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FAQs on Freshwater Angelfish Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

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

Related FAQs: Angels 1, Angels 2, Angelfish Identification, Angelfish Behavior, Angelfish Compatibility, Angelfish Selection, Angelfish Systems, Angelfish 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 Disease, Cichlid Reproduction,

New to the Aqua world... Angelfish... fdg. mostly
I just got two juvenile angelfish, a bit smaller than a half dollar. The first day they were swimming around and eating fine. Day two, they have been in the lower front corner of the tank all day and appear scared?
<Is this system entirely cycled? Do you have measurable Nitrate? No ammonia or nitrite?>
One will eat, the other wont.
<Ahh; perhaps the one is bullying the other. How large is this tank?>
I was informed to feed them the flakes they had been raised on " Sera Vipan" staple diet flakes....
<You might try augmenting this offering. See WWM re Angel Feeding>
I'm very new at all of this and have spent a lot of time on the internet trying to get as much info. But I'm not sure why they're in the corner now and one doesn't want to eat?
<Could be just being new. Don't despair; instead, read to understand>
Any help, info, advice would greatly be appreciated! Thanks!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: New to the Aqua world... Angelfish       7/14/15

Alas my one fish was dead this morning.
So upset. All levels in my 20 gal tank were perfect except for the ph which was at a 7.5. The tank was cycled prior to placing the fish in. I put the ph down in it last night, and also this morning, but it doesn't seem to be doing the trick.
<It is confusing... that the terms "alkaline" and "alkalinity" are so similar. Likely you have a good deal of the latter; perhaps described as "resistance to change in downward pH".... basically (yes; a bad pun), your water has a concentration of chemical species (likely carbonates, bicarbonates principally) that are "using up" the acid you are adding... not allowing the pH to drift downward. BEST to make all such changes via new water (during regular change outs) that has been treated; that is, NOT in the system itself; as these changes, exposures are hard on the biota>

The one left is constantly hanging at the top; I thought maybe it couldn't breathe?
<Can't tell from here; with the provided information. I encourage you to read over the many responses we have re Pterophyllum health (the FAQs and article)>
But was told by the fish employee that it's probably stressed. It won't eat. I even got it brine. I was told not to get anymore fish until it acclimates, and to keep the light off for now.
<Good advice>
I don't want to lose this one too, but I'm not sure what else to do.
<Reading for now>
Thanks for your help by the way!
<Welcome. BobF>

new foods to try/ water quality struggles solved.     6/9/13
I was unable to locate a store in my area that sells live fruit flies. I did a water change on Wednesday and everything seemed great until I gave some peaces of a wax worm/fish bait which the angel gorged on,
<Don't overfeed! A daily ration 1-2 times the size of a fish's eye is about right for most species. The belly should be no more than very slightly rounded after feeding.>
it then had a hunger strike for 2 days and the ammonia shot up to around 0.25 ppm.
<I bet.>
Fearing the worst I did a large water change
and added bacteria
<Worthless once an aquarium has been matured.>
to help keep water stable. The angel recovered and went back to eating flakes. No more fish bait offerings.
<Lesson learned, I hope.>

To help Marbelloh feel at home I placed some plants into the tank to go along with the driftwood. I got some frozen brine shrimp. he sort of likes them but not really- likes flakes best. Also should I try live black worms I've been lowering the amount of flakes i give him. Right now Marbelloh has erect fins and cruses near the top whenever he sees me, sometimes he will yawn, The temp is 82F i don't know why, but he will do it.
<Provided you are using a good quality brand (Tetra, Interpet, Spectrum, Hikari, etc.) there's absolutely no need to use anything other than flake foods for feeding small community fish like tetras and angels. If you want to add something, then live or frozen brine shrimp are the best -- they don't carry diseases and they are high in fibre, which helps avoid constipation. But that's all you need give them besides flake. Simple!
Other foods may have some uses but they also carry some risks (like parasites and heavy metals) so are best avoided if possible.>
How often should I test the tank water.
<For new tanks less than two months old, twice weekly is a good idea. For the next couple of months, testing every week or two is a good idea. After that, you don't really need to test the water if the fish are healthy and behaving normally, assuming of course you are doing regular water changes.
I'll do water chemistry tests every few months but more out of curiosity than anything else. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: new foods to try/ water quality struggles solved.

Thanks, Will do. i don't know what brand the flake is, its from Aqualand, and i get a refill. so that was why I'm concerned. they didn't give me an ingredient list and so forth.
<Mmm, ask them if there's a link on the Net re... only a few companies actually make foods... from various formulations, "recipes"... Most all are re-packaged/labeled. Bob Fenner>

Angelfish and Cory cats, fdg.      5/21/13
I have one huge angelfish in a 46 gallon and three small corycats. I bought algae wafers and after I feed the angelfish he dives down for the wafer also.
<What an oinker!>
   I hope the corycats are not going hungry. They are about 1.5 inches and are really active. Could this angelfish be to much of a bully even for corycats?
<Could but not likely... Callichthyid/Corydoras catfish are "armored" and quite spiny. You'd know if any of the cats were missing eyes...>
 Thank you
<I would feed other sinking foods (small pellets, likely Spectrum brand) simultaneously while feeding the angel. Bob Fenner>

Angelfish and daphnia     10/10/12
I got some frozen daphnia for two adult angelfish. I think that stuff is more for baby fish. I thawed it and put some in with the angelfish. It spread out and looked like it was snowing in the tank. The angels ignored it. Do larger angels eat that, or is it more for baby fish? Thank you!!
<Yeah, adult angels will look at daphnia and then look at you obviously thinking "You're kidding, right?" Smaller fish like guppies and neons, as well as fry love daphnia, but angels will have to work very hard to get a full belly.. Blood worms, glassworms (mosquito larvae), Mysis shrimp, beef heart, and even plankton are much better sized.>

Angelfish and sinking bloodworms
FW Angelfish Ignoring Sinking Food - 10/04/12

Hello: I have a couple of angelfish and I have frozen bloodworms and daphnia in the freezer. I find when I put either of these in the tank, it sinks fast and the angelfish ignore it waiting for flakes that float on the top. When it sinks will the angelfish look for it on the bottom?? I do not want it to rot at the bottom. Thank you
< Cichlids, like angelfish are pretty smart and will find food if they are hungry. I would recommend that the frozen bloodworms be fed only as a treat. We have had questions/problems concerning internal infections that may be related to over feeding bloodworms to cichlids.-Chuck>

angel can't eat -- 11/07/10
<Hello Kathy,>
Sorrow to bother you. I checked some of the Google searches but there is such a variety of information that I would prefer asking you directly rather than do something inappropriate. I have a 26 gallon tank ( in operation for 1 year ) with 5 Platies and one angel. (Sadly, for the angel, he/she was taken from the wild and I would never have purchased him/her had I known this.)
<Really? Wild-caught freshwater Angelfish are VERY RARE in the hobby; virtually all the Angelfish sold are farmed and generally do extremely well in home aquaria.>
My water parameters are consistently: GH 60, KH 120, ph 7.5, no nitrates/nitrite, no ammonia.
<Should be perfect for farmed Angels.>
About 2 weeks ago, a female platy that I had for about 9 months died quite suddenly. She stopped eating and was dead within 2 days. Her scales appeared raised but as no new fish had been introduced in the tank for over 9 months, I suspected the problem was specific to her.
<Sounds like Dropsy, which in livebearers can be related to stress, poor diet (they're mostly herbivores) and the wrong water chemistry. Platies need hard, basic water, while your water is a bit on the soft side. So long term livebearers will be under some stress, and often die from seemingly "random" problems. It's easily fixed by hardening the water. Do read here:
For Platies with Angels, something between 100 and 200 mg/l general hardness should be fine. If you see the "Rift Valley Cichlid Salt Mix" in the article, a dosage about 25-50% that listed there should do the trick nicely.>
The remaining female was being severely harassed by the two remaining males so I purchased 2 new female Platies. The angel appeared very interested in the new family group...seemed more active, interested and happy. He swam throughout the tank more than he did previously but not aggressive in any way...just curious. He has always been an enthusiastic feeder but went off his food two days ago. He is slower to respond to food being put in the tank. He wants to eat but takes the food in, only to spit it out. He does manage to swallow a bit but appears to have a lot of trouble doing so. I have never given frozen (wet) bloodworms so gave some today in hopes of stimulating his appetite and interest. He was thrilled with them but was only able to ingest 3 and it appeared to be difficult for him.
<Angelfish will eat livebearer fry, and if he's had a good dinner of 20 Platy fry, he may not want flake food for a while'¦>
Yesterday, I noticed that while he was swimming, he opened his mouth very wide and I could see inside directly for probably 5 seconds. I couldn't see any obstructions but the problem may be further down. Or, of course, it may be unrelated to his mouth. He's a really nice little guy and I feel terrible to see him like this. Any suggestions? The other fish in the tank appear fine. Thanks for any help you can give.
<There's not much you can do if he's genuinely damaged his jaws. So for the time being, just leave things be and observe. If after a couple more days things still aren't right, then please get back in touch. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: angel can't eat -- 11/07/10

Hi Neale:
Thanks for your quick reply!! I'll check out the reading you suggested. And I can't believe I forgot to tell you this..the angel's dorsal fin is bent at the top. This has happened in the last few days....I don't think broken. Could that be significant?
<Fins contain bones, and they be damaged by trauma, e.g., clumsy netting. On the other hand, deformities are common in farmed Angelfish.>
Oh, to answer your question, I get my fish from a small independent dealer and she was the one who told me it was a wild fish and that they can only get them at certain times of the year.
<If it really was wild-caught, you'll have paid something like £25/$50 for the fish. Furthermore, it'll be a standard silver Angelfish with four vertical black bands and red eyes. If these comments are not correct for your fish, it wasn't wild-caught. Honestly, whatever your retailer says, wild-caught Angelfish are exceedingly uncommon in the trade, perhaps 0.001% of the Angelfish sold.>
My feeling is that wild belongs in the wild. I don't think it's right to take a wild animal out of its natural surroundings and put it in a "cage", albeit a nice one. Just my personal opinion.
<Certainly a point of view, but if you eat fish, that's no different. Plus, collecting fish from the wild as pets provides a source of income for local people and by placing a value on the river or lake, it ensures that river or lake is protected from development, pollution, etc. The trade in tropical freshwater fish has never made a species extinct -- so far at least -- and in some cases has saved species that subsequently went extinct in the wild. Red-tailed Black Sharks for example are extinct in the wild because of river dams and other engineering projects, but the species survives because farms breed them as pets. If no-one had collected them in the first place, they'd be extinct. Much the same holds true for Lake Victorian cichlids and some of the Central American livebearers. So it's a complex issue, though I agree, removing any animal from the wild is stressful for the animal and places particular responsibilities on the pet owner. For what it's worth, wild-caught Angels can do extremely well in captivity, but they need care similar to Discus; read here:
In particular, note their need for warm, soft, slightly acidic water conditions.>
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: angel can't eat -- 11/07/10

Hi Neale:
You raise some interesting points as well:-) I agree that it is a complex issue.
Back to the angel in question... he cost $30.00 CDN. It is a standard silver angelfish with three vertical black bands on his body, a fourth at the base of the tail fin and red eyes.
<Well, might just be a wild specimen! Look up Pterophyllum "Peru", Pterophyllum altum, Pterophyllum leopoldi and wild Pterophyllum scalare. In any case, as stated, requirements are similar to Discus, though such a low pH isn't required. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: angel can't eat 11/10/10

HI Neale:
I've just noticed that the angel I've e-mailed you about previously has a small white spot on the top of his head. At first i thought it was just an odd reflection of a scale. Now I notice a smaller one close beside it. Is it possible that this is Hexamita? He has not eaten anything in 4 days including frozen wet bloodworms and what little stool he passes is thin and chalky white. I read that Metronidazole or quinine sulfate is the treatment of choice but if the fish isn't eating, how do i administer it? And I'm also puzzled as to why, if it is Hexamita, it is showing up now. The water quality has always been good and I'm unclear as to how the angel could have been stressed enough for this disease to take hold...
Thanks for any advice you can give'¦
<Hello Kathy. Chuck usually recommends a combination of Metronidazole and Nitrofurazone when medicating Hexamita and in generally cichlids with difficult to diagnose infections, so I'm going to recommend the same. Dose as instructed on the packages or by your vet. Do read here:
For what it's worth, Hexamita is distinctive, fish producing copious quantities of white, stringy faeces because of the excessive mucous production in the gut that the parasites cause. Hole-in-the-head is associated with the disease but whether it's cause by Hexamita parasites remains uncertain. HITH and HLLE start off with pits rather than spots on the head or body because it's the lateral line sensory pores that are eroding. Hexamita, HITH and HLLE do seem to be associated with diet (especially lack of greens and vitamins) and water conditions (especially high levels of nitrate and low levels of oxygen), and are rarely seen in properly maintained fish. Small white pimples sometimes develop on fish for no obvious reason, and given good conditions go away without problems. Other times the white pimples are the first signs of Whitespot and need to be treated accordingly. Salt/heat methods work extremely well with cichlids -- even soft water species tolerate short-term exposure extremely well -- and avoid problems with copper toxicity. Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: angel can't eat 11/10/10

Hi Neale:
One last question...if I treat with Metronidazole and Nitrofurazone AND it is not Hexamita, will I harm the angel and the other residents of the tank?
<Used as instructed by the manufacturer or your vet, neither should cause any long-term harm. All medications tend to be stressful at some level, after all, they're poisons, but in the same way aspirin doesn't kill us when used correctly, these organic chemicals are generally much safer than the inorganic ones like copper and formalin. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: angel can't eat
Chucks Take On Non Eating FW Angel 11/12/10

HI Neale:
I've just noticed that the angel I've e-mailed you about previously has a small white spot on the top of his head. At first I thought it was just an odd reflection of a scale. Now I notice a smaller one close beside it. Is it possible that this is Hexamita? He has not eaten anything in 4 days including frozen wet bloodworms and what little stool he passes is thin and chalky white. I read that Metronidazole or quinine sulfate is the treatment of choice but if the fish isn't eating, how do I administer it? And I'm also puzzled as to why, if it is Hexamita, it is showing up now. The water quality has always been good and I'm unclear as to how the angel could have been stressed enough for this disease to take hold...
Thanks for any advice you can give'¦
<Hello Kathy. Chuck usually recommends a combination of Metronidazole and Nitrofurazone when medicating Hexamita and in generally cichlids with difficult to diagnose infections, so I'm going to recommend the same. Dose as instructed on the packages or by your vet. Do read here:
For what it's worth, Hexamita is distinctive, fish producing copious quantities of white, stringy faeces because of the excessive mucous production in the gut that the parasites cause. Hole-in-the-head is associated with the disease but whether it's cause by Hexamita parasites remains uncertain. HITH and HLLE start off with pits rather than spots on the head or body because it's the lateral line sensory pores that are eroding. Hexamita, HITH and HLLE do seem to be associated with diet (especially lack of greens and vitamins) and water conditions (especially high levels of nitrate and low levels of oxygen), and are rarely seen in properly maintained fish. Small white pimples sometimes develop on fish for no obvious reason, and given good conditions go away without problems. Other times the white pimples are the first signs of Whitespot and need to be treated accordingly. Salt/heat methods work extremely well with cichlids -- even soft water species tolerate short-term exposure extremely well -- and avoid problems with copper toxicity. Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
< One thing I would do is stop feeding is the bloodworms. Since I have been working on this website I have noticed that many aquarists with these problems feed blood worms. I have heard from fish nutritionists that blood worms themselves are a fine food. The problem is that they may absorb toxins or bacteria from the mud that disrupt the intestinal flora and fauna and may cause these problems. There are plenty of fine commercial flake and pellet foods so I would try to avoid the blood worms and see if it makes any differences.-Chuck

Angelfish only eats frozen bloodworms and is starving himself - 10/24/09
<Hail, and well met.>
I have 8 angels in a 46 gallon tank.
<Yikes! If these are adults, that's a lot of fish in a relatively small space. Angels can be territorial when paired off, and bullying is common.>
One of the angels decided to stop eating any flake or pellet food and will only eat when I feed Frozen bloodworms, which used to be about twice a week as a treat. I stopped feeding the bloodworms because I thought if he got hungry enough he would start eating the processed/balanced hard food again.
He does not appear to be sick by any means - just starving himself. He has now gone 2-1/2 weeks without eating.
<This does happen with cichlids. Broadly, the "art" is to not feed any one thing too often. Cycle between a range of foods. I feed my fish mostly wet-frozen foods (freeze-dried foods are expensive for what they are, and prone to causing constipation). The wet-frozen range includes mysis, krill, bloodworms, glassworms, and so on. I augment this with a good quality flake food. Now, understand this: flake goes off. It's like breakfast cereal; once the seal is broken, it gradually loses it's quality. So I buy either small packages, or else get a larger tub but keep most of it in an airtight container in the freezer, removing only small amounts for the pot kept by the fish tank. That way, whatever I offer to my fish is fresh. There's great variation between brands, and it's worth flipping between them as much as possible. So I'll tend to have two or three dried foods on the go; at the moment it's Hikari Micro Pellets and Tetra Min Flake. In any case, the thing is to avoid boredom by offering a varied and fresh diet.>
I check the ph, hardness, alkalinity and ammonia once a week and they are all within range.
<Let's just clarify what you mean by "range" here, since some people mistakenly assume low levels of nitrite and ammonia are fine. For cichlids especially, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite are both critical, and nitrate levels
should be low, certainly below 50 mg/l, and preferably below 20 mg/l.>
I also change out 1/3 of the water once a month with Reverse Osmosis water.
<Mixed with what? You CANNOT keep fish safely in straight RO water: that would be extremely harmful for a variety of reasons. For domesticated Angels, a 50/50 mix of RO (or rainwater) with hard, basic tap water is ideal. You're aiming for a pH of 6.5 to 8, general hardness 5-20 degrees dH.>
All the other Angels are fine and eat the dry food as well as the frozen blood worms when I used to feed the frozen food.
What should I do - give in and start feeding the frozen bloodworms again?
What if other angels get 'finicky' too?
<Don't offer any one food all the time.>
Really hope to hear from you soon. My local tropical fish store has been of no help. They said to only feed the angels only once every 2 or three days, which I do not think is right.
<Certainly, Angels tend to be overfed in captivity. In the wild they live in habitats with low productivity, and as such, are adapted to small, relatively infrequent meals. That said, with domesticated Angels, the usual pinch of food once a day should be ample.>
I have had the tank up for over a year with no problems and no sickness or deaths.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: Angelfish only eats frozen bloodworms and is starving himself 10/25/2009
Wow, thank you so much for this information! I have read several books and had aquariums most of my 50 years of life - I am still learning.
<As are we all...>
My 46 gallon tank consists of (this is what I call them - it may not be their appropriate names):
1 regular striped silver veil angel
2 black zebra angels
2 gold veil angels
3 marble veil angels
Attached is a picture of my tank.
<Nope, nothing came through.>
In the past 6 months, my two gold angels have laid eggs twice. Of course, in a community tank of more than one pair of angels, the eggs were eaten.
It is not my intention to raise angelfish.
<Fair enough.>
Today, I noticed that another different pair angels are laying eggs! My regular striped veil silver and a black zebra. The two black zebras that I have must not be of different sexes or they would have mated, right?
<"Gay" couples do exist among Angelfish, typically pairs of females.>
My Angels are not adults yet. I would say they are about half grown. I went from a 26 gallon tank to a 46 gallon tank when I saw how they were growing so fast. What size tank would you say is right for 8 angelfish, if any size? I was told by the store that a 46 was large enough. Apparently not.
<Well, you can certainly keep eight Angels in a tank this size, and domesticated Angels don't get as large as wild fish, typically 10 cm/4 inches. The hitch is that mated pairs are aggressive, and will dominate even fairly large aquaria.>
I have varied dry food types I have been feeding to my angels. A different choice of two of the following each day, morning and evening (what they can consume each feeding in about 1-1/2 minutes. All but the one are ravenous feeders:
'Aqueon' Tropical Flakes,
New Life 'Spectrum' Community Fish Formula,
Cichlid 'Hikari' staple food,
Spirulina 'Hikari' Brine Shrimp freeze dried
As treats once or twice a week:
Fluker's freeze-dried meal worms cut up, Tetra freeze dried Baby Shrimp and, until about 2-1/2 weeks ago, Frozen Bloodworms 'Hikari' At first I was making monthly exchanges of half RO water and half treated tap water. It turned out that the water was too hard. I have extremely hard water. Now, per your suggestion, I will probably do 2/3 RO water and 1/3 treated tap and test the water. My plants are live and I believe they do need more calcium in the water. Right now, the plants are doing fairly well.
I made a blunder about 2 months ago and used a few plant fertilizer pellets. "There Was Algae bloom." Since then, I have been combating that mistake with a soft toothbrush on my Anubias plants, petrified rock and other stuff.
<Anubias spp. are "algae magnets", and the addition of floating plants to cut out direct light and slow down algal growth helps tremendously.>
I have a UV light for my 1500 gallon pond, and know that UV lights works for algae. After my first algae bloom in the pond (looked like pea soup), I discovered that the UV light was encrusted with hard water deposits.
Soaked the UV bulb in vinegar for a couple of hours and it came clean as a whistle. With the clean UV light, after a total of 4 weeks, the once pea soup was crystal clear pond water.
I had installed a UV light a week ago for the 46 gallon tank hoping to take care of the aquarium algae problem. People have told me that a UV light in a 46 gallon tank is overkill. . . . But, I believe that it really works for algae, and have read that it may work for diseases. What do you think???
<UV is generally redundant in freshwater aquaria, and it won't do anything at all about algae that grows on top of leaves, rocks, etc. Do see here:
Inquiring minds would like to know.
Now that I have bent your ear (sorry), "IF" you have time, please respond.
If not, that's OK :-)
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Eirlys' Angels

OK, turned off all lights and shades drawn. Still some reflection, but at least you can see the tank and most fish.
<Indeed. A handsome aquarium!>
The striped silver angel on the very left of the tank underneath the fake rock is tending her eggs. She just recently paired up with one of the two black zebra angels (her mate is above and to her left.
The marble angel on the extreme right is the one that will only eat frozen food. The only other non-angel fish in the tank is a small female dwarf Gourami that doesn't bother anybody, and two Siamese Algae Eaters about 1/2"in length.
<Sounds like you're having fun with your fish. Good luck, Neale.>

Angelfish (moving tank; not eating) 4/19/09
Hi folks:
I hate to bother you with what may be a trivial question but I don't know whether to worry about this or not.
I just acquired a 50 gal bow front for the living room to replace the straight 30 gal that was there. In the 30 gal is a koi angel who has been with me for about 5 or 6 years. This would be his third move since arriving.
<He'll survive just fine!>
Last time, I emptied the 20 gal he had been in and placed him and all other inhabitants into a pail of tank water with their filter and heater. They all spent 3 days in the pail with no mishap except that the angel acquired a gash in his anal fin which took about 6 months to heal.
<Six months to heal, or six months to grow back? Fish should heal wounds very quickly under good conditions, remarkably quickly considering they're swimming about in a warm bacterial soup. But fins will take weeks or months to grow back, depending on the amount of damage.>
I wanted to make this move easier so we cleared everything heavy - rocks, wood, etc. - from the 30 gal, then started reducing water levels. As we got low, the angel was starting to lie on his side so I scooped him out with a cup - to avoid netting him - and put him into a bowl of aquarium water.
<Sounds good so far, though I suspect you're being a little over-careful here; a soft net, used properly, really shouldn't harm an Angel. Just be sure to use a fine nylon one rather than the coarser ones more suited to pond fish.>
There he stayed for a couple of hours while we slid the almost empty tank to another corner, refilled it and got it going again. Then I guess, rather unceremoniously, I emptied the bowl into the aquarium. He seems
fine, still chases the Gourami from time to time. He isn't otherwise particularly active anyway. The problem is that he hasn't eaten anything since I did this last weekend.
<Don't worry about it. Fish will often react negatively to big changes, especially if they've lost their territory. Keep the lights dim, don't disturb them, and they usually settle down within a couple days. There's no need to feed them through this period.>
For a day or two afterwards, he would swim toward food as it started to fall in front of him and then back off. Now he just ignores it. I've offered everything he normally likes to no avail.
<Do check the water quality; cichlids rarely turn down food, so while he may still be a bit nervous, I'd keep half a mind open to changes in pH or drops in water quality as well.>
Is he just sulking and will get over it or should I be looking for other problems?
<Could be either, as stated above.>
I'm loathe to do anything further such as transfer him to the 50 gal or even further disrupt the aquarium he is in until this is resolved. It's my intention to put him in the new tank and also to change his tankmates rather drastically including separating him and the Gourami - to give the Gourami some peace but I keep waiting for him to eat something..
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: Angelfish (moving tank; not eating)-- 05/09/09
Hello Neale (or whoever) I have another housekeeping question. I didn't intend any rudeness in not updating re the angel. Really, I don't know how much correspondence re follow-up, my background knowledge or lack thereof on fishkeeping, etc. you want to wade through in a day.
<We're always pleased to get a "thank you" or some such after sending a reply, and if you want to drop us a line to say your fish pulled through whatever crisis you were enduring, that's always nice to hear.>
I'm sure you receive quite a lot. I did test the water in the other tank as you suggested at the time (brand new API liquid bought to stabilize the new tank). It was fine Ammonia 0 Nitrites 0 Nitrates 10, ph 8.2 temp 78F He did
start eating - took 8 days. I was dismayed, however, because he still would not wag his tail whenever he saw me as he had formerly.
<Angels don't wag their tails when happy, so I'd not read much into this.
With cichlids, "happiness" is best detected by how strong their colours are, and how readily they leave their hiding places. Stressed cichlids are either abnormally pale or unusually dark, depending on the species. Nervous cichlids won't stray far from their lairs.>
Nevertheless, he is now in the 50 gal and, after a couple of days of sulking and being wary about all the water movement from the bubble wand at the back, I think he now likes his new digs. He sits front and centre watching the room as he had in the past. The only glitch is that, where it is positioned, he cannot watch television with us in the evenings as he had before.
<I'm sure he doesn't care; do be careful not to anthropomorphise! This can be dangerous; a fish might seem "interested" because of the flashing lights of the TV, but it could just as easily be feeling threatened, and it's
interest in the TV is because it can't figure out the nature of this particular stimulus in its environment. The best "entertainment" for any fish is the addition of active but peaceful schooling fish. These give more sedentary fish like Angels something to observe and avoid as they swim about. Angels specifically use schooling fish as cues to their environment; if these "dither fish" are swimming about happily, the Angel will feel reassured; if the dither fish are hiding or nervous, then the Angel will fear that there is a predator nearby. Congo Tetras and Rainbowfish such as Melanotaenia boesemanni are particularly good choices because they don't nip fins but are big enough not to be eaten by a hungry Angel.>
I am seriously thinking of moving it forward a few inches in spite of the nuisance it would be to do so now because, whenever it is on, he goes to that side of the tank and pushes his nose into the glass as though he is trying to see it- he can hear but the picture isn't there.
<I honestly doubt this; fish actually don't like noise of any kind. They have far more sensitive ears than we do, and the vibrations pressing against the glass also form waves that their lateral line picks up. Please, be careful about putting human thoughts/motives onto an animal. You'd be doing it no help at all. Much better to think about where Angels evolved -- the Amazon and Orinoco rivers -- and created an environment that would reflect that. Vertical bogwood roots or even slates for example are reassuring to Angels, because Angels evolved that flat shape so they can slide into gaps where other fish couldn't go. They also spawn on upright surfaces. So to an Angelfish, something like a tall tree stump is a slice of heaven!>
Anyway, I had a slight trace of nitrites a few days after the move but I did a 40% water change with double Prime, Stability, and Cycle added. It has been stable since but will test every two or three days for a while yet. There are still more fish to be moved. Current inhabitants are: Angel 2 Farlowellas almost as old as the Angel (Yes, I feed them blanched greens, etc. every few days) 9 Glowlights - 2 vintage and I added 7 more (all I could find locally that day) 1 Pleco - approx. 8 inches, also vintage To come: 1 male and 3 female swordtails 3 green barbs (maybe 1 or 2 more?)
<Do not add Green Barbs, but which I assume you mean Barbus tetrazona, also called the Moss Barb. This is a confirmed fin-nipper, and will harass your Angel. It also needs to be kept in groups of 6+. Never mind about TV for Angelfish; keeping schooling fish in groups of 3 is downright mean.
Honestly. Much, much better to up the number of Glowlights to, say, 20, and you'd find they schooled so much better and would look really nice.
Glowlights are borderline-safe with Angels, and big Angels (the 15 cm/6" specimens) can eat them. Domesticated Angels rarely get so large, so you'll probably be okay.>
And, I think I want a weather loach I stay pretty much tropical, tank bred, non-mayhem producing, fairly adaptable fish for a variety of reasons.
<Weather loaches do okay in tropical tanks up to about 25 C/77 F; I'd not keep them long term any warmer. That would stress them and they certainly have shorter lives kept thus.>
My question concerns the Pleco. He does not seem comfortable. This tank is sand only.
<Sand is fine for Plecs, though they can make a mess swooshing it about with their tails!>
The former was half sand and half eco-complete - the red and brown multicoloured variety. He lived beneath a big piece of Mopani wood which formed a private cave along one side. The substrate gave him a secure resting place. I moved his cave with him and positioned it as before. He spent the first few nights strewing sand everywhere and completely redoing the topography. Each morning I would reposition uprooted plants and wait for the water to clear. Now he stays mostly behind another large piece of driftwood, hidden beneath a few larger plants and doesn't even enter his cave. How do you house large Plecos on sand?
<It's actually hard once they get above a certain size. I've used smooth silica sand in my tank alongside a Panaque catfish. She makes quite a mess!
I find using rocks to stabilise the sand banks helps, and I deliberately create a cave where she can lurk. Vallisneria or some other fast-growing plant eventually binds the sand together, minimising the mess. But even
doing all these things, it's probably not ideal to keep Plecs above 15 cm/6" in a tank with a sandy substrate; at least, not if you want the sand to stay nice and flat all around the tank. Plecs are burrowing fish: they forage by sifting sand, and they dig burrows when laying their eggs. They love sand and they will mess it all up!>
Should I get a piece of slate to give him a firmer bottom?
<While that sounds a good idea, it's actually not that great. Flat slates will trap water and detritus, so you'll have all this decaying gunk underneath. I'd recommend buying a nice hollow ornament or flowerpot (the fancy terracotta amphoras and what not look great half buried in sand).
Your Plec will use this readily, leaving the open sand largely alone. Slope the sand so it's deeper at the back, and hopefully dirt will slide down to the front. Use a turkey baster to pipette out dirt as/when you see it, to save having to drag out the bucket and siphon every 5 minutes.>
My husband thinks that he was just trying to dig the wood down to where light would not enter it but I think he might be experiencing insecurity because of the fluidity under him.
<Well, these catfish certainly will dig burrows, and by definition, these will be away from the light. So I think your husband is right on the money here.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Angelfish (moving tank; not eating)-- 05/09/09
Thank you sincerely. I get the impression that you rather like manning the help line.
I had kept a couple of tanks years ago - back in the 70's and 80's but it was always a secondary, sporadic hobby and I never really understood what I was doing. I did read some but either there was a lot that wasn't known or I never found the right references. I now have one of those granddaughters who is allergic to all things furred and feathered. (She has a bearded dragon.)
<Nice beasties! One of the very few reptiles that actually seems to enjoy human company, even being petted.>
I had never in my entire life lived in a household with only human inhabitants so after stewing for a year or so, I decided to go back to aquarium keeping. It wasn't long before I found WWM. - Of course, the internet didn't exist back in the 70's - but anyway, this site in particular was enormously helpful. This time, I could do it with some understanding of the requirements - not that I didn't muck up badly a few times. The only saving grace is that this time I either knew immediately what I had done or had a source to which I could refer. Gratitude doesn't begin to cover it.
<Glad to help.>
The terra cotta sounds good. The rocks are red jasper so it will fit. Pleco has already dug some holes collapsing some of the rock formation so we have a disagreement with the aesthetics. But really, I just want him to feel at home. He too, was once in the 10 gal, about an inch long when he arrived.
Rest assured - angel glows as ever. He has lived in the same room as the TV since his arrival several years ago and has never seemed nervous. I don't suppose he follows movie plot lines, just watches the flashing lights. I just thought he was looking for them, expecting them to be there as before.
<Unlikely... there's no obvious reason any cichlid would find flashing lights attractive or even reassuring.>
Maybe the glowlights are his dithers for now and I do intend to get more - would have at the time if they had been available. But what do you do with schooling fish when some perish?
<Usually, the problem is the fishkeeper has made the wrong choices. Pick species that enjoy your local water chemistry. If you try to keep Neons in hard water, they'll never do well. Neons don't like high temperatures either, so you want to keep them around 23 C/73 F; that's too low for things like Angels. So it's all about picking the right species for your local conditions. Tetras are good for soft water, barbs for middling, slightly soft to slightly hard water, and rainbows are best for hard water.>
I used to have 4 glowlights in a 10 gal. (first tank I got, yes, I know - too small but that was then) I had two left so am now augmenting the numbers. Similarly, I had 5 green barbs - never did find one of them; sometimes I think I still have 4 and will find him or her when I take that tank down. But appreciate the heads up on nipping. Hadn't thought of that but they wouldn't have stayed there long anyway if they tried. There was one baby sword a while back that decided to follow those trailing fins and nip them - there were several in the tank but one was just a bit bigger and more aggressive than the others. He was isolated and rehoused the next day.
<Swordtails are semi-aggressive, and they also need fast-flowing, rather cool water; they'd be a bad choice for tanks with Angels, to be honest.>
I am going to say - maybe the Serpaes.(Don't gasp). I have three of them left from the five that were once in the 10 gal and, yes, I know how you feel about Serpaes.
<My first fishkeeping mistake! Terrible fish.>
But they were all 5 in the same tank as the angel for the last couple of years and never harassed him at all.
<They might not be Serpae Tetras! There are actually a whole bunch of very similar Hyphessobrycon, some worse than others. Or you might simply have brought your Serpaes up well!>
The only time I experienced what you speak of with these fish was when I tried to include some threadfin rainbows. That was one of the mistakes - never again.
<Ah, yes...>
So I have been wanting to tell you my favourite Serpae story from about a year and a half ago.. All five were in the 30 gal with angel, Pleco, farleys, etc. Also in there were two Rummynose (again, I had had more) and one of these was ill. I couldn't figure out what was wrong but he was definitely going downhill. The other one was fine (still is) and all other fish were fine, so I decided it was not likely a virulent infection or anything so I left him there. I was hoping that if I just kept the water clean, he would rally but it didn't happen. Anyway, I was watching day by
day. One day, I couldn't find him. So I had my face right up to the glass peering all around. The Serpaes were in their usual position in the tank. After a minute or two, one of them broke ranks, went over the far side and fished (pun not intended) under a piece of driftwood, hauled out the body of the Rummynose, carried it to the front of the tank, and dropped it right in front of my face. Then he turned around and went back to his usual place in his group. So I have to have some respect for these Serpaes anyway.
<Hmm... Serpae tetras are [a] cannibalistic and [b] known to have a feeding frenzy behaviour. I doubt this Serpae was "house cleaning" but it's entirely possible he saw the body, took a bite, dropped the fish, all coincidentally in a way that looked as if he was bringing out the body for you to remove. Call me a boring scientist if you like!>
And yes, I got tired of seeing the surviving Rummynose swimming alone so have added a few more.
<Cool. Thanks for writing, Neale.>

Re: Angelfish (moving tank; not eating) 5/11/09
FYI - no need to reply
<Ah! But I will...>
a) I have thought it over and decided to follow your suggestions re stocking. I can house these others elsewhere. The tank should be cool.
b) Rest assured that there is sufficient verticality in the landscaping to satisfy his atavistic urges.
c) If you haven't already, try Hagen Waste Remover or Ultrafin Waste Disposal or their equivalents to end the need for constant turkey baster removal. They work - I never see clumps of fish waste. Just know that
initially, water quality will go off with the increased rate of decomposition so it's best to have the fish elsewhere until the tank has restabilized.
<Yes I have used these, but they have limits. For one thing, they won't do anything for the wood-chippings produced by Panaque and other large herbivorous catfish. Secondly, they don't do anything beyond clumping silt; silt remains in the mechanical filter media within the filter. All they actually do is [a] clump silt and/or [b] speed up the decay of some solid wastes by bacteria (but not wood, chitin exoskeletons, etc) so by all means use and enjoy, but do realise their limitations. For what it's worth, I've been testing Bio-Wish BioBombs for a magazine, and I'm pretty impressed by them. But no bolt-on good removes (or even diminishes) the need for regular water changes. Most of what effects your fish's health isn't the solid waste but the dissolved metabolites (nitrate, etc). Cheers, Neale>

Re: Angelfish (moving tank; not eating) 5/17/09
Hello, Neale:
May I ask what the Bio-Bombs do differently?
<I have absolutely no idea. It's a trade secret. All I can say is that, up to a point, they seem to work for me.>
It sounds puzzling in that anything that would dissolve wood chips would dissolve driftwood, bogwood, and even other plants. Lignans are lignans, no? Also, anything that would dissolve chitin would dissolve some scales,
armour, other types of coverings on living inhabitants, it seems.
<Ah, I don't think the Bio-Bombs actually produce anything that breaks down living tissue, but what they probably do is foster populations of bacteria that help speed up aerobic/anaerobic decay that would be happening in the
tank anyway.>
Anyway, I now am up to 16 glowlights (will get a few more) and have selected some rainbows - bought the regulation 6 3M, 3F. The angel loves them. After hiding out in the Ambulia for a day, last night he actually hovered over them, spread his fins over them. Later they all congregated in a circle around him for awhile. I have never seen him even acknowledge the presence of another species before other than to shove someone out of his way so this was totally amazing.
<Cool. If nothing else, he's happy to have something to observe, react to.>
How can it be explained? There's no way they can have a historical, geographical, or genetic relationship yet they seem to communicate.
<It's perhaps less communication than common response to similar stimuli.
I've seen Rainbowfish and Mollies "fight" each other by showing off their fins; the Molly thought the hump-backed Rainbow was another Sailfin Molly, and the Rainbow thought the Molly was another Rainbow, I guess. Since both
species happen to use flared fins as threats, these "crossed wires" kept them amused for hours.>
First off, I don't know what I have although I'm sure they aren't rare.
(It's not that type of store) They were billed as yellow rainbowfish but beyond that no one could enlighten me further. They are deep gold, with red tails and fins, and a thin iridescent blue line along their spines.
<Are these Melanotaenia herbertaxelrodi? This species has been doing the rounds recently; it's a really nice fish!>
I have checked some rainbow identification sites but good illustrations of these, I haven't found yet. I did not buy the red rainbows because I thought they might need a bigger tank and that probably won't be happening here anytime soon. If you say they would fit, I could add 6 of them a few months from now.
<They get to about 12 cm/5", so need a reasonably large tank; I'd say 180 litres/47 US gal would be about right.>
So how much can I presume on you? I do need to close down one tank and rehouse everyone else slightly differently. There is room but perhaps one arrangement would be better than another. Am quite willing to augment numbers where I have less than 6 but should know exactly where they are going first.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Unusual behaviour Angelfish Not Eating New Food 2/19/09 Hi, I have been reading your web pages and Can not find the answer to my question. I have had for more than a year a mixed tank, with tetras, platys, gouramis a Siamese fighter, blue ram, pink kisser and m/f guppies. I have had one successful mating of platies and have 1 baby platy now the same size as the neon tetras. I am very proud. But my problem is my Angels. I have two, named Gold and Silver. Gold is a little more well behaved than Silver. Gold is very timid, they appear devoted to each other, very happy and they are always together. I don't know why but for the last week Gold hides from me when I put food into the tank. She (I don't know if it's a she, but I call it a she because she is less feisty than the other) goes to the back until I am finished, close the lid and go away. Then she comes out and darts to the food. But does not eat it. That is the only symptom she has. The only thing different in the last two weeks is that I ran out of the gravel food they were getting so I changed brands (to King British mini pellets) as I have not been able to get to the Fish Store, and I got this in the pet shop. She does not even want to eat frozen blood worm or frozen Krill. She wants me to think she is eating but I know she is not. By the time she gets into gear to get some food there is very little left. The water is fine, temp is fine and everyone else is perfectly happy. Have you any idea why a fish won't eat, but is in great form and shows NO other symptoms. Thanks for your great site and for your advice. Tanya < I don't think the new food is working with the angelfish. Try to back to the old food, if the angel does not eat the new food in a week. If the old food is not eaten then there may be an internal infection caused from the new food not being completely digested. Look for signs of bloat or dropsy.-Chuck>

Angelfish feeding -01/30/08 Hello, I just bought my first freshwater angel and it does not seem to be eating. I have checked the nitrate and nitrite levels as well as ammonia and can't find any problems there. The tank mates are 2 smaller blood red parrots, 2 gouramis, 1 Geophagus, and 2 clown loaches. The angel is the biggest in the 45 gallon tank and nobody is bullying it. It seems to be swimming just fine and cruises around the tank (a bit nervously, but that seems to be the nature of angels by the research I've done) but it just won't eat. The fish has been at a LFS for a few weeks and was doing well there every time I went by and saw it. I was thinking of doing a 20% water change but was concerned that it might stress my angel out even more. I've also tried feeding a variety of food but haven't had luck there either. If you could provide me advice I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks, Harold <Harold, the short answer is that assuming water quality is good, Angelfish tend to be good feeders. Do try changing the food offered. Angels are fondest of wet frozen bloodworms (or live bloodworms and mosquito larvae!). Old, stale flake food might be rejected out of hand. Do also try small bits of seafood and white fish from the kitchen. Angels do feed from the surface, and don't feed from the bottom (much) so make sure the food floats, or at least sinks slowly. Angels aren't nervous fish by any means, at least the standard hybrid ones sold in most pet stores aren't. But they are easily bullied, and I certainly wouldn't mix them with Blood Red Parrots, and male Trichogaster trichopterus (three-spot) Gouramis can also harass them. So check this issue, too. In any case, it can take several days for fish to settle in. Cheers, Neale.>

FW Angelfish Not Eating 2/23/07 Dear Mr. Fenner and the WetWeb Crew: I currently have a 55 gallon freshwater tank, with 4 (4inch) angels (purchased November 2006), and 2 (quarter sized) angels, purchased approximately 3 weeks ago), of which one I am questioning about. Ammonia, and nitrate levels are at 0.The 4 original angels are feisty, eat voraciously and cruise the tank as angels do, along with one mutated ( it looks like its side fins have been chopped in half) small angel that was purchased in 2007. My concern is: the one small angel is not eating at all, it swims up like the others to eagerly eat but then looks and swims away. It will eat the odd flake but usually spits it out. When I first purchased the fish its size was just under a dime, it is now quarter-sized, so it is growing and getting nourishment somewhere. I don't see it browsing for food like the rest do, unless it does it at night. Its feces at times, of what little it has, is a white clear color, not like the others. Should I be concerned or just let things be as is? At times the fish will flutter one fin, as if it is agitated, but other than that, it does not hang at the top, or the bottom , as would indicate perhaps a bacterial infection or poor water quality. I do not have a hospital tank available to me, but am worried that if this fish is carrying some kind of infection it will pass it along to the other inhabitants. I feed them all a varied diet of Mysis flakes, blood worms(as a treat only), earthworm flakes, regular flakes and Spirulina flakes on a rotational basis. Your advice on what to do would be greatly appreciated, and I would like to commend you for a wonderful informative and user friendly site you provide. Thank-you. Sincerely, Debbie < Thank you for your kind words. Whoever I have a cichlid like your angelfish that does not eat, I always treat it with Metronidazole for internal infections. It will not hurt the other fish. Follow the directions on the package.-Chuck>

Re: FW Angelfish Still Won't Eat After Treatment 3/4/07 Dear Chuck & WW Crew: Thank you for your prompt reply. Since then I did put the two smaller angels in a hospital tank (one mutated, no side fins) and the other (not eating ) angel. I have dosed them as instructed on the meds for 3 sessions being , one week, and still no improvement. Both either swim suspended at the top or bottom of the tank and no longer come to *greet* me when I offer food. I believe both of these came from not so favorable stock but still I don't want to lose them. The mutated one has fight, but cannot maneuver well, this is showing up to be a deterrent, and its survival precarious, the other angel that isn't eating, is still not. However, the only improvement I see is that it doesn't have the once in a while trailing slime. I have read on your site that it is beneficial to have them ingest the Metronidazole, but they wont eat so that is out of the question. I have tried to offer various types of food but still no response. I don't know what else I can do, and this has been going on now for aprox. 3 weeks. Any other suggestions would be appreciated. I read your website on a daily basis and find it the best on the web. Kudos to all the wet web crew. Sincerely, Debbie < The key to a successful treatment is to treat as soon as the fish stop eating. The Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace are still the best treatments, but if you are getting no response then treating with Clout. Thanks for the kind words.-Chuck>

Re: FW angelfish still not eating ~ UPDATE~ -- 03/17/07 Dear Chuck and/or a WetWeb Crew Member: <Ashley> To bring you up to date on the status of my leopard spotted angel fish that wouldn't eat, it still isn't eating, however its behavior has changed. After treating with Metronidazole, I had given up all hope that this fish would recover as it still refused to eat, was listless, and did not act like a normal angel. Upon reading more on this site, I added aquarium salt to my 10 gallon QT tank, and waited. As per the reaction to the salt, it did increase its slime and remained listless and unresponsive. I gave it the night, thinking I would do one more water change (50%) and then see what happens. Subsequently, it seemed to perk up after the change. <Good> I left it one more night and had thoughts of putting it down, by way of a clove oil bath. The next morning I gave it one more shot ( I really didn't want to euthanize it, but I didn't want it suffering either), low and behold it was perky and came up to the water line and ate one tiny flake, and didn't spit it out. YAY! So it dodged the bullet and now it still doesn't eat, but it is lively, it cruises, and at times it looks like it is nibbling something here and there off of ornaments, etc, but the naked eye cant see. My question to you is, have you ever seen this type of behavior? Is this the dreaded hunger strike? Do you think my fish is still sick? (To date, I have not seen the slimy clear snot trail I like to describe from its anal passage.) <Have seen this behavior many times... there was a span of time, some fifteen or so years ago, when there was a "Angelfish Plague"... Octomita/Hexamita... imported, virulent... was killing most all Pterophyllum... exposed to and with imports...> This fish has been like this for more than a month, and I really do not know how it is surviving. Your thoughts/advice on this would be most enlightening, and perhaps the moral of this whole story is, its not over till its over, never give up on the little gaffers! <There is no more I know to relate> On another note, I am a cichlid-a-holic and have kept all sorts when I had small children. Geophagus, Convicts, Firemouths, Severums, Jack Dempseys, Oscars, and my favourite Angels. I gave up the hobby once the children got older, but now with the empty nesters gone, I have returned to this relaxing and wonderful hobby. <Is great> Thank you Chuck and the WetWebMedia Crew for such a great informative site, when I first started fish keeping all that was available was the library and one or two books. This site is a gold mine of information, and I read and look forward to learning from it every day.! Thanks again for providing your expertise. Regards, D <A search in the print literature re this time, trouble perhaps... Bob Fenner>

Re: FW angelfish still not eating ~ UPDATE~ Apr.20/07 Dear Mr. Fenner, Chuck/ or Crew Member: <Ashley> Upon reading your reply I did read more literature on the "Angelfish Plague" and tried to relate whether my leopard fish had fallen under such diagnosis, the only thing I can say that would be the same is that the lack of eating (which could be also environmental/stress or internal infection), and feces being lack thereof, or white and stringy, but whether it had the more severe symptoms that are related to that illness I would have to say no. In saying that, I continued to monitor the two angels in the QT tank and they had improved greatly and ate as normal cichlids should, only the leopard still refused other types of food except Oscar Bites, a pelleted sinking food. In turn I returned the two back into the original 55 gallon tank, of species only Angelfish. At that time during quarantine I had also quarantined and treated a small black marbled angelfish the size of a dime, it had grown to a size of a nickel, this too I added to the main tank. For the first two weeks all was great, the one angel fish ( which has side fin deformation) ate everything and still does regardless of its handicap, and the leopard continued to eat only pellets refusing all of the other various foods I fed the main tank, <Do try the "Spectrum" brand of pelleted food here> the black angel too ate as normal. Then in the last week both the leopard fish is once again refusing to eat, and now the black angel. No other signs of stress are apparent, they do go up to the food but turn away. I am very frustrated with this fish, as I can't figure out what is the problem and now another one has fallen under the same behavior. I still do my regular water changes weekly 20%, and condition the water with Prime. My recent tests have shown to be Ammonia O, Nitrate 5, and Ph 7.0. I had a diatom problem before that has dissipated, and in fact most recent my other bigger Angels spawned, but ate their eggs (which is fine I am not keeping this tank for breeding purposes), so I must be doing something right. I have a total of 7 Angels in this tank. My LFS doesn't carry an abundance of products where I live and I am going to get Garlic Guard by Seachem by mail, to try one more time to perhaps boost this fish's appetite if you think that it is even worth it or can I make a home remedy that would suffice the same. <I would try an appetite stimulant based on vitamins and HUFAs... like Selcon, instead> I do give a variety of food to my angels being Spirulina, Mysis flake, earthworm flake, dried blood worms, river krill, and now Oscar pellets on a rotational basis to keep their interest. Now on another note. I turned my QT 10 gallon tank into a species only Golden Ram Dwarf Cichlid tank, numbering a total of 5. <Mmm, would like for this tank to be about twice this volume> I read on this site the requirements and have managed to give 2 out of the 3 conditions these little fish need. I know they needed soft water and I read they should be kept in de-mineralized water which I have done by buying this at the local grocery store. (Note: my hard water test kit is on order so I cant test the water, but I know our water is very hard where I live.) I still condition this bought water with Prime by Seachem. I have the water temperature at 32 C, and have decorated the tank with various plastic plants and hiding places, along with changing my lighting from 15w to 7w bulb. The Ammonia is 0, Nitrate 0, but the Ph is way high at 7.6, and I have tried to bring it down by adding PH down drops by AP, 80 drops each time to be exact, but the PH still bounces right back. <High alkalinity... alkaline reserve... Covered on WWM...> My question is, at the moment they seem fine, but I know that Ph level is unacceptable and would like bring it down to a more acidic level of 6.O which I read they prefer. My LFS hasn't even heard of a soft water pillow, or peat filter, and thinks Am nuts when I am trying to lower the level so low for these fish. Do you have any suggestions? <Yes... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwph,alk.htm and the linked FAQs files at top> I read that drift wood may bring the water down but they sell only huge ones, and will be way too big for the tank. I read that one of the readers put peat moss in a nylon sock and used that, but I thought I would ask first what you thought of that. Right now all seems good and I don't want to disrupt anything, but I realize that in time these fish will probably succumb to ailments because of the incorrect Ph. <You need to first understand what the phenomenon of alkalinity is, its relationship with pH... then to have test kits for both... then to formulate a plan for regular water treatment, storage for use... Not hard to do... You might, depending on your source water chemistry, do well to start with a less solids-laden water... R.O....> Your advice would be most appreciated in this matter, and I apologize for the lengthy email, but I felt that a detailed explanation would give you more a background for any advice you could give me. Thank you again for reading this and taking the time to acknowledge. Your expertise is very much respected and valued. <Bob Fenner>

Feeding Baby Angelfish 9/9/06 Hello Crew, I have about a dozen and a half angelfish fry (the rest died because of stupid mistakes made by me - I feel so bad because there were so many!) So they were just coming out of their eggs two weeks ago. So I guess that would make them about a week and a half. I have been feeding them baby brine shrimp ever since they hatched but how old should they be before switching them to flake food? <You can start adding finely crushed flake food at any time.> I have tried to crush some up but the don't take it. What are some ways you can transfer them to flake without starving them? What other foods can I feed them, foods they will eat and are healthy? Thanks < You have them imprinted on baby brine for now and that is all they know. feed them three times a day. Give them the brine on the first and third feeding and give them the crushed flake on the second feeding. Eventually give them crushed flake food on the first and second feeding and top them off with baby brine on the third feeding. Microworms will work well too. When they get older you can add daphnia.-Chuck> Angelfish feeding 9/2/06 Hi Bob and Crew. <<Hello, DR. Tom with you once again.>> I have several angelfish that are bloated/constipated over and over. I remove them from big tank and treat with Epsom salt @ 1Tabl. to 10 gal. in my quarantine tank for about 1 week, then return to other tank. They take turns. Are angelfish particularly prone to constipation or am I still overfeeding? <<Angelfish can be overfed, certainly, though mine would argue the point if they could. Though I'm aware of the potential, I've never run across this particular problem with my Gold Marble Angels.>> Feeding very little flake foods...only one or two times per week. The rest of the time they get frozen brine shrimp, and blood worms with about 3 or 4 fresh spinach leaves weighted with a plant anchor. <<DR, unless you've set this "schedule" up due to issues in the past, personally, I'd completely reverse this, i.e. flake food regularly with the brine shrimp and blood worms as "treats" a couple of times a week. I'm a little suspicious of the blood worms here as the brine shrimp should actually have a laxative-like effect. I'd stay the course with the spinach, however. Very good idea.>> What would you think of a regimen of these feeds two days, then skip a day? <<I think your notion of skipping a day - perhaps once a week - is a smart play. Let their digestive systems "catch up".>> Thanks again for all of your help.....DR <<No problem, DR. Good talking to you again. Tom>>

Re: Angelfish feeding - 09/03/06 Hi Tom. <<Hey, DR.>> The problem is, my veil tail angels will not eat the flake anymore! <<Ahhh...>> I use Omega flake and when I feed them, they just look at it. Of course when they get the 'good stuff' their voracious appetite shows. <<You could try sprinkling in a few of the blood worms with the flake food. Maybe they'll make an association between the 'good stuff' and the flakes. I did this with mine rather inadvertently and my "chow hounds" will all but grab the flakes from my fingers. Experimenting might beat "hospitalizing" them on a regular basis, I'd think.>> I feed all my fish the fresh spinach leaves rather than algae wafers...much more nutritious than wafers? <<I don't know that the natural spinach is more nutritious only due to fact that most, if not all, of the processed stuff is vitamin-enriched. The leaves would seem to me to be the better - more palatable - way to go, however.>> It might take a day or two for it to soften up, but they will pick at it till it's gone. Also Cory cats and Pleco's love it. Should I try a different flake food? I thought Omega was about the best so... <<I feed mine TetraMin Pro Tropical Chips and TetraColor Tropical Flakes. I've also used Spirulina-enhanced flakes but my Cories are the only ones in this tank that seem to care much for them. They get eaten but without much enthusiasm. Too bad given the nutritional value of this.>> Thanks again for your help my friend.....DR <<Any time, DR. Good luck with your picky eaters. Tom>> Overfeeding Angelfish Fry Hello, I have about 250 Angelfish fry that are about 6 weeks old. My question is can you overfeed the babies. After feeding them fresh baby brine they seem to get so fat I'm afraid that they are going to "pop". Any response will be so helpful. This is my first attempt at raising angels and I love it. Debbie < Yes you can. Feed them less and make the work a little harder for their food.-Chuck>

New angelfish sudden sickness... systems... nutrition... 2/8/06 My 8 year old brother recently received a second-hand 25 gallon tank from a family friend a few weeks ago. It came with 3 red tetras, 2 Corys, 1 blue Gourami, and 1 Plecostomus. Four days ago, he bought two angelfish from the pet store. They are all fed flakes. <Need more than this> The tank is vertical, so most of fish stay close to the bottom during the day and swim up at night, but the angel fish are mostly seen at the top of the tank all the time. One of them liked to stay close to the heater, the other swam around. Today, one of the angelfish (I'm not sure if it is the heater one) started to lay on his side and is just breathing and moving his fins around a bit. <... likely water quality related> My mom called her friend who has fish and was advised to put the sick fish in a separate tank with some sea salt, which is what she did. So, it is now in a large jar with the water from the old tank and added salt.( I was confused by this because these are freshwater fish ) It has no water pump or heater, and it is laying on its side the same way. <Will die there> The other angelfish is in the original tank and is doing fine. I haven't seen any bullying, but there is a curious cat in the house which likes to watch them closely, but it doesn't seem likely he would only stress one fish. I want to research more, so I could know what else to tell you (I don't know anything about fish) but it looks like the little one doesn't have much time. Could you please give me some idea of what happened, and what we can do? Thank you for your help. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwangelfishes.htm and the related/linked files above. Bob Fenner>

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> Dave Harvey

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