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FAQs on Freshwater Angelfish Disease/Health 4

FAQs on Angelfish Disease: Angelfish Disease 1, Freshwater Angel Disease 2, FW Angel Disease 3, FW Angel Health 5, FW Angel Health 6, FW Angel Health 7, FW Angel Health 8, FW Angel Health 9,

FAQs on Angelfish Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional (e.g. HLLE), Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic (Ich, Velvet...), Genetic, Treatments,

Related Articles: Freshwater Angels, Discus, Juraparoids, Neotropical Cichlids, African Cichlids, Dwarf South American Cichlids, Asian Cichlids, Cichlid Fishes in General,

Related FAQs: Angels 1, Angels 2, Angelfish Identification, Angelfish Behavior, Angelfish Compatibility, Angelfish Selection, Angelfish Systems, Angelfish Feeding, Angelfish Reproduction, & FAQs on: Wild Angels (P. altum), Cichlids of the World, Cichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid Disease, Cichlid Reproduction,

Angelfish lying flat on bottom of tank 11/18/09
Hello WWM,
<Hello Barbara,>
I'm sorry to bother you, but I did look through your site, and could not find my exact problem.
I saw lots of entries on fish lying flat, but nothing specific to what I am observing. I have a 44 gallon tank, established since March 2009. It contains two angelfish that are full brothers, and are two years old as of this past September. It also houses four Congo tetras, a Bristlenose Pleco, and a 6" lace catfish (Synodontis). (the fish besides the angels are recent "rescued" fish and temporary) Everyone gets along fine.
<As they should; this sounds like a nice combo. I happen to like Lace Synos a lot myself, and it's shame these bigger Synodontis aren't more widely kept.>
One angel has grown since I put them in this tank last March, and is now about 4" across. The other one has not grown at all, (it is about 2.5 to 3" across), and has slowly gotten thinner and thinner, although he appears to eat well.
<Ah... I see. Often with farmed Angels you have problems with "wasting diseases" of various types, sometimes worms, sometimes bacterial.>
Previous to this, he was a big eater, and grew at the same rate.
<Can also be simply a social thing. Angelfish are not gregarious. If you have two males, one *will* become dominant. As such, he'll take more food than his brother.>
For the past two weeks, he now lies flat on the bottom of the tank, breathing hard
<Now, this is serious...>
When I feed, he will struggle to swim up to the surface, and eat food in a very enthusiastic manner, as if he is starving.
<I would put in his own tank (10 gallons upwards) and feed separately from the other Angel. In the hospital tank, treat the Angel with Metronidazole and Nitrofurazone as per the packaging.>
I feed sinking granules by Tetra, Tetra Crisps, and frozen brine shrimp, along with a few "treat" foods such as freeze dried Tubifex worms from time to time and freeze dried baby shrimp. There are no other signs of
Water quality is 8.0 for pH (he is captive bred and was bred in local waters with similar pH), 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 10ppm nitrate. Water is ground spring water, but I use AquaSafe with each water change, and no
other chemicals. Filtration is for up to a 70 gallon tank, partial water changes, and vacuuming of 25% every two to four weeks.
<All sounds fine.>
As I believed he had an internal bacterial infection, I have tried treating with Maracyn Two and Maracyn.
<These two aren't terribly effective... they're sort of like penicillin... good for some stuff, but less so for others, especially drug-resistant strains.>
He seemed to get stronger for a day or so after treating with Maracyn, but has grown weaker since. I work at UPG Aquatics, and am an experienced fish keeper. I have kept reef tanks, biotope systems, community systems as well as a 3,500 gallon pond. From discus to corals, and have never had a fish act like this. Usually, once a fish gets to this point, they seem to perish in a day or so.
This fish is fighting for his life. Normally, I would just humanely euthanize the fish, but he shows so much fight.
<May still be necessary.>
In any case, I typically do not use medications, except in extreme cases, and do not want to just throw more in without any positive results. I am now thinking parasites, but I don't see how he could have gotten them.
<May well have shipped with them. Some evidence things like Hexamita are endemic to cichlids, and only cause problems under certain situations.
Stress caused by fighting between the two Angels could well be the issue.>
Can you help me?
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
RE: angelfish lying flat on bottom of tank...

Hello Neale,
<Hello Barbara,>
Thank you for your reply.
<Always happy to help.>
I will try the meds you have suggested.
<Chuck certainly recommends these two medications for treating diseases of this type. I can't vouch for them from personal experience, since they aren't available in the UK without a prescription.>
Hopefully, he isn't too far gone.
<I hope so too.>
<Good luck, Neale.>
RE: angelfish lying flat on bottom of tank
Hi Neale,
Well, I don't know who Chuck is,
<Charles "Chuck" Rambo... one of the American crewmembers, and a noted cichlid expert; see here:
but I did want to say I was a bit surprised at your comment on the Mardel products.
<Not sure I said anything about them... merely that Maracyn is a good standby antibiotic, but doesn't cure everything, certainly not protozoan infections. While some Mardel products are sold in the UK, antibiotics are not, as is actually the case virtually everywhere except in the US. I've had discussions with vets about whether over-the-counter antibiotics are a good thing, and they seem divided. There are arguments to be made on both sides. On the one hand, it's more convenient and often cheaper to buy antibiotics from a pet store rather than from a vet. So that reduces suffering and improves fish survival rates. But on the other hand there are legitimate concerns that misuse of antibiotics can create long term problems with drug resistance, especially given that dosing with antibiotics reliably is beyond the abilities of most aquarists (how many aquarists know how much their fish weigh?).>
I have used them for over 20 years with great success in most cases. They have only failed me once. The company I work for makes a few medications, two of which are the ones you recommended, so I did a water change last night and introduced them.
He still looks pretty bad this morning, so it may be too late, but we'll see. He's hanging on anyway. You guys are great. I recommend you to our customers daily. (I'm in technical support, and have been for 18 years) I don't usually need to ask for help with a fish tank, but this poor fish has me stumped. Thanks again for all your assistance.
<I'm happy to help.>
<Cheers, Neale.>
RE: angelfish lying flat on bottom of tank

Interesting that antibiotics are only sold OTC here in the States. I didn't know that.
<Indeed the case, at least in Europe and Canada. I dare say in Somalia the law isn't quite to strict!>
I had heard that hydrogen peroxide was popular in Europe though.
<Not for treating fish... fairly nasty stuff!>
I typically don't use any antibiotics these days, I gave that up a while ago, until this guy got so sick. In most cases, a water change takes care of any problems I have in my tanks.
That didn't help this time, and since he is fighting so hard, I decided to try to save him. I suspect he will need to be humanely destroyed though.
I'll make that decision tonight.
<I understand.>
Anyway, seriously, your site is wonderful, you guys are great, and I recommend you to newbies all the time, who have all sorts of questions about their new hobby.
Take care and keep up the great work,
<I plan to, and I will try to...>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Marble Veil Angelfish with reoccurring Fin Rot 6/22/09
Hello There, I hope you can help me, as I have gained valuable information from your site many times.
<I'll do my best to help!>
I have had an angelfish for approximately a year and a half. I got it when it was about the size of a quarter, it is now full grown to approximately 6 inches, well almost, if not for her tail fin.
<That's a pretty good growth rate! So you're probably doing most of the right things already. Angelfish are fairly hardy, but the veil-tail forms are, unfortunately, that bit more delicate than the short-fin sort.>
The fish had torn fins when I purchased her long ago, which I did not notice until the next few days after I got it. Long story short, she continues to have it, get better, then get it again, and tail has never been completely full. I have tried everything that has been suggested on line including medications, water conditions, weekly tank and filter maintenance. Proper and varied food.
<The thing with veil-tail fish of any kind is that they don't have "natural" fins. The blood flow and immune system evolution produced for these fish is adequate for fish with regular fins, but with long-finned types, these systems are overloaded. It's a bit like why shorthair cats can usually groom themselves just fine, but longhair cats invariably need help from humans, otherwise they get furballs. So with veil-tail Angels you need
to be that bit more solicitous in terms of water quality.>
She has always eaten like a piggy, and seems okay, except for the tell tail sign of fin loss and fin ray loss, and occasional white edged rays, and tissue, etc. One individual from allexperts.com, whom I sent a photo
to, told me these were just pimples, like we get, and she looked healthy, also that the fins will slough off several times after medicating, and once medicated the fin rot will not come back. I don't buy it, this is not
<I would broadly agree. While fish certainly can get pimples and harmless cysts, just like any other animal, in this case, I'd be a little more open minded. Specifically, Finrot begins with the development of tiny blockages in the blood vessels that go through the fin membrane. These swell up, becoming obviously off-white lumps, and then eventually when all the tissue dies because of the blocked blood flow, you see the red inflamed tissue underneath. With no more blood, the nearby skin tissue dies, and that's why the fin membrane erodes.>
I have tried the medications as follows: Jungle Fungus tabs, Maracyn TC; Maracyn II; Melafix; Pimafix; Furan; Jungle Anti-bacterial Food, CopperSafe, Quick Cure.
<Not all of these are Finrot medications, in particular things that combat fungus or Protozoans won't do any good at all. But more importantly, if the aquarium conditions aren't "just right", the disease will keep coming back.
It's important to realise that the bacteria that cause Finrot are present in all aquaria. They do good, even! They're part of the nitrogen cycle, breaking down organic material (such as uneaten food) into the ammonia that the filter bacteria handles. The problem is that if your fish are stressed, their immune system weakens, and these otherwise harmless bacteria are "allowed" to digest healthy fish tissue as well as their usual dead
All these medications, followed directions to the "T", then no medications and just clean water and good husbandry, throughout the year and a half.
The fish should be dead already with all the medication. I just don't get it. Tank is 29 gallon; No Ammonia, No Nitrites, 5 ppm Nitrates. PH 6.8. Soft GH/KH. One HOT Micro Magnum Filter (I reduce the out take with something to cut flow, so I don't blow fish out of tank) for a 55 gallon tank, and one Whisper Bio Filter for a 30 gallon tank, so plenty of circulation and filtering.
<While the water quality sounds good, I'd perhaps try testing the ammonia or nitrite across one day, maybe every 3-4 hours, to see if there are any spikes caused by, for example, feeding. I'd also see how stable the pH is from water change to water change, testing every couple of days. While soft water sounds good in principle, in practise soft water aquaria often exhibit pH swings (declines) as background acidification overtakes the ability of the carbonate hardness (the critical bit!) to compensate.>
Tank holds only the Angelfish and four Amano Shrimp, which just got added recently, after quarantine, of course. I was thinking of using Maracyn Plus next, its supposed to be okay for the shrimp. Please HELP. I don't want her tail eaten up to her imminent death, I fear this will eventually happen.
<I would look closely for the tell-tale lumps in the fin tissue before doing anything else. Sometimes, veil-tail animals have a ragged appearance, and there's nothing at all you can do about it. But if there are lumps in
the fin, or patches of redness, then that's a key sign of Finrot.>
Not to mention I am very anal and want the fish and animals I care for happy and healthy. In addition, I just did a water chemistry and the Nitrates are no Zero as well. Thank you again. Lueppie
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Marble Veil Angelfish with reoccurring Fin Rot 6/23/09
Thanks Neale. I am assuming then you suggest no more medications, and just make sure my PH, Ammonia, Nitrite are not fluctuating throughout the day?
<Not quite. I mean, don't use medications "at random", hoping one of them will work. Instead, decide what the problem is (and it sounds like Finrot) and treat accordingly. Maracyn is a good starting point, but if it doesn't work, switch to Maracyn II; between them, these two different antibiotics handle most of the bacteria that cause Finrot. Some other products are listed here:
Although we've added Melafix to the table, it's not really all that useful, and is at best a preventative rather than a cure.>
If I decide to medicate again, what do you suggest I use this time?
<Initially, Maracyn seems to work in many instances.>
Some more questions, if I may? I have a 14 gal quarantine tank, which has Ick for second time. The second batch of fish, as follows: 5 Black Neon, 3 Leopard Cory, 1 Guppy toddler, and 1 Cardinal Neon. I started with CopperSafe, but then read on "Kordon's" site that new research finds that copper is not good for the fish, and not to use it. As we both know Cory and tetras are delicate, so I am now using the natural "Ich Attack" medication from Kordon.
<Copper isn't necessarily dangerous, but yes, it is a toxic. If used as indicated on the bottle, most fish aren't bothered by copper-based medications. There are some exceptions though, notably Clown Loaches, Mormyrids and various other "oddball" fish. If you're worried about copper, the best (and safest) alternative for treating Ick is the old salt/heat method. All you do is make up a brine solution in a jug containing 2 to 3 teaspoons of tonic (or kosher salt) salt per gallon of water in the aquarium. When dissolved, pour into the outflow from the filter. Raise the temperature of the aquarium to between 82 and 86 degrees F. Leave thus for about two weeks, and by the end, do water changes as per normal to flush out the salt. Usually this treatment kills Ick as soon as the white spots burst, and the salt concentration is too low to harm your fish (or plants, or snails, or shrimps, or filter bacteria). It's the method of choice where "delicate" fish are involved.>
This I will use daily, with water changes, every other day, and will treat for 32 days, do you agree with this treatment?
<It isn't what I'd do, but it should work.>
I am on the sixth day, and still see signs of ick. This is my second batch of fish from the same source that got the ick the first time, and these two instances are my first experience with this, in over a year of fish keeping. Most of my fish are from the same online store, just recently got this ick from them.
I treated the first ick batch with "Quick Cure", only had 1 Black Neon, 4 Cardinal Tetras, and five Amano Shrimp, which got moved to a bucket while treating with "Quick Cure".
I treated twice with the Quick Cure (total of 6 days, at half dose), then treated for 7days with the Ich Attack, at that time I put the shrimp back into quarantine while treating with the Ich Attack which is safe for them, just in case any ick attached to shrimp. All seemed well. I kept this first bunch in quarantine for two extra weeks, so in total these fish and shrimp were quarantined for six weeks, with raised temp to 82. All visible signs of spots were gone, so I gave cardinals to a friend, kept the one black neon in quarantine to keep bio bacteria happy, and put shrimp into angelfish tank. Then got the second batch, black Neons, Corys, now this group of fish have ick. I am upset, I have read that ick can be inside fish, even when signs are not visible, that you should quarantine for longer then four
weeks, and treat for an entire month.
<No, no, no. The Ick life cycle lasts less than a week at tropical temperatures. While inside the skin of a fish (including the gills, but no deeper inside the body) the parasite can't be killed. All, and I repeat ALL, Ick medications work by killing the free-living parasites that emerges when the white cysts burst. Hence, turning the temperature up speeds up the life cycle, getting the Ick from the cysts to the swimming stages as quickly as possible. Once all the swimming stages are killed, that's it; the infection is done. It will never come back unless there's something wet (a fish, a plant, a snail, a net, a rock) carried from an infected aquarium to a clean aquarium.>
Also that ick can actually take up to a year to really get rid of. Quarantine for a year, really?
Now I fear I have given away sick fish, so I am having friend treat her tank with Ich Attack because she has pictus catfish, and they are too delicate for other medications. Also, the shrimp that are now in the angelfish tank came from the quarantine tank, where the ick was, I moved them to angelfish tank once I thought the first case of ick was gone, prior to the second batch of fish, which now have ick. So should I assume the shrimp will put ick in my Angelfish tank, and treat her tank with Ich Attack? Also, I have a 52 gal that has been running for 7 months, all fish put into this tank were quarantined, this prior to any ick issues.
However, I noticed last week that one of the peppered Cory in the 52 gal, scratched itself on a rock. Now how on earth did this tank get anything, and what should I do? No signs of spots, but now I know that ick starts off not being seen. I always make sure I do not put wet hands from quarantine into any other tanks, and never mix equipment, each tank has its own, and no fish that had ick have been put into the 52 gal tank. I thought maybe I should use the "Ich Attack" for precautionary purposes on my 52 gal as well? I have 2 Amano Shrimp, Snails, Pleco, Corys, Cardinals and live plants in the 52 gal, so medications have to be used
that these animals and plants can handle. The 52 gallon has 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite, 10 ppm Nitrate, Temp 80, PH 7.6, Med/Hard KH/GH, ideal buffering per test strips, UV Sterilizer, Wet/Dry Filter, Magnum Micro Filter, and occasional filtering with Diatom Vortex. The 14 gal Quarantine has 0 Ammonia, 0
Nitrites, 5 ppm Nitrates, 80 Temp, Soft KH/GH, ideal buffering per strips, Penguin Bio Wheel for 20 gallon tank.
<I'd run all your tanks through the salt/heat cycle for 2 weeks. That should clean them all.>
Have a lovely day.
<You too.>
P.S. Should I even trust that any ick fish will ever be free of ick, or as I have read can be carriers of the disease, afraid to ever introduce any fish ever infected with ick to my 52 gallon tank.
<In theory, and often in practise, Ick does indeed get into healthy tanks via new fish picked up at aquarium shops. Quarantining new fish for 2 weeks should reveal the presence of Ick on tropical fish, but because the Ick life cycle takes longer at lower temperatures, coldwater fish need to be quarantined for longer, up to 6 weeks.>
Sincerely, Lueppie
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Marble Veil Angelfish with reoccurring Fin Rot 6/23/09
Well, all signs show right now for the angel is a bit of white around a couple of bare fin rays, but not furry fungus, most likely bacteria, correct?
A couple of white bumps on rays by tissue, however, no signs of redness. I hardly ever see the redness, only very little just once, a long while ago.
No redness at base of tail ever, since I've been battling this (thank goodness). I think I would like to try the Maracyn, to comfort my nerves.
I mean either way, the fish will be stressed via medication or having her poor tail eaten!
<Quite possibly.>
Cool, Maracyn brochure says safer for inverts!!!
That is awesome..I was again, from reading other stuff, under the assumption that Cory cats could only have a half teaspoon per gallon, and as for the Leopard Frog Pleco, I read they should not have any at all., along with pictus cat fish, and plants.
<Low salt levels do no harm at all to catfish.>
Geesh! So great, I can treat all my tanks this way, as well as tell my friend to do it, just in case I passed the ick along! You are great! I am so glad I don't have to use poisonous stuff!
<Yes, that's the idea: the salt/heat method is gentle, works almost all of the time, and doesn't cost much. What more could you ask?>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Marble Veil Angelfish with reoccurring Fin Rot 6/23/09
Sorry, please forgive my ignorance. When you say tonic or kosher salt, this is not the "Aquarium Salt", but table salt, with no Iodide, or some other salt. My salt at home in ingredients says, Salt, Calcium Silicate? Thanks
<Tonic salt is the same thing as aquarium salt. It's plain sodium chloride without any additives (iodine, calcium silicate, or whatever). That's what you want here. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Marble Veil Angelfish with reoccurring Fin Rot 6/23/09
Okay, I see, there is actually "Kosher" salt you can get at the grocery store, with no additives. Why then do they sell the "Aquarium Salt" and state it can be used for disease treatment.
<Because they do... there's no real reason.>
So many conflicting opinions, makes it so difficult for first time fish people.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Marble Veil Angelfish with reoccurring Fin Rot (RMF, second opinion please) 6/23/09
Well Neale,
I think I just figured out why a few fish in the 54 gallon are flashing and scratching. I just noticed red gills the outside of where the gills met, with a 2 mm string of white hanging on inside of gill area. I fear I have gill flukes or something.
<Gill flukes are very uncommon among aquarium fish; they're more of an issue with pond fish. It's not impossible, but just not all that likely.>
I have to treat main tank, since my quarantine is filled with ick fish! I am going to use Prazi pro, I hope it don't kill the two Amano Shrimp in my tank, what else can I do, must treat before fish get sicker...any suggestions.
<Really need a photo to be sure. But my gut feeling is that the white strings are dead tissue, and you're looking at something that's affected the gill membranes.>
I am refreshing tank water as suggested by medication. Thanks Neale
<Cheers, Neale.>
<<Mmm, I don't think this is actually originally a case of "Fin Rot" period... but just the genetic expression of what Veiltail Angel is... the resultant observations can be attributed to the efforts at "treating" here. I would leave off with any further medicating. BobF>>

Re: Marble Veil Angelfish with reoccurring Fin Rot (RMF, second opinion please) - 6/23/09
Thanks Bob and Neale,
Very interesting, so basically this type of angelfish is very prone to this
<Mmm, not "prone"... actually selectively bred for this particular "expression"... "Veil"...>
and I have to just live with it, and so does the fish, very sad. Why do they breed fish to have such health issues!
<Mmm, sometimes such a loss of vitality is "part of the ticket" with sport mutations that are selected for...>
I will just continue good husbandry and hope for the best!
<This fish, and your others will likely do just fine with your efforts at providing good environmental conditions and nutrition. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Marble Veil Angelfish with reoccurring Fin Rot (RMF, second opinion please) 6/25/09
<<Mmm, I don't think this is actually originally a case of "Fin Rot" period... but just the genetic expression of what Veiltail Angel is... the resultant observations can be attributed to the efforts at "treating" here.
I would leave off with any further medicating. BobF>>
<Bob is quite right, I think I'd mentioned this possibility at one point.
But if you see off-white "lumps" in the fins, that's usually clogged blood vessels, and a sign that Finrot is around the corner. If there's red streaking, it's certainly Finrot. So observe, and act accordingly. Cheers,

Re: Marble Veil Angelfish with reoccurring Fin Rot (RMF, second opinion please) 6/25/09
Thanks Bob and Neale,
Very interesting, so basically this type of angelfish is very prone to this and I have to just live with it, and so does the fish, very sad. Why do they breed fish to have such health issues! I will just continue good
husbandry and hope for the best!
<Yes, veil-tail anything will be weaker than fish with fins of regular length. Likewise albino fish, balloon Mollies, tail-less Discus, and so on.
It's increasingly the case that fish that were more or less hardy when first imported -- such as Guppies, Dwarf Gouramis and Ram Cichlids -- are now far more delicate, and need to be looked after very carefully, assuming you can even by specimens that aren't diseased right from the start.
Cheers, Neale.>

Angelfish belly and cichlid questions 6/17/09
<Good morrow Alastair>
A couple of questions for your very helpful team:
Firstly, I have a pair of angelfish in a 50 gallon tank (with a pair of Gourami, some barbs, a few Plecos, and a shoal of x-ray tetra). Today I spotted that one of the angels has a swollen belly - photos attached.
<I see this>
The swelling is quite localized, in an area about a centimetre round, just where the feelers grow from. Is this something I should worry about? or might the fish be female and pregnant? Just tested the water, nitrite and ammonia 0, ph about 7.4.
<I would hold off for now... perhaps, hopefully this apparent swelling is transient... given the mix of other fish life you list, that they are fine, I am wondering if this isn't temporary... At any length, I would not "treat" for this per se at this juncture>
Secondly, I've just acquired a 55 gallon tank full of established Malawi cichlids, plus some other fish that don't belong there. There are a couple of 4-inch clown loaches, and two Ancistrus, which I plan to move
to the 50gallon on the advice of the LFS,
<Yes, I would do this as well>
plus what I think is a large south American cichlid - photo attached. Is he ok to live in with the Malawi cichlids or should I look to rehouse him? He seems pretty shy and spends most of the time hiding in the ocean rock or chilling near the bottom.
<And given the reported behavior I would move this neotropical Cichlid elsewhere as well. Bob Fenner>

Re: angelfish belly and cichlid questions 6/17/09
Sorry - forgot to say that the angelfish is spending much of the time near the bottom of the tank, not moving very much, though did come to the surface and eat when I fed this morning..
<Mmm, a good sign that it is eating... again, I urge patience here. BobF>

Re: angelfish belly and cichlid questions 6/18/09
Hi Bob,
Thanks for the message. As you suggested, I waited a couple of days, and the angel's swelling disappeared overnight last night. No sign of any laying tube, so I guess it was temporary constipation or similar. S/he's looking totally happy and healthy again!
<Ah good>
I moved the Ancistrus and loaches to my planted community tank today, acclimatizing them slowly to the new conditions, and they seem to be happy there. I moved my big 10" Sailfin Pleco the other way - I read that big enough specimens can get by fine in cichlid tanks, and I think if I hadn't done this the filter in the planted tank would have gotten overloaded. He seems happy and is feeding hungrily in the cichlid tank, so fingers crossed this'll work out.
<Am hoping>
And the neotropical cichlid is going to be taken in to the LFS in a few days - they're a big place and will able to take good care of him.
<Tres bien!>
Thanks again for your kind and careful advice,
<Most welcome my friend. BobF>

Angelfish swimming on side in upper corner of tank
Angelfish With Internal Infection -- 12/14/09

Hi there, my angelfish is gravid. Her and her partner used to lay eggs and fertilize at least every 4-6 weeks (they would get eaten by the Pleco though). She has not laid any eggs in about 3 months. She is quite huge right now. In an effort to get them to be successful we have separated our other fish from them and have them in a 20 ft tank with just our Pleco. We noticed over the past few days she just goes into the upper corner of the tank (near where the heater is) and just pokes into the glass. Today, I found her lying on her side in that corner swimming randomly. The male will go to her and start chasing her, and she can take off and swim fine (upright) but then she just goes back into the corner again as soon a she can.
Nitrate: 20
pH: 7
Nitrite: 1

I am so worried about her because I don't know what could be causing it and all I want to do is save her. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much
<The repeated spawning attempts have left your female angelfish very stressed and she may be egg bound or have an internal infection. The key to a successful recovery is a rapid aggressive treatment. I recommend placing her in a hospital tank with clean water. Treat with a combination of Nitrofuranace and Metronidazole. If the infection has already affected her ability to swim then it may be too late.-Chuck>

Sick angel fish -- 06/10/09
Hi there, I have a beautiful female Koi angel that I have had for a couple of years. There is also another female in the tank. They lay eggs quite frequently but have taken to caring for them together and are not that antagonistic as you would expect. About a week ago I noticed a small hole above one eye, I thought immediately hole in head or perhaps it cut itself on one of the rocks I have in the tank. I treated the water with EM for a few days and the hole seemed to close up, leaving a white area that looked like healing skin.
<"EM" being Erythromycin? This doesn't really help Hole-in-the-head any; you specifically need Metronidazole at 250 mg per 10 US gallons, once per day for at least three days. Erythromycin may well inhibit secondary infections, which can lessen the symptoms to some degree, but it won't fix the problem.>
Over the weekend, things must have gone south as I discovered on Monday that that area was now full of hair-like fibers, like an eruption of some sort. I did some checking and calling around and was told that the fish may have developed a fungus and that I could treat it with Pimafix.
<Pimafix, Melafix, and other so-called "cures" based on tea-tree oil are notoriously unreliable. For Fungal infections organic dyes, such as malachite green, work very well. Combinations of formalin and malachite
green are especially useful because they work against Finrot and Columnaris ("mouth fungus") as well, eliminating the problem of telling these apart from Fungus, which can be difficult. Other medications such as Seachem Paraguard are formulated specifically to handle both bacterial and fungal infections, and these can be well worth using, too.>
Well, four days into the mission, the fish looks worse, the fungus hasn't gotten any better (it looks worse actually), and I have noticed several additional areas where that fungus is beginning to grow...I want to help
the fish if I can, or if not, put it out of it's misery.
<Do read here:
It hasn't eaten in a week or more and is at the top seemingly gasping for air. It does swim around however..but this seems to be going nowhere. Am I doing something wrong or is this just what happens sometimes? Thanks,
<Quite possibly you're using the wrong medications. Do switch to the right ones, and see what happens. I personally would also do a dip into seawater once, maybe the next day too, until the Fungus clears up. This is just 35 grammes of non-iodised salt added to a litre of aquarium water; dip the fish for at least 30 seconds and potentially several minutes, though removing the fish as soon as it shows signs of distress, such as rolling
over. The seawater dehydrates the fungal cells, speeding up their death.
It's much the same as gargling salt water when you have a mouth ulcer.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Sick angel fish -- 06/10/09

thanks, I just ordered the Paraguard, will have it by 4:oo tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully it isn't too late.
<Finger's crossed!>
I'll also try the saltwater dip first, then add the Paraguard to the tank.
It is a 29 high with other fish and invertebrates in there, the Paraguard won't hurt them or the tank will it? the tank has some live plants too, I don't have an air stone, just a charcoal and floss filter (I took the charcoal out during treatment).
The plants have always seemed to provide all of the O2 that the fish needed, and none of the other fish are struggling to breathe, just the one with the fungus. I do a 30% change about every 3-4 weeks, I know that I
overfeed a little but so far that has not been a big issue with frequent cleaning and vacuuming. I do have a lot of green hair type algae on many of the plant leaves....haven't been able to deal with this, but it is more
of a visual issue than anything else.
<It is actually green algae (i.e., bright green, like a salad) or red algae (which, despite the name, is usually blue-black to dark moss green in freshwater species)? I ask because the bushy, hairy algae you often get
around the edges of plant leaves, for example, is red algae, and it is notoriously difficult to deal with. Green algae only prospers in tanks with very strong light levels, and if you have very strong light (at least 2 watts per gallon), the algae is best, and frankly only reliably, dealt with by using fast-growing plants and a few, carefully chosen algae-eating organisms, shrimps and Nerite snails being the ideal. Red algae is difficult to deal with. The Siamese Algae Eater, Crossocheilus siamensis, is one of the few common fish that feeds on this algae, though again, fast-growing plants will dramatically improve things if you have very strong lighting. Red algae is usually a nuisance in tanks with poor lighting, insufficient water circulation, and high nitrate levels (typically because of overstocking and/or overfeeding). So review conditions, and act accordingly.>
I just mention it in case it is indicative of another water condition that might be contributory to the fish fungus. Thanks again! Mike.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Sick angel fish 6/11/09

On the Algae, I have had the Red Algae for some time now. I have tried keeping the tank extra clean with vacuuming and water changes, but the light is weak (I just haven't coughed up the $ for a better hood), I have only the filter that sucks up the tank water and filters it through the carbon and floss cartridge for circulation the circulation seems to be ok, but perhaps it isn't.
<While it seems paradoxical, low light levels are invariably behind serious algae problems. Tanks with bright lights generally don't have algae problems because plants grow too quickly, and somehow (the science is hazy) this stops algae from developing. While I can't really explain why this works, I can confirm that it does. Upping the light, and then adding appropriate fast-growing plant species, will usually do away with algae once and for all, particularly in conjunction with Nerite snails and algae-eating shrimps.>
I bought a Siamese algae eater but he got lazy and waits for the frozen brine shrimp that I feed the other fish. He goes vertical and eats them as fast as he can....
I did get what looked like a bright green slime growth about a month ago and that is when I treated the tank with EM, that knocked it out pretty quickly.
<Again, blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria) is associated with specific things, usually poor water circulation and high levels of nitrate and/or phosphate. You'll often see blue-green algae growing first where the water flow is weakest: around the leaves or roots of plants for example, or on the substrate. Increasing water flow and reducing the amount of nitrate (via water changes) usually turns prevents blue-green algae from becoming established. Erythromycin will certainly kill many types of blue-green algae (which are of course bacteria, not algae) but there's nothing to stop them coming back again, should conditions suit. And they WILL come back.>
I would love to eradicate the red hairy stuff though (it is very dark, almost black as you say), it seems to choke out the plants that are there and grows on everything.
<Hair algae is a great nuisance, but nothing really slows it down once it's established under conditions it likes. Lighting, plants, and the right snails/shrimps are what you need.>
I feed the fish Mon-Fri with frozen brine and also frozen blood worms. I have a 29 high and there are far less than 29" of total fish in there.
Two angels
Two Cory cats
8 Neons
2 barbs
1 Siamese
1 African frog
1 ghost shrimp
2 Otocinclus (sp?)
2 other small tetras
Should I consider a better hood with more light?
<If you wish to deal with the red algae, yes, since this is the only way the right plants will get established.>
Should I add an air stone for circulation?
<Blue-green algae likes slow water movement, so anything that speeds up the flow of water around the tank will help. Airstones generally have minimal impact, so are a bit of a waste of money, but they're better than nothing I suppose. Usually an additional filter, coupled with more water changes and less feeding, is the way forward.>
I will be getting the Paraguard at 4:00 today. I'll probably treat with that for a few days then try the salt water bath.
Thanks again, Mike.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Sick angel fish 6/11/09

Just did the salt bath (I took a 33 oz plastic coffee container, rinsed it, filled it with tank water and added about 3 plastic coffee spoons of tank salt. Put the angel in the container, counted to 125 and put him back in
the tank) and added the Paraguard to the tank. We shall see....
<Indeed. For reference, a level teaspoon is roughly 6 grammes of salt, so a shade under 6 level teaspoons should give you 35 grammes of salt, and added to 1 litre of water, that's normal seawater salinity. It's easier for me to do in metric I'm afraid, since that's how you learn these things at marine biology school. But I think it's also pretty convenient. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Sick angel fish 6/11/09

How often should I do the salt water dips? Once a day?
<Once a day is fine, but often just one dip is enough, and so I'd hold off doing additional dips for the time being. See how the medication does. Only occasionally do I find a second dip a few days later is required, and usually only to help shift some of the dead skin and mucous. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Sick angel fish 6/12/09
Hi again, I did another salt dip this morning as I realized that the initial dip salt concentration was not high enough. This one clearly did something as the fish clearly reached a point of stress (yesterday he just swam around for two minutes, today he rolled onto his side).
<A good time to remove the fish!>
Much of the fungus came away from netting him twice and what is left seems to be hanging on by a thread. Hopefully it comes off over the weekend.
<Should do; what you describe is very typical of how fungus reacts to saltwater dipping.>
Now that I can see the damage underneath the fungus growth, there is a wound there that looks kind of nasty and he eye is bugged out pretty good too, it actually looks like she might lose that eye it is so bad.
<Yes, I see. I'm actually hopeful the eye won't be too badly affected.>
I will treat the water in the tank Saturday and Sunday with the Paraguard (this tank is at my work office so I have to come in to take care of it) and see how he is coming along Monday. (I keep saying he, but I am pretty sure that it is a she).
<They're actually impossible to sex except when spawning. If it's any consolation, Angelfish aren't very good at sexing each other either, and "homosexual" pairs are quite common, evidenced most often by two females each laying eggs together on the same leaf!>
At what point to I call it and put her under? She still hasn't eaten in days, over a week now actually, but is still feisty enough to evade my attempts to net her. Thanks again, you've been a fantastic help.
<I suspect he'll be fine, so lay off thoughts of euthanasia just yet. Your fish actually doesn't look all that bad; I've seen much worse!>
Ps, I took a few pix. They aren't great but perhaps you can see what I am taking about. You can also see my red algae...
<Yes, classic sign of inadequate lighting, and the plants chosen being species that need strong light, so end up doing nothing much other than cultivating a nice fluffy algae coat!>
the wound looks black in the middle, quite a hole in her head really...I feel terrible about it, I hope that she isn't in too much pain.
<Do be aware of something called Hole-in-the-Head, which is not uncommon among cichlids. This requires a drug called Metronidazole.
Again, I think you'll be okay, if you can shift this fungus (which should be gone in a few weeks) and if she looks more perky by then, have a look to see if the wound is a single wound, or one of a number of small pits, which is usually how Hole-in-the-Head appears. Often, Hole-in-the-Head goes along
with long strings of pale (mucous-rich) faeces, since the Protozoans (Hexamita) responsible start off in the gut and then move around the body.
Almost always, the trigger is a water quality problem, and in the case of cichlids, nitrate is one factor often overlooked. If you skip water changes for too many weeks, Hexamita goes from being harmless to very dangerous very rapidly. Some have suggests Hexamita is present in all farmed cichlids, and certainly my experience has been that a great many cichlid species do succumb to Hexamita/Hole-in-the-Head infections when exposed to high levels of nitrate, poor diet, and/or inadequate oxygenation. Cheers, Neale.>

White Spots on Angelfish, Larger than Ick - Help please! 5/5/09
<Hi there Joe>
A couple days ago, I noticed several white spots on my freshwater Black Angelfish. I got him about 5 months ago and he's currently about 3.5" from mouth to tail. The spots look larger than your typical Ick. The largest spot is about the size of a poppy seed and appears to protrude from the fish. There were 3 spots on the fish at first, all on the same side.
These subsided and left small white marks behind, but now there are four more on the opposite side of the fish. Then today I noticed that he is spitting out his food. He had a great appetite until today, and he still looks very hungry rushing up to the food but then takes it in his mouth for a few seconds and spits it back out. This is the second time I've had issues with angelfish.
<There are some formidable... historical issues with captive Pterophyllum, particularly the black/er hybrids>
A fish I had before I got this one began spitting out his food one day, then developed bumps that looked like they were under the scales before finally succumbing.
<A good clue>
Do you have any idea what this illness might be and how I might be able to treat him for it?
<Could be a worm of various sorts (phyla)... and some Protozoans can produce such etiologies...>
The tank is a 75 gallon. Water parameters are pH=7.4, KH=7 degrees, GH=10 degrees, temperature 82, ammonia=0, nitrite=0, nitrate=10ppm. The tank has a UV sterilizer.
These angelfish are beginning to break my heart. Any ideas you might have would be greatly appreciated.
<W/o any further "look-seeing", use of a microscope (and unfortunately sacrificing the specimen/s), I would peremptorily treat with both an effect vermifuge and protozoacide (my choice? Praziquantel and
Metronidazole). Please see WWM re these (the search tool), and carefully read and heed the product inserts. Bob Fenner>

Angelfish, FW... hlth. 4-13-09
<Hello Claire,>
I just have a quick query... I came downstairs this morning to find one of my angel fish stuck under one of my plants, I thought this odd at first as it is generally a strong swimmer and wouldn't get caught.
<Agreed, though if the aquarium is small, Angelfish can get wedged into corners if the plants are stiff, plastic plants without much give.>
However when i moved the plant away from him, I noticed that he seems to be paralyzed in a left turning motion - I'm not sure how else to describe it?
<Could be either physical damage (e.g., from bullying) but also a reaction to water quality/chemistry/temperature issues. Cichlids react exceedingly poorly to sudden changes, so when they act "loopy" it's a good idea to review the tank. Doing a 50% water change is rarely a bad idea if chemistry and quality seem okay; it's just possible the water has been poisoned with something, and by doing a water change, you can flush out some of what's in there. If the fish perks up, then repeat with one or two further water changes 6-12 hours apart.>
He is almost curled up, and can't seem to swim at all, even off the bottom of the tank.
<Ah, this is serious.>
I have Googled and tried calling my local Fish Store but thanks to the public holiday I'm at a loss and Google isn't helpful. I was hoping you could give me some insight as to what may be the problem?? And if it is curable???
<Cheers, Neale.>

FW Angelfish postmortem 2/25/09 Hello Crew, <Nicole,> I'm writing in with some sad news from my tank here -- I've lost three angels over the past week. My tank is a 46g planted tank, 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrite and 0-5pmm nitrates (actually kind of a problem for my plant growth, but that's a different story). pH is a bit high (7.8) but steady, and temp is at 79F. The tank has been up and running with no problems for about three months, and has one Opaline Gourami, a few platies and half a dozen bronze Corys. <How big were these Angels? The coin-sized specimens are notoriously delicate and often underweight, and I wouldn't recommend anyone buy them. Much better to go with specimens 5 cm (about two inches) in diameter upwards.> About three weeks ago I introduced 4 angelfish, and all seemed fine at first -- I was watching them pretty closely for the first two weeks for any signs of aggression, as I was worried about how the Gourami would take the to angels. Aside from a bit of chasing I didn't see any actual nips or other problems, until a week ago when one of the smaller angels came up to feed with severely damaged fins. I wasn't sure if the angel had been attacked by the Gourami or one of the other angels (one of the angels has grown a lot faster than the others, from a nickel or quarter sized body to probably about 5cm body length in a few weeks!). <Ah, Opaline Gouramis can be aggressive. Males have longer dorsal fins than females, so sexing isn't difficult. Males are (sometimes) very aggressive, and can, will molest things like Angels as well as other Gouramis.> By the next morning, the angel's fins were looking ragged, spiky, and much shorter, and I thought this might be a case of Finrot and not just an attack. <The two things often go together. Physical damage opens the way for Finrot and Fungus.> I set up a 5g hospital tank and moved the angel there, and treated with Maracyn tetracycline. He looked pretty bad, and I wasn't surprised that he didn't make it more than a day. By this time, another one of the angels was showing signs of the same thing -- raggedy, clamped fins, less activity and less appetite, but not nearly as advanced. I moved that one to the hospital tank and medicated, but the tetracycline seemed to do nothing, and he also died within a few days. Same story with the last guy -- clamped fins with a bit of fraying to completely deteriorated fins and death in a few days, despite the antibiotics. <Hmm...> The remaining tank inhabitants seem to be fine, and I don't think I'll introduce anyone new soon. But, I'm hoping that you can give me some postmortem thoughts so that I can learn more from this and better care for my Angelfish in the future -- do you think the Gourami or the larger Angel might have been harassing the little ones, maybe at night when I wasn't watching? <Well, it's certainly a viable explanation.> Should I have used a different med for the fin rot? <Maracyn should work, but if it doesn't, swap for Maracyn 2.> I'm feeling a bit dismayed here, because I thought that Finrot was treatable, especially in the case of the last two where I removed them earlier. What should I do for next time? <There's a definite art to stocking community tanks, and that does involve knowing which fish "turn nasty". Male Trichogaster trichopterus are certainly on my list of fish *not* to keep in community systems, despite widely being sold as such.> My apologies for not writing in sooner when some advice might have actually saved a fish, but I've been feeling a bit run ragged myself with all the water testing and changing and medicating and fish dying. thanks, Nicole <Good luck, Neale.>

FW Angelfish Fast Erratic Swimming Then Falling to Bottom -- 2/21/09 Hi Wet Webber, You guys/gals are a very dedicated bunch and I appreciate your help. <Happy to help.> I read through the 3 links and saw an article that was somewhat similar but not exactly, and I've seen a few postings online with similar symptoms but no real solution, internal parasite, bacterial infection, bad water, lead poisoning (I'm from Brooklyn NY and the house was built 1920 so it is possible but I think unlikely, tap water is 30-40ppm TDS) etc. so hopefully you can help. No offense, but I hope there comes a day where I no longer have to visit your site to figure out what is wrong. <Heh!> The tank is a 55 gallon, PH = 6.4, Ammonia = 0, Nitrate = 0, Temp = 83/84 I have 4 Discus about 3", 6 Neons, 1 Julli Cory, 2 green Cory and 1 angel about 4" body <All sound nice. But the water is on the warm side for Corydoras and Neons, and mixing Angelfish with Discus isn't recommended, so you may be storing up problems here for the future. Also, Angelfish view Neons as live food.> The Angel is a silver and black I bought it when it was about 1.5" in Feb. of 2007. I got it with a black angel that was smaller. They were in a 30 gallon and they paired up and three months later there was a sale on tanks so I said why not and upgraded to a 55 gallon. Then a month later I started seeing mating habits so I separated them into a 10 gallon and they bred and none of the fry survived beyond a few months. Very sad. <Farmed Angelfish are appallingly bad parents, and almost always you have to pull the eggs and rear them yourself.> So I put them back into the 55 gallon. A couple of months later I noticed the black angelfish out of nowhere would act startled and swim erratically into things and then sink to the bottom and then wake-up and start acting normal. This went on for about once or twice a day for a month until it didn't swim back up, very sad again. So I figured it was a water problem so I stepped up the water changes. I bought a 20 gallon Rubbermaid to age the water and instead of changing 7 gallons a week I upped to 15 a week. I was using an automatic feeder that dumped too much food so at one point I had a Planaria problem and still see some but not a whole bunch like before. I went to LFS to get a new angelfish and he said this current batch wasn't so great but there was 1 that looked decent so I bought another angelfish and had put in quarantine, it didn't last a week where it did the swimming erratic and twirled around fell to the bottom and then swam back up. But it only did that a few time until it stopped. I chalked that up to the bad batch. <Don't recommend automatic feeders for precisely this reason. Fish tolerate starvation much, much better than they do the ruinous water quality caused by overfeeding.> But now I'm seeing that with the black and silver angelfish. I have an emperor filter on the left side of the tank and the discus and angel hang out on the right side because they don't like the current, the tetras and Corys hang out on the left side. I have heaters on both ends. I added 2 Neons that were in quarantine for a month that way they got big enough so the angelfish wouldn't eat them. But then I started noticing the angelfish hanging around the left side of the tank. When there were 4 Neons he stood on the right side and only swam to the left side occasionally. I don't see the discus messing with the angel, the 4 discus are always chasing each other around. I figured the angelfish was just stalking the 2 new Neons. But for a week I did a head count and there would always be 6 Neons (4 out in the open, 2 hid) so I figured alls well. <Hmm... matter of time...> But the other day I noticed the angelfish was hiding near the bottom the tank almost under a rock, but I figured it was stalking because I spend a lot of time near the tank and I didn't hear the water splashing which is the sound the angelfish makes when they start swimming erratically, its always a fast thrashing like they got startled and suddenly out of the blue or when they get excited about something like feeding time. <Cichlids will go "loopy" when exposed to sudden changes, so when you see this sort of behaviour, it's always well to check for possible temperature, water quality, or poisoning issues.> Today I noticed the angelfish on the left side of the tank and it came over to the right side to eat and noticed scratches all over and I figured either it was swimming behind the intake tube of the emperor because it doesn't really fit or it's doing that fast swimming crash and dive of death. I sat in a chair about 5 feet away usually when I sit in that chair the discus and angel follow me to that side. So I just watched and saw it happen. I also see the angel hiding behind this small piece of driftwood, which it never did before and I see it hide behind the plants on the left side of the tank but he never hides for long only few minutes but I see him hanging out near the bottom and the angel never went to the bottom just to eat but always swims up near the surface. <Not normal.> Since the summer the tank has had a green water problem so I've been changing water about twice a week whenever I can sometimes 3 but always at least once a week and I always put water conditioner. The water finally cleared up this week when I put a 50 micron filter pad but the water parameters were always in line. I kept the lights off most of the time, blinds drawn and lights were on only 1 to 2 hours at most. I didn't over feed because I try to keep the Planaria in check. <Hmm...> I'm sorry for writing this novel but this is my oldest fish and I really don't want to see it go. And from the history of this tank and my foray into this hobby I see the writing on the wall. I'm hoping to give you all the pertinent details so that you may have a solution for me .but I'm pretty much bracing myself for the bad news and I am hoping that it is not something contagious because if the discus dies that would crush me, those guys are too expensive to replace and times are tough. <Can't say that it's obvious to me what's wrong with this fish. Angels should live for around 8-10 years. But the quality of much farmed stock is variable, and you may be dealing with a specific genetic issue about which you can't do anything. But other things you might consider include constipation and aggression. Constipation is common in Angelfish because they tend to be fed flake and pellet foods only. Make sure a significant part of their diet includes things like cooked peas, live brine shrimp and live daphnia. These have a laxative effect and can help fix so-called "swim bladder disease".> Thanks for taking the time to help me. Steve <Cheers, Neale.>

Hole in the head?? Angelfish with Internal Infection 2/20/09 Hi Folks; I love your website. A goldmine of information I wish I knew about a year ago. My problem- I have an angel fish who started acting lethargic, and would float around the corners of the tank (55 gal) at an angle. I didn't know what to do, so I hoped it would just pass. I waited two days and my wife noticed a red spot near his gills that is now a hole. Two days after I first noticed his symptoms, I found your site. I immediately setup my old 20 gal as an emergency hospital tank. I couldn't wait for cycling so I transferred him. < Usually cycling is not needed because if you do medicate the tank, the treatment would affect the bacteria anyway.> Before I transferred him he had taken to lying on his side in the tank. I have removed the carbon filter from the hush 35 filter I use for that tank and medicated with Jungle Tank Buddies Parasite Clear, as it contains Metronidazole (which you recommend).Since transferring him, I can't say he is any better but he also doesn't seem to be worse. If I tap the tank gently, he gets up and swims around for a couple of minutes and then settles in again. I am unsure of how to proceed, what to watch for. or if he will make it. He came from my 55gal tank (which I have also medicated the same way. I have noticed some different skin markings on one of my Gouramis and one of my Bala sharks. History of the 55 gal tank is good. I almost always do a 20% water change every week. I did miss a week just before I noticed my angel fish acting strange. I keep a computer log of all my water readings, observations and treatments and I have a full year of data. My pH occasionally drops to 6.0 in a week, but usually only drops to 6.3 I try to maintain 6.8 to 7.0 My ammonia is almost always 0, same for nitrites. My nitrates usually climb to 20 or 30 in a week, but the water change seems to correct that. My water is almost always crystal clear. I use a penguin 350 filter with bio-wheels to keep the water clean. I have a leopard Plec, another Plec I inherited from my daughters tank (pepper Plec I think) a small striped orange and black algae eater, 3 Bala sharks, 2 Gouramis, a red tail shark 2 neon tetras and 3 fish I don't know the names of (sorry). Feeding has always been Nutrafin flake food and occasional freeze dried bloodworms. In the last 2 months, I have twice put zucchini in the tank, and today a small piece of carrot. < The squash and carrot contain land based plant cell walls that may not be digestible by the angelfish. If the fish cannot digest these things then bacteria in the gut start to work on them. This may cause an infection and a blockage. This may be the cause of the problem.> I think that the tank has been well looked after and maintained, and because of that I rarely have to add anything but tap water conditioner and Prime (by Seachem) at water changes. I keep the 55 gal tank at 76 F and my emergency hospital tank has been 78 to 79 F. I am currently raising this to 81 F because I understand that the angel fish will do better in the warmer water. Can you see anything I have missed? I tried to find Jungle hole in the head treatment, but it is not available in Canada. Regards Floyd Abbotsford BC < I would recommend using Nitrofuranace in addition to the Metronidazole. The Nitro is a wide spectrum antibiotic that may be absorbed into the fish.-Chuck>
Follow-up to hole in the head?? question 2/22/09 Follow Up Treatment of Angelfish
Thank you for your responses. I went out and bought Furan2, it contains Nitrofurazone (couldn't find a treatment with Nitrofuranace). I medicated with 2 capsules of powder ( the recommended dose on the label). I also bought a general and carbonate water test kit. General hardness was 3.92DH and the KH was 40mg/L as CaCO3. I will stay on top of the situation and hopefully save my little angel fish. Observation - after the Metronidazole treatment but before Nitrofurazone treatment, I found he had even less energy, but seemed to be gasping a little bit less. Also, his sense of balance seems to have improved slightly. I hope the resolution of this problem helps others as well. I had no idea that the pH swings were caused by poor reserve of alkalinity. Regards Floyd Abbotsford, BC Canada < The medications will take time to work. The Furan II should be as effective against internal bacterial infections. Go back to the WWM page and search alkalinity to give you some idea on where you are.-Chuck>
Hole in the head?? FW Angel, dis. 2/20/09
Hi Folks; <Floyd> I love your website. A goldmine of information I wish I knew about a year ago. <Ahh!> My problem- I have an angel fish who started acting lethargic, and would float around the corners of the tank (55 gal) at an angle. <Unusual beh.> I didn't know what to do, so I hoped it would just pass. I waited two days and my wife noticed a red spot near his gills that is now a hole. Two days after I first noticed his symptoms, I found your site. I immediately setup my old 20 gal as an emergency hospital tank. I couldn't wait for cycling so I transferred him. Before I transferred him he had taken to lying on his side in the tank. I have removed the carbon filter from the hush 35 filter I use for that tank and medicated with Jungle Tank Buddies Parasite Clear, as it contains Metronidazole (which you recommend). <Yes> Since transferring him, I can't say he is any better but he also doesn't seem to be worse. If I tap the tank gently, he gets up and swims around for a couple of minutes and then settles in again. I am unsure of how to proceed, what to watch for. or if he will make it. <Mmm... best to wait at this point... Am suspecting something internal... not really/easily treatable> He came from my 55gal tank (which I have also medicated the same way. I have noticed some different skin markings on one of my Gouramis and one of my Bala sharks. History of the 55 gal tank is good. I almost always do a 20% water change every week. I did miss a week just before I noticed my angel fish acting strange. I keep a computer log of all my water readings, observations and treatments and I have a full year of data. My pH occasionally drops to 6.0 in a week, <Mmm, I'd be bolstering the alkalinity. Please read Neale's excellent piece here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsoftness.htm and the first linked FAQs file at top> but usually only drops to 6.3 I try to maintain 6.8 to 7.0 <This is a huge variation in a week... Again, I'd avail myself of a simple prep. even just Baking Soda...> My ammonia is almost always 0, same for nitrites. My nitrates usually climb to 20 or 30 in a week, but the water change seems to correct that. My water is almost always crystal clear. I use a penguin 350 filter with bio-wheels to keep the water clean. I have a leopard Plec, another Plec I inherited from my daughters tank (pepper Plec I think) a small striped orange and black algae eater, 3 Bala sharks, 2 Gouramis, a red tail shark 2 neon tetras and 3 fish I don't know the names of (sorry). Feeding has always been Nutrafin flake food and occasional freeze dried bloodworms. In the last 2 months, I have twice put zucchini in the tank, and today a small piece of carrot. <Ah, good> I think that the tank has been well looked after and maintained, and because of that I rarely have to add anything but tap water conditioner and Prime (by Seachem) at water changes. I keep the 55 gal tank at 76 F and my emergency hospital tank has been 78 to 79 F. I am currently raising this to 81 F because I understand that the angel fish will do better in the warmer water. <Yes...> Can you see anything I have missed? I tried to find Jungle hole in the head treatment, but it is not available in Canada. <Is largely Metronidazole/Flagyl as well... Again... am suspecting that this Angel has other than an Octomita/Hexamita issue. Only time can/will tell here.> Regards Floyd Abbotsford BC <Thank you for sharing, writing so well. Bob Fenner>

Re: hello (Pterophyllum; water quality) 12/30/08 Ammonia and nitrite are usually at 0 or very low, they were low when the angels got sick. <Do understand that "zero" and "very low" are not the same thing. A safe freshwater aquarium registers zero ammonia and nitrite levels all the time. An unsafe aquarium will reveal levels above zero. It doesn't really matter how much above zero the levels are, though obviously higher levels are increasingly dangerous, meaning they do more damage within shorter periods of time. Most tanks with non-zero nitrite or ammonia levels are some combination of the following: overstocked, overfed, or under-filtered. Looking over your stocking list, seven adult Goldfish and two adult Plec catfish easily overstock a 45 gallon system all by themselves. You can mitigate problems by upping the filtration and performing big (50%+) water changes more than once a week, but still, the sooner you fix this problem, the better. In the meantime, varying water quality will mean that these fish will be prone to opportunistic infections such as Finrot (evidenced by the red streaks on the fins of your fish). Now, when it comes to Angels in their own tank, your issues are more specific. Yes, Angels are sensitive to ammonia and nitrite, just like any other fish. But being cichlids -- members of the family Cichlidae, despite their exotic appearance -- Angels are also extremely sensitive to nitrate. True, this varies from specimen to specimen, fancy varieties like Veil-tails, Koi and Blacks being more delicate than the hardier wild-type or old school varieties like standard Marble Angels. But regardless, you're aiming to keep nitrate below 20 mg/l where possible. Or put another way, the lower the stocking density, and the more water changes you do, the better your Angels will thrive. Like most other cichlids, they likely come with certain parasites "out of the box", at least where mass-produced fish are concerned; things like Hexamita. As latent, and quite possibly normal, symbionts within the gut these do no harm, but if you don't provide good conditions in terms of water quality, temperature and diet, such parasites can become serious threats to life. Note that I don't mention water chemistry here: provided your water chemistry is stable and within the range 5-20 degrees dH, pH 6-8, Angelfish really aren't fussed. You're more likely to cause problems by inexpertly manipulating water chemistry than by exposing Angels to what you might thing is water that is too hard and basic compared with the wild. There's no real "magic" to keeping domesticated Angels, but you do need to accept that they aren't as tolerant of lapses in water quality management as many other popular fish.> The male that I was talking about died a little while ago. Help with what I can do to fix the situation, why all three tanks got the similar problem etc thanks <Hope this helps. Much about Pterophyllum care here at WWM; have a read, and if you have some specific questions, get back in touch. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWsubwebindex/fwangelfishes.htm Cheers, Neale.> re: hello (Pterophyllum; water quality) thank you <Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Angelfish lump on anus 11/27/08
Please see attachment of my angelfish
<I see this>
I have had this angelfish for 5 years, I recently moved and a friend of mine kept my fish for 3 months. When I picked it up this is what I found, fish is lively and eats well. No one at the fish store can tell me what this is.
Thank you in advance.
Mike Owens
<Appears to be a case of prolapse... see WWM, the Net re Cichlid anal prolapse.
Bob Fenner>

thin stool, FW Angels... lumenal Protozoan parasites? 9/21/08
Okay I have angels and have been battling the thin white stool issue. Now some have nice stools some have normal colored stools but they are thin and some have the thin white stools.
<Mmm, too likely Protozoan lumenal parasites... Hexamita/Octomita...>
I do daily or bi daily water changes, I have r/o water that is set at 6.5ph ammonia and all parameters are great.
I have treated multiple times with metro
<Oh! But... this is a clue>
both in food and in the water with the temp raised, used Prazi, parasite clear and have recently given dewormer flake. I stopped treating the tanks a while back and just focused on medicated feed. Either metro laced color bits or the dewormer flake. It is frustrating. I also have breeders that have their eggs falling off the pvc pipes.
I tried to find this in the search but kept coming up with can worms or other breed problems not related so I am sorry if this was posted somewhere and I just did not find it.
I have no deaths and everyone seems to be eating just fine. I have high protein vitamin ladened flake food and feed bloodworms and frozen brine a few times a week. Live brine on occasion and baby brine on occasion.
<Mmm... time to have someone take a closer look... at this fecal material, under a microscope, your operations, sterile procedure. Something is definitely amiss here... Re the Metronidazole, you didn't get a "full dose" into these animals... or they would be dead... from too much exposure. I would re-read on WWM re methodologies for administration. It is very likely you've cross-contaminated your systems with this single-celled bedevilment... very easily done... and now it may take the patience of Job to systematically treat all. Do you have a LFS with a microscope, folks who know how to use it? Or a learning institution/college with a life science department nearby? Bob Fenner>
Re: thin stool, FW angel dis. et al. reading 9/21/08

I am having a hard time navigating your site could you please give me a link to this
<This? Metronidazole/Flagyl? Microscope use? Angelfish disease? Have you tried the cached search tool here?: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm>
I am not sure what you mean by they would be dead with a full dose.
<This protozoacide would have damaged your fish/es through killing their kidneys had it been administered at physiological dose "multiple times"... See WWM re. RMF>
Re: thin stool... 9/21/08

and I am sorry I used the link and punched in using metro and it takes me to gold fish links which are nothing about metro, same when I punch in thin white stool.
<... Please, don't write... instead read where you were referred to. There are clear instructions on how to use the search tool, indices... With terms used highlighted in the cached view. B>
Re: thin stool 9/21/08

recommended treatment for metro is daily in the water and or in the feed both for a coarse of 10 days for resistant strains. I had done it in the water for the 5 day treatments gave them a rest for a couple weeks and dosed again. These treatments were done over the coarse of time like months not every week.
<... drug concentration...>
When this did not work I did the 10 day treatment, which again didn't work.
Rest high quality feed, lots of clean pure water and they all look great eat well and most breed well.
<Good... Then I would not be overly concerned... this "thin stool" issue may be nothing deleterious... hence the suggestion to use a scope...>
Still have the thin stools on a lot of them and thin white stools on others.
I have to wonder if this is not something else.
I will look at what you sent me to see if I can find the article.
<Not an article... but various inputs from disparate FAQs. B>

Angel fish, FW, dis., reading 11/26/08
I've had my angle fish for years now, she's been doing ok, but lately i noticed that she has white bumps on her especially around the mouth area, what could those be?
<Mmm, "nothing good"... tumours perhaps, maybe evidence of "hole in the head"/Neuromast destruction... from a myriad of causes...>
Also i think she might be laying eggs soon because her lower area is huge, it has been for a couple of days, this hasn't happened before she's laid eggs before and i never noticed a bulge like that.
<This could also be pathogenic in origin>
However, a few weeks ago I did put in an air pump into the tank and it is near the plant where she usually laid the eggs, do you think this would prevent her from laying the eggs, if that's even the reason she's so huge?
<Not likely, no. She can/will find elsewhere, or resorb the material...>
Another thing, when I came home today, I noticed that she has white circles around her eyes, but it's not on her eyes, and they aren't cloudy, what could this be?
<Mmm, perhaps more evidence of something going on here that shouldn't be... water quality, other stressor-wise>
And lastly, I have a 10 gallon tank,
<... much too small.
The root "problem" here is induced, environmental... too little space for dilution, stability, behavior...>
with 3 fish: the angel (and she's about the size of a large palm and I want to say I've had her for around 5 years) and 2 Bolivian tiger angels (they are about 2-3 inches long and I've had them for 2 years). Should I have a larger tank and if the 10 gallon tank is ok, what type of filter should I have, because right now I have a Whisper 5-15 filter.
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwangelfishes.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner

angelfish with something on its "face", FW, English, reading 9/17/08
28 gallon tank, with heater, light, filter, bubbles, living plants
2 Cory catfish (about 1 year old)
2 Otto (less than a year old)
1 molly (about 2 years old)
<Mmmm, needs very different water quality than the rest of the fish species listed here>

1 angelfish (about a year and a half old)
the problem is with the angelfish.
<The beginnings of sentences are capitalized...>
swims fine, wants food all the time (a bit more than normal though in the last few days and i
have noticed that I have to break the pieces up smaller so she can eat them)
2 weeks ago i noticed a small white-cream dot on her front side, in front of the gill, lower than her mouth. than a day later the molly had Ich.
<Likely from stress of being in "the wrong water conditions"... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/mollies.htm
treated the tank,
<... with?>
molly is normal again. however the thing on the angelfish was still there. read some stuff online and gave the angelfish a saltwater dip (1tbs, 4.5 gallons of water, for 30 min) 3 days ago, the dot-thing shrank.
today I watched the angelfish for longer than usual, she acts like she always does. but the white-cream thing is there still and it has gotten longer, it now sticks out from her body a bit and on her body the area has swollen. it really looks like a worm or something has buried it's head into her and it's tail is sticking out.
I can't find anything online though. i searched for parasites, since that is really what i think it is, but nothing comes up matching what this thing looks like. the side of her 'face' is a bit swollen so it is a little bit harder for her to eat, so i have been breaking the food up smaller, she is eating normally other than that, if anything she is more eager for food (not less). The thing on/in her, it is almost like if I could just hold her still I could pull it off/out, but I do not know if that would hurt her and have no way of holding her still, she is a fast one (and pretty smart, took me forever to catch her for the dip)!
the other fish are all acting and all look normal. i am at a lost, i don't know what to do.
<Mmm... have seen this sort of thing before... Could be our old nemesis Octomita (Hexamita) rearing its ugly head yet again... maybe even a worm of some sort... I would treat sequentially with Metronidazole, then an anthelminthic... See WWM re. Bob Fenner>

Stripey angel fish with a white pussy looking spot on it's head 9/11/08
Hi, I need some help if you can please! Im not very up on my fish - I have 4 angels, all about 2 years old, an upside-down catfish, a red tail shark fish, an arched cat fish, 2 cardinals and a fairly aggressive bright yellow Pleco. Over the last few days we saw 3 small white pimple looking spots along the stripey angels back, but 2 cleared up leaving on which went pussy - oozing white gunk. Now it looks like its a spot as it's fairly raised - covered in scales but still oozing. I don't know if it's a boy or girl, but I think it's a boy. IT's still eating like normal, follows me up and down the tank, no change at all in his personality. What should we do? None of the others have got any spots or anything.
Thanks Josie
<Hello Josie. Your description is a bit unclear (from my perspective) and a photo would help enormously. White pimples are usually Whitespot (also known as Ick) and can be likened in appearance to salt shaken over the fish. But these are not normally associated with pus or damage to the scales. When fish -- particularly cichlids (which is what Angels are) -- get pits that are dug into the body, exposing flesh and pus, that's something else. With cichlids the culprit is usually the protozoan parasite Hexamita. This parasite is almost always triggered into causing harm by two things: poor diet and poor environmental conditions. I think we can discount diet because Angels are easily maintained on flake and pellets. Diet is usually a problem with herbivorous fish that aren't given enough green foods. But water quality remains a possibility. Cichlids are notoriously sensitive to Nitrate, so even if the water quality seems good in terms of Ammonia and Nitrite, if the Nitrate is consistently above 50 mg/l, cichlids will get sick. Often the Hexamita manifests itself in two distinct ways: pits on the face and body, and copious white or transparent faeces. Treating Hexamita requires the drug Metronidazole (Flagyl); see here:
Because Hexamita is a pain to treat, it's best avoided by doing lots of water changes and not overstocking aquaria. These two things keep nitrate levels low.
Cheers, Neale.>

Ulcers on angelfish, FW 8/12/08 The issue in question is currently isolated to my 29 gallon tank. The tank is about 19 months old and decorated with driftwood and a few live plants including Corkscrew Val's, Ludwigia, Anubias, and Amazon Swords. Despite the presence of plants it is by no means a "planted" tank. The lights are controlled by a digital timer. Filtration is provided by an Eheim Ecco 2232 loaded with coarse and fine filter pads as well as Substrat Pro Bio Media. The water is also passed through Current's 8 watt Gamma UV filter fitted with a Mini Jet 606 pump. The water parameters are consistently 0, 0, and 20 ppm for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate respectively. Inhabitants include 3 angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) and two Keyhole cichlids. They are feed a variety of quality foods including flake, pellet, and freeze dried worms. <All sounds dandy.> The infected fish is the most recent addition, the third angelfish. This fish was first quarantined for two weeks with no signs of disease. It had been in the 29 gallon tank for about four weeks before the symptoms were first observed. It may be important to point out that this fish is not being bullied, and has always been able to eat it fair share. All other fish have not thus far and have never displayed any symptoms of disease. As far as I'm concerned they have always been in excellent health. <OK.> The first observations of symptoms on this fish were white patches randomly covering the body. These observations were made after a two night vacation. Some were on the right caudal peduncle, one at the base of the caudal fin, another at the tip of an anal fin spine, one spot on the each side's gill cover, and the last just above his mouth. I immediately treated with API Fungus Cure. At the end of the recommended treatment period most white patches were clearing so I continued treatment with Pimafix. At this point I noticed that the white patches left holes or ulcers on each gill cover and the spot just above the mouth. These ulcers are not bleeding or leaking anything, and are not remarkable other than just being present. After this I also added Melafix to prevent possible secondary infection, and to utilize any healing effects that the added Aloe may provide. I also started feeding the only medicated food I had which contains sodium sulfathiazole and Nitrofurazone. <There's really two things that spring to mind: Finrot (or something similar) or Hexamita. Now, Finrot is almost always associated with water quality, but in this instance that doesn't seem likely. Your tank sounds well maintained, though I'd argue a trifle overstocked for five cichlids of moderate size. But your nitrate level is low and the ammonia/nitrite levels are zero, so that's probably not an issue. Physical damage is the other common cause of Finrot, whether through transportation (careless netting especially) or fighting. Angelfish *are* territorial, and I've not seen many trios work in small tanks. On the whole Angelfish work either as singletons, mated pairs, or groups of 6+. Three specimens is a funny number, because you could easily have a pair who resent the newcomer. Angelfish are impossible to sex outside of spawning (and even then they make mistakes themselves!) so this one is difficult to confirm either way. But I would definitely observe their social behaviour. Things like fin flicking and chasing are typical signs of aggression. Angelfish sometimes even make audible croaks when they're being threatening. Next up, Hexamita, a protozoan probably latent in many cichlids but only problematic if conditions deteriorate in some way. Because this is a slow-acting disease, the fish could have developed sickness at the retailer, and only now are the problems manifesting themselves regardless of how well you're caring for them. Hexamita does at least two different things. Firstly it messes up the digestive tract, leading to the classic white stringy faeces, or it causes pits to appear on the face and body (the symptoms known as "Hole in the Head"). Treatment of Hexamita is difficult, but Metronidazole added daily at 250 mg per 10 US gallons for at least 3 days is the standard therapy. Medicated foods work even better if the fish is eating. Now, I have to admit neither Finrot nor Hexamita seems to fit 100% the symptoms you describe; photos would help.> Does it seem like I really have this under control? <Difficult without confirmation of the sickness.> Can I do anything further to heal these open ulcers and how long can I expect this to heal? <You should certainly be treating for Finrot/Fungus if only to prevent secondary infections. In the US Maracyn seems to be the drug of choice for this; in Europe I recommend eSHa 2000. Pimafix/Melafix are largely useless and at best unreliable.> Lastly, what am I dealing with here? <Not sure.> I feel Hole in the Head disease just doesn't seem to fit here. <Agreed, but certainly worth considering.> Certainly pictures I've seen don't seem to match, whereas HITH seems to form pits these are open wounds or ulcers. <One possible alternative is "Discus Plague", a nebulous collection of symptoms with no obvious cause and no agreed treatment. It sometimes affects Angels, particularly commercially bred ones rather than wild-caught ones. I don't think is likely, but I'm putting it out there for your consideration and research.> Thank you for your time. <Cheers, Neale.>

Question regarding cichlid behavior Angelfish and Cichlid Question 07/28/2008 I have two questions the first is about a angel fish I have had for about a year I was housing it in a 20 long with tetra a couple of Corys and some other peaceful fish. The question is this recently it has done nothing but hid in the corners of the tank and lay on its side. The water quality is good AMMONIA =0 NITRATES =0 PH=7.4 NITRITE=0. I use CO2 on this system due to live plants a Marineland 100 hang on back power filter as well a Eheim canister filter rated for around 30 or so gallons. I would really like to make sure it is ok or if there is something that can be done for him also he still eats but not a lot. < Your angelfish may have an internal infection. It sounds like he is the dominant fish in the tank so no other fish are picking on him. I would recommend transferring him to a hospital tank and treating him with Metronidazole and see if he gets better.> The other question is this I have an African cichlid tank it is 37 gallons I was wondering if you know if cichlids can recognize the same fish if they attacked it previously. I took one out that was beat up, treated it in a hospital tank and when I put it back in the attacked it again and almost killed him or her again. <Cichlids are very smart and recognize colors and patterns. The fish that was beat up represents a threat to the meaner cichlid. The dominant fish does not like the other fish because it may look like another male and want to challenge him for territory or females.-Chuck>

Sick angelfish, FW - 6/20/08 Hi, I have an established 40 gallon tank with the angelfish, 2 swordfish, 1 bottom feeder and (I know) one goldfish. I have had these same fish together for over 5 years. I have never added anything new to this tank. I do weekly water changes and everything else seems to be fine. No trauma or fighting. I noticed today that my angel seemed a little more excited than usual when I was feeding her this morning. I was a little concerned and noticed that she did not calm down after her feeding. She kept trying to get my attention and was almost following me around. The clincher was that I noticed that she was gulping little bits of air from the top of the tank. I know she is sick but do not know what to do other than do another water change and increase the temp by a little bit. I did not see any unusual behavior last night. Please advice. Is there any hope? Is she just too old? I don't have a secondary tank to separate her out. This is so distressing. Thanks! Julie <Hi Julie. There isn't anything obvious to blame here; Angelfish are generally fairly robust fish, and assuming it gets settled into a tank properly, the average Angelfish does quite well without complaint for anything up to 10 or more years. Obviously the first thing to do is check water chemistry/quality; looking that the pH is stable and that there's no nitrite in the water is a good approach to take. Gasping is often a sign of problems with water chemistry/quality, and Angels, like all cichlids, are particularly sensitive to their environment. Do also check the water isn't too warm or too cold, as both of these things can cause problems; the normal 25C/77F is good for tank-bred Angels in mixed species settings. If the fish is eating properly and shows no abnormal swelling, colouration, or fraying on the fins, you can generally assume it's healthy. I know this isn't very helpful, but at least I can say that no, it isn't old age, and no, it likely isn't dying. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Sick angelfish - 6/20/08
Thank you so much Neale, <Happy to help.> I hope you are correct. I really do. She is a spitfire and the "light" of my tank for a LONG time. The temp is always stable so that can be ruled out. I will do a large water change and watch her carefully. <Changing the water -- assuming you keep the temperature and water chemistry reasonably stable -- is always a good idea. Those little "dip stick" water chemistry/quality tests are also great for things like this. They may not be perfectly accurate, but they're plenty good enough to alert you to a crisis, and being cheap and easy to use makes it more likely we'll use them!> Good to know she has the capacity to live for 10 years! <Angelfish can easily top 12 years, but 10 years is a good "average". It's perhaps worth observing lifespan in the wild is surely much less than that. Cichlids tend to live longer, get bigger in captivity.> Believe it or not last winter we lost power. The tank dropped to 60 degrees. I had to warm it up with warm water in the dark with flashlights. She stressed a little, did not eat but managed to pull through fine. She is a tough girl! <Cichlids are indeed notoriously sensitive to cold water. I guess their highly sophisticated brains don't work when they get cold! For short period they go loopy and seem to lose orientation as well as appetite, but usually recover none the worse for wear. Prolonged cold periods will kill them. There's quite good data from observing how (feral) cichlids have spread across Florida, USA; they have advanced only so far north and then no further. There's a cut-off line where the regularity and coldness of winter stops them in their tracks, about halfway up the state. Anyway, as you've observed, good quality tank-bred Angelfish are really very adaptable and robust. But there's a lot of variation in quality, as well as inbreeding involved in making really fancy varieties, so you never really know. Great fish though, very characterful.> Thanks again! This is a great service! Julie <Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Sick angelfish -- 06/23/08 Update:
Neale she is doing fine! Thank goodness. The tank could not be any clearer! You were right on the money. I hope to have her for another 5 years. Thanks again! Julie <Hi Julie, this all sounds good news. Keep us posted if she starts behaving strangely again. Cheers, Neale.>

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