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FAQs about the Imperator Angel Disease/Health 4

FAQs on Emperor Angel Health: Emperor Disease 1, Emperor Disease 2, Emperor Health 3, Emperor Health 5, Emperor Health ,
FAQs on Emperor Angel Health by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Pathogenic (see also:
Angels and Butterflyfishes & Crypt), Social, Trauma, Genetic, Treatments

Related Articles: Imperator Angels, Pomacanthus Angels, Marine Angelfishes,

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Emperor Angel blotchy, not eating while other fish are fine. Stress/induced, and poisoned by med.s  2/5/13
Please help!
Hi there
Thank you so much for always being so incredibly polite and informative - I've learnt so much from you guys! I need help. I have an Emperor Angel who is refusing to eat and has large white blotches over his body. They seem to fade as the day progresses but I've attached a picture of what he looks like first thing in the morning.
<I see this... and the other angel>
Recent events: I had a run of white spot which I treated with Cupramine about four months ago. I did this in my display tank, which resulted in a collapse of my bio filter.
<Common occurrence>
 I struggled to get my nitrates down but it eventually budged with the help of an overpowered skimmer, Nitraguard titanium cubes, special blend and lots of water changes. The white spot returned and I decided to not treat it with anything this time.
Its been three to four weeks and I can only see a few signs of white spot on some of my fishes' fins. They are all eating except for the Emperor.
I would have assumed that it was just another bout of white spot but my regal tang who is usually riddled with it is absolutely clear and not scratching one bit.
The Emperor isn't scratching, but visits the cleaner wrasse and shrimp often. he also has cloudy eyes and it seems as if there are some stringy bits around his eye. His fins look a bit frayed and he is covered in white patches (see photo). I gave him a FW dip two days ago but couldn't see any flukes. It also didn't seem to change his behaviour at all.
He is in a 125g FOWLR
<Needs more room than this... particularly if you're going to keep the Holacanthus ciliaris with it... At least twice this volume. I'd get a 300 gallon plus>
 along with 1x 5yr old Regal Tang, Adolescent Queen Angel (not sure of age), 3 x yellow tangs (Medium size), 1 x Auriga butterfly, 1 x blue cheek goby, 1 x cleaner wrasse, 3 x small ocellaris clowns, and a neon goby. Also have 2 x cleaner shrimp and a pumpkin urchin.  (I'm upgrading in the next two months, but for real.:))
<Ahh! Or separate the Angels>>
I also recently added a bi-colour angel and a Naso tang
<... there's no room for more fish/es here... and you have a still resident/active Crypt infestation>
(both quarantined for six weeks) and they died within three days after being added. Soon after that one of my blue cheeks died and this is when the Angel stopped eating.
Water parameters:
Ph: 8,2 , Alk: 10.0, Sal: 1,020,
<Too low...>

 Nitrate: 10-25, Nitrite: 0, Ammonia: 0, Temp: 24 - 28 degrees (on very hot days)
System: 125g with sump, Super Reef XP-5000 Ext cone skimmer, phosphate reactor.
<Not a fan; see WWM re>

(I usually run ozone through an ozone reactor but the ozonizer has malfunctioned and I'm waiting for it to be replaced). I've just ordered a chiller as I've been getting some temperature spikes of up to 28 degrees Celsius.
I'm currently dosing with  Metronidazole.
<Shouldn't/can't be used continuously... see WWM re... Stop!>

 I'm doing some extra water changes and adding stability and Special blend.
I'm also dosing with some VITC and VITM in hopes that it might supplement his diet. I suspected Velvet as well,
<No; all fishes would be dead>
 but my I got my LFS owner to come and take a look and he couldn't see any signs on it on the other fishes.
I'm incredibly attached to this fish as he's been there since the start of my tank. ( Just over a year ago).
Thanks so much!
<... Well, the best course of action is to move the Emperor elsewhere.... where it will be less stressed. I encourage you to use Spectrum pelleted food as a staple... And stop medicating. Bob Fenner>

Emperor Angel... hlth. 1/13/11
Hi Crew,
My new 3" Emperor Angel has been in quarantine for about 5 weeks now. The quarantine is a 55 gallon with 2 powerheads with sponge filters, 2 pvc pipes, and an airstone. It that has been running for over 4 months and has housed fish before the Emperor. The water parameters are SG:1.025, Temp:75, Ammonia:0, Nitrite:0, and Nitrate:<5. I treated the Emperor with Cupramine for Ich upon receiving him for 2 weeks and it cleared up well. For the next two weeks I did frequent water changes and used activated carbon to remove the copper. He has been eating well the entire time I have had him. He eats a combination of Formula 1 and 2, Spirulina flakes, Angel Formula, and Nori sheets. Everything is soaked in Selcon or Zoecon before feeding (I switch back and forth).
My problem is that he has developed cloudy fins over the past week that keep getting worse and are now fraying pretty bad. During this time I have done 20% water changes every other day. I removed the carbon 2 days ago as this seems to be the problem. I noticed when cleaning the sponge filters that they were full of carbon powder and upon rinsing them the water turned very black. This means that there is very fine powder covering every thing in the tank, every though I really can't see it very much. The fish is still attentive, eating, and swimming around pretty well, but the fins are getting very bad and kind of disintegrating.
<I'd move this fish... to the main display>
I have become so worried that the carbon powder is poisoning him that I put him into my 210 gallon.
<Oh, good>
The water has the same temperature and specific gravity. Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all 0. The only other fish in the tank is a 5" Scribbled Angel that has completely ignored the Emperor. I hope this was not the wrong move. My thinking is that the better water quality will help him regain his health. He was otherwise completely healthy before this so I was not worried about introducing anything into my display.
1. Is this thinking correct?
<Seems to be>
2. What else can I do to help him recover?
<Just "good care">
3. I need to completely clean out the quarantine and start over with it clean for all future fish, correct?
<Mmm, not necessarily... I would do what you can practically do to remove the carbon powder though>
Thank you very much for you help! I appreciate it greatly!
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
Re: Emperor Angel, hlth. 1/15/11

Hi Bob,
Thank you again for your help, the Emperor seems to be doing better in the main tank.
<Takes time... weeks, months>
His fins aren't recovering much yet, but they have stopped getting worse. He has been attentive and eating as well, so those are good signs. My Scribbled ignored him for the first day or so and now today seems a little aggressive towards the Emperor. I am hoping that will subside after they are acquainted. There are plenty of hiding spots for the Emperor to stay out of the way of the Scribbled for now so I am not worried about that.
I have a couple more questions for you if that is alright? I have been doing
quite a bit of reading on Palette Tangs on both your site and other sites.
You usually recommend a good starting size for fish when purchasing them, but I have not found an answer for Palettes. I know they come in many different sizes including very small. Should I be buying the not too big and not too small that you seem to apply frequently to other fish?
<Paracanthurus are caught, sold at all sizes... can be started very small (an inch or two), but I prefer 3 or so inches as best all the way around>
I am considering getting more than one for my 210, but am wondering if I can do 2 or if 3 will be necessary to spread any aggression?
<Mmm, I would not really... can be found in the wild in small groups, but generally better solo in captive settings>
I know they will all need to be introduced simultaneously, so if I get more than one should they all be the same size or should I get different sizes?
I hope I have not overlooked the answers to this on the site, and if I have
I do apologize. Thank you again for your time and effort!
<Welcome! BobF>

Emperor Angel - Loosing Color 11/27/10
Hello Mate,
<Howdy Mike>
I read the section about Emperor Angels on the website and got a lot of information. Only thing that was missing were some pics to give more clarity to issues that people like me are facing.
I added some pics in the hope that it will help you understand my issue and also help others who may get the same issue.
<I see a blanching juvenile... "classical" stress markings>
I have a juvenile emperor angel for 3 months now in a 100 Gallon tank. It has been active, eating well for the past three month and had fantastic colors as shown in pic 1.
Recently I did a 25% water change and everything was fine for a week. All of a sudden, I noticed that off all the fish, the emperor was starting to loose color and appear pale in patches as shown in the rest of the pics. He was moving fine but was loosing color rapidly.
<... losing>
I immediately checked the parameters and saw that the nitrites had jumped to .25 .
The Clarkii Clowns, ocellaris clowns and yellow tail blue damsel were all fine. To be on the safe side, I moved all except the damsel thinking that he was hardy and as the QT is a little small and the damsel was going after the ocellaris clowns which he didn't ever do in the other tank. Now I feel that I acted stupidly.
<Mmm, no need to move these fishes, but a great need to determine what happened to your biofiltration and fix it stat>
By morning I came to check on the fish and noticed that the damsel was dead in the tank. The Nitrites had jumped to 1.0 and in around 3 hours, it was back to 0 ppm. I use the API saltwater testing kit.
I checked the parameters once again and saw that everything was fine and moved the fish back to the tank. Its been five days now and the emperor seems to have become inactive. He moves very slowly and also goes horizontal and vertical. Sometimes staying at the top of the tank like a dead leaf and sometimes at the bottom flat. I kept checking the parameters and they are fine but I have no idea why he is acting like this.
<In a word: Stress>
He has now stopped eating, he come close to the food, looks at it and goes back. Is this due to nitrite poisoning or stress. How much time does it normally take for things like this to heal?
<Usually a few days>
His breathing is sometimes very fast and sometimes slow, so I really don't know what is wrong I tried keeping count and it was less than 60 at a point and then it was so fast that I hardly could keep count. I have kept him separate right now, but I am really worried as he is my wife's favorite and she is out of town and if anything happens to him, I will have hell to pay :-). I have stayed awake for the past two nights and have not gone to work also in the fear that something will go wrong when I leave home.
Do tell me what the problem could be. Also does this API Ammo Lock and Stress Marine help in any way. I used only API Stress Marine when I did the water change.
<I'd be careful re these water conditioners... IF you remove all the ammonia, you might well kill off your nitrifiers>
My water parameters are as follows
Ammonia - 0 ppm
Nitrite - .25 to 1.0 ppm spike and now back to 0 ppm (all I did was a water changes and then I got a spike. I added API Stress Coat Marine since I did the water change.)
Nitrates - 20 ppm
Do you think I should have another Nano skimmer in the QT?
<Not necessarily>
Also does a Nitrate processor such as the one mentioned here (
do any good.
<Can, but these devices are "finicky" in actual operation. Not dependable>
Thanks for your help in Advance.
<Do be careful to not overfeed... Bob Fenner>

Emp with spots and dull covering over eyes. 10/17/10
Hi Crew,
Many thanks for a very great and useful service you provide for reefers all over the world, I am sure you have saved the lives of many fish around the world.
I bought an emperor angel about 3 months ago, I had it in QT for two weeks, it did have lymphocillia on the fins when I got it, and I treated it with a local treatment that is available, called "Parasite Clear" made by Jungle "Tank Buddies". The product is a tropical product
for the treatment of flukes as well as other parasites.
<Yes... has naught to do w/ viral matters directly>
Unfortunately Prazi is not available in South Africa, and hobbyist's here in SA have had success with the product. It is a week long treatment, and after two weeks of treating, I put the angel in the display tank. It did still have lymphocillia that was showing signs of improvement, and I knew the better conditions in the display tank would help the lymphocillia. The emperor eats very well, is extremely fat, and I feed lots of garlic in the foods. It has had very small bouts of white spot from time to time, but I was never worried about it as it eats so much (parameters are all in check). Today now I noticed that it did not want to eat, and was very restless under the one rock, it does dash/jerk erratically at times, and the one gill is very still compared to the other.
<Not necessarily indicative of any ill>
On close inspection I saw a light dull film over the eyes, as well as spots, could this be WS over the eyes, or could it be flukes that were missed in the QT?
(No other fish have been added)
I would really appreciate any advice or help.
Many thanks
<I would do a pH adjusted freshwater dip and move this fish to the main/display system. See WWM re dips/baths. Bob Fenner>

emperor angel... hlth., reading
Hi Guys, Maybe you could help me, My Emperor Angel fish who is my beautiful bay, has developed having white blotches all over him or her, the blotches appear to be under the skin not a lump or anything on the skin just these white blotches, then all of a sudden the y seem to disappear but he or she has cloudy eyes, he or she eats like a horse and when I go near the tank he or she comes hurriedly to the top in the expectation of food. I do have live corals in the tank and Anemones in the tank so I have to be careful of what I treat he or she with.Somedays there are no white blotches then other days there all over he or she. HELP as I do not want to lose beautiful Angel as he or she is just beautiful,,,HOPE YOU CAN HELP HELP. Water Conditions are spot on ,,,Regards Kathy
<... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/EmpAHlthF4.htm
and the linked files above... You've presented little useful information re the system, actual water quality history, foods, feeding... other tankmates... There is a strong likelihood of a mal-reaction w/ your Cnidarians here, but w/o images et al... impossible to have much confidence w/ guesses. And DO run your writing through a spell-check before sending.
Bob Fenner>

Please... STOP SHOUTING! Re-key your msg. not in all cap.s and re-send. B
Subject: hhd and later line disease
RE: hhd and later line disease 8/2/10
ok ...I wasn't shouting, just wrote in caps..
<Ahh, this is indeed what I was referring to. Please read here (again):
Item 3b>
I have an African emperor angelfish that is 8 inches or so, she has developed hhd,lle. I was feeding her spectrum pellets and romaine
<... please see WWM re such terrestrial greens>
but I suppose that wasn't enuff nutritional value, so I switched to Hikari marine a..she is in a 220 with a lrg puffer and huma huma trigger...I do 60 gal water changes biweekly. its a fish only with no live rox, just living color pieces. she was housed with a lrg sohal 8n inch plus but I sold her about 2 wks ago. the puffer is about 8 inch and the trigger 5 or so inch, I use a wet/dry, uv ster.,reactor with seagel in it, chiller..plz help..
<... Please run your writing through spelling/grammar checking before sending... And read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/EmpAHlthF4.htm
and the linked files, elsewhere where you lead yourself, and here:
and the linked files above... And DO search before writing us per our instructions on how you found to write us period. Bob Fenner>
Re: hhd and later line disease..... 8/3/10

Ok let's try this again....I have an African Emperor Angelfish that is housed in a 220 gal. it's filtered with a wet/dry, skimmer, chiller, reactor filled with seagel. The decor is living color artificial coral, and the substrate is sand. The inhabitants are an 8 inch Cortez blue spotted puffer and a 5 inch Huma Huma. There was an 8 inch Sohal , but I sold her 2 weeks ago.
<Good. Two alpha fish of size in this volume is trouble>
They would beef with each other on occasion, but nothing serious. Then I was feeding her spectrum and Romaine lettuce. I tried soaking the pellets in Selcon and let them dry for a few hrs, then feed them. Was this the ok way of doing it?
<Is a help, but not a cure of itself>
Anyways, she never improved...I also feed the O.S.I. shrimp pellets, the puffer goes crazy for them. He wont even try the spectrum or anything else that I feed them. And also he will only go after pellets that are of a light brown color, nothing else, he used to eat anything I would put in there. Though he still eats hermits and crabs with gusto! Now for the angelfish, I'm going to switch to formula II and ocean nutrition seaweed along with the Hikari that I soak now in Selcon and VitaChem...
<Please read where you were referred to last time. B>
I do 60 gal water changes every 2 weeks and have 2 ground probes just in case in the wet/dry. One connected to the surge protector and the other to the outlet in the wall. Now I feed them Hikari Marine A since it has Vit C
in it, something spectrum left out. She has a voracious appetite and eats everything I put in there. Please tell me if my game plan is on the right track or not...many thanks...Phil
Re: hhd and later line disease -- 8/3/10

ok.... I will do what I read in the article that you mentioned earlier. I appreciate your help..Phil
<Your (nutrition) plan as stated is good... but you'd do well to do what you can practically do to improve water quality altogether. Please do make/take some good photos of your Pomacanthus now... and track its progress. Cheers, B>

Is This Crypt? 7/25/10
<Hello Jimmy>
I have a friend that has a gorgeous Imperator Angel ( 5-6") that was recently acquired by mail order. It has been in a QT for approx 4 weeks treated "prophylactically" in SG 1.009 and Chloroquine Phosphate per Goemans recommendations. The fish is eating, and seems "OK". The question here is what are these white spots?
My friend thinks that they are Cryptococcus <Cryptocaryoniasis, Cryptococcus is a genus of fungi.> irritans. I am not so sure.
<I believe your friend is correct.>
Firstly, these have been on the fish for 2-3 weeks. The fish is breathing OK and when one of these lesions does go away there is some pitting and discoloration. I have seen this before as a form of HLLE when treating a Naso Tang with hyposalinity.
<Is not a form of erosion.>
Every time we talk this issue comes up. I have recommended that he continue the Chloroquine but start raising the
salinity. Any thoughts?
<This fish needs to be treated with a more effective medication. See here.
James (Salty Dog)>

 Appears so. RMF

Emperor Angel and HLLE 6/15/10
Hey Guys,
<Hello Jimmy>
Been a long time since I asked a question. I have had a 180 Gallon FOWLER for 12 years. (Inhabitants 10" Emperor Angel ( 6 yrs old , 7 " Blue Girdle Angel 6 years old , 10" Naso Tang 11 years old, 4" Heniochus Butterfly 11 years old, Fox Face, 12 years old, 2 brittle stars )
<Wow, really good ages some of these, well done!>
All going well until approx 3 days ago. Emp. Angel has quit eating, but still behaving normally.
<Mmm, Pomacanthus not eating is not behaving normally>
Maybe hiding a bit more, but hard to say. (Comes to top of tank during feeds, approaches food with interest, pecks at it and then backs away)
<This does not seem good to me>
When I approach tank it swims to the feeding corner, but does not assume the position of dominance like it did in the past to get first crack at the food. All other inhabitants doing well.
Emperor Angel has had HLLE but not that badly (some cratering around nostrils, mild loss of coloration around face but no visible lateral line disease. Only other thing that I have noted is that the mouth/ lips is just a bit swollen but not reddened or obviously traumatized.
<May have been in a tussle with one of the others. Can you provide a picture of this?>
It almost seems as if "it hurts" for the fish to open its mouth. I have used multiple food sources to no avail.
I have had a busy work schedule recently, but have changed water once every 4-6 weeks, on a couple of times went 8-10 weeks.
<With these fish in this volume, this is far too little. I would be stepping these up to weekly>
Recently I have made a major water change (80 gallons ) with aged mixed R/O salt. And from there have been doing small partial water changes daily ( 20 Gallons )
System has been closed to new inhabitants for over 5 years. Emperor Angel has no other signs of disease...to look at it, other than the mild protuberance of the mouth, no signs of disease. I am almost thinking that the mouth has suffered trauma, but I see no evidence of any abrasions, or redness, just the mild swelling of the lips.
I will continue doing partial water changes daily, until it hopefully starts to feed. Try vitamins, iodine supplements, Selcon.. but food supplements don't do much good if not eating.
Any other suggestions
<Yes, moving this fish to another system, a larger and less crowded one. I suspect a tank-mate as the culprit here.. perhaps the Naso, although it could be that this fish psychologically just needs more room now and it is telling you this with it's change of behaviour. I do think that 180 gallons, even un-crowded, is too small for P. Imperator. Another possibility is that this is just an injury of some kind and will heal on it's own in time>
<No worries>

Re: Emperor Angel and HLLE 6/16/10
Thanks Simon,
<No problem Jimmy>
I completely agree on the water changes. The Emperor has been such a gladiator of a fish
<Indeed so>
and the king ( or queen ) of the tank for years. I have been reefkeeping for 25 years and it is my impression that this fish is either traumatized, <Probably> getting old <No. These can live 30 years>, or outgrown the house (or a combination).
<Likely the first and last here>
It gives me the impression that it is really hungry but cannot bring itself to eat!
<The mouth looks swollen to me, but with no sign of an injury. I wonder if Bob might have some input here.. will post to his box for his comments if he has any>
If water conditions or trauma are the culprit, it should be able to recover nicely.
<Yes, it should>
I will send a picture.
<I see these, and apart from the swollen mouth and Neuromast destruction the fish looks otherwise healthy. I think time is on your side here, but ultimately this fish needs more room than is being provided. The HLLE is a clue to the unsuitability of the environment http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-06/sp/index.php http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm?h=>
<No prob.s>
Re: Emperor Angel and HLLE 6/16/10

Here are some pictures
What do you think
<Is HLLE in one of its guises... "cures" as Simon states can be found in the linked pages. BobF>

Re: Emperor Angel and HLLE 6/17/10
Bob, Simon,
Thanks so much for your responses.
<No problem>
As of today the Emp Angel is still not eating. I don't know how long it can go like this before winding down?
<By the look of the fish, a couple of weeks at least>
I went back and looked at pictures of this fish when I first adopted it, and I must say, it looked a bit more vibrant 5-6 years ago. I agree, captivity has taken its toll on this animal. Curiously, however, there is a Naso Tang as well as a Majestic Angel in the same system that are as vibrant and as healthy as the day they were adopted.
<Mmm, the Navarchus grows a lot smaller than the Emperor -- not only in length, but overall body mass, so does not have the same space considerations. If you are talking about N. lituratus, this also needs more space than this, but Emperor Angels are sensitive fish, despite their sometimes pugnacious and seemingly bulletproof behaviour. They require more care than N. Lituratus and suffer more easily from stress & it's related maladies such as HLLE>.
To look at the Emperor Angel and to track its behaviour, one would hardly think that there was anything wrong. The fish still swims to the top of the tank when I stand in front of the aquarium and has a very natural and flowing demeanor to its motion. In no way do I sense a panic or skittish behaviour. As an avid reef keeper and physician of 25 years, other than the lack of feeding and the HLLE, it is difficult to tell that there is anything wrong here.
<I would 'change' something here, either by removing this fish to another system, or a/ some of the others (the Naso & Navarchus are the prime candidates) at least temporarily to see if you can get the animal to feed in a less crowded setting>
I have been able to recover fish from illness in the past. The Naso and Majestic are prime examples. Years ago when the tank was first established, I had an outbreak of crypt and then HLLE after copper treatment. All fish were QT'd, the display was left sans fish for 8 weeks and the fish were slowly reintroduced. HLLE went away and all have been " visibly disease free" since. Presently, the fact that the other inhabitants of the system are so robust and without even a hint of HLLE is a bit of a mystery.
<Mmm, this can build up unseen for a while, only presenting signs later on. Your other fish could be on their way to visible symptoms also here>
So, my advice to myself at this point is to exercise patience and good fish husbandry.
<Oh yes>
WWM and experience has taught me this. Daily partial water changes, varied diet and TLC is about all I can offer.
<I think one/ other needs to be moved here. Preferably the Imperator'¦ to an uncrowded 8 foot+ system sans large aggressive fishes. Have you tried NLS pellet food? Thera A, supplemented w/ Nori soaked in vitamins + Beta Glucan, some red macroalgae also http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/sept2003/feature.htm >
The rest is out of my hands. I am thankful that this captive slice of the sea has provided so much enjoyment for me as well as my family.
<Maybe it's time to pay this fish back in kind'¦ with a larger or at least less crowded home>
Thanks Guys, I will let you know how things turn out
<Good luck Jimmy>
Re: Emperor Angel and HLLE 6/17/10
Emp Angel still in no eat mode...shows interest in food, approaches to take a nip and then pulls back. How long can a marine fish "otherwise healthy" live without eating ?
<Depends on the individual fish and species... to 'stay alive' a good few weeks here. To stay alive AND be able to recover.. a couple of weeks tops for large Pomacanthus. As posted, I would change 'something' here>

Re: Emperor Angel and HLLE 6/22/10
Hey Guys,
<Hi Jimmy>
Just a bit of an update re : Emperor Angel still not eating (been 8 days ) . HLLE is a bit worse.
<Mmm, need to act then>
Rest of the inhabitants in display are thriving and eating no problem. The display has had "reef-like" water parameters for the past week.
<Would be doing 2- 3 water changes per week here>
I am making arrangements to move the fish to a larger tank,
but there is some hesitation on the others accepting the fish given the fact that the fish is not eating.
<It is great that you recognise that action of some kind is required. What other fish are in this larger system and how large is it?>
In the meantime I have set up a 55 g tank as a quarantine of sorts.
Unfortunately, despite trying to jump start the nitrogen cycle with rock and media from the main display, as of day 3 the QT is running very high ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates.
<Of no use at present then. Have you tried the bottled bacteria products?>
I had a wet dry filter running back onto itself ( pumping from sump to media ) that I would occasionally do water changes from the main display with waste laden water siphoned from the substrate of the main display to the wet dry to provide necessary waste to keep the wet dry cycled. I also used 55 gallons of water from the display (mostly from substrate siphoning) to start the QT. The fact that ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all very high at 60 hours indicates that the QT already has high populations of Nitrosomonas, and Nitrobacter present and hopefully will cycle soon.
I will then transfer the Emperor to this system, while I am in the process of finding a new home.
<This could go either way.. sometimes moving the fish to a different system halts the progress of HLLE, but this is a much smaller system, with all the drawbacks of such, and you are populating it with stock from your existing system. Moving the Emperor here might not relieve any stress on the fish, potentially it will just add new/ different stressors, and the last thing he needs now is exposure to ammonia. Once this QT is cycled, you could consider temporarily moving one/ more of the others here instead, and trying to get the Emperor to feed where it is now in the main system until you can move it to a larger home. If there is more live rock available in the 180 as well, then this will be of more benefit to the Emperor if he decides to graze. Do you have any more live rock w/ good growth that can be placed here as well? Maybe some from a sump area>
At this point I am not optimistic, but hoping that in isolation with optimal water conditions I can nurse this fish back to health.
<Let's hope so!>
We will see how it goes. Any other suggestions from the experts would be welcome!

Re: Emperor Angel and HLLE 6/23/10
Thanks Simon,
<No problem Jimmy>
All excellent points, all of which, I am taking into consideration. Though I want to save the Emperor, I also have a concern for the other animals in the system. The last thing I need is to risk widespread disease in a closed system that is brought on by a weak fish.
<Mmm, no. HLLE is not 'catching', is environmental, and the fish looks otherwise healthy>
Alas, I really do need to move here since I have started to notice some very mild aggression toward the Emperor by others in the tank.
<What you perceive is only a small part of what is happening betwixt the fishes>
They sense there will soon be a change in the pecking order.......overall a very natural behavior. It is my sense that the QT will be ready for fish soon ( 3-4 days ) and then I will go from there. The QT is really not a "new" system, I just probably overwhelmed the wet dry filter by using water obtained by siphoning debris from substrate from the display. SO the irony here is that I am dealing with two cycles.......the wait for the QT to cycle and the cycle of life in the display.
One final question, I have two brittle stars in the main display that have gotten quite large. They are not of the green variety, rather the flesh is pink with gray bristles. They do a great job scavenging. The fish seem to stop and stare a bit before moving through an area that is occupied by them but otherwise seem undaunted. Are these a threat to the fish in the tank?
<No, these are beneficial scavengers http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brittlestars.htm>
Should I look for a new home for them also?
<These are fine here>
Pretty obvious here that as I inventory my tank, it looks like I have been a victim of my own success. As I look over pictures from six years ago ALL of the inhabitants have grown tremendously!
<Indeed, but you have stocked with some large growers>
<No problem>

Re: Emperor Angel and HLLE 6/28/10
Need some expert advice. I could not find anyone to adopt the Emperor Angel. I had to take just about every rock out of the main display to eventually guide it into a Plexiglas container, with a bit of thrashing afterward. Is this the method you would use?
<I use a large plastic colander for large fishes, especially Angels, guided in with a net>
The fact that the fish is not eating was a major deterrent to it being adopted.
It is now housed in a 75G ( 48x20x18 ) quarantine tank.
<Mmm, as I previously stated, I would have preferred to leave this fish in the display and temporarily remove the others until it started to feed>
24 hours after the move, the fish settled down. It now swims about. Once again, shows interest in food, approaches as if to take a nibble and then jerks back. To the best of my knowledge it has not eaten for at least 14, maybe a couple of days longer.
<Mmm, is the fish thinning at all?>
It is unlikely that this fish is going to survive, long term.
<I do think there is hope still here>
Though not eating, as long as the fish shows even some interest in food....Is it therefore fair to say there is still a chance?
<Yes - a good one>
What is the longest you have ever seen a fish like this go on a hunger strike and survive?
<I have never had a fish go on a feeding strike for this length of time.>
I am still trying to find a new home for this animal...other than that is there anything else that you would advise me to do?
<Keep persevering with different foods.. keep the water quality up.. I would have left this fish where there was live rock present, but...>
<No problem>

Re: Emperor Angel and HLLE 6/29/10
Unfortunately, I do not have multiple tanks set up to house the others in the display. Difficult decision to push a 75 gallon system with a 10" Naso, 7" Foxface 6 " Majestic and 4" Heniochus...would run the risk of overwhelming the filter.
<One of the drawbacks to putting too many large fish into too small systems>
I understand that would have been best for the Emperor, though. I even considered up sizing to a 96x24x24 display, but as Angels can also outgrow such a system, also.
<This, uncrowded, the barest minimum I would say for this fish or the Naso>
The fish is thinning out but it was very fat to begin with and could easily eat 2 ocean nutrition cubes for breakfast. The new system does have some live rock in it, though, not as extensive.
<I would persevere here.. as long as the fish is not thinning around the head & eyes there is hope yet>
I will continue to offer foods and keep water quality up. I am pleasantly surprised at how well a fan blowing across the top of the tank cools the water by evaporation. My garage is 85 degrees but tank temp is 78.
Is the colander that you use semi circular or cylindrical in shape?
<Is a circular one.. You need to find one that has smooth edges to the holes & rim.. perhaps stainless steel is an option as well. Use a net to guide the fish in, a little tricky sometimes, but negates the possibility of damage to the gill spines>
<No problem, Simon>

Re: Emperor Angel and HLLE 7/2/10
Hey Simon,
<Hey Jimmy>
Thanks for all of your help.
<No problem!>
I have done much thinking over the past few weeks and I have decided to upgrade my tank.
<Well, that's just marvelous news! Me, I LOVE big tanks ;)>
I will be moving from a 24x24x72 (180g) display to a 24x24x96 (240g )size.
As I read on WWM, I completely realize that any size tank can be out grown by its inhabitants, so I will definitely keep my stocking density low, lower in fact than it is now in the 180.
<Well done.. your fishes will thank you for it>
I am not going to rush into this transition which means that I may have to find a new home for a couple of my fish. (10" Naso Tang is way too big for a 24x24x72 display, and probably likewise for the 96x24x24.
I have been involved in the hobby so long that I will not really need to invest in much more than the tank, which will still be a chunk of change.
<Costly indeed.. my latest glass box set me back nearly £3,500>
So, my question to you here, is there another tank size that I should consider ( FOWLR )?
<For the fishes that you have now? The bigger the better. For the Navarchus, Heniochus & a couple of smaller others? The new size you state will be fine>
I understand that the difference between an 8 ft tank and a 6 foot tank is a pretty big jump in fishkeeping terms.
<To the fishes it will make a bigger difference, and an 8ft tank IS impressive to view>
Would a 300g size of the same length but a bit taller be an equal incremental jump (as the jump from my 180 to the 240).
<No, as surface area is more important than depth. Given the choice though I would go an extra few inches in height here myself anyway, but if you could expand the width some 3-6 inches or more as well this will make a much bigger difference and give a much nicer look/ feel to the system.>
I know I have said this many times before, but I really want for this to be my last tank purchase.
<Then I really would have a think and see if you can widen the tank some.. gives a sensational impression of depth and opens up far more aquascaping possibilities.>
Thanks Jimmy
<No problem Jimmy. Simon>

Re: Emperor Angel and HLLE -- 7/12/10
Hey Simon,
<Mmm, he's marked "out till 8/2. Has asked that others resp. in his place. Howdy!>
Just wish to update you on the Emperor Angel. Unfortunately, I could not find anyone interested in taking the fish since it was not eating. And to update you I moved it into a 75 G tank in my garage. In retrospect, you were right, that the thing to do was either to move this fish to a larger system or to move some of the other fish in the tank to another system.
<Yes. Have been reading you twos corr. while placing it.>
Unfortunately, this was not possible for me. After the move the fish perked up for a day or two and 4 weeks into its hunger strike it actually did eat two krill. Unfortunately, that was a week ago, and the hunger strike continues. Aside from this feeding, this fish has not eaten in 5 + weeks. It is thinning out and losing tissue ( MHLLE ) between the eyes as well as between the spines of the dorsal fins. It still orients to me when I walk into the room and seems less interested in even approaching food. Things do not look very good for this animal and I really hate to see it like this. Even though it still swims around the tank, I sense that the end is near. I am not sure what else I can do at this point to ease any suffering, but lesson learned here.
<Mmm, have you tried an open bivalve yet? Perhaps with a bit of appetite enhancer (e.g. SeaChem's Vitality) soaked on it for a few minutes?>
It seems pretty clear to me now that this fish may have stopped eating secondary to insufficient space. I looked over my log and notes that this fish was purchased as a 5" adult in 2004. 18 mo.s ago, at 9.5 inches the first signs of a lack of space manifested as HLLE. And 5 weeks ago silently just stopped eating. My understanding of the life cycles of these fish in the ocean is that at some point they "migrate" to deeper parts of the reef.
<Mmm, I've encountered full-size adults of this species in a few tens of feet depths all over its range>
So it all comes down to available real estate. For humans this lack of space would be kind of like sleeping in a bed that is too small...can survive but never with truly restful sleep.
<A useful model>
Which leads me to believe that these fish need to be kept in tanks that are much larger than what most people have available in their homes.
<Yes... I suggest a minimum of 300 uncrowded gallons for large Pomacanthids>
Unbelievable, considering the popularity of this beautiful animal. I am not sure how old this is by my best guess anywhere from 8-10 years ( 3-4 years when I got it and I have had it for six )
<Welcome... Do have a read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/emperorfdgfaqs.htm
and the linked files above, if you haven't already. Bob Fenner>
Re: Emperor Angel and HLLE 7/13/10

Nice to hear from you again! I do not know if you remember, but I am the one years ago that really thought hyposalinity worked for crypt when I brought the imperator in to begin with!
<I seem to recall...>
I went back and read our posts, and I must say , very nice correspondence.
Amazingly, tonight I put this fish back in the 180g FOWLR. Even in it's weakened state, it assumed dominance, again, and ate ...after a 5 week hunger strike.
<Ahh, great!>
We will see how things go from here, but I have a suspicion that this animal may be slowing down due to it's age.
What a beautifully graceful animal! I feel badly as these creatures really do belong in the wild.
<Mmm, I do want to make a def. statement here: It is my sense that the sacrifice/use of "some" part of the living world is merited "IF" said use serves to inform, inspire humans re our world>
Though I love the hobby, I am, over the past couple of years beginning to feel against keeping such animals in captivity.
Over the past 20 years I have kept just about every marine fish that I have had a desire to keep. Perhaps it is time for me to go full circle and keep damsels or others that are better suited to the captive marine environment.
<I keep fancy goldfish, and sparse few tropicals>
<Thank you Jimmy. BobF>

Re: Emperor Angel and HLLE 7/20/10
Just an update on my adult Emperor Angel. To recap, this fish was purchased as an adult in 2004 ( 5-6" ) and has adapted wonderfully to its 180 g fowler. The tank has been a closed system for 6 years and also has an adult Majestic Angel, Fiji Foxface, Naso Tang, and Heniochus Butterfly. All of the fish were about 1/2 their present sizes when introduced and clearly too large / too many for this system. I have had a busy work schedule so I did get a bit behind on my water changes, but seemed to always get in a 40g change once every 4-6 weeks or more frequently.
On 6/08/2010, I noticed that the Emp Angel had stopped eating and began showing signs of progressing HLLE. I did a 80g water change and then 20 g water changes every day to every other day, to no avail. The others in the tank were doing great. The others showed some aggression to this fish, but the fish actually stayed very calm in its demeanor and shrugged off the aggression without panic and was always out swimming, not hiding. By 6/18/2010 I moved the angel to a 55 g quarantine tank which was way too small, so I set up a 75 g tank and moved it there...better but still too small and not eating. I kept water quality up and persevered. No signs of external disease just no eating. Interest in food yes but no eating. Amazingly on July 5, the fish ate for the first time in a month ( two krill )
By July 13, I could not stand to see this fellow suffer much longer...it was thinning out but still swimming peacefully about the tank. HLLE worse, of course. I had been offering daily food morsels fit for a king ( fresh mussels, krill, shrimp, angel formula etc ) to no avail. Then as a gut instinct I moved the fish back to its home of 6 years, my 180g FOWLER. I corralled the fish into a plastic bag to minimize stress and moved it to matching water conditions in the 180g. Though other inhabitants challenged it for dominance, it regained dominance within 24 hours AND started eating..can't explain this.
Now, one week later, the fish is eating but exhibiting a strange behavior. With some coarse foods, like pellets, but to some degree with all foods it aggressive in its approach to the food item, grabs it and then rears back extending its jaws and moving side to side as if it has taken too big of a bite and the food is stuck in its throat. It does not regurgitate the food once taken, but it does not look comfortable swallowing certain food items like pellets. It seems to do much better with thawed, chopped ocean nutrition cubes. Any thoughts
<Mmm, none... this does seem odd. Perhaps some sort of stenosis has occurred through... this fish not eating for such an extended period? BobF>
Re: Emperor Angel and HLLE 7/20/10
Thanks Bob,
My thoughts exactly. Though eating and improving, this fish clearly has difficulty, and probably pain, when swallowing foods. If this is a result of some kind of internal trauma things should get better. If it is an enlarging tumor the fish will perish, only time will tell. Never in my 40 years in the hobby, however, have I seen such a fish go on a 1 month+ hunger strike and make such a comeback. The sheer mass of this particular fish and previous states of good health are probably major contributors to its survival in this instance.
Though I completely agree with Simon's recommendation earlier in this thread that these fish need a larger tank, IMO the problem with the Emp. Angel is probably unrelated to tank size.
<Mmm, to some extent...>
( Unless, of course, the stress of the smaller tank caused a tumor to begin with ) And, for a fish like this to go on a hunger strike and then make a comeback, water and tank conditions must be pretty decent.
<Or, as you speculate above, there is "something" else going on with this fish; perhaps internally>
My only remedies in this case included a period of quarantine in pristine water conditions,( though in a smaller tank) followed by re-introduction to the previous environment ( the fish's home of the last 6 years ) after bringing that home from "FOWLR" water condition to REEF parameters. As much as is written about the sensitivity of these Pomacanthids to their environments, once they settle down, they are quite hardy.
I will keep you posted
<Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Help....Marine Angels? 5/10/10
Hi WetWebMedia The greatest Helpful Website....... Please'¦ I need some help with my new emperor Angle Fish.......
<Marine Angelfish I assume you mean.>
She is been 5 days in my tang
And she eats Only fresh Lettuce and Spinach Only nothing else..
<So long as she's eating something, you have time to wean her onto something else. Do have a read of this article:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_4/V4I3/angelfish/Angelfish.htm There's a very thoughtful analysis of Angelfish diet. As you can see, a mixture of things is important. Lettuce is fine enough in its way, but it contains almost no energy or protein. So you do need to mix things up! Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/feeding.htm Since newly purchased specimens are often shy, offering some fresh seafood they can graze on makes a big difference. As Bob Fenner suggests, an opened clam or mussel will do a good job here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/index.htm Beyond that, a mix of fresh seafood plus "plant" material of marine origin (e.g., Sushi Nori) is what you need in the long term. I'd guess that most failures with Angelfish come down to inadequate/insufficient feeding.>
Can you tell me why please she doesn't except any frozen food and other at all'¦..
<Not all Angelfish do well in captivity. Some do very badly indeed. So it's important to make sure you have the right Angelfish for your aquarium. Read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/bestmarangs.htm >
My Tang <tank> is 850 letters with wet dry filter'¦.with balls. I have one yellow tang -- one blue tang -4 blue damsels -- and one clown -- 2 Chromos Damsels. Please Help As Soon As you can......
With All My Pleaser
<Indeed? Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Help....Marine Angel
I am So Sorry for my language misstep and thanks So Much for correcting me '¦.
<No problem.>
I am So Sorry I can't read the entire article about the Angel fish that sent the link for it'¦
<Try using a web site like Babelfish to translate it. http://babelfish.yahoo.com/ >
And I just want one advice to do with my Emperor Angel fish that she doesn't eat anything at all.. and I don't have the time and all the good translation for it'¦.so please..do some fasting help'¦.
<No. For this fish, you need to give lots of different foods. They quickly starve. When they starve, they die.>
She is just eating fresh Lettuce.
<This is not enough.>
I tried so hard to give her Mixed of frozen food that I made with Some Shrimp + Nori + octopus + some white fish + Oyster'¦.
<Just offer these foods in small amounts. No need to mix them. Shrimp on Monday, Nori on Tuesday, tilapia on Wednesday, and so on. Make sure water quality in the aquarium is good. Try a good, balanced marine fish flake food.>
What Can I do to give her something else'¦.
<You really do need to read. The page on Pomacanthus imperator is here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pomacanthus/imperator.htm The section on "Feeding" is short. So try and translate it. Basically, this species needs a good, varied diet. It isn't a fussy feeder. But like all Angelfish, needs a big aquarium and good water quality. Will not eat if it is feeling sick.>
Thanks a lot
<Maybe try and find a fish club/forum in your part of the world? Would perhaps help you to talk with others who speak your language? But we are happy to help as much as we can. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Help...Marine Angel 5/11/10

Today she stopped eating Lettuce, she start cut some pieces and throw it out of her Mouth and doesn't eat anything at all..'¦.it is the big Disaster'¦
<I cannot offer any help without details. How big is the aquarium? What is the water quality? What is the salinity? What is the pH? All these things matter. Pomacanthus imperator is not an easy species to keep. It needs a big aquarium. Minimum, 1000 litres/250 gallons. Good water quality: 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, less than 20 mg/l nitrate. Salinity should be steady SG 1.025 at 25 degrees Celsius. The pH should be pH 8.2 and not varying much at all between water changes. Pomacanthus imperator is a fish for EXPERIENCED marine aquarists only. When maintained by beginners, they usually die. The fact this fish is not eating probably means its environment is poor. Something is wrong with the aquarium. Look to fix the environment first. When the aquarium is good, this fish will eat.
Cheers, Neale.>

emperor angel, env. dis. -- 4/12/10
Hello Crew
I have a 55 gallon FOWL that has been up and running for about 8 years.
The current set-up has a 7 year old 5" Hippo Tang, Ranford Goby, 8 Hermit crabs, 12 Snails, a small Chocolate Chip Star fish, and a 4" juvenile Emperor Angel added about a week ago.
<This system is much too small for this Pomacanthus>
This is a temporary home for the Angel until I can get my 180 gallon, presently freshwater, set up for salt.
The angel acclimated well, is swimming around freely and eating well.
While watching him I have noticed that he scratches on rock once every 5 to 10 minutes.
<Mmm, may be "nothing">
I have also noticed an occasional twitch of his head.
I have never had any disease in the tank, knock on wood, and never treated with any chemicals. I have noticed some bristle worms and am presently setting a trap for them. Should I be concerned with Ick or some other
I know I should have used a quarantine tank.
The PH is 8.3, temp 78 degrees, spec grav 1.0225, sal 31,
<Too low IMO>
no ammonia or nitrites, nitrates at 25.
<And too high... these water quality measures could account for the twitching, scratching beh.>
I use RODI water and I am preparing a 15 gallon water change. I use an emperor power filter with additional phosphate removing pads
<Not a fan. See WWM re>
and an Aqua C Remora protein skimmer. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.
Rich D
<Getting this fish into the larger system stat.. Bob Fenner>

Emperor Angel success... hlth., sel. -- 02/02/10
Hi Crew!
<Hi Jeff>
Tanks <Is this a bad joke, or do you mean 'thanks'?>
in advance for what I know will be the best answer I can get on this issue.
<Let's hope so>
I got a gorgeous 6" Emperor 3 days ago as a birthday gift.
<Oooooh.. a front runner in the 'most beautiful fish' category for sure>
Adult colors directly from Vanuatu. No middle dealer. Very fat, eats good, eyes & fins clear. The local shop dipped him in FW mixed with Methane Blue upon arrival.
He stayed in that solution for 10 minutes. I'm a friend of the official "dipper" guy there. He told me that night what a great specimen that had just come in and that I should consider acquiring it for my 320 FOWLER tank.
<Yes, but I have the controversial viewpoint that these special fishes should be placed in a reef system of size, not fish only. 320 gallons is a nice size tank however>
I was hesitant to do so as I had heard over the years that Emperors from Indo aren't as hardy as the Red Sea or Australian ones.
<This is true for all fishes initially, but once settled in most rate 'about the same'>.
He talked me into coming down to see it, I did, loved it but still did not want such a touchy species.
<Hmm, this is THE fish in my opinion, and the one that I would have chosen over all others>
I was looking to get a Koran
<A great fish and easier than the Emperor>
or Passer.
<A very beautiful fish, but too aggressive in general for me. Neither of these are as beautiful as the Emperor>
The Emperor stayed in QT at the shop for 2 weeks. All QT tanks are supplied a constant low dose of Prazi-Pro.
<Hmm, ok>
My birthday was the next day, and my friend there bought it from the shop owner at a fantastic price as a gift for me.
He brought it over, we set up my 40 gallon tub QT tank I learned about from Bob's book, and he's now been in there with main tank water, 2 pieces of live rock, sponge filters from main sump.
<This will be fine for the short term>
Eats great, eyes, fins still clear. I thanked him but told him I was still unsure about adding the new fish to my tank due to its rating on your site. He said if it got sick, he'd help me with it. That just doesn't bring me comfort. I'm an intermediate fish keeper, <soon to be an expert now> and poured over your article on these fish, and my heart just sank. It was good to see they were hardier than some of the other Angel species, but these from Indo are not high on Bob's list.
<I would not worry too much here -- if he is eating and not hiding then the battle is nearly won. He should be 'interested' in everything including you, and react immediately to any sudden movements but not so much that he tries to hide away. He should move away, but come right back again afterwards. The danger is when they first come in they are spooked>.
My only other inhabitants are a Kole tang and a pair of Raccoon Butterflies.
<Yes, and these will be fine with your Emperor in this sized system. A beautiful group indeed>.
Again I was saving all of that room for a Koran or Passer.
<No, you have made the right choice here for sure>
I plan to add a harem of dithers later.
I read through your FAQ's on these fish. I see a lot of folks are dealing with HLLE, lesions, pimples, mouth tumors and ich.
<Yes, hence my earlier comment re: 'reef' systems for this fish. Emperor Angels WILL show signs with deteriorating water quality, first of all with lighter 'patches' and spots all over the fish, so you should endeavour to keep your FOWLR at so-called 'reef' parameters, particularly with regards to nitrates.>
I wrote down all of your suggestions to combat those issues and have no fear about providing sponge, vitamins and macro-algae
<Yes, he should have all of these. Feed him Nori as well, and not too much meaty fare, this is too fatty>
to the tank for him if he ever makes it over there.
<It sounds like he should make it ok. Watch the Ammonia in the QT>
Bob, if you are reading this one, I also see where you endorse the use of Tropic Marine Center's (in the UK) carbon product for general water quality lesions.
<<I definitely do. A very good product/quality. RMF>>
<Hmm, I know nothing about this particular product, except to say that I would be running carbon in this system -- will place in Bob's folder for his comment here if he has one>
I can give it back, so it's not like I'm stuck. The fish is a kind fella, and eats so well.
I already use those vitamins you suggested with my other fish, and plan to get iodine for him as well.
<No reason for him to 'need' this that I know of>
With so few tank mates, vitamins, iodine, TMC's carbon product, good live rock, sponge, macro-algae, hide spots and careful observation, please, honestly, do you think this beauty from Vanuatu can live well here?
<Yes I do>
You said they have a dismal survival rate from this part of the world. Does that mean they get ich/parasites more than the average fish (like the blue hippo tang I had years ago) and could die from it?
<No, this is more because of the collection techniques in that part of the world. It is the indo-pacific Pygoplites that have this bad rep w/ regard to diet etc.>
Or can they live good healthy lives in the right environment and with great care, but just a short life span of a handful of years?
<Should live 20 years+ in your system with good care>
I cannot handle seeing white spots on fish. Freaks me out. Sleepless nights, nosebleeds, just a general sense of dread and impending doom.
Your article also suggested they stay in QT a full 4 weeks. Your final warning of "trust me" scared me. That would mean another 2 weeks in my QT here, for a total of 4 weeks. Will this 40 gallon stress him out before the 2 weeks are up so much that he could be weakened by it?
<If you are happy that there are no parasites then I would move him after two weeks, as long as he is feeding well, and behaving as stated above>.
I was thinking I could use this time to boost his system up real good with Selcon, Boyd's Vita Chem, iodine and the other vitamins you suggested of C, E, D, and A.
<Yes -- the easiest food to add this to is Nori>
So if/when I add him to the main display he'll be able to fight off any illnesses that may present themselves. I used filtered tap water for 3 years, but have recently switched to RO water 2 months ago.
<Will be necessary here -- do make sure you have the added 'DI' element as well -- very cheap to add>
As such, my nitrates are fluctuating between 20-30 after weekly 60 gallon water changes.
<This is too high. Nitrates want to be below 10 consistently, preferably even lower. You should be able to achieve this with your system and stocking list no problem at all -- have you read here? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm>.
All of the junk from the tap water is embedded into the live rocks, and my friend says it'll take another month or so of clean water changes to dilute the tap water present. 3 fish in a 320 should not produce that high of a reading, so it must be the old water still present.
<I would work on this with gusto -- have you considered that there might be another 'source' such as a filter clogged w/ debris somewhere?>
Well, that's my long winded dilemma. Can this Emperor from Vanuatu really stay colorful and healthy with me doing all I have learned from your site? I respect your opinions, look forward to your input/suggestions.
<Yes he (she?) can. I do think that this whole system should now be geared towards providing for this very special animal. If you do this then you WILL be rewarded in kind many times over>.
Take care, and thanks Jeff.
<No problem Jeff, and good luck to you with your Emperor. Simon>
Re: 01/02/2010 Emperor Angel success--reply to Simon 2/4/2010

Great answers Simon, thanks so much.
<No problem Jeff>
Yes, my earlier "tanks" was indeed a typo! ;o) I do love the Emperor now, and am not nearly as afraid to keep him
as I was a few days ago. I took your wise advice, and searched for a possible nitrate booster on the system, and I see my filter sock in the refugium was caked with waste.
<Yes -- a source, remove this, or clean it 2-3 times a week>
Probably a huge contributor to the steady 30-40 nitrate readings even after 60 gallon water changes to get it down. I tossed it out altogether, put filter floss under the drain hoses instead to make it easier to just toss it out and add new on a weekly basis.
<At least this, but I would simply be draining direct into a compartment that holds the skimmer if it were me>
Did the water change, nitrates went down to 20ppm. Another large one in a few days should get it down to 10, I'm sure.
<Aim for 1 - 5 if you can>
Great idea to look for clogs. I also saw one of 2 return pumps was no longer working.
I bought a new one, cleaned out the gunk in the plumbing, and had a nice clear flow again. It was lots of debris in there, as well. I am turning this into a tank with reef parameters for him. I already have 200 lbs. of live rock and a handful of mushroom rocks.
<Mmmm, Mushrooms are probably not going to last long here, whatever the type. Your Raccoons will probably eat Corallimorphs, and your Emperor will eat Zoanthids and Leathers most likely. These are NOT the cnidarians that I would choose to house here.
If I was you I would stick with the live rock for the minute, do some reading ref: calcium and alkalinity, and when you are 'ready' if you still want some coral try some Scleractinians instead, maybe some Montipora. You are much more likely to have success here, although this is not guaranteed as individual fishes will have different habits. A bit of trial and error may be required. The butterflies are the real worry, but a positive is that you will not be plagued with Aiptasia like many others at least!>.
I will add other things the butterflies won't eat, more reef-like.
<Mmmm, stay away from soft corals and Anemones. You could easily add some Lysmata shrimp>
This Emperor behaves exactly as you have described he should. He's alert, interested in me and my presence, gently scoots away when I feed him, then comes right back to eat.
<That's marvelous news -- this is a very graceful fish>
Not spooked at all, very friendly for sure. I was even able to feed him Nori pieces by hand today.
I'm working hard, and keeping the QT ammonia at zero and very close to it.
<0.25ppm TOTAL ammonia will be ok short term (a few days) if the pH is low>
Yes, that "DI" end result of RO water is indeed part of my new & top off water.
Thank you for the suggestion. With his blue bottom colors, I have named him LEVI, as in the jeans. Levi & I thank you for the honest, educated feedback in specifics.
<No problem Jeff, you will find that your Emperor comes to recognise 'you' personally -- another characteristic of a most wonderful fish>
I'm glad I chose to keep him. Nice to know you'd have gotten him too!
<Yes, I do indeed own one of these myself>
I feel validated.
Jeff J.
<Simon, who has one more point to make -- this fish will do better if it is the 'king'. That means no Sohal or similar large aggressive fishes>

Juvenile Emperor Angelfish Health: Little Information to Work With\Poss. Cyanide Poisoning. 8/31/2009
<Hello Teagan>
I have a juvi emperor angel, he is a newish addition to my tank (2 months)
<Angels do much better in older tanks - at least six months old or older.>
and lately he has been getting strange almost lazy like.
<Not a good sign.>
He will barley move from under a ledge in my live rock, and when he does get does this strange twitch thing (like its almost not done on purpose) he never did this before.
<How long have you had this fish and where was it caught?>
Also when he does actually move around after a very short period he will come to rest on his side flat at the bottom of the tank like he just hasn't got it in him to continue swimming.
<Also not a good sign. What are your tank's parameters\water test results.?>
This has been going on for about a day or so.
Should I be worried?
<yes. Either the fish was caught using cyanide, or your water is loaded with ammonia or nitrite. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/toxictk.htm >
Also, I don't know if this means anything but he had a bad case of "cloudy eye" about a week ago but i seemed to fix it up with some fresh water bathing. I don't know if this is related but might be helpful info.
<Possibly related I really need more information than what you have provided. How big is this tank, what do your water tests show? What else is in the tank with it? How much rock do you have? How long was the fish quarantined? Where was the fish caught (your fish store should know.) >
Is there anything I can do?
<Do a large water change. If possible, get this fish into a quarantine tank quickly.>
Is my fish dying? or is this normal?
<Not normal at all.>
sorry just scared.
<Read here about the emperor angels.>
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pomacanthus/Pomacanthus.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/angelcompafaq.htm

emperor angel, hlth. NNS 7/26/09
hello, first of all let me tell you that I've read a lot of your answers and they've been very helpful to me. I bought a 9 inches emperor angel form the red sea ( I was told) three weeks ago, <Expensive to ship such large specimens>
he was doing fine for a week and then he got little bit of cloudy eye, which disappeared 3 days later, but some kind of white marks were left around his eye ( like if the color disappeared) , he doesn't look to have any problem
about them, but I don't really know what they are.
<Very likely "just" collecting, handling, and shipping damage>
he only eats dried sea weed, even thought I've tried shrimp, calamari, octopus and clams. also sometimes his color seems a little bit faded. the water parameters are fine but I was waiting until he was doing perfect to do another water change.
<I would commit to a regular period here>
what do you recommend? thank you for your time, I'm really concerned about him.
<Time going by, maintenance, good feeding... This is a tough species, particularly from the Red Sea... And though smaller specimens are more adaptable, yours should settle in and repair of its own accord. Bob Fenner>

HLLE/Emperor Angelfish 5/30/09
Recently I noticed a marking on my Emp Angel fish behind his eye. Any idea as to what it could be?
<Rob, the pics are not real detailed, but likely, you have the beginnings of HLLE which generally is caused by poor water quality/environmental conditions, and/or lack of proper nutrition. Look here.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re" HLLE/Emperor Angelfish, referral? 6/1/09e a better idea of the environmental conditions present. I'm still going with the onset of HLLE.>
Here are some more i <I> just took 48 hours after the first ones. Also, the last 3-6 weeks he's been constantly harassed by my gold barred maroon clownfish. The angel just hangs out in one corner. Could they be stress markings?
<Directly the cause, no. The clownfish is just adding to the environmental stress conditions present in your tank. You didn't mention your tank size or other inhabitants along with water parameters which would give m
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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