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Emperor angel mouth reddish in colour; too long in QT, Cu
Hello Bob or reef crew I have had a 4.5in juvenile in a 35
gallon long hospital tank for about 7 weeks. Ph about 8.1, salinity
temp 80 degrees. Used filter with filter floss seeded from refugium for
about a week. Large pipe for hiding.
First four weeks were great as it looked perfect was eating everything
with no meds. Then appeared to be showing ich so I dosed Cupramine
slowly increasing the dose to 4-5 ppm. No issues over the 14
days at full treatment level. I did a 50 per cent water change and used
carbon for two days to remove copper. Then I thought I'd use PraziPro
again using recommended dosage in case of internal issues. It's day 3 of
recommended and I've noticed all day it hasn't eaten and a red colour in
the mouth and around it externally.
I have also been doing 50 percent water changes every 3-5 days over the
time it's been in the tank as its eating so much, and dosing
appropriately when I replace water. I've been measuring copper
concentration to ensure its ok.
The red colour looks like blood near the surface of the skin and is very
concerning as it looks like a severe skin irritation of some kind.
<The copper, stress>
Looks like fish is labouring breathing but still around 60 breaths a
minute. I read Bob said 80 was bad.
Hate to not treat with PraziPro for internal pests for full term of 5-7
days. Wondering if I should use carbon and water change to remove as
much PraziPro as I can to get emperor back to health...
Do I risk the internal pests issue arising once it's in my 340 gallon
<Some, yes, but I'd be MOVING this fish; now>
Or try once again w PraziPro. I feel it really deserves to get into the
<I STRONGLY agree re moving it NOW>
Thanks so much!
Emperor Angel Eyes-please help... Flukes, env., mortuus est.
Hello-i got an emperor angel online with a bunch of problems.
<Aye ya; I'll say>
said the fish was fully quarantined and supposedly went through PraziPro
and copper(No way that was true) .First of all ,he arrived with
after 2 days in QT i could see them all over his eyes and when i tried
performing a fresh water dip
<I'd have added some formalin with...>
i saw 40-50 fall of (i ve never seen so many
to come of from 1 fish).The reason i say "tried " is because he didn't
the dip well-became stiff as a board and refused to swim, so i rushed
back into his QT.i then tried PraziPro in his tank. Nitrite and Ammonia
at 0,Nitrate 30,
<... too high>
PH kept dropping slowly to 8.But this treatment was
stopped short too-the angel stopped eating and was laying in the corner
looking as if he is about to die. His eyes got very cloudy. The water
dosing PraziPro was cloudy and after reading a bunch of posts on various
forums i couldn't figure out why its staying so cloudy. So ended up
carbon back in the filters 3 days after the start to get the Prazi
i got to say the angel was swimming shortly after. A day later i saw
flukes and attempted a second fw dip (PH and Temp was matched to the Ph
that was in his tank)
-with same result-the angel was too stressed to keep
him in more then a minute,
<... this was NOT RO water (sans gas) I take it>
but even a minute left a lot of flukes in the FW
.And now i see white dots which look like ICH on him. I have Cupramine
would like to use it but His eyes' been getting worse and now im afraid
that copper might make it worse. They look like there is a white crusty
tube-like extension coming from his cornea(i ll try attaching some
pictures) .I added KanaPlex and Furan-2 in his water to protect/treat
possible infection of the eyes. But i think the ich needs to be
<Well; where to start here? It appears you're aware of
the routines for standard treatments... and dips/baths thank goodness as
well. Should I refer you to reading about eye problems with Angels? I
would aerate your next and all future immersion baths, and try a modicum
of formalin per the SOP on WWM. I do hope this fish rallies for you. Bob
Re: Emperor Angel Eyes-please help
hi,i just got home from work and he seem to be worse. He seem to be
slow barrel roll...
i did a 50% water change with water out of my reef. So
Nitrates are down to 15-20 (its really hard to differentiate between the
shades) The water i use is RO
<Has no oxygen in it... We've had a few write-ins where "the apparent
immediate stress" was due to the fish not being able to respire...>
and i do have a pump and airstone in my
dips/bath. I usually aerate the water for about 30 min before i put the fish
I'm not sure if i should try another dip.
<... it's too late. BobF>
Re: Emperor Angel blotchy, not eating while other fish are
Thanks so much for the advice. I stopped the medication and continued
with the water changes, raising my salt slowly. Its about 1,023 now.
The Angel started eating again and he's colour is returning,
He doesn't eat ravenously so I'm still wary, but he's eating his
favourite food. (Nori dipped in Angelixir)You asked about the Queen
Angel - she didn't show the same signs of illness as the other and I've
never noticed any aggression between the two. They are happy to eat the
same piece of Nori side by side - but don't worry, the bigger tank is on
Two days ago however my second blue cheek goby died and I found an
Isopod about the size of a lady bug on him. Could this be the cause of
death for all the previous fish (small Naso tang, bicolour angel, neon
gobies and blue cheek gobies)?
<Mmm, not likely at all; no>
Could it also be what was bothering the Emperor?
out of the tank now but I don't know whether I need to worry about more
being in the tank and whether I should do anything about it.
Thank you again!
<I suspect you only have the one Isopod that was in the system. See WWM
re these pests. BobF><<RMF couldn't find the prev. corr. and pic...
Help! Soon-to-be-Finless Emperor Angel! 8/28/12
Crew, I have read through a bunch of the disease and medication FAQs,
but with my Emperor Angel's condition deteriorating rapidly and unable
to find a close match to my circumstances, I've decided to write
directly. I have had the Emperor Angel in question in my 180 gallon tank
with a Blue Throat Trigger, a Porcupine Puffer, and a Dogface Puffer for
about 6 months. The tank is about 11 years old and runs at a
specific gravity of 1.022,
<... I'd raise this... keep near 1.025, 1.026>
temp. of 78-79 F, ammonia between 0 and .25,
<Anything other than 0.0 is toxic, debilitating... You may have too
little biological filtration to accommodate the puffer feeding/wastes>
nitrite 0, nitrate 20-30,
<I'd keep under 20 ppm>
and a pH of 8.4. I do a water change of about 40-50 gallons every other
week and run a wet dry filter along with about 50-60 lbs. of live rock
in the tank and 1.5-2 inches of sand.
<I'd increase this substantially. See WWM re>
The whole lot are fed a rotating diet of Angel Formula, Formula Two,
frozen krill, and Spectrum pellets; all doused with garlic, vitamin C,
and an HUFA supplement.
On to the drama at hand. The angel has had 2 battles now with cloudy
pectoral fins, which I chalked up to a water change reminder and the
issue seemed to resolve itself. However, the most recent bout has gotten
quite out of hand quite quickly. Over just a few days, one pectoral fin
has now eroded down so that there is only about a centimeter left and is
completely red/bloody and inflamed looking. When the fin first
showed signs of turning red about 2 days ago I began feeding
Metronidazole and Focus,
<Of no use... the issue/cause is not pathogenic; but environmental>
but it seems to have done little to help. Now this morning I turn the
light on to find that the other fin that was previously full, but
slightly cloudy, has begun to recede rapidly and turn red as well.
None of the tank mates seem the least bit effected by whatever is ailing
my angel. He still eats well, but is maybe getting slightly more fussy
(though I did just put a bunch of nasty stuff on his food those days).
He is swimming normally and begging for food. I have seen him scratch
only twice in 3 days of observation. His breathing is a little more
rapid, but I wouldn't say that he is in the respiratory distress that I
have seen associated with severe gill parasite infestations. Any
guess as to the root cause?
<As stated... nitrogenous waste poisoning>
Would you advise to continue feeding the antibiotics, leave him where he's
at, and see if there is improvement or remove the Emperor to quarantine
and treat with something different?
<I'd move this fish to a better world, water quality... IF you don't
have this as a possibility, DO what you can ASAP to improve water
quality... add ozone, more substrate (DSB), a sump/refugium... See WWM
re Ammonia, Nitrate...>
From what I've read, there probably isn't a silver bullet for this, but
I'd like to stop it in its tracks right away if at all possible...before
he has no fins left
Thanks so much for all the help you provide,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Help! Soon-to-be-Finless Emperor Angel! 8/28/12
Hi Crew! In case it's helpful in answering the question I sent in
yesterday, attached are some photos of my Angelfish.
<I see these>
Sorry, I know they're not great...the bugger would not hold still (which
I guess is a good thing in an ailing fish). As an update, his worst fin
is not as bloody as it was, but that could be because there's not much
fin left. The rays are down to nubs and the fin between the nubs is
gone. The other fin looks to be about the same as yesterday. He is still
eating and swimming. Breathing is somewhat labored. He has started
Any advice you can provide is greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance for your help!
<Same as before... BobF>
|Re: Help! Soon-to-be-Finless Emperor
Thanks so much for your prompt response Mr. Fenner! It pains me so much,
because I know the water hasn't been 100% and I've been trying for a while
to correct it to make this Angel happy. I purchased a sump double the size
of my current and a skimmer rated to well over my tank size and both are
sitting next to my aquarium waiting for the builder to finish my new stand,
so that I can fit everything underneath and then fill it up with fresh,
sparkling water from the RODI unit I recently bought (not that I haven't
switched to RODI water already). All of this for the fish that seems like it
may not even make it to the glorious day of installation!
<Ahh, do feed sparingly while waiting here>
Of course, I know everyone will be better for it in the long run, but I'd
like to see the Angel reap the benefits. I think I will try and move him to
a QT where I will have time to manage the water quality better until the DT
gets sorted out. I just don't have time for massive water changes on the 180
with my work schedule, unfortunately.
Thanks for your help!
<Certainly welcome. BobF>
Emperor Angel, hlth. 8/11/12
Thank you so much for taking my question. We (my husband's hobby really)
have a 125 gallon saltwater tank.
<Mmm, will need more space for this species>
The tank includes lots of live rock, an emperor angel, a fox face, a
powder blue tang, a yellow tang, a humbug and blue wrasse (the fish are
all approximately 8 yrs old).
<The angel, more stunted>
My husband performs about a 40% water change every month.
<I'd change a smaller portion once a week... Have him search WWM re>
About 5 months ago, we introduced a lion fish and a puffer
<... there's not enough room for these here>
into the tank and within 5 days the lion fish died, without any signs of
sickness. Two weeks later the puffer died. The puffer showed sickness,
by scratching against the live rocks...and we gave him a freshwater bath
and quarantined him, but he died anyway. It was at this time that we
realized our nitrates were off the chart!
We have worked diligently to get the nitrates under control, increasing
the water change frequency and removing most of the gravel.
<There are a few approaches to NO3 limitation... posted/archived on WWM>
The current problem is with our Emperor Angel. He/She is 8 years old.
Absolutely beautiful and the commander of the tank. She is a "barker".
Sometimes she barks so loudly, it sounds like someone is breaking into
Anyway, back to the problem, last week the angel stopped eating.
<The effect of long-term crowding...>
She goes to the food, but it's almost as if she doesn't see it. She
smells it, goes to it, but will not bite it. Also, Her left gill
is "breathing" heavily...and sometimes opens so widely you can see
inside. I would say almost one half inch wide. Very red inside the gill.
Her color is remains extremely vivid. She is still beautiful and appears
to be maintaining her weight. And swims.
We have looked at her in a dark tank with a flashlight to check for
No spots whatsoever. No signs of HLLE. However, 2 days ago we noticed a
protruding anus. But today it seems to be going in and out.
Last night we introduced 3 units of Chemi pure; and trace elements
<The carbon/resin product will remove most of the trace...>
We have tempted her with shrimp, but she will not bite.
<I'd feed Spectrum (pellets) as a stock diet... but there is only one
real solution... a larger world>
At times, she reacts as if she is blind. Usually when my husband walks
into the room, she comes immediately to that side of the tank. But now,
she doesn't seem to know that he is even in the room. And, sometimes she
swims into the other fish; she no longer barks nor seems to have any
command of the tank. However, the other fish continue to stay out of her
I hope you can us. This is breaking my heart! There is something wrong
and I can't help her.
Please forgive me if this has been asked before, but I have searched
diligently using your search options and cannot find an answer to this
<Have you read the article on this species, the FAQs files posted on
Re: Emperor Angel 8/12/12
Yes. I have read many of the articles on WWM regarding this species.
<Ahh, then you know this system was under-sized>
I have also Googled my problem on WWM, and that's where I found the HLLE
and velvet ideas. But I cannot find any exact matches to this particular
problem. Is there a specific article that you think I have overlooked?
Please direct me.
<The central, real (root) issue is environmental... the too
tiny world, high NO3 consequent w/ volume... Need to improve water
quality overall... Dilution through a bigger tank, more/better
filtration (DSB, macro-algae culture, RDP refugium...) many more
possibilities... See WWM re Nitrates, marine... BobF>
Re: Emperor Angel 8/12/12
Hi Bob -
Okay, NOW, I have read the FAQ sheet.
I believe you are telling me that our tank is extremely overcrowded and
that's why we can't get the nitrates under control. And just because all
these fish have lived for 8 years in this 125 gallon tank doesn't mean
it will continue to be a great environment as they grow. Am I reading
We have done everything we know to do to get the nitrates under control;
and they are still off the chart. We set up another refugium (have two
now)...but it seems that you are telling me that until we move some of
the fish out, our current environment will become toxic for them all.
<Mmm, no... much can be done w/ the refugiums... do you have substantial
fine substrate? DSB/s?>
Thanks for any additional advice.
Re: Emperor Angel 8/12/12
Sorry, Bob...I responded twice to your previous email and then saw this
Thanks for all your help!
Re: Emperor Angel 8/12/12
Hi Bob -
Based on your response, we have decided to downsize the amount of fish
in the tank. We called our "supplier" and he is willing to take the
And this move will most likely happen tomorrow.
However, as you know, downsizing does not happen overnight.
So, it seems that you are saying that barring any infections on the
Angel, she is just naturally responding to a too small environment.
So, until we can completely downsize, is there a temporary "fix" we can
do for her, or do you think she will make it through this? She continues
to not eat and she continues to breathe heavily. But looks good and
Thanks again for all your advice.
Emperor angel Blotchy 1/24/11
I have notice that my emperor has blotchy white patches all over
his body and head.
<I see this>
I have read many post and everyone seems to have their own ideal
on what it could be, do you guys have any personal experience on
what the blotchy patches are?
<Indication that this fish is "not happy,
He is eating new life spectrum pellets, no cloudy eyes, and seems
to be the boss of the tank (180 gallon). my ammonia, nitrate and
nitrite is at zero
<How is the NO3 being rendered zero?>
and ph is 8.2-8.3. Thanks Terry
<Again, "something" is not right w/ this fish's
environment... chemically, physically and/or biologically. What
are the other livestock? Is BGA present? There are many
possibilities. Bob Fenner>
Re: Emperor angel Blotchy 1/24/11
Thanks for your speedy reply! In the tank I have a 3-4" fox
Face magnificent, 2" Flame angel, two Clowns, 2-3" Blue
jaw trigger, cleaner shrimp, crabs and snails.
<Could be the Siganid, or Trigger... are harassing the
I went this morning and bought A new test kit ( ammonia, nitrite,
nitrate and ph), my levels are zero with ph at 8.2-8.3. My
salinity is 1.025, my temp stays at 78 degrees. I have a reef
octopus 200 extreme with a 18 watt uv sterilizer. A few 360
degree rotating power heads. No other fish are showing any signs
if stress. I have no signs of red slime or any alga blooms. I
have some live rock with mushroom growing. The only thing I could
think about is a few of my live rocks had green hair alga growing
and the Angel and Fox face cleaned house, could he be upset
because of that?
<Could be something eaten, or again, the two squaring
I see no signs of fighting. Any advice on were to go from here
would be appreciate.
<I suggest careful observation. BobF>
Re: Emperor angel Blotchy 1/24/11
Thanks I'll set up a video camera while I'm at work and
see if I can catch something.
Emperor Angel and HLLE 6/15/10
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
<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
<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
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>
Re: Emperor Angel and HLLE 6/16/10
<No problem Jimmy>
I completely agree on the water changes. The Emperor has been
such a gladiator of a fish
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
<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
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
Thanks so much for your responses.
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
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
<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.
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
<Maybe it's time to pay this fish back in
kind'¦ with a larger or at least less crowded
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
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
In the meantime I have set up a 55 g tank as a quarantine of
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
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
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
<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
<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
<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
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
<Indeed, but you have stocked with some large growers>
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
<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
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
<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...>
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
<One of the drawbacks to putting too many large fish into too
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
<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
<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
<No problem, Simon>
Re: Emperor Angel and HLLE 7/2/10
Thanks for all of your help.
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
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
<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
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.>
<No problem Jimmy. Simon>
Re: Emperor Angel and HLLE -- 7/12/10
<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
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
<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
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
<Welcome... Do have a read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/emperorfdgfaqs.htm
and the linked files above, if you haven't already. Bob
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
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.
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
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
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
<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>
emperor angel, env. dis. -- 4/12/10
I have a 55 gallon FOWL that has been up and running for about 8
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
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
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.
<Getting this fish into the larger system stat.. Bob Fenner>
Emperor angel problem 2/23/06 Dear Bob and
colleagues Please help I have a 100 gallon home display tank and a 200
gallon sump). There has been a sudden chain of events causing an issue
with my tanks members, especially the 3 year old emperor angel. My
water parameters are as follows;pH8.2 , ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate
20ppm ,sg 1026 and temperature 24.7 centigrade. These were taken this
morning before tank lights were switched on. Other hardware includes
Deltec AP850 skimmer, phosphate (ROWAphos) fluidized filter and wet/dry
filter (maybe why I cant get lower nitrates!) <Likely, yes>
Following an ich outbreak on my C. Lunula, I treated the system with
Myaxin solution for 5 days, but still lost him unfortunately. It has
resulted in the emperor showing very distressed symptoms (rapid gill
movements, loss of appetite and hiding away but no obvious bodily ich
signs). During this period I lost an Anthias with no obvious causes but
the remaining tank members seem fine (comprising 2 Hawkfish, purple
tang, blue tang, green Chromis and 3 convict blennies). The soft corals
showed minor irritation but seem fine now. When I switched the UV
sterilizer(30Watt) back on, did this result in any toxic shock
chemicals? <Not likely> I have now tried a 30% water
change and the addition of carbon filtration to try and improve matters
but I am still most concerned about my emperor. Are there any further
suggestions you might offer? Best regards Dave K from the UK <Not
from the information provided. Have you read on WWM re this species?
Please do so: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pomacanthus/imperator.htm
And the linked files above. Hopefully something will "pop up"
here re your situation. Bob Fenner> "The soft corals showed
minor irritation but seem fine now. Are there any further suggestions
you might offer? Best regards Dave K from the UK" <Actually...
on a moments reflection, the problem is likely the negative reaction
you list re the soft corals... These are very likely poisoning your
system, consequent from the Myxacin... I would add a good deal of
activated carbon to your filter flow path, and execute a series of
10-20% water changes every few days to dilute their effects.
Sick Emperor Angel 4/15/05 Hi, I just got a baby Emperor
Angel (2.5 inches) about a month ago. The tank has been set up almost a
year and a half. I have a protein skimmer and nitrates-10, ammonia-0,
nitrites-0. All of a sudden the angel is kinda fading/blotchy in color
and breathing rapidly, and hiding in the corner. I am feeding him
mainly seaweed, Mysis and brine. Is this something that a dip will help
or is there anything else I could do? Thank you, Adam <This
doesn't sound like anything that a dip will help, but do rule out
Amyloodinium (velvet) See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amylloodiniumart.htm
I would guess that there is an environmental problem. I would suggest
checking pH right before the lights come on in the morning and right
before they go off at night. A large difference suggests deficient
alkalinity (which should be tested as well!) or deficient gas exchange
(requires more water movement and/or addition of skimmer if you
don't have one). If you don't perform at least 10% monthly
water changes, I would consider doing so, starting ASAP. If the fish
has been healthy to this point, try to figure out what has changed. New
tankmates (could be harassing or introduced disease)? Recent animal
death? Equipment added or removed? Your food choices are reasonable,
although brine is not very nutritious. I would suggest frozen
"Pygmy Angel Formula" and/or "Angel Formula" by
Ocean Nutrition. Both include a variety of wholesome foods and added
vitamins and are well received. Best Regards. AdamC.>
Angel with a cloudy eye Good day! Why my Emperor Angel have a
cloudy eyes? << Usually a problem with dirty water. It
can also be stress from fighting with other fish, but I usually see
this type of thing in tanks that don't have enough biological
filtration. >> Does it serious for angel fish?
<< It is serious because it can lead to further problems.
>> What cause it and how to treat and avoid it in the future?
<< I think over feeding the tank and not having enough live rock
are the main causes. I don't know if you can treat the
fish, unless you move it to a hospital tank. I think you
should try increasing your filtration and making you water quality
better. That way you won't have any more fish getting
sick. >> Thanks. Seng
<< Blundell >>
Emperor angelfish Hello, My name is Alena and I have been to
your site many times. <<Hello to you.>> But have not found
an answer to my problem. I have a 55 gallon tank that has been up and
running for about 5 years now. Really haven't had any problems with
it until now. I have a yellow tang, maroon clown bonded to a bulb
anemone and a saddle puffer. I just recently got an juvenile emperor
angelfish, which has been doing fine for a week now, but it looks as
though it has a white pale coat, spread evenly over his body. The
emperor eats, and acts fine, but he/she doesn't use its back body
to swim (like he/she is stiff or paralyzed). It basically swims using
only his/her side fins, but still swims around the tank like a normal
fish. The emperor doesn't have any parasites on him/her, and I have
researched many diseases on the internet that doesn't match what
he/she has. The emperor has been like this for about two weeks now, and
doesn't look like it has been getting better or worse. Now, I
pulled the emperor out of the tank and put it in a QT tank that has
been running for about two months, and treated it with CopperSafe to
make sure parasites, that I couldn't see, were not the problem.
He/she has been in the QT tank for 4 days now, but still the
discoloration and lack of movement in the body still exists. I
don't know what it might be, if you have any ideas what I can do
please let me know. Thanks, Alena <<Alena, what I think you are
observing is two things... one, these fish often swim like this, saving
the caudal [tail] fin for a mad-dash to cover. Two, I would hazard a
guess that this fish just doesn't need to swim that hard... a 55 is
really much too small for this fish, and likewise you may not have
extreme currents in the system. Although it is small now, they grow to
about a foot and I've seen these where they live - they get BIG.
So... it's probably not very exercise challenged. I would skip the
quarantine, consider another powerhead for the tank and start saving
for the 240. Cheers, J -- >>
My angel fish is looking dull! Dear Bob <David Dowless
standing in this afternoon> I have an Imperator angel I have had for
about 5 years. He is housed in a 100gal. aquarium.
Filtered by 3 Eheim canister filters a 15 watt UV. He has a
few other tank mates such as a twin spot wrasse, <Do you
mean the Coris wrasse? This baby gets to be more than 21"
long!> 6 fire fish, long nose hawk, Flame angel, Flag fin, 3
butterflies. In, addition I also have a protein skimmer.
<Is it producing a full cup of skimmate daily?> Water parameters
are close to 0 ammonia <.1ppm NO2, N03 between20 to 60. <Ammonia
and nitrite need to be zero all of the time.> Salinity 1.020, temp
77. This was not always the case, however , I thinned out the
population some time ago. I did this because I had
difficulty keeping the water parameters within the range I
proffered. I had blue tangs and a Koran angel that both had
bad HLLE. The Imperator I believe was also developing HLLE
so I became extra faithful doing water changes and adding broccoli and
spinach to the diet. This seemed to arrest any HLLE in the
Imperator however his color has dulled. I should mention
that in every other way he is fine. <Poor water quality, poor diet,
and overcrowding will do this..> I occasionally put carbon in my
canister filter some say this contributes to HLLE also, I do not do
anything to guard against stray voltage. <HLLE is an environmental
disease: inappropriate diet and poor water quality due to overcrowding.
Your tank needs to be thinned out even more. I don't know which
ones to get rid of because I don't know their sizes or the specific
species. Consider getting a copy of Scott Michael's Marine Fishes.
It is an excellent pocket guide that would have helped you avoid
overcrowding. You can get it online for less than $25>
My fishes diet is extremely varied including frozen as well as dry
foods and fresh veggies. <Marine algae growing in the tank would
also help> I would welcome any advice you may have. Thank you,
Charles Rayburn <You're welcome, Charles. You can research even
more on this and many other topics at Wetwebmedia.com...David
- The Emperor has no Space - Hi Guys, <Good evening,
JasonC here...> I have received good advice from the crew in the
past and hope maybe you can help me with my current problem. I have an
Imperator Angel 6" adult in a 90 gallon tank, I know this is small
for this fish, but house is too small for bigger tank, I also have a
125 gallon community tank. <This fish should really be in the
125...> My problem is that the Imperator has large faded white spots
all over it's body, I treated with Copper Safe and after 4 days the
spots went away, I kept the copper in the 10 days as suggested then
started to pull it out with copper remover, poly filter and water
changes, within 2 days the spots started to reappear and are most
noticeable in the morning and less at night. I then suspected that
maybe it is a vitamin deficiency so I give the fish Nori algae every
day and at first it seemed to work, the spots went away, I really
thought I solved the problem, but within 2 days the spots came back. My
nitrates are not terrible for a fish only tank 20ppm, I don't know
what to do next, any advice would be appreciated. <The white spots
are typically caused by water quality issues, but can also be a general
indicator of mood, as in the fish is not happy in it's current
surrounds. These fish get much larger that this and are used to much
more room to roam. I would look carefully into collateral damage from
the copper treatment, as it typically stalls out biological filtration.
Do a couple of decent-sized [25%] water changes and go from there.>
Thanks Fred <Cheers, J -- >
- Baked Emperor - Gentleman, <Good morning, JasonC
here.> I have an Emperor Angel. He has been fat and happy
since the day I bought him. Has just started to turn colors
and has stopped eating and is quite lethargic. I don't
know what is wrong. Water parameters are good although the
temp gets to around 88 this time of year due to the heat and
humidity. Any suggestions?? <Yeah, do something about
that temperature, it is much too high.> tks John Cape Cod
<Cheers, J -- >
Question: Bob, my wife and I have an adolescent Imperator who
is suffering lesions induced from poor water quality. We were using a
source which contained some metals for about 6 months. We've since
switched to a cleaner source and have been using in for the past three
to four months. However, over the time we were using the poor water our
Imperator developed some severe lesions on and around is facial area.
What is the best treatment to help him heal these wounds? We are
currently using vitamin supplements with feeding. Also, he has stopped
scratching completely since the change to the cleaner water.
Bob's Answer: Do check out that supplement packet and make
sure it has boodles of A, C, D vitamins AND useable/assimilable iodine.
Additionally, want to give a big plug for TMC (Tropic Marine Center,
UK) new carbon product. This stuff is amazing and well worth utilizing
for removing phenols, scatols and short chain fatty acids associated
with HLLE (Head & Lateral Line Erosion) and general water quality
||Angelfishes for Marine
Diversity, Selection & Care
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