamental corals, one small piece of LR and about 2-3" of LS.  Filtration is through a wet dry filter and protein skimmer of unknown type (a gift from a friend) which does produce cups of dark green product on a regular basis.  I took your advice and bought a large Rubbermaid trash can and powerhead to mix my own water.  Using Instant Ocean salt and Seachem's Prime for chlorine and chloramine removal and tapwater, I am able to do 10- 15 gal water changes each week  (the LFS said no other chemicals were needed due to our water quality).  When tested, all water qualities appear within normal limits.   >>We prefer to know actual readings, test kit brand is helpful as well.  As I'm sure you can understand, there are many varying definitions of "within normal limits" or "acceptable parameters". >Livestock includes: 1-emperor angel 4" beginning to change colors 1-hippo tang 5" 1-powder brown tang 4" 1-sailfin tang 4" in the recovering stages of HLLD >>This system is already overstocked, especially with consideration to adult sizes of these first four residents. >1-yellow tang 4" 2- small damsels (blue with yellow tails) 1-sebae clown with anemone 1-CB shrimp 2-sandsifter stars 2-useless brittle stars >>Believe me, they're not useless. >1-small queen conch multiple Astrea snails In the morning they are fed one cube each of Angel Formula and Formula Two by Ocean Nutrition soaked in Kent's Marine C, and in the evening one sheet of Nori and some silversides both soaked in Boyd's Vita-Chem.   >>ALL these fish are fed only two cubes of frozen food?  In my opinion they are underfed.  Also, I MUCH prefer Selcon, and it can be ordered online. >On the recommendation of my LFS, I have installed a grounding probe.  The only thing that I have not done is to add American Marine Selcon and this is due to not being able to find it locally.  The LFS also suggested that if what I am doing does not work, that I could inject the vitamins directly into the base of the tail with a small syringe.  Ever heard of that?   >>Oh my goodness, an extreme measure, I think it would be more stressful than helpful.   >The Sailfin tang also had a bout of HLLD but seems to be in the recovering stages.  All fish have a healthy appetite and otherwise appear  in great condition, everyone seems to be happy and getting along.  What am I missing (besides a larger tank, which is hopefully in the future if my wife lets me)? I would really like to see my angel clear up and complete his color change.  Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.  Steve >>Personally, I would try using Selcon instead of the other vitamins, and I would definitely feed more.  Also, if you can't get a larger tank VERY soon then I strongly suggest thinning the herd.  Marina      

- Ich or Something Else - I have a adult emperor angel.  This fish had Ich when I received it.  I used a quarantine tank and sea cure copper treatment to get rid of the Ich. ( I have since been told that the copper was a bad idea, but it worked).  Had problems, an ammonia spike in the quarantine so he was moved to my main tank after only two weeks of quarantine. Used copper in the main tank. <Doh!> It has been a month and a half since I have seen any signs of the parasite.  But I just removed my copper via carbon and a copper removing filter material.  This I started a week ago. I haven't seen any Ich parasites (resembling a little piece of salt on the angel) but I have just started seeing white spots that resemble blemishes.  These are more noticeable in the morning before I turn on the lights. <This could just be night/fright patterns as many fish change coloration when it's dark and they typically rest.> But just recently I changed from an ordinary fluorescent bulb to a Marine Glo fluorescent bulb.  I also started leaving a house light on at night so the tank wasn't a complete black out at night.  And to top it off I was 5 days late on my water change which had been a strict regiment for awhile now 3 months.  Before hit and miss. Are these form stress or parasite. <Probably a little stress due to recent changes. Do keep a sharp eye on your water quality. Other than that, as I mentioned before the coloration is probably just the night time pattern.> Could you speculate. <All day long... ;-) > Thanks for your time. <Cheers, J -- >

- Sick Blue-line Angel - Hi Bob, <Actually JasonC at your service today...> Thanks for taking the time to read my message and your expertise in this matter. I just got a blue-line angel and acclimated the fish to my quarantine tank right away. Less than 24 hours later, the fish is completely covered in thousands of little white spots. The fish seems to be extremely stressed out and is breathing very very fast. <Doesn't sound good at all - probably Oodinium.> The place where I got the fish from told me to perform a fresh water bath (properly adjusted temp and ph of course) in conjunction with putting some Greenex in there. So that's exactly what I did. Unfortunately, there are no signs of improvement. <I'd try an extended bath in the Greenex, perhaps even dosing the quarantine tank with it. Do be very careful to follow the usage guidelines as this stuff is quite toxic and overdosing will have dire consequences.> I'm willing to try anything to save this fish. Also, this fish has not eaten anything yet since it's so stressed out. <Again, not a surprise here. Do prepare and keep on hand plenty of new mix-water to perform frequent water changes to keep the ammonia levels down.> Should I try another fresh water bath with formalin this time? <Hmm... I think I would put the formalin directly in the quarantine. At this point, you've probably got a systemic issue which means bathing the fish and putting it back into 'infected' water. Better to just treat them both.> Should I purchase a cleaner wrasse? <No.> Change water parameters or use some medication? <The Greenex/formalin should do the trick, but it won't happen over night. Do keep on top of water quality with frequent water changes.> I would greatly appreciate your help. Thanks much! -Randy <Cheers, J -- >

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

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.>

- What am I doing wrong??? - I've just killed my Asfur whom just started showing signs of Ich, rapid respiration. I gave him a eight minute freshwater dip that was pH and temp matched (RO water that has been aerated for 24hrs). Once I put him back in his Q-tank he promptly began banging himself against the walls, sank to the bottom and died within 30 minutes. He was otherwise eating and swimming normally, I feel awful.  <Well... don't punish yourself too much, these things happen. Although it's little consolation, the 'word' among the grizzled, hard-core aquarists is that if it didn't make it through the dip, it wasn't going to make it anyway.> I have previously given a Blue Line angel whom got back in the Q-tank after a FW dip and swam into the walls as well, what could I possibly be doing wrong? The Blue- Line died that following day.  <I think part of your problem may be the source of your livestock. Inquire, if you can, at your local fish store about where they get their stuff - if they trans-ship, try to find another fish store.> I used to put formalin in the water and was advised it could possibly be potent to angels per Anthony so he advised just plain FW which I followed.  <Well... formalin is potentially even more toxic, than copper. Angels have a 'sensitivity' to copper, but this is in response to long-term exposure to copper, and not occasional therapeutic use, even sometimes at lower than normal levels.>  Talk about gun shy now, I'm beginning to question my skills, or lack thereof and don't know what to do if my fish get sick.  <Again, the first trick is to get good fish, either the right size [not too small, large] and in good health - many that come in to the store appear to be in fine shape but sadly have already begun their downward spiral.>  Please advise and thanks in advance. --- Steve <In the future, bring all incoming fish through a complete quarantine - two weeks would be fine, followed by a dip and placement in the main tank. This would avoid the problems of sudden appearance of parasitic problems like Ich.  Cheers, J -- >

Striking Back Against Disease! About two weeks ago I purchased a large adult imperator from the Fish Doctor of Canton.  I didn't quarantine the fish because it was at the shop for over a week and a half and it looked perfect and disease free. The reason I didn't quarantine the fish is because I didn't want to stress the fish out and because Marcus and Juan the owners of the Fish Doctor felt confident enough to say don't even bother. <Yikes! I strongly disagree with that advice and the theory behind it. I'm sure that they meant well - but it seems inconceivable to me that a fish in a store - even a particularly fastidious one - does not come into contact with water, equipment, rocks, etc. from other tanks; tanks that may have infected fishes in them...My advice- quarantine all new fishes, regardless of their source, or the apparent condition that they are in at the store. Quarantine does not need to be a "stressful" procedure. Frankly, I feel that the potential for infecting your healthy fishes is so great that it is well worth the extra effort. Ask the aquarists at any public aquarium or aquatic park- they will tell you that all new arrivals are routinely quarantined. They do it- and so should you! Lecture over!> Before placing the fish into the tank my 120 with seven other fish was in perfect condition free of any problems.  Since adding the fish I have had a few problems such as my angels eyes became cloudy and his gill fins started to fall apart and it develop a wound by its gills which looks okay. I cleared up these problems with a three minute fresh water dip and a 7 day treatment of Melafix and a water change. The angel looks excellent except for that small wound by its gills which looks as if it is getting better and the fins look like they are healing. What caused the fish to develop that wound and why are there some dead scales over the wound? <A number of possible causes, ranging from trauma resulting from netting the fish to damage caused by parasites, fish lice, etc. The scales surrounding the wound are probably responding to localized damage, and will probably regenerate or heal over time....Keep an eye on this fish.> However I am still having problems my yellow tang the other day developed a bunch of litter black/ brown dots almost as if they were freckles and he started to scratch. So I gave him a freshwater dip and all the freckles disappeared and he stopped scratching. <Good procedure and response. Sometimes a freshwater dip can knock out parasitic illnesses easier than medication, and with less potential for "collateral damage" to the fish.> What kind of disease is this? <Well, its hard to say exactly what the disease may be without seeing it, but there are a number of parasites which cause the condition known as...(what else?) "Black Spot" disease, most of which can be treated with simple techniques, such as the aforementioned freshwater dips, copper, or formalin-based medications> After the power outage, I noticed two of my other fish and the yellow tang have the same problem the spots and they are all scratching.  Its looks like for sure I'm going to have to medicate the main tank to make sure that i eradicate the problem, What should I use to fix the problems, that won't damage the tank biological load? <Whoa! DO NOT MEDICATE THE DISPLAY TANK! The potential for "collateral damage", or the potential to render many medications ineffective (because they can bind up with substrate, etc.) is too great. The best way to treat parasitic conditions (IMO) is also one of the toughest to shoulder...Remove all fishes from the tank to a separate container or aquarium for treatment with one of the aforementioned medications. In the mean time, let the display tank run "fallow", without fishes for at least a month. This will lead to a "crash" in the population of parasites, which will make it much easier for the newly healed fishes to fend off any possible future infections upon their return. It is not fun, but it is very effective!> Also I have one more problem, and that is my lionfish, which I have had since November-has almost completely stopped eating. The lionfish looks excellent with no sign of disease. I always feed my fish a lot of food. What do you think caused this problem? <It is possible that the fish is suffering from a minor intestinal impaction...Sometimes, these self-imposed "fasts" will help the fish "clear out" whatever is causing the blockage. Alternatively, it could simply be that the fish is going through an "ornery" phase, much like Oscars do, where they will refuse foods for a period of time...Lots of possibilities. Monitor the fish carefully, test all basic water parameters, and be prepared to take action if necessary.> Other than the few minor problems my fish are all eating.  Please respond soon and let me know exactly what I should do to fix these problems. My tank has excellent filtration with perfect water. I do have a UV and two invertebrates.  Sincerely, Chris <All the more reason NOT to dose the display tank with medication.  Chris- there you have my thoughts on the situation...I think that the "fallow tank" technique, annoying though it may be, is the best way to go...Do verify that the disease which you are dealing with is parasitic in nature (sounds to me like it is), and take the appropriate actions. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

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

- Wild Pomacanthus paru with HLLE - Hi crew, a few questions for your collective wisdom, please: I have a 7" French angel and a 5" Atlantic blue tang residing in a 180gal fish only system  with several smaller tankmates, to include a 3" queen angel.  All were collected and brought back from the Florida Keys in November of '02; at the time, the French was about 6", the tang 2", the queen 2"; they all eat well, the tang the most; after about a month in the tank, the tang developed, within a couple of weeks, significant HLLE,  a good portion of the face and a couple of sizeable chunks along the lateral line, both sides; the French developed it at the same time, quickly, between the eyes and back around the head to the first stripe, the pitting being obvious but not deep; the queen remained and is fine; water parameters are ok, with ozone in use.  Having never had this problem except long ago with pacific angels, I read through the threads and changed the diet as  follows: DAILY:  Ocean Nutrition angel formula (frozen); formula two pellets; chopped shrimp alternately soaked in vita chem and Selcon; seaweed select green and brown; I  also began adding iodide; to date, all of the tangs lateral line erosion has cleared, as has about 50% of the face; the French looks moderately better, the areas of coverage being the same but the intensity considerably less. Other than this, all three are in great color, fat and happy. My concern is whether there could be something else at work here besides diet, especially considering how quickly it developed; any suggestions as to how I might improve this further might be appreciated. Thanks, Steve. <Well, I think the fact that this fish was wild-collected at size means it was used to a very particular diet which you are not replicating correctly in captivity. Some time in observation of their habits in the wild might give some more clues. I would try at the very least bringing some refugia to bear, producing more of this sponge and vegetable matter live for your fish. You could also cycle more live rock, with some always 'brewing' in a separate vat to be exchanged with rock from the tank when all the fauna has been munched by your angel. Cheers, J -- >

- Disease - Queen Angel - Hi crew of WWM, I recently bought a 5 inch queen angel a week ago and it is showing signs of bacteria infection of some sort.  Because its fins are eroding, it has salt like particles on it's caudal tail (I'm not sure if it's ick or sand), and it occasionally rubs itself on my coral decor.  I have him in a 60 gallon quarantine tank at the moment and am wondering what my next step should be?  I applied a medicine called "Melafix" for three days now and have read that it pretty much ineffective. <Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of this...> I haven't seen any real sign of development yet, I would say that it is getting worse.  Are there any negative side of using MelaFix? <None that I'm aware of although too much of just about anything can become toxic.> Also when I tried to net him, half of his face got stuck in the net?  It took awhile to free him too.  Is it because his slime coating is wearing off because of the infection? <No, Angels have a stout spine on their gill covers which is very easy to snag in a net, must use caution.> It is still aggressive as it should be and is also eating well. <Ahh good. Eating is a good sign and would use that as your basis for other evaluation. Make sure the water quality in quarantine is tip-top.> Today I bought a cleaner shrimp hoping to it would work wonders perhaps and I am wondering of my angel will eat the shrimp? <I imagine your Angel will make use of the shrimp's services. Wait and see how this goes and keep an eye on the water quality.> If you can help me, I would appreciate it greatly. <Cheers, J -- >

Time To Move Her Angelfish? Hello again, <Scott F. here again!> I wrote last week about a bicolor angel that doesn't appear to eat.  Scott F.   replied with some suggestions.   He told me to wait 3 weeks in QT at the time I wrote it had been only 2, well now it is 3 weeks but the situation remains the same.  I have never seen this fish eat.   It appears healthy, good color, bright eyes, alert, swims all around and hides for a minute when I approach, it also does not look skinny.   I have tried all foods:   frozen pygmy angel formula, regular angel formula under Scott's suggestion, Mysis, live brine, Spirulina flakes, live rock with algae, red feeding algae and seaweed. Also added vitamins to the water.   Water conditions are good in the QT tank.  I had freshwater dipped for 5 minutes upon arrival.  Now its been 3 weeks and fish seems to be the same as when I got it, doesn't have any signs of parasites, but as far as I know does not eat.   There is a cleaner goby in the tank with it who is also very healthy, he has lived in there for 6 months. <I'd put him somewhere else, BTW- a QT is a temporary feature, to be broken down when not in use...> I know this fish doesn't have a very good survival rate depending on collection, etc. My question is whether I should put it in my main tank where I know the living conditions would be better considering I have skimmer, tons of LR, better filtration, more algae growing, and lighting. Or should I not risk putting in a fish that I have never seen eat, but otherwise appears healthy, just in case it is not healthy. <Well, the fact that he appears healthy and fat is a great sign-even though he doesn't seem to eat. If it were me, I'd go the full 3-4 week quarantine period. He's made it this long- one more week should be okay. Believe me, it's worth waiting: I've had fishes get an illness 20 days into quarantine- it can and does happen...Not worth risking infection...Harsh as it may sound- I'd rather risk one fish than an entire system...You're doing fine- hang in there> If the fish is doomed because of its inability to adapt or eat, would it have any better chance in my main tank, or is it pointless, since it has gone at least 3 weeks without eating and probably will not eat. They did say it was eating at the store, but who can believe them. How long should I keep it quarantine, until it eats or dies, or could it be helped by placing in a well established tank with 100 lbs. of live rock?   Please advise me. Thank you so much, Kylee Peterson <As outlined above, Kylee- let's give it one more week- then release him into the tank if he appears otherwise healthy. He must be picking at something to remain fat and healthy looking...Stay the course! Do let me know how it turns out, okay? Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

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

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

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

Fallen Angel? I have a Venustus angel that is hanging out near the top of the tank in a corner.  She does not appear to be in any particular distress but has ceased eating and has 3 or 4 small black spots on her fins. <Not a good sign> I have not read anywhere where black spot disease causes loss of appetite or vitality.  Is this just black spot or something else?   <Well, without seeing the fish, I can only guess. However, fishes that don't eat and hang around in a listless manner are usually suffering from some kind of malady, or perhaps a lapse in water quality has taken place to put the fish in distress. Rather than just start treating the fish with any old medicine, I'd start by running a basic "suite" of water tests: pH, alkalinity, ammonia, nitrite. If all of the water parameters appear within acceptable limits, I'd begin looking at disease as a certain cause of the symptoms. Diseases like Amyloodinium (which can kill with horrifying rapidity) often leave fishes gasping for breath listlessly in the corners of the tank. "Black Spot" and other parasitic conditions can usually be treated successfully (in a separate tank) with a commercial copper sulphate product. Do make a positive ID using the many resources available on the WWM site, and take decisive action. Good luck in your efforts to save this rare and beautiful fish. Regards, Scott F>

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

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