Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs about the Imperator Angel Nutritional Disease

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, Pathogenic (see also:
Angels and Butterflyfishes & Crypt), Social, Trauma, 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
New eBook on Amazon: Available here
New Print Book on Create Space: Available here

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Emperor Angel, fdg.    3/5/20
This website has gotten a lot more complicated through the years. I asked for advice from Bob Fenner many years ago regarding my new addition, Imperator Angel “Gabriel” Mr. Fenner helped me with the problem. Fast forward 14 years.
<Still here>
This same angel suddenly and without explanation just stopped eating. Nothing has changed in the tank- no new additions, water checks OK , no other tank mates ill. It has been 2 weeks. I have tried everything. The crazy thing is that other than not eating he is acting perfectly normal, no breathing issues , or erratic swimming or parasites.
<Or thinness? Perhaps this fish is picking at what is in the system...>
He is anticipating food like his tank mates waiting at the top but when I put food in – I have tried everything- he looks but does not eat. Most people say “It’s just a fish” but not to me. He is a cherished pet. Any advice as to what to entice him to eat or as to why this is happening is greatly appreciated.
Many Thanks
<Do you have another established system that you could move this fish to? What I am proposing is that a sudden, large change in the environment might change this fish's behavior. If it were me/mine, I'd execute a very large water change while gravel vacuuming, move the hard decor about (rearrange all rock... into bommies vs. a wall) and try adding appetite stimulant product to the food AND directly to the water: SeaChem Entice is a fave, or just straight Selcon or the ingredient from Selco... AND definitely try an opened bivalve mollusk (yes, a clam, mussel)... placed on the bottom. Many angels find them irresistible. Bob Fenner>
Re: Emperor Angel      3/6/20

Mr. Fenner, you are indeed the ‘fish whisperer’ I rearranged the rocks (although I had to Google ‘bommies’ :>) I gave him some clams on the half shell from my local fish store and he gobbled them up!!!!!!
<Ah! Congratulations Carol>
I now have hope that he will start eating other foods like before.( I thought he might be dying of old age). Is it safe to buy clams & mussels from the local fish store?
<Yes; but likely cheaper from the human food outlets. Do look for the "mixed seafood" frozen bag of a pound or two>
It is a lot less expensive. You should know that your book ‘The Conscientious Marine Aquarist” has been a guiding light since I started this hobby so many years ago.
<I thank you for your kind, encouraging words>
Any new publications?
<Ah yes; a few. Please search on Amazon.com under my name Robert/Bob...>
I think I will sleep better tonight. Thank You!
<You've made my day. Life to you Carol. BobF>

Re: 12 Inch Emperor Angel won't Eat       5/3/15
Hi Bob,
<Hey Chad>
Here is an update with pictures. Emperor was eating PE Mysis, Hikari Jumbo Mysis, NLS Thera A 3mm pellets, Hikari Marine A, OSI Spirulina pellets, clam and Nori so I think I made the switch to prepared foods but the persistent parasites just won't seem to go away.
<See WWM re the combo. treatment of Prazi and Metronidazole... in foods if poss.>
I have stayed away from treatment as the fish continued to eat but now today the fish seems interested in food but only nibbled at a clam and wouldn't touch anything else. Breathing is around 100-110 per min which is better than yesterday.
Based on the pics do you think I should still stay the course with no treatment?
<Mmm; no. As alluded to above>
I hate to move a big 13 inch fish and stress him out more.
Water parameters are still at 0 Ammonia, 0 nitrite, 20 nitrate, PH 7.9, KH 10, Temp raised from 77 to 79.5. I have been doing 50 gal water changes per week in 500 gal system to keep nitrate low with heavy feeding. Can you confirm if this is ick by the pictures?
<Nope. But doubtful it is this Protozoan... much more likely Flukes>
<.... an order of magnitude file size in pix. Am surprised your mail didn't bounce. B>

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.>

Need help with lesions on emperor angel 2/18/09 Hello, crew: <Steve> This will be a long email but I want to give you full info of my tank, inhabitants, and diet. I have a 600 gallon tank with approx. 150 g sump tank that contains 650 lbs of live rock and the following livestock: 5" juvenile emperor angel 8" queen angel 6" miniatus grouper 8" panther grouper 9" Volitans lion 5" porcupine puffer 12" Naso tang 6" powder blue tang 7" Lunare wrasse 6" harlequin wrasse 13" snowflake eel 5" blue cheek trigger 5" niger trigger 6" pink tail trigger very large red hermit crab (none of the fish even try anything with him) no other inverts I feed the fish quite a varied diet as follows: twice a day I feed a varied combo of Nori alga, angel formula with sponge frozen cube food, life line frozen cube with Spirulina, mysis shrimp, prime flake food, spectrum pellets, Dainichi marine and veggie pellets. I mix and match all these foods during each feeding so I don't overfeed. I make sure the amount given at each feeding is fully consumed within 4-5 min. Every M, W, F, I feed meaty foods consisting of squid, krill, clam, scallops, and silversides. I don't just drop the meaty foods in, but rather try to focus on getting them to the groupers, lion, and puffer. I feed the eel and hermit one piece each with tongs M, W, and F. The wrasses and triggers always get some too as they are so fast. I don't feed any live foods or freeze dried foods. I soak the foods in Zoecon (soon I will try Selcon as I have some on order) and Kent marine Vit C. The water parameters are as follows: nitrate 20-30 ppm, nitrite undetectable, pH 8-8.4, temp 76, SG 1.021-1.022, <Too low...> calcium 420 ppm. <And Mg?> I do run a carbon filtration system (uncertain of exact size/model), UV filter, and ozonizer with orb controller that reads out 380-430 (generally reads about 400). I don't add any iodide or calcium or magnesium specifically to the water. I don't know exact skimmer make but there are two and each is rated for 600 gallons. Don't know exact watt of lighting but is a combination of actinic and VHO bulbs set up to give very nice visibility. No chiller, the water remains at 76 F by itself with two heaters. Tank was set up about 1 year ago and fish have been in it for about 10 months. All fish (including emperor angel-see below) have very healthy appetites and body mass. I have not found one type of food that every single fish in there will not go crazy for during feeding. My groupers go nuts over alga and sponges, and don't spit it out either. The queen angel occasionally chases the emperor and Naso for maybe 1-2 seconds and then forgets about them. The Naso seems to ignore this. The emperor moves away and then immediately continues doing what he was doing when the queen loses interest. This has never resulted in a fin damage or body damage that I have seen. Have had no disease outbreaks thus far (see below comments). All the fish seem to get along well and appear to be acting completely normal. The tank gets a 20% water change every 2-3 weeks. Now that you have the info, here is my main question: I need help figuring out what is affecting my emperor angel. I included some pics for you to see. I figure it is HLLE vs. hole in the head, <Yes... neuromast destruction...> but can't tell which one. The lesions are very symmetric over his face and around his mouth; and they started about 4 months ago, gradually. You really can't tell one side of his face from the other (lesions are very symmetric). Also, you will see the lesions going up his gill margins. As you can see, he is in the process of going toward adult coloration. Not sure if his pale looking face is just part of that change too, but it seems almost translucent to me, rather than a healthy white of the adult (his face is normally more pale and white than shown on the pics). And the pics may not show it, but I can almost imagine a slight red tinge around his mouth area (which I have read is a dietary deficiency issue). The lesions look like deep pitted acne scars and he has one or two perfectly round "holes" near his eyes. Again, all very symmetric. Absolutely no lesions along his body or lateral line area. Over the last couple of weeks, I think I am noticing two extremely tiny (1-2 mm size) holes under the chin area of the queen angel now. These too are symmetric (one on each side of midline) They are so tiny, however, that I am not sure that they aren't just a normal marking or something. The queen has beautiful and full perfect fins and adult coloration otherwise. None of the other fish show any detectable variances off of their normal coloration/markings, etc from the wild.  All (including the angels) have perfect fins and clear eyes. I have been adding some Hikari Metro+ to some of the frozen cube food in 3 day treatment cycles. I have done this for 2 three day cycles. I am just not sure what else to do or how long it should take to see some improvement. This is all a little tricky because the angel's face is white as an adult so I don't know how much of this is normal coloration change. Even though I suspect most if not all of this is HLLE or hole in head. I am kinda at my wits end. I thought I would be able to take care of this angelfish in this system by supplying appropriate diet, etc. I guess I may fall in with all the other aquarists in that I should not try to keep an angel. I just don't know what else to do here. Thanks for any advice, Steve <Does seem unusual... given the foods you list, the use of Zoecon... to have such a pronounced nutritional deficiency syndrome here... Do you have another system you could move this Angel to? Otherwise... perhaps the Selcon will help... I would supplement Iodide-ate maybe weekly with water changes... And possibly add "Miracle Mud" to your sump, culture a Red Algae there... Bob Fenner>  

Re: need help with lesions on emperor angel 2/18/09 Bob, <Steve> Thank you for the quick response on such a lengthy email question and description. I will try what you suggested. I also will try some Hikari A and S marine pellets just in case. <Worthwhile> Regarding the SG, I thought having it a little low would help with Cryptocaryon, etc. <Does, but... the trade off in added stress can be a bad choice... Pomacanthus imperators from certain areas in particular are very susceptible to neuromast destruction syndromes> I saw the article on your website about a year ago of the guy with 20-30 angels, triggers and tangs in a 240 gallon aquarium that keeps the SG somewhere below 1.015 for that reason (no corals). <Yes... and is cheaper in terms of salt mix cost, and you can much higher stocking densities due to higher dissolved oxygen, and...> I will, of course, increase the SG if you feel that would be best. <I do... along with the "Mud", algal culture... these will importantly impart desirous chemicals, physical properties to the water that can reverse the damage here> I just thought it would not be as crucial for the fish. I was not sure if it could hurt the hermit crab. I will try to let you know if the condition of the angel improves by this summer. <Thank you> I do have one other question: my blue cheek trigger looks and acts great, and eats well. He is fat, but he is almost one year old and just doesn't seem to be growing at the rate of the other fish. Is that normal for that species? <Mmm, no... could be other factors at play. Please see my resp. in the Daily FAQs today re someone with a stunted Porcupine Puffer. BobF> Steve Bob, <Steve> Sorry, but I forgot 2 other questions regarding this emperor with neuromast destruction: 1. Should I keep trying the metro+ addition to the food in 3 day cycles, or is this condition completely different from what that medication is designed for? <None... see WWM re the use of Metronidazole/Flagyl... is very dangerous to continually, repetitively administer...> 2. Could lighting in the tank have any play in this? <Mmm, none as far as I'm aware... unless you give more credence to the possibility of stray voltage being an a priori cause of HLLE... but, the other fish livestock don't show symptoms as you note. Ohhh! I see the "angle" below...> I ask because I started to reduce the amount of time that the lights were on to reduce some alga growth on the live rock and glass. The fish would graze on the alga, but they could not keep up and every month I would scrape quite a bit off the rock when cleaning. I decided to manually turn on the lights only during feedings for about an hour each time and whenever people were over and wanted to see the tank. This resulted in the lights being on for 2-4 hours per day rather than the previous 8 or more hours per day (on a timer). This condition started to occur somewhere around the time I started to reduce the time the lights are turned on, so I just didn't know if that could be a factor. I know fish will do better with actual sunlight, but this is VHO and actinic bulbs. I just thought that with no coral in there it would be ok to reduce the lighting to feed time only, etc. The alga has diminished a lot and the rock looks more natural, but there is still plenty of surface alga on the rocks and the angels and tangs do graze on it. Thank you again, Steve <Good point... and... see WWM re lighting periodicity... better to have on... a timer... regular... and to have the algae to graze on as you state. B>

HLLE, Pomacanthus, reading   10/22/08 Hi Folks, <Matt> I will try to make this short and sweet. You guys are terrific. <Danke> I have a 225 gallon FOWLER. The tank is about 5 years old and the tank has no traces of Nitrate (5ppm or lower) and all other levels are good. I have raised a Queen Angel, Imperator, and Navarchus since they were babies. They get along well and are healthy. I had to move the tank and since it has stressed out my Imperator. He seems to have started to develop "hole in head". <Not uncommon> It is not bad yet and he is active and feeding well. Not sure how this happened. <?> I am wondering if I should start to look at new filtration. The tank has excellent water flow, an excellent skimmer, bio balls in the sump (I know you guys don't like this) and a U/V. Is it time after 5 years to get rid of the bio balls? <I would> Could I use my current sump to maybe do a eco system mud filter? <A possibility> I would really appreciate some feedback. Thanks a ton, Matt <Sure... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/HLLESWCure.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Emperor Angel With HLLE - 06/01/2006 Hey guys!  What are the common causes of Head and Lateral Line Disease for Marine Angels?   <Primarily dietary deficiency....  Start reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm and note that though freshwater HLLE is often caused by Hexamita, in marine fishes, it's almost always nutritional.> I have a 4" Emperor with it and I am just racking my brains trying to find the cause.  Good thing is that he is healthy as a horse and has quite the appetite.   <Ah, good.> I have read that if I can find the cause and fix it that I can reverse its effect on the fish.  Is this true?   <To an extent, yes.> I have been feeding my Angel "Sally's San Francisco Bay Brand" frozen food for angel and butterfly.  He also gets Formula two, and on occasion brine shrimp plus and mysis shrimp.  I feed very generous amounts of red and green algae.  I have just today switched his Angel food with Hikari Mega Marine Angel frozen food.  It seemed to have more sponge in it.   <Try Ocean Nutrition's foods, too.> I also just today began soaking all the food in Zoe.   <I would switch this to Selco/Selcon and/or Vita-Chem.> It is not the water conditions.  I have awesome water quality.  Never any algae blooms, the tank is very mature.  The ph though is a little on the low side, 8.1... <.... not awesome.> it has always been this way no matter what I do or what I try (my husbands tank has the very same issue).   <Please try to get to the bottom of this issue, raise to 8.3.> I have had my fish for a very long time and the Angel is the only one showing ill health. That's why I suspected it may be a dietary issue?   <Almost definitely.> Don't know if this has anything to do with it, but my stocking list is 1- 6" Naso, a Sailfin Tang, 6 blue-green Chromis, an algae blenny, a flame angel, a pair of Sebae clowns and a black and silver cardinal.  They are in a 6' long 150 gallon tank.  They seem pretty tolerant of one another.   <I see no real problems with this mix; good choices.> Any help would be appreciated. <If you don't already, consider having live rock in the aquarium, or if your rock is more than a few years old, consider switching some/much of it out for new.  This new rock would first need to be cured, of course, before adding to the established tank.> Thanks, The Melendez Family P.S.  How do I check for a reply?  I am not sure what this would be posted under or how to get there from the home page.  (Yes...I have to be spoon-fed lol). <Will be posted.... under HLLE FAQs of all places!  Also on the dailies for a day, also replied to your email address.  We try to cover our bases (grin)> Thanks again. <Glad to be of service.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

HLLE? Dear Scott F. <Back with you!> In furthering our imperator diagnosis: Just to let you know about my water quality let me tell you what I have and what I am doing. My 210 (home of the fish) has 2 Tidepool II running through a thirty five watt UV, an ocean clear cartridge filter, I have a Berlin Turbo in one sump and I use a D-1 Diatom once a week till it clogs up. I am doing a 10 to 15% water change weekly with RO water. The Tidepools have a blue pad,2 bags of Chemi pure and bio stars in the three trays X 2.  Judging by what I am currently doing is there anything else I can do to improve water quality? I would love your assessment and recommendations. <Well, it sounds like your husbandry techniques are good. Assuming that your water quality is up to par, that leaves only a few other possibilities for HLLE, such as diet or the more exotic stuff, like stray electrical voltage (you can use a grounding probe to help remove stray voltage, BTW). I'd consider just about everything in your assessment. I suppose that, if we're dealing with HLLE, it may be diet...Even then, it may not be! That's one of the frustrating things about this malady! I'd do some research, and continue to maintain good water conditions and provide quality food, and observe the fish's progress from there. Good luck! Regards, Scott F> thanks again Kirt
HLLE? (Cont'd.)
Hello Scott <Hi there!> In regards to the Imperator's diet and the other fish as well: I feed them spectrum A in the morning at midday I give them a little green stuff and at night I either give them frozen brine with liquid garlic by Kent or ocean nutrition's Prime Reef flake - Formula 1 and 2 and they all devour it! That is there basic diet some times for a treat I give them live brine. What do you think of this dietary program? <Well, it sounds pretty good to me! I have never been a big fan of too much brine shrimp for marine fish; I believe that they are a bit short on nutritional value for marine fish. Live brine shrimp also carry a potential risk for contamination or parasites, so do be careful with them . You may want to consider Mysis shrimp as an alternative, instead. Other than that, I'd keep doing what you're doing! The mystery continues...Regards, Scott F> Thanks Kirt

Emperor with HLLD >Good afternoon folks at WWM, >>Greetings. >After exhausting all resources I am finally breaking down to ask you a question.  First, let me start by giving you a brief description of my problem.  I have an emperor angel that has developed a serious condition of HLLD.  It is to the point that his entire face is almost completely pitted as well as his lateral line.  I have followed all suggestions found in all your related articles but nothing seems to be working.   >>It would be helpful to have an outline of what suggestions have been tried, to what extent, as well as timeline.  In any event... >My tank is a 90 gal. FO, up and running for about 3 years, with some ornamental corals, one small piece of LR and about 2-3" of LS.  Filtration is through a wet dry filter and protein skimmer of unknown type (a gift from a friend) which does produce cups of dark green product on a regular basis.  I took your advice and bought a large Rubbermaid trash can and powerhead to mix my own water.  Using Instant Ocean salt and Seachem's Prime for chlorine and chloramine removal and tapwater, I am able to do 10- 15 gal water changes each week  (the LFS said no other chemicals were needed due to our water quality).  When tested, all water qualities appear within normal limits.   >>We prefer to know actual readings, test kit brand is helpful as well.  As I'm sure you can understand, there are many varying definitions of "within normal limits" or "acceptable parameters". >Livestock includes: 1-emperor angel 4" beginning to change colors 1-hippo tang 5" 1-powder brown tang 4" 1-sailfin tang 4" in the recovering stages of HLLD >>This system is already overstocked, especially with consideration to adult sizes of these first four residents. >1-yellow tang 4" 2- small damsels (blue with yellow tails) 1-sebae clown with anemone 1-CB shrimp 2-sandsifter stars 2-useless brittle stars >>Believe me, they're not useless. >1-small queen conch multiple Astrea snails In the morning they are fed one cube each of Angel Formula and Formula Two by Ocean Nutrition soaked in Kent's Marine C, and in the evening one sheet of Nori and some silversides both soaked in Boyd's Vita-Chem.   >>ALL these fish are fed only two cubes of frozen food?  In my opinion they are underfed.  Also, I MUCH prefer Selcon, and it can be ordered online. >On the recommendation of my LFS, I have installed a grounding probe.  The only thing that I have not done is to add American Marine Selcon and this is due to not being able to find it locally.  The LFS also suggested that if what I am doing does not work, that I could inject the vitamins directly into the base of the tail with a small syringe.  Ever heard of that?   >>Oh my goodness, an extreme measure, I think it would be more stressful than helpful.   >The Sailfin tang also had a bout of HLLD but seems to be in the recovering stages.  All fish have a healthy appetite and otherwise appear  in great condition, everyone seems to be happy and getting along.  What am I missing (besides a larger tank, which is hopefully in the future if my wife lets me)? I would really like to see my angel clear up and complete his color change.  Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.  Steve >>Personally, I would try using Selcon instead of the other vitamins, and I would definitely feed more.  Also, if you can't get a larger tank VERY soon then I strongly suggest thinning the herd.  Marina      

Emperor Angel sick? Hello, I just bought a 4-5 inch juvenile coloured Emperor angel a couple days ago and he's just beginning to feed on brine shrimp and Mysid and if there is any other nutritional food that i should be feeding him please tell me.<I would feed your angelfish a mixture of foodstuff...such as Nori-which can be purchased at a grocery store. I feed my angelfish Lifeline (green for herbivores) and I also soak all foodstuff in vitamins.>My problem is that I've noticed an oval shaped brownish faded sore about 1 cm in diameter and from a certain angle it kind of pokes out a little, but not that much. I have heard of white blotches that these guys get when there changing, but I'm not sure if its the same thing. Is this nutritional or a skin disease?<It could be a environmental disease...A picture would help greatly. BTW.. test your water and give me your results.. pH.. nitrates, nitrites, ammonia. SG--Good luck, IanB> Please help me I love these guys sooo much. thanks

HLLE on Imperator Angel Bob, Long time no chat (as much as I enjoy reading your words of wisdom, long periods of silence are testaments to your good advise). <Perhaps> I have an Imperator with some light erosion on his face and lateral line. He's currently going through his color change, so I've tried to be especially good with his diet. <This and sterling water quality, and perhaps iodide/iodine supplementation are the best routes for avoiding and treating this malady> I randomly cycle the following: Ocean Nutrition Formula 2 flakes, frozen Spirulina Cubes, frozen Angel Formula cubes, frozen brine shrimp soaked overnight in Zoe Marine and Zoecon, Mysis shrimp and New Life Spectrum Marine Fish Formula pellets. I also usually keep a strip of red, green or purple dried seaweed in the tank for everyone. Also, I occasionally pick up a broken/dying piece of sponge from the pet store and throw it in there for the angel to pick on. <Very good> The tank's primary occupant is a Bonnethead shark, so there is some live rock (with encrusting sponge), although it's minimal (I sent you some photos in the past). I allow algae to grow on the back glass so there's always something to graze on. The water parameters are good (no ammonia, nitrites, nitrates or phosphates) with a pH of around 8 -- although I do keep the water a bit on the cool side (72 degrees). To combat the condition (started a few days ago), I've replaced the seaweed strips with broccoli (either raw or microwaved for about 15 seconds). I also tested for stray voltage using a volt meter. I was told by my local pet store to set the meter to 120V and check the wall current (checked out a little above 120), then place the negative probe in the wall socket and the positive probe in the water to check for any current. There was none. Am I doing this correctly? <Sounds like it> I also bought a grounding probe (figured it couldn't hurt with the shark in there), but when I plugged it into my power strip, I actually DID get a measurable current in the water, so I removed it (shark was NOT fond of the grounding probe experiment!!).  <No... as you are likely aware... the Ampullae of Lorenzini...> I assume my problem was that I needed to plug the grounding probe into a verified grounded wall outlet rather than into a power strip - any suggestions?? <Mmm, the connection should have been fine... as long as both grounded... I would leave off with such a device> Also, since I have a fairly large algae scrubber (an Ecowheel), the store recommended the addition of Kent Marine Iodine and Coral-Vite. <Yes> Does algae consume Iodine?  <Some do to a very large degree, yes> Can/should I soak foods in these solutions or is it best to administer these into the tank water?  <Actually both. Daily for the foods, weekly for the system. Do utilize a test kit, see if you can get a "next day" concentration> I've started dosing the tank at about 1/2 the recommended dosage from the manufacturer. What do you think? Any other suggestion? <Not at this time> Also, I do regularly use carbon. About 5 lbs. in a 500 gallon tank, which I change out every month. I mention this as this might also be a potential cause for removing trace elements, although I know this is heavily debated. <Likely of small concern here. The "shark" effect, psychologically and water quality wise are more important for instance> By the way, the fish don't seem to really like the broccoli, although they might start giving it more consideration if I continue to withhold the algae strips. <I would return to the algae, you can eat the broccoli> Thanks again! Your suggestions are greatly appreciated. <As is your sharing. Bob Fenner>

Head And Lateral Line Syndrome/Erosion Hi, I have a XL emperor angel. I had him for over a year now. He is in a 240 gallon tank with some Tangs. Doing great. My water parameters are fine. My question is that I started to notice two small holes on my emp.s face. Below his nostrils. There are two, one on each side. What could this be?? I notice that my Sohal tang has two holes on one side of his face too. Anyhow thanks. Lee <It sounds like the beginning of Head And Lateral Line Syndrome/Erosion. You can read about it here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm -Steven Pro>

Adult Emperor Angel with hole(s) in the head - getting worse Hello, I have a 6 " adult Emperor who has been in a QT for 10 weeks. First he came down with ich, then gill flukes (fresh water dips took care of those problems). For the past 6 weeks he has been suffering from HLLE. He has deep holes just around his head and especially around the mouth (nothing along the lateral line, though) and he is getting worse. QT is a 40 gallon with a Remora skimmer, Penguin 300 filtration, 20% water changes weekly, no meds, his diet comprises of mostly Formula II soaked in Zoe, Mysid shrimp w/Zoe once or twice a week, Nori once daily, occasional shaved prawns. I tried Hexamit and it helped him a little bit for a while, but he is worse now. What is wrong? <It sounds like simple HLLE. I would add sponge matter to this diet and perhaps switch your food additives to Boyd's Vita-Chem and American Marine Selcon.> Thank you. <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

(Too small) juvenile emperor angel Good morning, I have a quick question, I hope.  I bought a juvenile emperor (about 2 inches in length) for my 220g FOWLR tank.  All water parameters are good as my other fish are doing very well.  The angel appeared fine at first, although it did take about a week to start eating (brine shrimp).  The last couple of days it has become completely lifeless, sitting on the gravel and not swimming and picking around at the live rock, also has stopped eating. I removed it last night as I noticed its fins becoming very ragged and its tail almost disappearing over night.  I've watched carefully and do not see any fish picking on it so I'm assuming it must be some type of parasite. <Or collateral "stress" reaction... resultant from capture, holding, shipping... through the chain of custody of the trade to you.> I gave it a fresh water bath for 8 minutes last night and put it into a quarantine tank.  I was going to put it through a copper treatment for a couple of weeks to see if this helps, do you think this is the right thing to do?  Any suggestions?  If I do put copper in this quarantine/sick tank how long should it stay in there.  Thanks <Mmm, please take a read through an old article on this species archived on our site here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/angels/pomacanthus/imperator.htm I encourage folks to acquire this fish at 10-14 cm... Yours was/is likely "too small" to start. I would not copper its water, but would isolate it as you have, place a bit of live rock for comfort, water conditioning, food availability, hope to coddle it back to health. Bob Fenner> Joe

Imperator angel Bob, I have noticed that FFExpress often has their juv. imperator angels on sale. I would assume that the low prices create a large volume for the items that are on sale. This may mean that people are purchasing these fish that you say are difficult to keep healthy. <It's possible> I have read your Q&A and seen someone asking about HLLE on their imperator. My juv. imperator angel has also started to develop HLLE (I think?).  <Very common... environmental, nutritional difficulty with this species> The fish has enlarged holes around its face and patches where color has been lost. A couple of days past and I started noticing that the patches had progressed toward the tail.  <The same... maybe take a look at the species profile, nutritional disease, HLLE materials stored at the URL: www.wetwebmedia.com... I would spiff up water quality... add vitamins and iodine to its food... strongly encourage the implementation of an algae/mud filter... the last REALLY works on HLLE> The fish store assured me that I had created the disease by allowing electrical currents into my tank. The problem could be rendered for ~$20. I went home and read what your book had to say about the disease. Luckily, my judgment was correct as you also believe the electrical current theory to be anecdotal. I had just added a 30 gallon sump to my 75 gallon tank, so I feel that water quality was not a big player in the disease progression.  <I concur, and thank you> After checking my notes, I realized that I had only been feeding the fish the Formula I frozen food from Ocean Nutrition. Normally, I use Formula I and Angel Formula. I started giving the fish only Angel Formula and within 2 days the spots had disappeared. It may be a coincident, but I thought it was interesting since you book states that the cause may be water quality and/or diet. The angel has also been swimming around the tank much more since the diet change.  <Ah, a good intuitive statement and useful anecdotal account... You have just saved several (from the Middle English meaning "many") Pomacanthus imperator angels...> I thought that your comments on the subject may be valuable since the FFExpress frequently advertises the juvenile imperator angel. Jeff >> <And I thank you, again, Bob Fenner>

Emperor Angel Bob, I recently ordered an Emperor Angel from FFExpress. He is about 3 1/2-4" and looked great when I got him. I placed him in a quarantine tank for 10 days and everything looked good except he didn't seem to be too excited about eating. <Typical... a very trying journey> I hoped that this would get better once I placed him in my main tank. After placing him in the main tank he has pretty much just hung around the bottom of the tank among the live rock. He still doesn't seem to excited at all about eating. I have tried frozen brine, plankton, flakes, seaweed selects, Spirulina, and angel formula. I have seen him eat some frozen brine and angel formula but ignores just about everything else. When he does eat, he doesn't come out to eat. He very lazily eats what just happens to fall right in front of him and even then he is very slow and lazy about it. I'm not sure if there is anything wrong with him because his colors look great, he breathes normally, and doesn't show any outward signs of anything being wrong. Another thing that concerns me about him is that he only sticks to the rocks.  <This is what juveniles of the species do in the wild... where they get their food (sponges, tunicates, algae...), and protection from predators...> He doesn't come up front in the open ever and never goes up top to eat. I have noticed him hanging out with my Foxface, which also isn't a big swimmer, and it almost seems like he is trying to hide his face. As I look at him I see him try to find a niche in between rocks and put his face in there. Sometimes, he even almost lays down in the sand behind a rock which seems like he is either trying to go under it or just hide. Does this sound like normal behavior? <Not unusual> Nobody picks on him or anything. The only other fish in the tank are a green dragon wrasse, Foxface, and two orange diamond gobies in a 125 gallon tank with around 70 pounds of live rock, two emperor filters, and a sea clone skimmer. All my water parameters are fine except that my nitrate is at 10 ppm and nitrite is at 5 ppm.  <What? is that a typo? Five ppm of NO2? This is way too much... I would upgrade the skimmer and cut back all feeding till this is under 1.0ppm... and likely increase the time your lights are on to help...> I think my nitrate level is a little high only because I keep trying different foods trying to find something that he likes. I would appreciate any suggestions you may have on what I can try feeding him and any thoughts on his apparent shyness and strange behavior of trying to hide. Thanks, Gianluca <Patience my friend. Get a better skimmer, try some live food, don't worry unless the specimen is getting thin. Bob Fenner>

Problem with an Imperator. Help Hello, <Hi there> My Imperator has been progressively getting worse. (I attached pictures) <I see> For the first three weeks he was doing great. Then he started to show a few white blotches. They came and went every day. He continues to eat very well. Lettuce only. I am feeding vitamin-enriched lettuce. <Stop using the lettuce... terrestrial greens period... not much nutrition, too much likelihood of having/supplying nutrients to your system> Over the next three weeks the blotches became worse. Copper and two types of bacterial antibiotics (At two different times) are not doing the trick. <Likely not parasitic or infectious but water quality/environmentally derived> I have a protein skimmer going with carbon and a 25W UV filter. The blotches are too big for parasites and they are not fuzzy. It is almost like he is loosing color in those areas. Definitely a skin problem. Any recommendations? <Look to the myriad of ways you can improve water quality. Do you have live rock? I would add it, or add more... Place live macro-algae in the system... Check over the filtration components, and compare notes with the many FAQs on marine filtration placed on WetWebMedia.com... do you measure various aspects of water quality? Switch to human-intended prepared algae (e.g. Kombu, Nori...) and soak these in your vitamin mix instead... Read through the environmental and nutritional marine disease sections on WWM. Bob Fenner John

Re: copper Thanks, I'm in the process of curing 45 lbs of live rock, but it won't be ready for at least a week. <I would place a few pieces... Now. A good deal of the live parts are edible to the Angel (sponges, sea squirts), and the chemicals produced/released will stimulate its appetite.  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
Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: