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FAQs on Freshwater Angelfishes 1

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

Related FAQs: Angels 2, Angelfish Identification, Angelfish Behavior, Angelfish Compatibility, Angelfish Selection, Angelfish Systems, Angelfish Feeding, Angelfish Disease, 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 DiseaseCichlid Reproduction,

FW, Angelfish woes/Less than pristine water conditions  9/23/05 My angelfish has been hiding in a log lying down.  Sometimes she is up in the corner above bubble bar. <Is she gasping, this is often a sign of poor oxygen concentration in the tank, you may need to increase aeration and water changes.> She got stuck in the lava rock last night due to her being to larger for such a small hole. <Ouch, I would remove the rock to avoid this in the future, the stress alone can lead to demise no to mention the physical damage.> I am not sure how long she was stuck because she was like that when I came home after 8 hours. I managed to get her out but now she is lying down and another fish was nibbling on her fins. <Has this aggression been persistent or is the first time you have observed it?.> She is a year old.  I have put her in a tank alone now but she still lies down but will swim around when you pick up the bowl she is in.  We tested the water the ammonia level is more than 1.0  but less than 2.5 <Sounds like the tank she is in/has not gone through the nitrogen cycle, that ammonia reading is enough to kill any fish, I would start performing LARGE water changes to compensate. And see here for more detail about the nitrogen cycle. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm . Also if your LFS has a product called Bio-Spira I would purchase some. This product contains live bacteria to help out in your cycling process.> The pH is less than 6.2 the water was yellow. <The color is likely form dissolved organic compounds in the water.>  The Nitrite is 0.05. What do I Need to do to my water and what will help my angelfish? <Change a large amount of the tank volume, I would do 50% daily or twice a day for the next week or so, make sure to use a dechlorinator such as Amquel to treat tap water. Running Carbon is not a bad idea either.>   Please help I do not want to lose her or any of my other fish. <Understandable, Adam J.>

In Response to Angelfish Woes Thanks for replying so quick. <No problem, I know how it is to see one of your specimens suffering. Its not a good feeling.>   We are going to do the water changes. <Awesome!>   We had a Couple months ago did a good cleaning on the tank and had some distress and we did several water changes and seemed fine after that.  The water test was good. <For best results/stability try doing a water change once every 2 weeks, every week if you can, 10-20% of your tanks water volume would be a great start.> As far as the aggression with the fish that was the first time for that.  I think it was just because she is ill. <Im inclined to agree.> I have read your site about the Bio-Spira and I will get some.  I have an hour drive to the nearest store but I will be doing whatever I need to save my fish.   <I admire your dedication.> I have 17 fish.  Again thank you so much for helping me.  You are a great site for help and do not keep people waiting. <We try our best.>   I will recommend you to others I know when they need help or just want to read up on things. <Thank you very much, responses like this one make it all worth it, wishing you and your critters well, Adam J.> Bloated Angelfish  8/30/05 HELP!!!! My angel fish is so filled with gas, he looks like he's swallowed a ping-pong ball....what should I do? More antibiotics? < The Metronidazole should have done the trick , but it appears that either the conditions that caused the bloat are still in place or the Metronidazole was ineffective. At this point I would switch to a double dose of a Nitrofurazone medication in a hospital tank or to Clout as a last shot.-Chuck.>

Bloated Angelfish  8/31/05 Thanks for quick response - he's sooooo sick. By the way, another web site suggests: if one is either trained to handle fish or is a veterinarian, one could try putting a small pin hole into the bladder to allow the gas to escape.... as a last-ditch effort - he's probably about to die should I try this? Anne < I guess it is worth a try if you have nothing to lose. Most of the time the trauma kills the fish. Try it if you think all hope is lost and write back if it works.-Chuck>

Angelfish Going to Heaven  8/16/05 I love this web site! you guys are so helpful! I'm so confused right now. I've been doing freshwater aquariums now for about 5 yrs and have never come across what is happening with my fish tank now. I have a 125 gallon aquarium, right now i only have 2 blood parrots, 2 angel fish, 1 rainbow shark, and 1 Kribensis. My problem is with the angel fish. I use to have 4 angel fish. 2 were about silver dollar size, and I had them a while longer, and the other 2 were about quarter size and newer. One of the bigger ones became ill and was floating at the top, not eating. He died. Then the other big one also came down with the same symptoms, except we actually saw her cough up blood and have blood come out of her gills. We knew which were male and female because they had bred shortly before. I had my water tested and everything, and everything was perfect. We did a water change, added copper safe, and treated with an antibiotic. None of my other fish were acting strange. Now about a month later, my smaller angel fish are about silver dollar size, and one has started doing the exact same thing as the other two did before they died. And I'm sure my last one will do it too. They also bred shortly before becoming ill. The only thing I can see causing this is that they were a bad batch from the store. All my other fish were bought from different stores except for my angel fish, they were all bought from one store, and they are the only ones with these symptoms. I'm not sure what I should do. There is no aggression going on in the tank. I have had blood parrots and angel fish together for years and they get along great. It has been about a month or so since my first angel fish died. Do you guys have any ideas? or any suggestions for what i should do? like I said, my water is good, we did a water change just a few days ago, and added the dechlorinator, and we have copper safe in there, and treated it just a few weeks ago with antibiotics. Thank You So Much!! < If the fish died shortly after they bred then they must have been in pretty good shape to breed. The stress of breeding may have lead to an internal bacterial infection. Domestic angelfish don't have too much resistance to disease. I would treat them for internal anaerobic bacterial infection with Metronidazole as per the directions on the package.-Chuck>

FW Angelfish with Swimming Problems 7/19/05 Hi: I hope I didn't miss the answer on your website, but if I did, apologies ahead of time. I have an angel fish - silver striped, freshwater - who has air bladder disease. At least I think that's what it is. He's lying on his side, trying so hard to swim. He eats when he can upright himself. I have put him in a hospital tank, away from his obnoxious co-specimens - two other angel fish, same species, who were picking on him. (If he lives, I will not return him to the big tank.   He can have the hospital tank and I'll find him new friends.) Anyway, the main tank is 75 gallons with two filters (the 500 size.)   I have about 15 fish in there, mostly small tropicals, half dozen neon tetras, some penguin tetras, and five plain vanilla tetras - pale in color. I also have a so-called Tri-Color shark and one Pleco.   I had a terrible case of free-floating algae - months and months of green water and finally got rid of it about two weeks ago. A day or two later, just when I thought things were finally OK, my poor angel fish was bobbing around on his side. I am treating him with antibiotics (gram-positive Maracyn) and just began treating him with a gram-negative medication (Maracyn II.) Is there anything else you can suggest I do? This fish is the only one I've ever owned that actually had a personality - he's trying really hard to survive - and I'd like to help him if I can. Anne S. < Keep in the isolation tank and treat with Metronidazole. The key to a successful recovery is quick treatment. Once the fish is eating you should be home free.-Chuck> FW Angelfish Flaking Out 7/16/05 I have one breeding pair of angelfish in a 32G tank with 4 clown loaches and 1 black ghost knife fish. The angels used to spawn quite often but maybe because I failed every time to keep the fry alive so they seems to be gradually slowing down with the spawning now. However, the female would still become full of eggs with a very round belly fairly quickly after the last spawning but she is holding the eggs longer and longer each time and she produces less and less eggs each time too. Sometime she carries her eggs up to 1 month (maybe even longer). I understand that the pair is acting weird probably because It realize that the fry won't survive (due to my failure). But I'm worry if all this egg carrying will cause the female any harm. < Egg bound females do have problems.> Also, even though they are not actually spawning and there's no eggs or fry around, they still chase the other fishes around like crazy. I believe that this is because, in their mind, they are still preparing to spawn, right? < When preparing a territory to spawn the make no secret about it to the other fish.> Therefore I'm planning to remove all the other fish to another tank already. But I'm wondering if there is any kind of fish I can put into the same tank with a breeding pair of angels? Since I have heard even with breeding pair of discus or Oscars, they can still have some tankmate. Is my tank not big enough to do that? < I would recommend that you leave the pair of angels alone in the tank.> Finally, I noticed on the label of the New Life Spectrum flakes it says that although flakes can sustain small fish, it is not good enough for big fish due to low consumption and they suggest pellet food. However, my angels only eat flakes. I just cannot get my angels to eat pellet, and they used to love the frozen food before but now they barely want them too. All they want is flake. How can I make them start eating pellet(s want them to have more varieties)? I have this problem even with my marine tank. < Some Marine fish never seem to eat anything.> Is there special ways to start fish eating pellet? <Feeding medium sized fish pellets is a good idea. Feed the fish the same time every day. Only feed them enough food so that all of it is gone in two minutes once each day. Feed them 95 % flake and 5% pellets the first day. Increase the pellets by 5% per day while reducing the flakes by 5% per day. In a couple of weeks your fish are converted over.> What caused the change of taste with my angels? Why did they suddenly stop taking the frozen food? <The frozen food may have been defrosted and then refrozen. This would change the texture and possible the taste.> Will my angels be fine with just flakes? < Depends on the brand of flake food. Some are better than others. Fish can survive on anything. But for breeding and to keep your fish looking the best then I use only the best foods out there.> For you information, The male angel is about 3.5inches long and the female is a bit smaller at about 3 inches. Thanks for being such a great help all the time! < Thank you for your kind words.-Chuck> Re: Egg-bound FW Angelfish 7/16/05 Hi again, You said that  "Egg bound females do have problems". So, what might happen to my angel and what can I do to stop it? <There are three things that can happen with an egg-bound female. The first is you can get her to spawn. Usually increasing the temp to 82 F and a big water change (50%) will usually do it. Second is they might be reabsorbed into her body. The third is they can get infected and rot. The latter usually happens with older fish.-Chuck> Thank you for your help! Breeding Angelfish The two angelfish in my 32G tank have been spawning for almost a year. Ever since it start to breed, it's been very nasty toward any other fish, making all the other fish to hide almost all the time (especially the Clown Loaches). My question is, is there any kind of fish I can keep in the same tank of a breeding pair of angels without having any conflict, since I cannot afford to get another separate breeding tank for the angel( I don't have the time to raise the fry anyways), and also, I really want to have them in my main display. < Welcome to the wonderful world of cichlids. Part of the attraction of cichlids is the way these fish protect their eggs and fry. Unfortunately as you have found out when space is limited these fish can make their tankmates lives a living hell. I would recommend that you trade in these breeding angels to a local fish store to someone who would appreciate them and take the time to raise the fry.-Chuck>

Angelfish Eat Eggs 7/4/05 Hi again, By the way, I actually did try to raise the fry in the first couple times but every time I failed to keep them alive for more than a few days. < A problem with food or water quality.> Then, I started to do research on the internet to see how to properly raise them. But then I think it was after the third spawning the male started to eat all the eggs right after he fertilized them. And ever since that time he has been eating the eggs every time. What caused the change in the male's behavior? <Your fish still have the desire to breed but have come to the realization that there is a problem and will not waste this resource so continue to eat the eggs and make us of this protein and fat source.> They used to care take and protect the eggs so well in the first two or three spawning. Are there ways to fix this problem? < Breaking fish of this habit can be difficult. First i would recommend that you feed the fish very well with some live and or frozen foods. After they spawn I would still feed them well. When the eggs hatch it sometimes triggers a feeding response and the adults try and eat them then. To be safe I would remove the eggs right after spawning and hatch them artificially.-Chuck>

Too Hot for Angelfish? I'm a new fishkeeper's mom - my son, the fishkeeper, is 8 so I'm the responsible party.  He wants an Angelfish so we bought a 20 gal tank, cycled it, got 3 platys to establish the tank.  It's been about a 6 weeks now.  The problem is our tank temperature is consistently 82 to 84 F during the day without the heater on.  I placed the heater at 79 F as the minimum for overnight.  I would like to stock the tank with another fish or two - but one that prefers the really warm temperatures.  We'd purchased a Black skirted Tetra but she died within a few days - I'm concerned that it was too warm for her.  I feel bad when the little fella's die so please give me the names of several hardy fish that prefer really warm temperatures.  (I know Angelfish are delicate - I'd like to operate the tank around the needs of the Angelfish if possible.)  Thanks.   Cathy for Malcolm < Temps around 82 to 84 are fine for angelfish. At those temps the water isn't able to carry too much oxygen so make sure that you have plenty of aeration.-Chuck>

Angelfish Problems I have a pair of Marble Angle fish. The last set of fry are about 3 months old. We removed them from the parents tank about three weeks ago from our 30 gallon tank. Recently, the female had not been eating, and 2 days ago she was laying upside down on the bottom of the tank. I thought for sure she was dying. The next day she seemed fine. Today we noticed her straight up in the bubbles, kind of acting like she wasn't getting enough air. Then after doing that she went back and laid on the bottom.  Is there anything I can do to help her?? <The stress of breeding has taken a toll on her and it sounds like she has succumb to an internal bacterial infection. Do a 30% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat the tank with Metronidazole as per the directions on the package-Chuck>

Angels and Clowns I have a 90 gallon show tank. It is decorated with wood, a single large piece of holey limestone, black gravel and floating plastic bamboo plants...sort of a sparse Zen look. It has clown loaches (2"-4")... they eat out of my hand...and Bushynose Plecos... the Plecos are actually breeding on a routine basis. The pH is 7.2, temperature is 80 degrees, and ammonia and nitrite are zero. It has been up and running for 18 months. I use two Emperor 400s. I change 10% of the water daily and wash out the filer pads in the process. I want to add a few angelfish. Are they compatible with the clown loaches? The loaches are pretty active sometimes. Also, would the angelfish help control the Pleco population? My LFS gives me $2 each for them...several hundred dollars so far... but it is a hassle to take everything out of the tank to catch them and it disturbs the fish. >> You should be able to add some angels, but please start with medium sized fish, the activity of the clown loaches at night may bother the small angels. They will, unfortunately, eat some of your baby Bristlenose Plecos. If you want to catch your Bristlenose babies without having to take the tank apart try putting some food (romaine lettuce, tied to an airstone) at night, with a net underneath it. The baby Plecos will enter the net from the top and swim down to eat the lettuce in the stream of bubbles. Use a flashlight to see when Plecos are in your net and lift! Good Luck, Oliver <<

FW Angelfish Info Hello first I love the site just thought I would like to say that. And I would like to know more about the angelfish. How difficult are these fish? What do they eat? How big of a tank do they need? And can they exist with other fish? Thanks and please write back. < Go to fishbase.org for general info on angelfish. These are pretty good aquarium fish that prefer slow moving, warm, acidic, clean water. Pairs can be housed in a 20 gallon but groups should be in 50 gallon well planted tanks with medium sized tetras. Keep them with fish that are not too aggressive and not too small to be eaten. They are not too picky about food and are easy to take care of.-Chuck> 

What Won't Go in This FW Tank Just browsing through the site and it's very helpful but there are some things that I just cant find anywhere on the internet so I would appreciate it very much if you could help me here. <That's what we are here for.> I have a pretty average 50 gallon tank and I'm building a community of smaller tropical fish, so far I have a school of neon tetras, 5 angelfish, a Pleco and a male fighter (Betta) and they seem to be getting on really well. Sometimes the biggest angelfish chases the Betta but only for an inch or 2 then gives up, but he also bullies the smallest angel too so he is probably just a bully. The Betta hasn't shown any signs of aggression to any fish since he has been in my tank, (2 months). So so far its going well, but I want to get some more types of fish to include, like some common fish like barbs, guppies, Knifefish, catfish, etc possibly some rare ones too, could you give me a small list of fish that DEFINITELY will not mix in my aquarium. Thank you very much please reply soon. <As your angelfish grow they will eventually eat the smaller tetras like the Neons and begin to pick on the Betta and tear his fins to the point he may die. As a general rule of thumb, stay away from fish that get too big, like Oscars. Otherwise, once you decide which fish you want to keep out of your current set up, I would go with fish that have similar water conditions and all stay around the same size.-Chuck> 

Angelfish with Acne There are three pinhead size bumps about 2 MM apart just below the left eye of my fish, He's almost 10 inches from top of fin to bottom (Angel Fish) he doesn't seem to be acting weird but I'm sure they are not supposed to be there. They don't look like Ich more like tiny white teeth coming from the inside of his head if that give you a better image. Please Help John < Your angelfish has probably scraped himself on a rock, piece of wood or a plant stem. This could even be caused by you fish attempting to get some food out of the gravel. It is probably a bacterial infection followed up by a fungal infection. I would isolate the fish in a hospital tank and treat with Nitrofurazone. It will take care of both problems.-Chuck> 

Angelfish Aggression Thank you, Chuck at WetWebMedia, for your quick response to my urgent question/problem. I have taken your advice to heart, and took the angelfish out of the goldfish tank. I agree that possible aggressive behavior on the part of the angel would eventually be a problem. I do think I saw a new nip or two out of the tail of my shubunkin. His tail is frayed a bit anyway and the other goldfish are CONSTANTLY playing.  There is no way that I could leave any even POSSIBLE danger to my sweet goldfish. They are just so cute and happy and do seem to enjoy life so much. So, the more docile male angelfish is back in the tank with the fighting female, with a separator between them. They have spent most of the time just staring at each other. She is seen occasionally trying to bite through the separator. She really IS aggressive.  He, seemingly emboldened by the separator, will approach her and try to nip her through the plastic, too. At first, though, he was pretty crept out to be back so close to her and retreated to his furthest corner. Then he realized he was protected. Poor guy. I have a 10-gallon that I may put him in eventually. BUT I DIDN'T WANT ANOTHER TANK!!!!! The work! The work! The work! I feel like I have devoted every spare minute the past two years to FISH!!! But I love them. I do. And I wouldn't give this hobby up for anything. Sincerely, and thanks again Rebbie. <I am glad that your fish will happy and healthy for a long time with a caring owner like yourself.-Chuck>

Angelfish with Goldfish? I have had two young angelfish in a 20-gallon tank (with plans to upgrade soon to a 29-gal.) for about a month now. They've grown quite a bit. Day before yesterday, the apparent female (belly swollen) began to pick on the apparent male. I found him sort of cowering in the corner, fins torn in several places, so I reluctantly moved him to my 50-gallon tank which houses two goldfish and three Rainbowfish and three Siamese Algae Eaters (I know, but it has worked beautifully for two years now).  I am not interested at all in breeding the angels, but most of all I don't plan to subject the more docile male to this harassment from the female again. After almost two days, he seems quite happy in my 50-gal. My questions are,  1) do you think there is a hope of compatibility between the angel and my goldies long term ? So far, they seem to be ignoring each other and things are fine, and also  2) are angels OK, kept singly, with other fish like rainbows? Thanks for any advice you can give!  <The angelfish comes from warm soft acidic waters in South America. Your goldfish come from cool more temperate waters. I think eventually one or the other will have a problem and you will need to separate them into their own tank. Eventually the angelfish will get big and may start picking on the goldfish too. Rainbow fish are very fast and active. They may outcompete the slower angelfish but in general they should be ok.-Chuck>

Angelfish Problems I've been having trouble keeping Freshwater Angelfish. When I am at my LFS they look healthy, but within a matter of a day or two they die. Why is this? I thought these are hardy fish. pH is acidic (slightly) and no trace of ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. The temp is 76-78 and it is a 29-gallon tank. The fish are usually 1/2"-2" long. Can you help me? Jahner < Young angelfish are actually pretty delicate. Especially some color forms like black angels. I would recommend that the next time you get silver or marble colored angels. Place them in a small tank like a quarantine or hospital tank and feed them well. I like to use live California black worms or baby brine shrimp to get a good solid protein meal inside them. This goes a long way to your fish building up their immune system. In a 29 gallon they may have trouble finding food or competing with smaller but much faster fish.-Chuck> 

Angelfish Trouble.. F/W? S/W? Hi.  <Hello, MikeB here.>  I bought an Angelfish almost a week ago and I have kept the conditions excellent in my tank. I have a 50 gallon tank and not too many other fish. I feed my Angelfish as directed from the pet store but suddenly it is having a buoyancy problem and wedging himself behind my filter and I'm not sure how to help it or if I can. I would really like to know if there is anything I can do to help him other then possibly wait a couple days to feed him to see if maybe it was a problem with overfeeding. Thanks, Krissie. <Krissie, it sounds like a swim bladder problem. I would try using one tablespoon of Epsom salt per ten gallons of water and not feed your angelfish for a couple of days. Good Luck. MikeB.> 

Mixing new, established FW angels, Plecos Mr. Fenner I only have a couple of more questions for now. I was wondering if angelfish living together are going to be ok because I already have two angelfish and I was think of getting two more of the same size, and two of the x-large angelfish (for a total of six angelfish), I was wondering because I've read some articles that tell me that they can be/come a problem with the other angelfish and other fish alike.  <Yes... only a good idea if the tank is quite large... four feet long... sixty or more gallons let's say> My last question was if adding a Pleco to my tank in addition with my angelfish would be OK or if it would be/come a problem. Thank you for your time Mr. Fenner <Likely the species of "Plecos" available would be fine. Bob Fenner> 

Camallanus Worms - 01/19/2005 I have a large planted freshwater community tank which includes a number of Angelfish (9).  The majority of the Angelfish (but not all) appear to have short red sticks (approximately 1/4 in - 3/8 in) protruding from or near their genitals.  No other symptoms on any other part of the angelfish's bodies or on any other of the fish (German Rams, Bala shark, Corys, etc.).  From looking at books, it appears that the "red sticks" could be the ends of anchor worms but I am puzzled that they do not appear anywhere else on the fish.  What do you think they could be?   <Likely Camallanus worms.  Also, it is likely that all the angels (and quite possibly any other fish in the tank) are affected.> I regularly change the water (every week or two) from 10-33%.   <Have you fed them any unquarantined live fish as food?  This is a common parasite in livebearing fishes.  Either way, it is communicable - could be that one of the fish you purchased spread it to the rest.> If anchor worms, what should I use for treatment (formalin??) and should I treat the whole tank or only those fish which display the "red sticks"?   <I would treat all the affected fish with Levamisole, Piperazine, or Praziquantel IN FOOD.  Some products containing these medications are "Discomed" and "Pipzine", which have instructions for mixing them with food.  Also, the following link offers foods already prepared with medications: http://flguppiesplus.safeshopper.com/26/cat26.htm?519 .  I understand the folks there are greatly customer-service oriented, as well.> Thank you for the help. <Any time.> Diane Thompson <Wishing you and your angels well,  -Sabrina>

Camallanus Worms - II - 01/20/2005 There did used to be guppies in the tank. I had this parasite 2 years ago and perhaps I never got rid of it as I thought.  <I doubt that you wouldn't have seen anything in two years - but I suppose the parasites may have been too numerous to detect.> What is the treatment for Camallanus worms? <Verbatim from the previous response: "I would treat all the affected fish with Levamisole, Piperazine, or Praziquantel IN FOOD. Some products containing these medications are "Discomed" and "Pipzine", which have instructions for mixing them with food. Also, the following link offers foods already prepared with medications: http://flguppiesplus.safeshopper.com/26/cat26.htm?519 .  In fact, they offer a de-worming flake that would probably be effective. You might call them to discuss this product and its ability to combat Camallanus.> One more question on the Camallanus worms. Since you say they are highly communicable, it would seem one should treat the whole tank?? <Yes.... Especially since you may not be able to see symptoms in seemingly healthy fish without a high-powered microscope.> Diane Thompson <Good luck fightin' the good fight, Diane! Let us know if we can be of further service. Wishing you well, -Sabrina> 

Curve on dorsal of freshwater angelfish I have some dark black juvenile approx 7-8wks old angelfish. There are a combination veil and standard fin. Some of the dorsals on the veils are starting to have a curve .the standard fins are fine. Is this a genetic trait (the parents do not show it) or overcrowding, water condition or lack of some nutrient? < Black angelfish have traditionally been one of the weaker strains of angelfish. They are very inbred. If the adults don't show it then it probably a number of factors. My guess is it is a combination of genetics with poor water quality during their early stages in development.> They were raised on brine shrimp and have been eating TetraMin flake and Spirulina the last 10 days. Also there is this reddish brown slime algae looking substance on the glass and sponge filters, What is it and could this possibly cause the problem?  Help < Algae is a sign of too much light and excessive nutrients in the water. It could be nitrates or some other mineral. My guess is when the water quality is good enough not to encourage algae then the fish will have better finnage  on your fish as they develop. Try  checking the ammonia, nitrite and nitrates. The ammonia and nitrites should be zero. The nitrates should be as low as possible for you developing fish. You remove these factors when you do regular water changes and service the filter often.-Chuck> Thanks Heidi

FW Angelfish Lip Tumor? Writing from Jamaica. I've got a 95 or so gallon home-made tank on my balcony housing some little Oscars, a clown loach, Plecostomus and a collection of native river gobies and Gambusia (sp?) that I'm collection for a guy at UWI. I've inherited a lovely, though heavily inbred, large angelfish from a neighbor's tank that it had outgrown. It's lips, both top and bottom are covered in a fleshy, pinky-gray tissue (tumor), which seems to make its feeding difficult but otherwise seems all right, though ugly. It sounds like Phillo. (I've forgotten) according to the internet literature, though it did come from a tank that was too small. With the illness, I'd love to have not accepted the fish, but the neighbors kids wouldn't have taken it so well. They're new to ecology and survival of the fittest. This tumour situation seems very common among angels sold in Jamaica. I think there are only a few breeders, or less. Every shop seems to sell very similar angels. Could you give a better description of what this tumor Phillo. looks like, how it might compare to a tank-side chronic bruise or, as suggested on this forum a bacterial infection, is it infectious (if Phillo., no) and will it go away or can I surgically excise it/them, and if I do will they grow back? I reckon that these tumors will eventually hinder the animal's feeding enough that it will fade and float. < I have seen this before in heavily inbred angelfish and it was assumed to be caused by a virus since no parasites could be found. If this is the case then it cannot be cured. I recommend destroying the fish and trying to get some new bloodlines.-Chuck>

Angelfish in general Hello, My name is Michael Hoefnagel and my family recently bought me an angelfish for my aquarium as a gift. However I know very little about angle fish thus and your website was very helpful in answering most of my questions. I do however seem to have a problem I have a single angle and it seems to just float at the top of my tank and kind of moves with the current. He has not at this point eaten anything... Is there something wrong with my fish and if so is there anything I can do? < You tank should be at about 80 F. Check for white spots or any other signs of disease. Try offering some brine shrimp to get him to eat. It doesn't sound like normal angelfish behavior. Watch the other fish too. This angelfish could be a carrier of disease to the other fish.-Chuck> Thanks for your help Michael Hoefnagel

Can a Silver angel and a Black angel breed? < Absolutely.> Also, I have a Black Ghost Knifefish about 4.5" in a 30 gallon tank, How long do I have to wait until I upgrade? In the Future I am thinking about planning a 55-gallon tank for him. < Depending on how he is being raised and the kind of food he is eating I would say when he gets around 8 inches he will be ready for that 55 gallon. How long that will take will depend entirely on you. Good food, clean warm acidic water should have him growing in no time at all. -Chuck.> Jahner

Fat Angel Hey Bob, I wrote you a while ago regarding my koi angel needing a friend. Well she got a silver slightly bigger than her, and she keeps nipping' at him! Is she establishing dominance or are they flirting? <Hi, Don here. She's just putting the newcomer in his place. Common in cichlids. As long as there are no fins being ripped they should settle down in a few days. But do keep an eye on them> Also I fed them bloodworms. In which she ate all of them and her belly is so fat and she is swimming a little sideways. Will she make it? What is going on??? Erica <A one tine overfeeding of bloodworms should not cause any long term problems. Skip their dinner tomorrow and see if the bulge goes down>

Fallen Angel I have five angels in a fifty five gallon with Dojos and Corys. The head female and three others have started tearing up one of the angels. They almost killed it before I moved it to my ten gallon to heal. First, do you have any idea why a school of angels would suddenly start isolating a male, bite his scales off and eat his fins and tail? Second, I have another 55 with a 8inch Pleco and two 6inch Oscars, two ten gallons and a 29 brackish with four green spotted puffers.  I do not want to put him back into the original tank for fear of them starting it again, but fear the puffers or the Oscars may hurt him also. He is too big for my ten gallon. Could he survive in the brackish tank with puffers or with the Oscars? <Angelfish are cichlids and do become very aggressive when they mature and pair off to breed. Most likely the female has bonded with another male and they were upset at another males being in their space. I would not return him to this tank. I would also not put him in with the puffers. Even if he was able to adjust to the brackish conditions, the puffers would tear him up. You could try him with the Oscars, they are large but not overly aggressive. But it is a risky venture. If the Oscars start to breed, they will quickly kill him. I think it's time to pick the pair of Angels and sell/return the others. Don>

Re: poor beaten angel Thank you very much.  I just cleaned the Oscar tank, so I will let it settle before the transfer.  Now the Head female is beating up on another male I have.  She appears to be a loner, and not to have paired with anyone.  Do I just keep moving them out till I can spot the pair??  She is your typical silver and black striped, the largest.  The one I just moved is black, and the one she is fighting with is of marbled coloration.  The only two she will be left with are hi-fin angels.  I can not tell the sexes on those, but one has significantly larger fins. Do the colors or hi-fin make a difference on their pairing?  Is it just possible that she may not be pairing with any of them and is the one I should remove.  I hate turmoil in my tanks, but these fish are the oldest ones I have.  Thank you for all your help. < Sexing angels can be tricky. Typically the males are larger, have loner fins and develop a hump on the forehead. Some angelfish experts look at the angle of the anal fin. The female is testing the males to find one that is strong enough to stand up to her for breeding. Cool the water down for a couple of weeks and this should reduce the females desire to breed. Feed the fish with high quality food and keep the water clean. In a couple of weeks raise the water temp to 80 degrees F and see if any of the males are4 ready to take her on. You might want to separate the males and keep them warm to accelerate the growth process so they will be a bit stronger when you reintroduce them next time.-Chuck>

Re: poor beaten angel Wow, thank you.  I will do as you advised... The black angel is doing fine in the Oscar tank, but is very lonely.  How small of an angel tank mate could I get before the Oscars would devour it? < Anything that would fit in the Oscars mouth is too small.-Chuck>

Angelfish treatment Hello I want to thank you for the knowledge I acquired on your wonderful website, however I couldn't find an answer for my specific question. Please help me save my angels. I have 6 angelfish the size of a quarter I would say and they are exhibiting these symptoms. Its like there color is disintegrating and leaving a transparent outline of fins and tails. First I noticed it on just 1 angel, in the lower fins, one was shorter than the other, then all the others started getting kinda scraggly looking, like someone rubbed them the wrong way. Kinda hard to give exact description and I couldn't take a better picture than this, sorry. I figured its fin rot so I isolated them in a new set up quarantine tank ( not cycled) and started treating them with Quick Cure 10 drops per 10 gallon daily. Says cures ick not fin rot, this is what Petco gave me, said should help. I don't think they have ick but Petco should know more than me I guess. Now I understand that salt helps so been adding aquarium salt as directed along with meds. Now the Quick Cure direction state to only treat for 2 days and to perform a 25% water change should you need to repeat treatment. Well that was no problem I change 25% every other day just because tank isn't cycled with a no carbon filter (did put an old sponge filter that was in a cycled tank awhile to help the process).  But does not state how many treatments can be repeated and I don't know what I need to look for to know its cured. Just slowed the progression I guess then I should transfer to original tank and fins heal in awhile? < No. Keep them in the quarantine tank and treat them with Nitrofuranaces.> The angels are eating and swimming kinda lopsided sometimes, don't know if that's normal, however I have no idea if I should raise the heat or when the meds are working and should stop? < Stop treating with QuickCure, use the Nitrofuranaces medication as per the directions on the package.> It looks like the symptoms have not progressed any further but has not disappeared, but I understand this will take some time to grow back. If I transfer back to original tank I have Cory's bottom feeders and they don't like salt too much. So when to transfer them back to original big tank? < When they are eating and acting normally for two weeks.> I know it must be stressful being in uncycled tank. I just don't know what to do, please point me to the right direction, thank you so much beforehand for your response. Another thing one angel has real red gills was always like that and since he's an albino I thought maybe its normal, but a friend of mine said it must fluke or something. I understand ammonia makes the gills red, couldn't find nothing on fluke so ?? < Some breeds or angels are referred to as blushing angels. This is just a trait from the breed.> Also she suggested treating fin rot by putting a penny in the tank, so don't know if I should do this in addition to Quick cure or what. If I do put a penny will it affect the nitrifying bacteria as the meds would hence transfer in hospital tank. I had a hard getting the tank cycled and would not want to go thru the process again if possible < Don't put a penny in the tank and stop listening to the guys/gals at Petco. Their advice may have cost you the lives of your angelfish.-Chuck> Teresa Azzopardi

Goldfish and angelfish Hi, I have had my goldfish for over two years now, I change their water every month and feed them every other day, and they were in a 2 gallon tank. <Hi there...Jorie here.  A 2 gallon tank is an extremely small space for even one goldfish...how many did you have living in there? While I congratulate you on not over-feeding (something that leads to poor water quality very quickly), the reality is that goldfish are quite messy and produce a lot of waste, and you probably should have been changing this water at least twice per week.>   About two weeks ago, I got a 10 gallon tank, and my fish are fine. <Great to hear...I'm sure they appreciate the additional space! Do keep up on the water changes, though...50% twice per week at a minimum, in my opinion.> But now I wanted some more fish in the tank, <Well, I think you were pretty full to capacity already...> I went to a fish store and I got 2 angelfish and two snails.  I asked a man about adding angelfish to my goldfish, he said that I shouldn't mix the two, but he said that they both might be ok. <Definitely should not be living together, as you are dealing with cold water vs. tropical fish. Totally incompatible.> I know that goldfish are to have 65-70 degree water and angelfish 75-82, but my goldfish are spoiled and they are always in 74 degree water (they have been for the two years, and they are doing fine) I would like to know is it ok for me to add the angelfish since I have the two snails (which will clean the tank) and since my goldfish like warmer temp.? <I would absolutely recommend against adding the angels.  Perhaps you can enjoy watching your goldfish relish in their additional swimming room in their new tank? They will lively behave much more actively now. Maybe change the decor if you are dying to try something new? Plants, if you don't have any, would look nice...something like Cabomba, which are tough enough for goldies and provide them some munching food?  Also, I want to point out that the snails will pick up *some* leftover food in the tank, they do not actually "clean the tank", per se, and you still need to do regular water changes.>   And please tell me what I can to do so. <I don't mean to sound harsh, Mel, but in reality, a 2 gal. tank really wasn't appropriate for your goldfish.  They are likely very happy in their new digs and, in my opinion, you are now full to capacity.  You could always start another tank...!> Mel <Regards, Jorie>

Lonely Angel I have a 20 gallon tall with one koi angel that I have had for nine months. She is the only one in the tank and is doing great but sometimes I'm tempted to get her a friend. Would there be enough room? Should I get one of the opposite sex? Or should I forget this idea entirely? By the way your web sight is awesome!<Thanks> <Sure, As long as your angel is small enough you could add another. But realize that in time they will outgrow the tank. But so will a single. Hard to sex them. Unless you are looking to breed them, I'd add 3 or 4 Cory catfish instead. Don> sincerely, Erica

Lonely Angel Just how big can Angel fish get? <About 6 inches, but remember they are taller than long.> Do you have any suggestions besides bottom feeders, because they don't do well in my tank due to very little algae. <First, Corys do not eat algae. Most do very well on flake and pellets for meat eaters. As for midwater fish, your choices are almost endless. Danios would do well. Don>

Some fat lips on angelfish <HI, MikeD here>         I have looked in a lot of places but haven't seen anything on fat lips on angels. This poor fish looks like he's been overdosed with collagen injections!  He seems to be healthy, otherwise.  No trouble eating and no trouble being bossy at times.  There are 3 other angels in the 55 gal tank and they, too, are healthy. We bought the 4 fish as babies and have had them for about 8 months.  Any ideas as to the cause and treatment of fat lips?<Without seeing the fish in person or at least a good photograph, all I can do is ask a couple of questions in return and give you an option.  In your narrative you don't mention whether this is a sudden development or a characteristic of the fish that has been there as it grew, and from the tone in general I'm inclined to suspect that the latter is the case, which would indicate that you may have an aberrant gene that's shown up, resulting in a fish that's otherwise normal....this is how most of the "strains" of decorative aquarium fish originated, veil tails, blushing angels, marbles, etc., and if you so desire here's your chance to add another. Breed this fish with two or three members of the opposite sex and watch the fry to see how many show the trait, then breed these together until you end up with parents that now produce all progeny with the same characteristic and go from there..."Kissing angels", "Jagger angels" (or any other name that suitably describes their appearance, and voila!  While an infection could result in enlarged lips due to swelling, there are usually other signs that accompany it, such as difficulty eating, cottony growth on the lips, etc., which is why I suspect that you simply have a deviant gene, also sometimes referred to as "evolution in progress" and unless you see a definite sign for alarm I'd simply sit back, watch and enjoy your fish....different is not always bad>   My angels and I thank you for your help! Angel fish with white eye growth My Angel Fish's eye clouded over and the whiteness continued to grow until it was about 4x the size of his eye and was loosely flapping as he swam--it literally looked like he had a small wet cotton ball attached to his eye.  I finally got the net out and scraped it off as he swam by.  It took half his eye with it.  I've searched on the web but can't find anything even remotely related to this.  I'm assuming he's blind in that eye now, so what I'd like to know is whether or not it can spread to the other fish or is going to kill him. < Unfortunately fish cannot close their eyes to protect them from injury. Sometimes their eyes become damaged by rough handling in coarse nets and that leaves them susceptible to infection. Next time gently wipe the eye with a wet cotton ball to remove the majority of the fungus and treat the tank with Maracyn or erythromycin. Do a 30% water change, make sure the filter is clean. Follow the directions on the package. It may spread but if the water is clean and warm and the rest of the fish are in general good health then it should not spread.-Chuck> Thanks, Amy Woods

Today's dying FW angel question.... In attempting to discover why my angels are dying and no other fish are, I wondered if maybe they are a little more sensitive to nitrites than the other fish, as the nitrites were activated a little around that time when I did a gravel cleaning and water change.  I had to stop once 50% of the water was gone, but there was still detritus left in the tank-although I don't think there was a lot.  Must have been enough to cause some trouble, though, as when I took a nitrite reading shortly after the cleaning) they were about .40. < That might be enough to do it.> I assumed from the fact that there was still detritus that I must be overfeeding-although it's hard to imagine since I feed twice a day with one pinch during each feeding.  I am trying to clean a little per day, so as not to cause too much distress to my fish, and this morning I rinsed the bio-filters and pressed water out of the carbon filters themselves. The carbon filters were about 3/4 greenish and 1/4 blue.  What determines when I should change them?  Should I change one at the time? (There are two-my filter is a 330 Marineland) There was quite a bit of detritus on the filters as well, but I rinsed them pretty thoroughly and put them back.  To my horror, I noticed some detritus (sorry to keep using that word so much) came through the filters-although not much.  Is this normal?  I filtered what I could see through a net, and the water is clear once more.  I should mention that my water has bounced back to crystal clear during both water changes and filter cleanings and the fish seem to be thriving and there haven't been any more deaths.  Your thoughts on all of this? < The Marineland 330 is a great filter. I would rinse out both filter pads under a high pressure water hose until the pads are back to being blue. The bacteria live on the wheels so you can thoroughly clean the pads each time. Only feed you fish enough food so all of it is gone in a couple of minutes once each day. The uneaten food is a major source of nitrogen waste in a tank.-Chuck> Cyndy Monarez/Thomas Nelson

Angels can't swim! Hey there my angel fish have stopped swimming. Their tails have folded up and there long fins have gone thin and superficial. They just lie on the bottom, not eating. What is wrong and how can I fix it? < You have a bacterial infection. Do a 30% water change and clean the filter. I would treat with a medication called Furanace. If that is not available then try Maracyn. These medications also affect the good bacteria that break down fish waste. Watch for ammonia spikes. -Chuck>

Achin' for Angels - 06/23/2004 Hi there, <Hello.> I just want to say thanks first to you all being there to help us all out!  It really is invaluable.   <Many thanks for your kind words, Maggie!> I have been reading all the Angel sites I can find including your FAQ's and I'm starting to think that unfortunately I won't be able to keep Angels in my tank. <Well, let's hear it.> It is a 25G tall, <What dimensions?  I, personally, wouldn't keep angels in anything less than a 29/30g tank; they just get too big, ultimately, to have much space in anything smaller than that.  It is possible, however, to keep and breed a single pair in a tank as small as 20 gallons - I just wouldn't do it.> and I would like to keep a pair of angels and my 4 Panda Cory's.  Would there be a problem with aggression with only 2 angels? <When (not if) they breed, it is quite possible.> I would like to start with 6 and try to get a breeding pair and then return the other 4.   <That's generally the best way to get a pair.> I don't think I could have more than 2 Angels in only a 25G, could I? <Certainly not.  One pair would become more dominant, decide to breed, and likely kill the other pair - or at least harm them significantly.> My Panda's currently have a hard enough time with my 6 Danios trying to get to the sinking pellets I try to feed them.  Will the Angels also give them a hard time and be a threat to them if they do breed?   <Indeed, it is possible.  I would think that the Corys would likely steer clear of the angels, but yeah, there is the possibility of aggression, here.> (I would be putting the Danios in another tank if I get the Angels)  I really want to keep Angelfish but not if it means all my tank inhabitants end up stressed and unhappy. <Very, very noble/kind of you to be thinking of the fish, here!  Always glad to see that.  It may be worth a try, but would be even easier to ensure the safety of the Corys in a larger tank, where the angels can establish a territory, and the Corys can actually get *out* of the territory.  In a small space, it is likely that the angels will claim the entire tank.> Your advice is greatly appreciated!  Oh p.s. will the Angels eat my Amano shrimp? <Yes, almost certainly.  I lost almost an entire breeding colony of Caridina japonica/"Amano" shrimp to a single wild Pterophyllum altum.  I don't doubt that domestic P. scalares would look at 'em any differently.  I guess shrimp are yummy!> Maggie Masters <It might be worthwhile to examine just what it is about angels that you like so much.  Shape?  Color?  Personality?  And then determine what other fish look the way you like, or act the way you like, or whatever it is that intrigues you about the angels.  I know it can be tough to find a replacement; I'm quite smitten with the P. altums, and there just is no substitute for them, to me - but perhaps you can find something that will fit the bill, in a smaller package :)  There are some small dwarf cichlids that share similar personality traits (I like Apistogramma cacatuoides and Biotodoma cupido).  Black skirt tetras are a near-mimic if you like the color pattern of angels, but don't care for cichlid behaviour.  Hopefully, if you look hard enough, you'll find something perfect!   Wishing you and all your critters well,  -Sabrina>

Angelfish puffer fin damage Hello...I have a question about fresh water Angelfish...My son bought a green spotted puffer and put it in the tank with his other fish...it proceeded to bite one of the long feeler like fins over half way off. My question is will this feeler or fin grow back...? the puffers are now history and live across the street so there is no other problem with them.  I was just kind of worried about the angel at this time...I hope you can help...thanks Echoe < Your angelfishes fins will grow back, just not as straight and not as long. AS you have already found out, puffers have teeth and like to use them on slower tankmates.-Chuck>

Angelfish and Gourami aggression Hi there! Great website!  I just got a brand new 20 gallon aquarium. I have a few dwarf gouramis and a couple of tetras. I also have a young ghost angel fish.   The angel fish is constantly nipping at my gouramis, although they are pretty much the same size. I was wondering if there is a certain type of fish or group of fish that I can get that will reduce the aggressiveness of my angel. Thanks, < The long feeler type of ventral fins of most gouramis look very much like hanging worms to many fish. You could add some "dither fish" to the tank. There function is to distract the more aggressive fish so they don't pick on the slower more peaceful species. Peaceful fast moving tetras like rosy's or bleeding hearts may be worth a try. Your angelfish eventually will get larger and you may have to make a decision on which ones you want to keep.-Chuck> Kathryn

Possible angelfish tank-mates Hi there, Thanks for your recent help with the guppy fry... I now have a question about angelfish which I'm sure you can answer if you have the time..... My girlfriend and I are soon to be setting up a tank for angelfish, and would like some suitable tank-mates. After browsing the web and learning that angels are compatible with dwarf-medium South American cichlids of similar temperament and size. Our local fish stores stock both keyhole and Firemouth cichlids (amongst others), would these be suitable? < Keyholes yes, Firemouths no.> Are there any other common cichlids that the angels would get along with? <Sure, Lots of dwarf cichlids in the genus Apistogramma and rams, Kribs to name a few.> Also, I was thinking maybe a small herd of bronze Corydoras to keep the tank clean, are there likely to be any problems there? < No all sounds good until they decide to breed. Cichlids like angels are easy to breed and when they do they chase all the other fish away from their eggs and fry.-Chuck> Cheers! Liam

Re: Possible angelfish tank-mates Hello I'm just following up a question you answered for me *see below) i was just wondering if, when mentioning Kribs you meant the Krib sold under that name (don't know what the Latin name is, sorry!), or the Pelvivachromis taeniatus, or if both types of fish are suitable tank mates for angels. The Pelvivachromis taeniatus are beautiful! < The old name for the fish I was referring to was Pelvivachromis kribensis or "Kribs for short as a trade name. The current name is P. pulcher. Any fish from the group Pelvivachromis would be a fine tank mate for your angelfish.-Chuck> thanks, Liam

Very strange, & Angelfish I seem to be able to write you about a new subject, but I don't seem to be able to reply to your responses. It has not always been this way, When I was asking Kevin about different approaches to a reef tank, we wrote back and forth a number of times; but lately I keep getting an "undeliverable mail" message if I attempt to reply to your answer to my question. <<Mmm, mysterious. RMF>> Anyway, I have 4 Angelfish in a planted 46 g. bow-front. They have been growing well, eating well, colors are vibrant, but lately I notice at least two of the Angelfish are eating my bolivianus.  I thought that Angels did not eat plants. Is it possible they are missing something from their diet? What sort of diet would you suggest? How often? < You are right in that angelfish usually don't eat plants. And I too suspect that they might be lacking something in their diet, I would recommend some Spirulina flake food once a week and see if that helps. You can feed it more than once a week without hurting them.-Chuck> Thanks very much, Dave Harvey

Angel Without Wings I have an angel fish that had its fins eaten by other fish. I was wondering if the fish could ever grow back the fins lost? He has lived for 2 months in my father-in-law's tank with the other fish and we just recently took him and put him in his own tank. I was wondering if you had any suggestions because he seems to be healthy except he has no fins. Thanks! < The fins probably will grow back if they have not become fungused or diseased. Make sure the water is clean and I would add a couple of teaspoons of rock salt per gallon it keep the slime up.-Chuck>

Get the fry to eat dry? Hello, wondering if someone could tell me how I can get my angel fish fry to start eating dry food. They are about 3.5 weeks old and all they've ever eaten is newly hatched brine shrimp. I've put in crushed flake and pellet but they will not take. Even tried them on frozen daphnia- no go. Should I quit the shrimp and they would have to eat the dry because of hunger?  <Try smaller feedings of brine shrimp once a day. Offer them crushed flake food first thing in the morning. Make sure it is a high quality flake food. And then try the baby brine late in the day. See if the adults eat the flake food. Try OSI brine shrimp flake to start and then a general flake with brine shrimp flakes in it later on. -Chuck> 

Angel Finds Neons a Tasty Treat (4/22/04) Hello - I cannot thank you guys enough for the awesome website! <It's an honor to play a small part. Steve Allen here tonight.> I've had a planted 29 gallon freshwater tank running with only an Angel (about 4 inches) and a balloon bellied molly for quite a while. All of the other fish died of velvet and these two were the survivors. Today I decided that the tank could use some new inhabitants and I really wanted small schooling fish. I purchased a 3 pack of neon tetras and finished acclimating them about 2 hours ago. Unfortunately my 3 pack is now a 1 pack and my Angel fish now has a pot belly, so he got a very colorful snack. <Tasty too.> I really want to keep some sort of schooling fish in this fairly small tank. My question is if I buy more of the neon tetras will they have a better chance of survival in a bigger school (maybe 6-9 of them to create confusion) or am I just buying an expensive snack? <Number two. The Angel will pick them off one-by-one in that small tank.> Are there other small schooling freshwater fish that are better at escaping or a bit bigger so they wont fit in the angels mouth? <Not small ones. You could put maybe 4 or 5 somewhat larger tetras such as Lemon or Serpae. These ought to be OK, but since your Angel is already rather large, start out with near-adult size ones. Another possibility would be Golden or Cherry Barbs, but these could get a little too big. The angel will continue to grow somewhat bigger, so you need to be careful not to put too many other fish in there.> Thanks in advance for the advice :) <Hope this helps.>

Substrates in Angelfish breeding tanks Hi guys I need some advice on what kind of flooring a fish tank should have for breeding angelfish babies are coming but they go under pebbles we turned off the tank filter because we thought the fish were get sucked under but then we found out that the fish just go under  .Help what do I do. GREAT WEB SITE THANKS. SIL. < Angelfish breeders don't use any substrate at all. Just a bare tank with a sponge filter and a piece of slate for the adults to lay their eggs on. You could always pull the rock that they are breeding on and hatch the fry artificially-Chuck> Silvia

Aggressive Angels 3/7/04 I have these 2 angels in a 29 gallon tank (also a Pleco + 2 clown loaches + some cichlid that I don't know the name, but he is not aggressive at all because nobody really likes the corner cave he's in).  Just recently one of my angels (yellow one) has been nipping the hell out of my other angel (marble). The yellow is just a touch bigger, but I bought them both at the same time over a year ago and never noticed this behavior before. I am pretty sure the marble is a female as she has a rounder belly. Any suggestions? <Angelfish are still cichlids.  I'm not sure how large your tank is, but adults need around 20g each.  You could have 2 males.>   I have no more tanks free to separate them except for the 20 gallon with the GSP in it, and I'd like to keep him solo except for maybe add one more fish that eats algae and stays small. <There are no BW algae eaters that can go w/a GSP. Also, a GSP will kill any fish that is slow-moving or long-finned (like your angel.  Angels prefer soft water, the opposite of BW, which what your GSP needs to live in.> But really, this nipping has to stop. He nipped off all her nice flowing fins and I'm pissed. <Just acting the way cichlids will act.> And it's for real aggression, not just playing. <I think that angel may eventually kill the other one.  Can you find a new home for one of them? Thanks again. -LH <Good luck ~PP>

Angel Fin Rot Hey, Rachel here, again. My two young angels have fin and tail rot. Nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia are all O.k. PH is 7.3. One of the angels has stopped eating. I need to treat them for fin and tail rot, but there is a baby fry in the tank. The brand of the medication is ALL NATURAL MELA FIX. Will this hurt the fry, or is there anything that treats the fins, without hurting the baby?? >>Hello again Rachel; do you know which species the fry are? Melafix shouldn't hurt any fish, but it might affect your biological filtration. Please make sure to keep testing your water! The fins should start to heal, but may take a week or so, assuming your water quality is good. If your fish are not eating, this isn't a good sign. Keep an eye on them for the next couple of days, and let us know if the fins are indeed healing. Also if they don't start eating, maybe the Melafix will need to be changed for another medication. It's also possible that another fish is bullying your angel to get its food. -Gwen<<  

German Red Angelfish fry Dear Sirs:   I have a pair of German Red Angels. < These are a domesticated strain that are many many generations removed from the wild.>   They have laid eggs many times and never grow longer they 5/16"  before they all die.  I hatch the eggs out in 2 1/2 gallon tanks with methyl blue added to the water to prevent fungus.   After they become free swimming I start doing 1 gallon water changes every day.  The pH is about 7-7.4.  The adult angels are doing fine in my water.  I feed them newel hatch brine shrimp daily.  The temp of the water is about 78-82.  I would really appreciate any and all help you can give me with these fish as I have looked on the internet with no- avail.  I have at present about 1000 baby angels swimming of various sizes.  A total of 4 pairs of adults including the Red's.  All the other baby angels do fine with the above regiment. I am at a lost as to what is happening with the Reds. < The fact that all the other fry from the other pairs of angels are doing fine and your only problems are with the reds makes me think your problems are genetic and not environmental. These aquarium strains often produce offspring that are somewhat week and touchy to even the slightest conditions. Start with checking ammonia levels in the fry tank. Even with a large water change they could be building up in a small tank with lots of fry. The fry may not like the large water changes either. Maybe a little larger tank with smaller water changes. I would recommend that you start keeping a journal and vary the routine with these fish. Try different foods, different temperatures and different pH's. Change only one parameter at a time and keep track of the results. Eventually you will come up with a formula for maximizing the survival rates of each spawn. Your fish are probably very inbred too and may need to find some new stock from a different bloodline to strengthen the gene pool. -Chuck> Thanks Everett Martin

Threatening to Breed Have been wondering if you ever found the reason for your angels dying? <Hi again, Lorraine!  Unfortunately, it's still kinda-sorta up in the air what took my batch of Altums.  Having talked with Bob, though, I'm rather confidant that this "angel plague" is just Hexamita, and I should've treated with Metronidazole in food, rather than just in the water.  I'm equipped with a decent microscope now, so I hope to get some skin scrapes of infected angels and discus from the local stores to look at.> And really need your help. My 6 angels have done great and when I saw they were getting bigger, got my 55 gal. tank. ( Had a 20 gal.) I had great luck cycling by using the old water from the 20 gal, part of the gravel and a sponge that had great bacteria. I put in 3 Harlequin Rasbora to finish up the cycle. <Sounds great.> Over this time, I noticed the fish starting to pair up. I put 2 of the pairs in the big tank and left the gold pair in the smaller tank. <Yay!> But, I DO NOT have room for more tanks and DO NOT want fry. <Oh.  Then, boo!> How would you recommend that I separate them? <Frankly, I wouldn't separate them at all.  I'd keep the pairs paired up - perhaps even divide the 55 into three chambers (plastic needlepoint mesh works great) and let them do their thing.  If you've still got the 20 up and running, it could be your "grow out" tank, then.  And then your angels could reproduce and help pay for your hobby.  If you absolutely *do not* want to do this, I'd still leave them paired up, the two pairs in the 55 and one in the 20, or if necessary, all three pairs in the 55 (watch for aggression).  Put in some nice pieces of slate for them to lay their eggs on, and when you see eggs, pull 'em out and dispose of 'em.> Males in the big tank and females in the small? <Good luck on THAT!  Sometimes even the angels can't tell for sure who's what gender, let alone us.  Until their breeding tubes are out, or you catch 'em in the act, it can be *extremely* difficult to tell genders.> I wish some one that wants to breed would have this " problem". Ha. <Heh, what a problem to have, eh?  Perhaps you could turn the 20g into a tank for some kind of smallish predatory fish and get rid of the fry that way?  I do think it's best for nature to take its course and deal with the "problem" eggs and fry as they come, rather than trying to prevent the inevitable.> Sincerely, Lorraine <Good to hear from you again!  And wonderful to hear how great things are going!  Congratulations on happy, healthy "problems", I wish we could hear of more like this.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Angelfish "plague"? Hexamita?  Hi,  <Hi Johanne, Sabrina here today>  Im so impressed with your site thank you.  <And thank you for the kind words.>  I recently bought a group of 4 young (silver-dollar sized) angels and 2 platys that I plan on adding to my 75-gallon planted community tank. Before doing so, I am quarantining them in a 20-gallon tank.  <Ah, WONDERFUL! Congratulations and then some for quarantining....>  I did break from protocol in so-doing, because I didnt have a cycled filter to add the tank has a hang-on-back Whisper filter that had not been running for some time, so I was putting the fish into a basically brand-new setup. Though I knew I should, I didnt add old filter media to the filter  <That's all okay, as long as you monitor water parameters and do plenty of water changes to keep 'em right.>  Everything was fine, and the water quality looked good in tests, until one of the platys decided to do a Nemo into the filter goodness knows how.  <They never cease to amaze us, do they?>  I found her some time later wedged between the plastic and the filter media, alive but a little bruised, and with a bit of white fuzzy fungus-looking stuff already starting to grow on the wound. I put her back in the tank, and added Mardel MarOxy (the fungicide) and Maracyn 2.  <Hope she had a great recovery :) >  I did the treatments, but then exams hit and I came to big mistake number 2 I didnt clean the water again for a little over a week, or add the carbon back in, so the fish were swimming in the medication-water.  <And ammonia, nitrite from the tank beginning to cycle, I'm sure>  Then I noticed that my angelfish looked a little funny. The dorsal fins on three of them looked like they had started to stick together, so they come together in a point, rather than being fanned out and rounded as they were when I bought the fish. Also, I noticed a whitish film covering much of the bodies of the fish, that you could only really see when the light hits it directly. Its pretty even, and doesnt appear to have pinpoints like you would see for Ick or parasites, but does appear to come in sort of swathes, slightly worse in some areas of the body than others.  <Oh, no.... These are classic symptoms of Hexamita or the angelfish/discus "plague", which may likely be one in the same, though some people say the "plague" is something else, and much worse.>  In addition, the white angelfish has a thin red line outlining the base of the dorsal and tail fins, and going out in what is otherwise an almost imperceptible straight crease in her body that goes perpendicular to the line at the base of her tail (a little hard to describe; the other angelfish are black so I wouldnt be able to tell),  <I think I know what you mean - and I'm betting this is just her lateral line. No worries on that.>  They still swim normally, eat eagerly, and dont look like theyre clamping their fins.  <The fins coming to a point is them clamping their fins; angels usually won't hold them tight against their body, usually.>  The fourth angelfish, which is a different strain from the three that are affected (and looks to be more of a mongrel) and the platys, appear fine (the injured platy has healed perfectly).  <Likely only a matter of time before the final angel contracts it, but the platys are probably completely safe from it. All the same, keep 'em in QT with the angels; do not move them into the main tank - especially if you have other angels, discus, UARU, or Severums in there>  When I tested the water, it seemed fine, except that nitrate and nitrite levels were a little higher than their usual imperceptible levels, but still in the safe zone  <Anything above zero for nitrite is not safe; water changes will bring this back down to zero.>  (I had run out of ammonia test, so couldnt tell those levels).  <Definitely important>  Now, nitrate is at 20 ppm, nitrite is undetectable, hardness is 25-50, alkalinity is about 80, and pH is about 6.8. The temperature is about 80 degrees.  <All good - just find out your ammonia level.>  As soon as I noticed the change in the fish I snapped out of my self-absorption, replaced the carbon filter, and did a 25% water change using water from my cycled, planted tank (which tends to have lower nitrates/nitrites than the tap water around here).  <Yikes.... nitrite and nitrate in the tap? That must suck.>  Ive been doing ~20% water changes each day since then, which has been about a week.  <Wonderful, keep this up, if at all possible.>  In the meantime, the fish continue to eat well, appear active, but their fin sticking, red lines, and slight milky filminess has not gone away, or even improved. Since I suspect that the long period of time in medicated water led to this problem in the first place,  <Unlikely - the meds probably decayed instead of just sitting in the water.>  and Im not certain what the problem is in the first place, I am reluctant to throw more medications at the fish as long as they dont take a turn for the worse. On the other hand, it doesnt appear to be clearing up on its own as I had hoped. After all that description, finally my question: Does my daily water change strategy make any sense, or am I overdoing it?  <Keep it up, if possible.>  Should I be adding medications to address the white film, red lines, and fin sticking? If so, which one should I try first?  <(insert long sigh here) Well, the best you can do for this is to hope it is Hexamita and treat *orally* with Metronidazole (offered by several manufacturers - most easily available is "Hex-A-Mit" by Aquatronics, in a green box). My recommendation would be to mix the medicine directly into some thawed frozen food, like bloodworms, Formula One, something like that, and refreeze it, then offer it to the angels. Adding Metronidazole to the water is virtually worthless, in this case - I've tried. I cannot guarantee that this method will work for you, but it is what's been suggested to me to try next time around, and is exactly what I will do if I deal with this illness again. Hopefully, this will work for you; I've never once had an angel live through this illness (be it Hexamita or something else).>  I am sorry this is such a long question; I appreciate any help you can give me. Johanne Auerböck  <No apologies, Johanne, this is exactly why we're here. I'm sorry I don't have anything better to tell you. I do wish you the best, and hope your angels will recover from this. -Sabrina>

Stressed-Out Angel 11/04/03  <Hi, Pufferpunk here>  I have a 46 gal tank,pH-6.6-6.8, 0 Nitrites, 0 Ammonia, H2O temp is running @ 76 deg., etc. Her name is Lace and I would be devastated is something happens to her, if I can help. he is approx. 5-6" in size and I have had her for quite some time. All variables have been constant. Two days ago, my husband & I introduced a marble kissing Gourami to the tank ( I have had a Gold Gourami in with Lace; NEVER had any problems ). It was within minutes, the INDY 500 between the Gourami "vehicles." I put the gold Gourami in a breeders net for a 12 hr." time out, " which seemed to help. The next am, we the intro. again....after 10 min, the race resumed.. gold Gourami assured 1st place. This fish has now found a new home, & all is quiet . HOWEVER, this seems to be the time I began to notice changes in my Goldveil...she interacts with me constantly...coming up to the frt of the tank, eating out of my hand, etc. Since this occurrence, she appears to want nothing to do with myself or my husband, "hangs" in the back corner of the aquarium and appears very interested in the food ( she's a top feeder ) but only eats very little if anything...no visible signs of anything wrong, no gill redness, but she just acts " out of sorts" She's not "gasping for air" but it looks like her mouth is going constantly, though I'm not sure if this is new or not. Can you help? Could she just be stressed? She just appears timid of everything, us & food included...esp. with the "food part" she looks at it, appears to want to go to the surface to eat, but she just " looks scared " to me. This has only been going on for less than 48hrs. Between the race, adding the breeders net, netting the culprit, confining him, taking him out again, confining him again, (this took 15 min to coax him out of hiding), then completely removing him from the tank...I stressed just telling you my story...Could you help diagnose her condition and/or what we can do to help? Please respond to my HOME e-mail address. The e-mail address is:  <If the only change was adding the aggressive Gourami to the tank, even though you have removed it, the angel could be stressed-out from the whole ordeal. I'd do a water change & add StressCoat. Get her some of her favorite live foods; brine shrimp, or even better yet, some bloodworms.>  <Pufferpunk>

Angelfish genetics Hi, I would like to know what type of angelfish I would get when I cross a silver with a chocolate.  I would like to give them a name.  Thank you for any help you can give me. <Well, crossing a wild-type (silver) angel with a chocolate angel will give you 100% Smokey angel fry.  Being that this is a well known strain, it already has a name (as above, "Smokey").  More on angelfish genetics here:   http://www.aquaworldnet.org/tas/ASgenetics.html .  -Sabrina>

Constipated angelfish? Hi, <Hello, Mark!  Sabrina with you today> I have a large angel fish that has developed a larger than normal stomach over the last week or so. It is lethargic, is not eating or producing waste. It also seems to be gulping. Otherwise it looks OK - no external signs of infection, parasites, injury. Is this likely to be constipation? <Sounds like it to me, or possibly the beginnings of dropsy - are the scales sticking out, pinecone fashion?> If so, I have been advised to try syringe feeding a little natural yogurt as this could be more effective than Epsom salts. Is this a good idea? <Personally, I've never heard of using yogurt for constipation in fish....  I'd be especially skeptical about it, to tell the truth.  If nothing more, handling out of water and then force-feeding would be far more stressful to the fish than trying Epsom salts.  Epsom salts are effective, though, and can be dosed at a rate of 1 tablespoon per 10 gallons, or even up to 2 Tbs per 10g, if the lower dose doesn't do it.  If the fish looks to be tempted to eat, try feeding a thawed frozen pea; squeeze the soft inside part out of the shell before offering it.> Thanks,  Mark. <Any time.  Good luck with your angel.  -Sabrina>

Angelfish 'n Platies Crew, I read the post & Sabrina's reply to the reader with an impressive collection of FW fish in a 58G tank. <Say my name, and magically I appear!  Sabrina with you, today> Among the multitude of fish in the tank were angels and platies and swordfish. Over the years, I have never had much luck keeping angels and platies/swordtails thriving in the same tank. My daughters have taken over the FW in our house now that I have moved to SW. My 10 y/o wants an angel and a swordfish, but I have resisted so far. <One swordtail wouldn't be a very happy fish - they really like/need to school.  Two females (or more) per every one male.  At that, one angel wouldn't make for a very happy critter, either, I'm afraid - and angels will eat baby swordtails, so don't plan on raising many.  On top of that, two angels in a tank will likely try to breed, and will turn aggressive to their tankmates.  I prefer to see angels in larger tanks where they can have space needed to establish territory if they do breed (at the least, a 55 gallon tank, IMO, to try to have other fish with them).> Am I correct in my understanding that their optimal pH and hardness ranges are different enough that it is difficult to keep them together? <I wouldn't think so; platies, swords, and angels have been bred in captivity long enough that they can tolerate a very wide range of pH and hardness.  Angels will tolerate pH much lower than the platies and swords, and the platies and swords can go with a much harder, alkaline water than the angels.  Platies and swords can even go brackish.  But I definitely think there's enough neutral ground to keep them together (as long as you're not dealing with wild stock).> Also, the fish guy at the local Petco tells me that the hardiness and general health of the swords and platies available at retail had been going down in the past few years, probably from genetic problems. <Likely true.  The same can be said for guppies and mollies, as well, I would think.  Too much selective inbreeding without taking care to add in fresh genes.> I've been hearing similar concerns about angels recently - too much inbreeding for certain desirable traits leading to problems with other genes. <Exactly.  I've even seen in stores in the last couple of years angels with very significant deformities - missing or malformed fins, malformed heads, etc.  If possible, try to get angels from good, reputable breeders instead of from stores where some of the angels exhibit deformities.> Thanks, Steve

Microscope and Altum Angels In light of my new employment, I intend to treat myself to a microscope. You told me of one marketed as a kids' toy, available at Fry's - do you remember the manufacturer? <Mmm, it's the fabulous Intel/Mattel QX3! Put these descriptors in the WWM Google search tool and you'll find I'm a big fan (have one at two arms length right here!> Also, at some point or another, I want very much to take another stab at Altums, but I've gotten myself paranoid with this angel 'plague'. Apparently, some views are that it's not Hexamita or Chilodonella/Costia/Ichthyobodo type illness, but I'm not at all certain of anything, except that it's very frustrating. I've spoken with angel breeders, discus breeders, other hobbyists, and for every one person I speak to, I get a completely different answer. <Look for "very fresh" stock... and treat them (orally, with Metronidazole... with or w/o food) yourself... is what I would do> General consensus is that it kills all your angelfish, and roughly 80% of your discus, and is incurable. But I'm not willing to accept that. If it'd be okay with you, I'd like to discuss what my experience was, what I did, etc. Might you be willing to criticize, let me know what I could have done differently? <Mmm, don't know you, the situation well-enough... but suspect this plague is the same pandemic the trade saw and spread fifteen years back or so> See? You spoke of gurus and got yourself condemned to answering angelfish questions.... <No worries. Bob>

Sick FW Angel - 8/23/03 I have a female angel fish that has some kind of illness that I am unable to determine.  This has been going on over a month now.   <hmmm... that long, less likely to be a contagious pathogen. Too slow. good news> It started out like she was full of eggs, she has had numerous batches of eggs in the past, successful and a few unsuccessful. So I just thought she was pregnant again, I didn't think a lot about it until she just kept getting bigger and bigger.  This went on for a couple weeks.   <there are some afflictions of discus and angels that are expressed this way. Have you added new fish in the last month without quarantine? perhaps a disease was carried in> I called the local fish store and they advised I change her diet and feed her seaweed or smashed English peas.  (Thinking constipation.) I did that for 1 week, she was still getting bigger even after eating the above.   <It was good advice... you can/could add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt per five gallons too> She then developed bubbles in her scales where her stomach was stretching.  This whole time she has had a normal appetite. Two weeks ago, she was nose down stationary barely breathing.  I thought she was going to die.  The next morning I was expecting her to be dead and she was swimming around like nothing was wrong.  She was acting normal for a week or so, and did the same thing I just described.   <hmmm.... really does not sound pathogenic... more likely a physical or congenital anomaly. Do try the Epsom salt and repeat it full strength 3 days later in this case> I have just started putting parasite medicine in the water to see if that would help.   <not likely parasites at all... no indication here> The only other fish in the tank with her is the male that is her breeding pair.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know.  The fish store here is puzzled as well.  Thanks- MC <go to our index page at wetwebmedia.com and do a Google search at the bottom for "Epsom salt" and read the FAQs on it. Best regards, Anthony>

Angel Losses For years, I had beautiful angelfish in Indiana. But here in Sun City, Az. they have been dying. INFO- 20 gal. tank. Bio filter for up to 30 gals plus air stone. Tank has been up for two and a half months and cycled. Some plastic plants but live plants are doing great. Temp-82.  Test as of tonight: Nitrate-40 Nitrite-0 Hardness-150 Alkalinity-120 PH-7.6 Ammonia-0.  Added fish tank salt as directed. <Okay, so far, so good, but a 20 gallon tank is far too small for angels, unless you're doing a bare-bottom breeding setup for one mated pair of angels, and no other fish.> Have had 6 little angels and 2 Cory cats in the tank for the last month but--I would lose one or two angels one week, replace, etc. <It's not a good idea to replace fish that have died until you know what it was that killed them, or you'll run the risk of the new fish getting sick with the same thing.> For the last week or 10 days, all has been great, then 4 angels dead one morning. I only feed them as much as their "eye", change 15% of the water once every week. Have had the water tested at different pets stores. They say every thing is good but the angels still die. <It's really hard to say what's going on without knowing any symptoms.  Please do let us know what you're seeing happen with them; look for frayed fins, grayish or filmy skin, labored breathing, disorientation, or just absolutely anything amiss, and hopefully we can help you diagnose what's going on.> This is getting very depressing. Hope you can help me as you have others.  Thanks, Lorraine <Will certainly try to!!  -Sabrina>

Super Thanks for Answering - Freshwater Angelfish plague <Sure thing, Lorraine.  I do apologize that I'm late in this reply, though; I've been frustrated researching an angelfish/discus "plague" that took out my little altum angels quite recently, and unfortunately, this and your other recent email are definitely leading me to believe that you're dealing with this bizarre illness, as well.> Am using the 20 gal. as a starter tank. Will be setting up a 55 or larger later. As for symptoms, the first ones would stay at the top in a corner and breathe hard. (Added air stone) as dying, they were disoriented. <Although these symptoms are consistent with what I know as this 'plague', there are other possibilities - flukes, other gill parasites possibly> Was also told that the stock was not really first class.  First class or not, I want them to live. <I completely understand.  I've never accepted that line, "It's just a fish" myself, either.> Not into breeding, just love to watch them. The deaths were cutting down as I did different things. Letting the faucet water set with Wardley's CHLOR- OUT, etc. Thought I was winning with the last fish. There were NO signs. They were all swimming, eating, chasing my finger when I ran it across the glass. The next morning, 4 dead.   <Same symptoms?  Or any symptoms at all?> The 2 other angels are fine and so are the Corys. (As of now.) <If it is this 'plague', it should not affect the Corys at all.  Please do a Google search on "discus plague" and see if that's what you're experiencing.  Please do understand that for every dozen accounts you read, you'll find a dozen different opinions on what might work and what won't.  My recent experience with my altums showed Nitrofurazone, Kanamycin sulfate, Metronidazole, and Melafix all to be completely ineffective.  I truly wish you more luck than I had, and hopefully you can find something that works for you.  Please do keep us updated, Lorraine.  -Sabrina>

Angel plague? - continuation of a sad story Sabrina, (& crew) This is to be added to my last message.  Before I got your reply, I did get another angel. (That I won't do again.)  Any way, I was home from work today because of "our fuel problem", here in  Arizona.  I had a Silver and a Veiltail left. The new one was a silver and it sort of  paired off with the other silver but the 3 would stay together. Last night the Veiltail didn't want to eat and was in the corner and she did look thinner with every thing close to her body.  This morning she wouldn't eat and stayed up in the corner. I decided to put her in a small tank because she started swimming curved. Does that make sense? <Yes, I think so - some of my altums exhibited this as well, and I recall it from dealing with this 'plague' 6 or 7 years ago in Kansas.> I noticed her eyes looked "out" but she is thin. I gave her a bit of frozen shrimp and she did eat a bite. Since, she looks up with her tail down, like this / . Some of the others didn't even seem as bad as her and they died. <This all does sound hauntingly like what I've experienced.> I did a 25% water change last night. Right now, Nitrate-30,  Nitrite-0, Hardness-150, Alkalinity-120, pH- 7.6.  Have read that Angels like soft water with the pH 6.5 to 6.9. <Tank raised scalares will tolerate a very large range of pH.  Instead of fighting with bringing it down, it's safer to just keep 'em at what your tap is so you can keep it steady.  Wild scalares or altums do require much lower pH, but the tank raised angels are extremely tolerant.> Have even tried distilled water and do use Cycle. <Definitely skip on the distilled water - it's actually too 'pure' - lacks things our fish need.  Tap water and a good conditioner are a much better route.  I would also like to mention that Jack Wattley wrote an article about his experiences with the discus plague in a recent issue of Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine.  A trip to surrounding area fish stores proved awful - every single store had angels and discus the same symptoms.  I'm going to endeavor to set up a few tanks and get scalares that I know to be infected so I can try to find for myself a medication that may help before I attempt to keep altums again.> So give me your verdict.  Sincerely, Lorraine <Not much to give, I'm afraid; but I do wish you and your angels well.  Do please keep us updated.  -Sabrina>

Angel plague - continued again So sorry about your loss. Just wanted to tell you that my angels are doing great. <Oh, wonderful!  I'm so glad to hear that!> I did remember that I had put some ICK medicine in the tank. <Do you perhaps remember the name of the particular med you used?  Active ingredient(s)?> I thought that maybe they had it and I wasn't seeing it. I don't know if this is what saved the last 2 angels or not. <Who knows....  I have read about so many 'cures' for the so-called plague, from voodoo to constant water changes to no water changes to prayer....  And perhaps what you were dealing with wasn't this 'plague' at all.> I also have been using the cycle and like it. Let me know if you have any luck with your experiments. <Sure.  I do hope everything goes well with your tank and fish!  -Sabrina> Lorraine

Angelfish Species Hybrid - 8/15/03 Dear Anthony, Sorry for the confusion.  The female scalare has spawned successfully for the past few times. I'm just wondering if it is possible to cross her this time with my male altum and get feasible spawn as they seem to be pairing up. <ahhh... I understand now. Although I am a bit sorry. I would not encourage the hybridization of two legitimate species. Frankly, with so many beautiful naturally occurring species, it seems like a scourge on Mother Nature to me to muddy the blood. I admit that I am quite outspoken about this> From other forums, it seems that crosses between altum and scalare doesn't give feasible spawns.  Thank you, Winston <I am very grateful for this. Let me amend my advice to state clearly - that I do not encourage a cross of scalare or altum at all casually.  best regards, Anthony>

Altum /Wild Angel Spawning - 8/16/03 Dear Bob, <Anthony Calfo in his stead... Bob is away in Indonesia presently getting tattooed... er, well... at least plastered> My wild angel has been breeding for 4 times already and this time around it has been hanging around a male altum. What's the feasibility that I can have the eggs hatched and survive, or should I not waste the eggs but let her have her old mate instead. Winston <I'm not sure I follow your question, my friend. Has this female spawned unsuccessfully four times with another male? Or simply by herself (common)? At any rate, do leave her with the new/current male to see if a successful rearing isn't possible. I'm hoping that your water has been adjusted to be very soft and acidic. They will not be as likely to hatch or be fertile in harder water. Anthony>

Info Not on WWM... Or is it? Like Ragu... - 8/13/03 Hi, this isn't really a question but I didn't know how to contact you guys any other way. My angel fish recently had a parasite and not finding it on your site I went to all the fish stores I could find.  They too didn't know what it was and said they had never seen it before and I have been to these stores numerous times.  Knowing that these people knew what they were doing, some with over 25 years worth of experience I went to one last store.  I brought my fish with me and showed the people there.  They too were stumped because the fish had no eating problems behavior problems and in all respects was perfectly healthy except for small black dots that looked as if someone has poked the fish all over with a pencil.  The fresh water fish expert there said to give it Jungle Parasite Guard.  This cleared the fish of all dots within 4 hours.  I would just like u to post this somewhere for people with angel fish, discus, and cichlids as they expert there said this parasite can probably get in these fish as well.  Melafix will not work as I tried the 7 days and then 3 extra days of medication.  However to achieve the 4 hour fix add the recommended amount of aquarium salt for your aquarium and repeat medication in 6 days with a 25% water change before adding. Hopes this helps you guys and the people who have fish with pencil like black dots. <FWIW.. Melafix I swear is a marketing joke. But regarding your black spots, are you sure that you are not dealing with Paravortex (AKA Black spot disease) Turbellarian worms. Usually seen on tangs, they can afflict other fishes [see more here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/parasiti.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fshwrmdisfaqs.htm (scan archives for black spot FAQs).  best regards, Anthony>

Angelfish Genetic Problems and Breeding About a year ago I swapped some large fish for smaller ones including a half dozen tiny angel fish that had been spawned at the fish store.  The angels have grown up into gorgeous glittering fish and I am now thinking of breeding a pair before I trade some back to the fish store for other small fish.  Of my 6 angels, 2 are genetically deficient (one has no lower fins, one has too many lower fins), one has been single eyed (so swims like a flounder) probably through early accident but has good body conformation otherwise.   <Okay> I am assuming that the larger fish in each of the naturally occurring 'pairs' forming in the tank is a different gender than the noticeably smaller other part of the pair. <Actually, it's almost impossible to tell until they do breed.  Size does not necessarily mean much in sexing these beautiful fish.> My most perfect large angel has paired with a fish with bulgy eyes and puckered lips who otherwise has good form.  (I think of this smaller fish as 'she' so forgive me if I am using the wrong pronoun here.)  She has had the puckered lips and bulgy eyes for three or four months and seems to be the equal of any other angel in the tank in terms of eating and other behaviors.   <Okay, so this sounds to be much more likely genetic deficiencies rather than illnesses, especially with the other deformities mentioned.> When I stopped by the fish store the other day I noted that in the pair who are parents of my brood, the smaller fish also has the puckered lips and bulgy eyes.  When I asked about it, the fish store owner said he didn't know why but that the fish has been that way for as long as he can remember.  My question is whether this sounds like a disease and/or parasite to be treated or whether I should assume the genetics are just wrong for breeding.   <I'd put my money on genetic deformities.> If disease/parasite, I can turn the tank I am ageing for a breeding tank into an infirmary tank if I know what/how I am treating the fish.  Since a pairing seems to have occurred, would I be wise to keep 'her' with her mate in the infirmary tank? <Well, I don't think there's anything to treat for, especially if she's been like this all her life.  Please, though, do reconsider breeding the fish with obvious genetic problems.  Continuing to breed deformed fish will contribute to weakening the species.  Also, since these fish are from the same spawn, there's even more chance at deformities.  And we can only see the deformities that manifest as malformed fins, poor body shape, etc; we can't see the other weaknesses that may be lurking underneath all that, like a greater susceptibility to illnesses, or malformed organs in the fish.  If you do breed them, though, please do cull any fish with obvious deformities.  I know it sounds horrible, but it really is necessary with such inbred strains of fish to try to keep the strain healthy.> Thanks for any suggestions you may have.  Cathy <I'm sorry if I've been the bearer of bad news - but it may still be possible to breed your most well-formed angel with another well-formed angel from a completely different source.  This would help get some new genes into the mix, rather than strengthening bad genes with breeding fish from the same spawn.  -Sabrina>

Angelfish Genetic Problems and Breeding, Follow-up I do have several in the batch who appear perfect enough to be worthy of breeding--hopefully they are opposite sex :)  I do recognize the need to not breed malformed fish.  When I got mine they were smaller than a dime and you really couldn't tell that much about them yet.  And since even though not perfect they add charm and beauty to my tank they sort of become 'family'.  Certainly no deformed fish will be leaving here to exchange back into the pet store. <Thank you very kindly for understanding.  I do very much agree that even the deformed fish are a hundred percent of the personality of well formed fish.  Thank you also for seeing to it that no malformed fish get back into the trade, where unsuspecting buyers may breed them and worsen the strain/species some more.> While I would love to get a different genetic line in here I have seen no goldens in fish stores around here that practiced enough sanitation I would be willing to take a fish home.   <Do take a look at some of the reputable online angelfish breeders.> So we will give this a try and if there is too high a percentage of deformed offspring, not let it happen again. <Sounds like an excellent plan.> Certainly appreciate the advice.  Cathy <You got it.  -Sabrina>

Water Parameters for freshwater Angel Fish Hi, <Hello> I have a 20 gallon aquarium and am new at this hobby.  I bought the aquarium as a kit from my LFS.  They gave me everything I needed including a heater and all the necessary water conditioning agents for my new tank.  I let it run for 24 hours as they said and then bought a small angel fish for it.  I had my water tested a while back and they said it was at the stage where I could add another fish if I wanted too.  Well a couple months have passed and I have done 10-20 percent water changes weekly adding stress coat with water conditioning in it to the water when I change it. <Nice record keeping.  Stress coat may not be necessary, as long as you are adding something to dechlorinate the water.> I looked all over your sight and could not find a part where it told me what my values needed to be in my aquarium for angel fish. <The best site for this info is http://www. fishbase.org - search for freshwater angelfish.  Best pH range: 6.0 - 8.0> I want to test my own aquarium so that I don't have to drive to the store every time I want it tested. <Right on> What are the pH ranges for angel fish? <As above.> What should my nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia levels be at? <Ammonia and Nitrite should be at zero, Nitrate should be as close to zero as you can get.  Your regular water changes will keep the Nitrate in check.> When reading what I could find it said that my ammonia should be very close to 0 if not 0.  And my nitrates should be around the same. but I'm getting confused with all the information and sometimes get confused what is supposed to be 0 and what is supposed to be 5.0 and the like.  If you could tell me what I the values need to be at for angel fish I'd much appreciate it. thanks for reading this lengthy question, Sam <Thanks for asking.  Sounds like you are on the right track, keep it up. -Gage>

Fading Angels I have two small angle fish with predominate stripes, well they had predominate stripes but the stripes are now starting to fade. Is this a result of putting them in a new tank? <Well, this is likely stress-induced, be it from moving into a new tank or more likely from environmental conditions.  Do you test for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate?  If so, what are the values?  If not, definitely do so, or if you don't have test kits, swing by your LFS with a water sample so they can test it for you.  Any of these values being out of whack can cause stress in your fish, which would cause these (and other) problems.> I have a larger angel fish that acts well with the smaller ones and they often hang out in a group. I also have a fancy goldfish. (I know you're probably thinking this wasn't a good idea because the angel fish will attack the goldfish but they actually all get along) <Well, the compatibility issue really isn't about aggression, but water parameters.  Angelfish need a water temperature around 78F-82F, and goldfish prefer their water around 68F-70F.  It's just not a good idea to keep coldwater fish and tropical fish together for this reason; one group or the other is going to suffer for it.> it too has lost the purple it had on its back and face and is now all orange. <The goldfish was purple?  Are you sure, purple?  Unfortunately, goldfish don't come in purple, only black, orange/gold, and white, or any combination of the three.  It may very well be possible that your fish was dyed to make it more 'colorful' - this practice is actually harmful to the fish.  But aside from that, goldfish will change color (say, from black and orange to just orange, or from orange to white, for example), sometimes attributable to temperature or pH changes.> What is causing my fish to lose their stripes and color?  I feed them 3 times a day and they are active. <Also, how big is your tank?  Can you give us any more information about your setup to help us be better able to help you?> Please get back to me as soon as possible on some solutions to this problem thank you, Sam <You're quite welcome!  -Sabrina>

Goldfish & Angelfish Hi. I am a beginner at this, and I just purchased a 55 gallon tank. <Well, welcome to this beautiful hobby!  May you have much success and enjoyment.> I have 7 goldfish, 1 Pleco, and 2 Angelfish. I  was wondering if its  okay to have angelfish and goldfish together? <Not really a good idea; goldfish like colder water temperatures, and can contract illnesses more easily in higher temps that the angelfish would need.  Also, keep in mind that goldfish get rather large over time, and are very messy fish; your tank is really at its limit with seven goldfish.  Goldfish and tropicals together can be done, but one or the other will suffer for it.> the temperature in my tank is 78 right now. <This is fine for the angelfish (though a touch warmer would be better), but not for the goldfishes.  Goldfish should be kept closer to 68-70F or thereabouts.> I got my fish at Wal-Mart and they couldn't answer my question. I have a 10 gallon tank also and if The angelfish cant live with the goldfish then I plan on putting them in there. <Well, unfortunately, angelfishes get quite large, too, and a 10 gallon is too small for them.  They'll be alright in there for a while, but will definitely need a larger tank in the long run.  Basically, you're set with a few options: move the angels into the 10g and plan to upgrade to a 29g or larger; skip the angelfish altogether, and keep the 55g as a coldwater tank (the Plec should be okay down to 70F, I'd think), or skip the goldfish and do a tropical tank with the angels, the Plec, and some other tropicals.  If you're feeling adventurous, you might even want to do a small pond for the goldies, then turn the 55 tropical.  Lots of options, but all costing, unless you're willing to give up one or the other.> Thank You. <You're quite welcome. -Sabrina>

ANGEL FISH FRY Dear Bob <Winston> My angelfish fry are free swimming and I raise them in a 10 gal tank with no filtration but 50% daily water changes. They are fed freshly hatched brine and Liquifry food twice a day. <I would add some biological filtration and aeration ASAP. Maybe a conditioned sponge filter... or a corner filter with the top off and just some "dirty" filter wool> I have originally about 400 fry but I lost about 20 daily for the past 3 days. I noticed also that some of the fry have bloated stomach that are almost bursting. <I encourage you to switch to very fine/crushed flake food instead of the Liquifry> Is the loss of fry normal as nature makes sure that the weak doesn't survive  or are they underfed or overfed. <Undernourished, overfed> Should I add a sponge filter and reduce feeding or increase feeding. <Add the filtration, aeration and change the feeding. Do continue the water changes> Need your urgent advice as it pains me to see losses daily. Winston <Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

If you're gonna make an omelet you have to fertilize a few eggs.  No wait, that's not it! Can you help me please....! <I can try.> My one and only Angel Fish has laid eggs on the side of the filter in my tank. She is guarding them all the time.  There was another Angel fish in the tank (about 6 months ago).  Will these eggs Hatch?  Could another type of fish fertilize them?? <The male Angel would have needed to be there to fertilize the eggs, so these eggs will not hatch.  She does not know this and will continue to guard them, they will eventually get gross and should be siphoned out.> We have had a power cut and since Friday ( 5 days) the light has not been working. Could this have caused the fish to lay the eggs??? <Stress and/or environmental changes can cause some animals to reproduce, I am not sure if this can be said about Angels, but I would not be surprised.> any help would be appreciated. Thanks Janet <Try searching on google.com for breeding angelfish, you will come up with loads of results with information on breeding theses fish.  Best Regards, Gage>

Somewhat OT: Kudos to Anthony/WWM Crew 5/23/03 Hi ya folks! <Cheers, my friend> I regularly peruse the daily FAQs, as I find them fascinating. I fortunately haven't had a need to ask any questions myself; my freshwater Angel tank seems to be doing fine (stop making faces at me you marine addicts! *grin*). <heehee... believe it or not <G> we're not that bad. My heart is actually still with freshwater discus and so many other beautiful freshwater species (magnificent African Cichlids, oh-so-many catfish, amazing livebearer varieties... and definitely angelfish!- BTW... if you ever make it to Baltimore to see the National Aquarium, go across the street to the Barnes and Nobles 2nd floor Altum angel/Amazon tank run by the Aquarium... unbelievable!). Marines and invertebrates just happen to be the focus of my/our pen oftentimes :) > Anyway, the reason I felt a need to send this, was due the restraint Anthony showed with the 15 yr old shark boy. I work with adolescent kiddies, and  that boy displayed a blatant case of "the world revolves around me" as well as chronic " mom said no, I'll ask dad". Anthony, I'm well impressed with the way you handled that; <I sincerely appreciate you saying so, my friend, but I must admit with all modesty aside that at such times I'm disappointed at my lack of discretion at times. I wish I could be more reverent.. or less sarcastic <G> sometimes. I think of what some of the folks I most admire, and wonder what they would have done in such cases... too often/most often I lack grace. Doing the best I can in the meantime... hoping to get smarter as I grow older <G>.> teenagers can be masters at getting under one's skin, and you REALLY restrained yourself despite provocation! That incident supports my belief that this is truly a quality aquatic website. <danke!> Heh, I do kinda feel bad for the folks at the NJ State Aquarium though...hopefully they will be able to deal with that young fellow as well as Anthony did. Allison <indeed... and I strongly suspect that it was a docent at NJ Aq. that fielded that chap's phone call (not a lot of paid staffers in any big Aquarium "manning the phones" for random calls from the public. They are usually quite busy with operational duties). A tenured docent is likely well-suited to dealing with young folks. Perhaps all is for the best after all. Although his sharks may not agree in couple years if they are still around. <Sigh>. With kind regards to you Allison. I do hope to make your acquaintance one day perhaps at a fish show/conference. I do make it to freshwater shows as well <VBG>! I was just at the NEC in Hartford/Springfield a couple months ago... wonderful time/people/show. Anthony>

Success in treating freshwater parasite problem >Hi Marina: >>Good morning, Bill. Your treatment seems to have worked! The white angel is free of all outward signs of ick and the other fish are all fine. >>Excellent!  Very glad to hear it. >I bought a device that allows me to read salinity and it is at 3 ppt, and I am going to leave it there for a couple of more weeks just to be certain. >>A refractometer, perchance? >Can loaches and Bala cats tolerate the salinity treatment? Would a seawater dip work with an Oscar?  (My Oscars are fine, but just wondering for future possibilities.) >>Yes, they can tolerate this better than they can certain medications. >Boy, I love keeping fish! (Although I do feel a little odd when I eat sushi now - and should I catch me any salmon, trout, halibut or grayling, it's going to feel a little different than it used to, now that I have fish buddies.) >>Yes, some folks do find themselves in a similar quandary.  As of yet, I have no problem eating what I keep (raising animals for food does help in that area).  Very glad I could help!  Marina

The Angelfish Society Hello Bob & crew.  Here is the copy of the new TAS Newsletter. In this issue you will find the critique of your website.  I look forward to your comments. Susan aka Starsdawn <Thank you, Bob Fenner> TAS BOD TAS Newsletter Committee http://www.aquaworldnet.org/tas/

Sick Angels Hello all, I had a breeding pair of freshwater angelfish, they had been in a 80 gal community tank, but the bickering with other angels was becoming a problem for the fins, so I moved them to their own 29 gal (temp 84, ph 8.2ish, no ammonia, cycled sponges for bio-filters, 80% water changes every other day) <Temp should really be no higher than 80, pH is a bit high too, it should be under 8.0 although if the old tank was also kept at 8.2 this shouldnt be a problem. The water changes may also be a bit on the drastic side, even for a new tank. Really, no more than 50% every other day or 25% daily until the tank is fully cycled would be the best. And be sure to make sure the new water is properly conditioned before adding it to the tank. You say no ammonia but what about nitrites?> Very shortly after that, the female developed long, grey strings of slime hanging off of her and her fins got very ragged, 2 days or so after that, her eyes got cloudy and she would not eat. She just drifted around the tank at the top, breathing hard, but not gasping. Then the male started to show the same signs. Day before yesterday (about 1 1/2 weeks from onset of symptoms) the female died. <Possibly a bacterial infection of some sort. Take a look at http://www/wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm > Treatments I tried are - Salt bath, 1 tbsp per gal for 20 min -  then simultaneously -parasite clear - super sulfa for 5 days, the 90% water change and then Clout by itself, now I am using only Maracyn, 1 tab per 10 gal every other day, I am on day three, and the male is not getting any worse, but not better either, and has not eaten for over a week now, I am also using a fair amount of slime coat stuff to help him retain at least some slime (water conditioner by Proquatics) but his eyes are not showing any sign of clearing.... Help!!!    <Check the above link and try treating with a medication for bacterial diseases.> Thank you in advance, Aimee <You're welcome! Ronni>

Re: Sick Angels Ronni - re the sick angels.... <Good morning> If you assume the grey slime is a normal stress/parasite/adverse conditions reaction, it is no wonder they stayed with a combination of high pH, mega water changes with water of undetermined quality and a battery of salt and treatments.  Add to this slime coat - well this doesn't 'retain' slime, it merely 'encourages' its production - these fish must be sweating slime! Your comments - am I talking 'jibe'? Wayne Oxborough <I really do think the slime is being produced in such great quantities because of all of the treatments and such. Recommended course of action for now is to run carbon for a day and then treat only with a single medication as suggested at http://www/wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm . This should help slow down the production of slime and hopefully also treat what is ailing them. Ronni>

Very aggressive Angel fish (fresh water) My angel lives in a 55gal aquarium with 2 silver dollars a blood parrot, Raphael cat, and a few others. Last night my angel got very aggressive towards every fish in the tank including the bigger iridescent shark. His body color would fluctuate between light and dark. His eyes would also get dark red. I put him in another tank last night and this morning I noticed redness around his fins. Does this sound like a disease you are familiar with? And what do I do to treat him? This fish must be saved; my wife gets really upset when her fish die as do I. Help please!!!! <I dont know of a disease that causes aggressive behavior but the red streaks sound like a bacterial infection of some sort. There are a number of treatments, Maracyn 2 by Mardel, Anti-Bacterial by APPlus, and Im sure there are many others. Check out http://www/wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm for more info. Ronni>

Newsletter article Hello Crew,  Sorry I haven't been around in a while.  I am a member of "The Angelfish Society" (TAS), a present we are in the midst of creating a newsletter.  One of the sections is for favorite links.  I would like you to send a write up about your site I will then add my opinion about the site.  I would really like your site to be in our first newsletter.  I have really enjoyed the forum & all aspects of your site.  I have sent numerous people to your site in search of answers.  Thank you in advance for your time & patience. <Please do send along this piece. Would enjoy seeing it. Bob Fenner> Susan aka Starsdawn TAS BOD TAS Newsletter Committee

Freshwater angelfish Dear WWM crew My name is Cassandra Allen and I am 9 years old. My dad said I should write to you about a question. He says you know a lot about fish and aquariums and are very helpful. <We certainly try.> He gave me and my sister each a 29 gallon aquarium for Christmas. Then he divided his fish up between us so he could change his 80 gallon tank into saltwater. <Very nice!> I now have an angelfish that is about 4 years old and some golden barbs and Serpae tetras and a couple of Corys. Here's my question: About how long does a freshwater angelfish live? He looks kind of old. Thanks. <It would of course depend on the specific species but 10 years is not uncommon. If he is looking old it may be due to water quality or some other aspect. Be sure to feed him a good variety of foods including the occasional treat of frozen Mysis shrimp or bloodworms. Ronni>

Fish Illness I breed angelfish and recently a couple of juvies developed redness around the mouth between the eyes. They were in a cichlid tank (they were fish I was culling) with two cichlids and a handful of feeder fish, Rosies. I removed the juvies because of the redness thinking the angels were too big for the cichlids to consume. I put them in with approx. 50 other juvies who are now getting the same symptoms redness, not active, sometimes staying at the top and within two days are dying. At a closer look at the Rosies, a few were "bent" looking. Not having straight bodies. The only thing I've found online that maybe wrong is fish tank granuloma. <careful here... the possibility of mycobacterium too. Contagious to you (bent spine symptoms... Fish TB)> Is it possible this is what's wrong? <does not seem likely to be granuloma at all> Thank you for your time, Stacey <alas... still too difficult to diagnose here without seeing the fish/symptoms. Let me suggest for a good general reference, Untergasser's "Handbook of Fish Diseases" or for something much more involved, the new work by Noga. Plenty of pictures therein both to help with the diagnosis. Best regards, Anthony>

Bullied Freshwater Angelfish I have a sunset blusher angelfish that I introduced into a large aquarium. I first put a divider between her & the old angels so they could get used to each other. After a couple weeks I took out the divider and everything seemed fine. Well after just a couple days, I noticed that she was acting different. After close observation, I noticed that she had this white stuff covering one of her eyes. She also had frayed fins. She was looking very rough! <She had probably taken quite a beating.> I immediately removed her from the tank & put her in the hospital. I put some Melafix in the tank. <Ah! The wonder of all wonder drugs. This is one instance where it maybe of some benefit, but I prefer more traditional means.> Yesterday she was swimming on her side. Today she seems a little better, she ate a little. I am wondering if I should medicate her with something? <Medicated foods are a good option.> All her fins are in terrible shape. Please help. I do not want to lose this fish. Thanks you very much, Danielle <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Freshwater Angelfish Question I have had a single angelfish in with 2 Bala sharks and misc. community fish in a 30 gal. aquarium for about 5 years. Tonight I noticed the angelfish viciously protecting hundreds of little clear eggs stuck to the under gravel filter tubing daring any of the other fish to even venture to that side of the aquarium. Since there is no male how did this happen? <Merely unfertilized eggs laid out of frustration and desire to reproduce.> Is there any way they could hatch <No> and if so is there anything that I should do? This fish generally eats every other fish in there that is smaller than her. <Have a nice night. -Steven Pro>

Tank Suitability of Angels Hello and thanks to the Crew, I received an answer about my Azie (?) Shrimp, and yes, I think they are definitely taking chunks out of my other fish, in fact I think the big one got one of my Otos ! So back to the LFS I go with them.. My question is, would I be able to introduce 2 small young angels in with my Neons/cardinals, Otos, black widows and soon to be Corydoras sterbai...we have a 240 litre Juwel aquarium all set up for a south American river habitat? The aims is to build up, at the moment we have Otos, 2 Neons (used to be 6 but due to shrimp there are fewer!) Thanks for any response Cheers, Nicola <The angels would be another suspect for eating small fish when they get large enough. -Steven Pro>

Angel fish I am in a bind. I have lost 20 angel fish in the past 72 hours. The first symptoms I see are a slight fungus around the eye. Within 12 hours the fish are dead. No other open wounds are seen except for one. All of the fish look like they have lost their eyes. The sockets are wide open and sunken. There is no fighting in the tank. Angelfish are the only breed in the tank. The tank was started 2 years ago with 2 fish that soon after had a lot of babies. Unfortunately for me and the fish, only a few of the fish died. Because there were so many of them I changed the water on a weekly basis to avoid ammonia buildup. Several months ago, I finally got a local store to take about 30 of them, a friend to take another 20. So I was down to about 30 fish. I continued to change the water weekly and the fish looked fine. Then I went on vacation and the water was not changed for 3 weeks. I now come home to this. pH was off the lower end of the scale. <Yikes... I'll bet> I put salt in the water I added ick and tried some fungus eliminator. With each treatment I have done a complete water change. Now i have Melaleuca CAS#8008-98-8 where do I go from here???? <Add aeration, and drip, change out the water continuously dripping new, dechloraminated water in to replace the removed water. Monitor pH, and don't feed the system anything till the pH is back in the 6-7 range. Bob Fenner>

Re: angel fish Thank you for answering back so quickly. Should I continue with the Melaleuca CAS#8008-98-8 product (which is the only Rx I have in the tank now) along with the aeration and drip?  <Yes... with adequate aeration it should help to some degree> At present, the ph is 6.8. At least I have not had any fish die since I first wrote you. I appreciate your help. There are no fish doctors in this town only the fish supply person (who at times I think is out for a sale). Again thank you, thank you, thank you. Jan <You're welcome my friend. Steady on. Bob Fenner>


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