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FAQs about the Imperator Angel Trauma

FAQs on Emperor Angel Health: Emperor Disease 1, Emperor Disease 2, Emperor Health 3, Emperor Health 4, Emperor Health 5,
FAQs on Emperor Angel Health by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Pathogenic (see also:
Angels and Butterflyfishes & Crypt), Social, Genetic, Treatments

Related Articles: Imperator Angels, Pomacanthus Angels, Marine Angelfishes

Related FAQs: Emperor Angels 1Emperor Angels 2, Emperor Angels 3, Emperor Angel ID, Emperor Behavior, Emperor Compatibility, Emperor Angel Selection, Emperor Angel Systems, Emperor Feeding, Marine Angelfishes In General, Selection, Behavior, Compatibility, Health, Feeding, Disease,  


Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Emperor Angelfish with PopEye    11/29/18
<Hey Michael>
I reaching out to you because my beloved emperor angelfish needs help. In the last month he developed Popeye in his right eye, I believe it is an injury.
<Yes, a physical trauma>
Last week the swelling in eye was improving, about half way back in the eye socket. But now over the past two days it has swelled up bigger than before, and even worse there are three little air bubbles in his eye. I’ve had this fish for 5 year and he’s between 9-10ins long.
<It is reaching its maximum size to swim freely in a 240gal tank and it may be bumping with the rockwork or side panels of the aquarium>
I follow proper quarantine procedures and have parasites such as ich. Also he is not stressed out, he's the dominant fish and still eating well but has trouble lining up his food to his mouth.
<It is caused by a lack of complete peripheral vision>
What do you recommend I do?
<Read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Popeyetrauma.htm and the related links.>
Tank details
240gal with 100gal sump
7 year old system
Ph 8.0
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
Thank you,
<You´re welcome Michael>
Michael Walton

Sick Imperator I sent this email on Monday, and haven't seen or heard anything since, so I've resent it.  Sorry if it's a duplicate, and you just haven't answered it yet! <We run behind at times...> Good afternoon- <Hello there> I have a sick Imperator angel, and after reading over the FAQ's, and not seeing anything closely related, I decided to ask for help.  I've had the angel for about 5 years and watched it grow from a juvenile to a large adult. <How nice... a true aquatic pet>   For the last few years, it's been in a 180 FOWLR without problems.  Up until about 8-9 days ago, it ate everything in sight, typically Formula 1 & 2, Mysis or Caulerpa and every week or so, I'd toss in a clam or green lip mussel from the local fish market.   <A good selection> When the eating slowed down, I noticed what appeared to be a film over one eye, which also looked somewhat swollen or 'popped out'  For the last 4-5 days, I haven't seen it eat anything. <Yikes! Likely your angel bumped into something... hasn't felt like feeding> On occasion, it looks as if it will try, but quickly loses interest.  All of the other tankmates are still looking happy and healthy, and none have been harassing it.  The only 'harassment' has been when I come to the put food in, it usually runs off and hides, grunting along the way. <You have good hearing... they do vocalize> There doesn't appear to be any external parasites, diseases, etc.  The water checks out ok, temp. 78, 1.024, pH 8.2, and the nitrates at 25.  The nitrates have generally been around 10-15, but I think due to the uneaten food, it's climbed up a bit. <Likely so> In the last week, I've done 2- 40 gallon water changes and I'm preparing the water for a 3rd.  I've run carbon for 5 days or so, as I watch his condition go down hill.  It now spends most of it's time hanging face down in a corner, or hidden back in the rocks.  In one of the FAQ responses, you said to soak the food in Selcon.   If the fish isn't eating, will the Selcon entice it to eat, or is it not worth the effort? <IS worth the effort> Moving it to a hospital tank is also out of the question, as the largest tank I have is a 35 gal, and I'd never be able to get it out from the rocks.  Thanks for your assistance. Andy <Andy, I would "risk" the addition of Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) here as an ameliorative... a level teaspoon per five gallons... you can place this all at once... and replace the bit removed with water changes... this addition will hopefully speed the reduction in your angels eye-swelling... I would not force feed this animal for at least another few weeks... keep trying the opened shellfish every few days, remove if no interest shown. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Imperator
> <Andy, I would "risk" the addition of Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) here as an ameliorative... a level teaspoon per five gallons... you can place this all at once... and replace the bit removed with water changes... this addition will hopefully speed the reduction in your angels eye-swelling... I would not force feed this animal for at least another few weeks... keep trying the opened shellfish every few days, remove if no interest shown. Bob Fenner> Bob- Is that a teaspoon per actual amount of water or per tank size?   <Per actual estimated gallonage> Despite not having seen the angel eat much in the last 10 days or so, it does seem to be hanging in there.  Thanks for the advice. Andy <There is a good chance of this fish recovering with your good care. Bob Fenner>
Sick Imperator follow-up...
Bob & crew- <Andy> Back on Dec 1st, I wrote you about a sick adult imperator that wasn't eating.  Since then, I have followed your advice, which was, add Epsom salts to the tank and the use of Selcon.  Unfortunately, I haven't seen any improvement.  The fish still has not eaten, at least that I've seen.  I use frozen cubes and once a week a  fresh green lip mussel.   As I mentioned, a hospital tank is not practical, but I don't know what else to do before I have to get the net and scoop him out. <Try some fresh-as-you-can-find live rock... with sponge material growing on it... and place this in the system... Lastly, consider force-feeding this animal. Must be done carefully to avoid damage... with two people, a plastic catheter and bulb. Bob Fenner> He certainly is a lot skinnier than his big fat robust self, as of a month ago.  Any other ideas?  Thanks! Andy

Emperor Angel Mr. Fenner, <Steven Pro in this morning. Bob is off diving.> You've given me some very helpful words of wisdom in the past and I'm hoping I can trouble you for your advice once again. First of all, I purchased your book, "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" and it is wonderful. Thanks for writing such a concise, no-nonsense, interesting guide. Sitting out here in the middle of nowhere, it can be difficult to know where to turn to for fish advice. Now, on to the problem. I have an adult Emperor angelfish in my 180 gallon fish-only aquarium who has been thriving for about 4 years. Got her (?) when she was about 5 inches and had juvenile markings. Now she has her adult stripes and is probably about 6 inches, full bodied, fat and sassy! Over the past couple of weeks I noticed a nasty wound on one side which, given some pretty peaceful tankmates,  I'm almost certain she must have gotten from scraping up against a piece of coral. It is red and appears to be bleeding off and on. On that same side, her eye is cloudy and her fin is a bit raggedy from a light film of fungus. <It sounds like she took a bit of a beating.> Still, she is swimming and acting as normal, eating well; being her normal bossy self with the rest of the tank mates. I have just done about a 30% water change. <Good!> What else should I do? <I would consider moving to a quarantine tank (if you have one large enough), just so there is no possibility of abuse.> Your book mentions treating with an artificial coating, maybe even oral antibiotics. <Yes, Tetra makes a food with an antibiotic added. This could be helpful. It is labeled for treating bacterial and fungal infections.> Of course, I'm worried about lifting her out of the water to apply treatment and stressing her further. If I should go with the coating treatment or antibiotic, what brand and how to apply? <See above. If it gets worse, please write us back.> Thanks so much for taking the time. Sharon Leyrer <Good luck to you and your fish! -Steven Pro>
Follow Up on Ill Emperor
Thanks so much for getting back with me. <No problem. That is what we are here for.> I do have a 29 gallon quarantine tank and, although I'm worried about creating further stress, I will probably move her into it tonight. <I was/am concerned with this damage being exploited by the other fish.> It is a new tank, so I'm taking substrate out of my existing tank and water as well. <Ok, I would probably leave the Emperor in the main tank versus the uncycled QT tank. DO read through our articles and FAQ's about quarantine, suffice to say, keeping a sponge filter or power filter with biological capacity hidden somewhere on your main display and then move it and water over to the empty QT tank and you are ready to go.> My local fish store had recommended treating the angel with Maracyn II and suspects that rather than a coral scrape, it is actually a bacterial infection, given the cloudy eye and raggedy fin. <First off, Maracyn II is useless. Secondly, I believe there was a physical injury that now has become infected.> I suspect they are right in that diagnosis. What do you think? <See above> If I medicate the tank with Maracyn II, should I give her the medicated food as well? <Use the food instead.> Thanks so much, Steve! <You are welcome.> I'm really nervous about the quarantine tank. <As am I given its condition. Please see www.WetWebMedia.com regarding.> I've put sick fish in them before and treated them with Maracyn and never had much success. <Given that protocol, I do not doubt you. Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Emperor Angel Advice Hi Bob: Hope things are going well. I needed some fish advice and I thought I'd ask an expert, if you don't mind. I e-mailed you regarding your book back in 98 (time flies!). <Indeed. Tempus fugit> I recently bought an adult Imperator Angel. I have had him for about 3 weeks and he is eating like a horse. The only problem is that on  his right side, his eye is somewhat cloudy and one of his pectoral fins was not clear but more opaque. The fin suddenly got a bit ragged and he seems to be twitching a lot and will sometimes make a quick dash across the tank. His colors seem good and he even eats from my hand. Does this sound like a parasite? <No... very likely just the result of a mechanical injury... a "bump in the night" or the after-effects of a net-rub.> Should I do a freshwater dip or just hope he keeps eating well and it might run it's course.  <The latter> I hate to pull him out, it usually causes a lot of stress on any fish. what do you think? Once again, thanks for your time. Chris Goldenstein <Please read over our site: www.WetWebMedia.com re this species, the genus Pomacanthus and the Family Pomacanthidae FAQs sections... many cases like this. Bob Fenner>

Cloudy Eye on Emperor Angel Hi Bob, I had emailed you a couple of weeks ago about getting a lunare wrasse and a maculosus angel. I have my lunare wrasse now and he's doing quite well. However, I couldn't find a maculosus angel that was large enough (4 to 5") to hold it's own with the 5" lunare wrasse. So, I purchased a 6" sub-adult emperor angel from an LFS. He has a bit of Lymphocystis on his fins but it's not too bad. He appears to be doing wonderfully in my tank - quite active and a great eater! However, his left eye has become fairly cloudy over the last week - it's not Popeye, just cloudy. I read on the internet somewhere that this is most likely a bacterial infection and I should treat him with antibiotics. <Mmm, no, not in my opinion... If "one-sided" (unilateral), this cloudiness is likely due to mechanical injury (likely a swipe with a net)... and though there may be opportunistic bacterial involvement I would NOT use antibiotics here. Perhaps a vitamin addition to the fish's foods...> I am concerned about stressing him by putting him in a quarantine tank so I've so far left him alone in the main tank and watched him closely. His right eye so far looks O.K. - maybe the slightest bit cloudy or I could just be seeing things :-) What should I do with this beautiful fish? Here's a picture of him, but you can't really see the cloudiness on his eye in the picture. <I would leave it as is... do you have a cleaner organism? Maybe a Lysmata Shrimp would help remove/expedite the loss of lymph, the cloudy eye clearing... very likely this problem will resolve on its own. Our coverage of this species and Lymphocystis, environmental diseases can be found on: WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner> Holly L. LaClair-Bogedain
Re: Cloudy Eye on Emperor Angel
Thanks Bob! Wow, you got back to me very quickly! Is there a cleaner organism I can buy that won't get eater by a lunare wrasse and a flame hawk? I think those 2 fish would eat any that I could get... <I would try a Gobiosoma Goby... a larger individual if you can find it: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/neongobies.htm Often recognized as more of a "helper" than a snack. Bob Fenner>

Angelfishes for  Marine Aquariums
Diversity, Selection & Care
New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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