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FAQs about the Imperator Angel Pathogenic Disease
(see also: Angels and Butterflyfishes & Crypt)

FAQs on Emperor Angel Health: Emperor Disease 1, Emperor Disease 2, Emperor Health 3, Emperor Health 4, Emperor Health 5,
FAQs on Emperor Angel Health by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, 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
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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Emperor Angel with sore mouth      11/6/17
I have an emperor angel who's currently being quarantined in Cupramine.
<Pomacanthids really don't like Cu exposure... Please see (read) on WWM re>
He's on his 6th day and doing well at 0.35ppm. He eats well, no heavy breathing, swims around as usual. However recently he has started to develop some kind of sore on his lower lip.
<I cannot emphasize how DANGEROUS this is. I would remove (use GAC likely) all copper and take great care that this fish is feeding, and having more cover for this fish to hide, feel secure. IF the mouth continues to be infected... this specimen will die>
Attached is a picture of him.
Bit shy of the camera however you can see his lips on the reflection.
Please help me identify what this is, the cause and how to treat while in Cupramine. Any help on this would really be appreciated.
Kind Regards,
Sagen George
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Is this fungus on my Emperor angelfish?     10/21/14
Hi Crew. Thank you again for such a wonderful website.i have an emperor angel in Qt ( ph 8.1-8.2,nitrate 10-15, nitrite and ammonia 0,temp 79 F,salinity 1.025 I use ro water for water changes and top of)My emperor
angel had Ich and was scratching on the rocks,(was treated with Cupramine) to the point of getting 3 small cuts which now developed a weird growth. they look like raised cauliflower growth (and I thought about
<Is my guess... viral... a reaction from stress... From? Copper exposure among what?>
but its on the cuts so I was wondering if it was possible that it is fungus or infection. The growth are raised-about 3 mm and 3-4 mm wide. please let me know what do you think.i know the pictures are not very good-but he
won't stay still for a second. My qt is a 1" acrylic tank that is badly scratched so I put him in this container for pics (these are the best pics I got so far)
Thank you very much. And have a great day.
<I'd do what is listed on WWM to boost immunity, add a purposeful cleaner organism that will get along w/ whatever you have; and be patient. Bob Fenner>

Emperor Angel Eyes-please help... Flukes, env., mortuus est.        8/25/14
Hello-i got an emperor angel online with a bunch of problems.
<Aye ya; I'll say>
The seller
said the fish was fully quarantined and supposedly went through PraziPro and copper(No way that was true) .First of all ,he arrived with flukes and
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 take the dip well-became stiff as a board and refused to swim, so i rushed him back into his QT.i then tried PraziPro in his tank. Nitrite and Ammonia was 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 after 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 putting carbon back in the filters 3 days after the start to get the Prazi out-and i got to say the angel was swimming shortly after. A day later i saw more 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 and
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 addressed too.
Please help,
<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 Fenner>

Re: Emperor Angel Eyes-please help       8/26/14
hi,i just got home from work and he seem to be worse. He seem to be doing a
slow barrel roll...
<Very bad>

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 in.
<Ah, good>
I'm not sure if i should try another dip.
<... it's too late. BobF>

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

 Appears so. RMF
Pomacanthus imperator with flukes and mystery raised scale patch 5/13/09
I purchased my first large angelfish a couple weeks ago. He's a beautiful juvenile Pomacanthus imperator. He's been eating like a pig (I've been feeding him green Nori with added garlic, Formula 1 and 2, all soaked in Zoe and VitaChem on a daily rotating basis). Sadly, he's had some problems.
<<Christine here. Sorry to hear that he has issues, but it seems you knew that before you purchased him. Risky, but I am encouraged to see you really doing this thoughtfully. Feeding regimen is superb.>>
He is housed alone in a 20 gallon quarantine tank with some PVC, live rock rubble, and an established sponge filter. The water parameters test as such:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 10
pH: 8.3
Specific Gravity: 1.024
Temp: 78 degrees F
<all good. You can drop the salinity a bit if you like to encourage any uninvited "friends" living on him to drop off.>
A couple days after his purchase, I noticed him scratching specifically at one gill. Assuming he had ich (I could see a white spot or two) I began treating him with 2.5mg/L concentration of Cupramine.
<Test kit for Copper levels I hope?>
Two days later, I found him displaying telltale signs of flukes. He was twitching his head from side to side, had discolored blotches of skin, some of his fins were frayed, and he was breathing rapidly. I thought for sure that I would lose him. Worried, I did a 5 minutes freshwater dip and flukes fell from his gills, his eyes, and his body.
<Superb work>
I did a 100% water change to remove the Cupramine and stopped the treatment altogether. I did some research and decided to treat the quarantine tank with PraziPro at the recommended dose of 1 teaspoon (5 ml) for the 20 gallons. So far, I have been treating him for 3 days. I saw him scratch once but overall, his breathing has calmed down and he's behaving normally. After 5 days of treatment, I plan to wait at least 3 days and treat with PraziPro again for another 5-7 days at 2.5mg/L
<Good as well.>
Something else bothers me. In the store, I noticed a small area of lifted scales. It looked like a simple physical injury to me and, after being tempted by a cheap price tag, didn't seem like too much of a concern. I've been keeping my eye on it and it seems as though it's slowly changing, almost as if part of the area is shedding off. I'm worried it's another external parasite but this is my first fish problem besides ich. The spot itself is lifted and white. I tried to take some photographs but the fish is so active that it's difficult to get a great shot.
<Angelfish are terrible at posing unfortunately. The pic makes it look like the area has some fleshy tan bits hanging off--is this so, or an artifact of the picture?>
Do you have any ideas on possible treatments and/or a diagnosis? Does his current PraziPro treatment seem realistic and effective?
<Depends on what the problem is. Praziquantel is wonderful for flukes, but not effective for much in the way of unicellular parasites and bacteria, so it won't help you there. Two things: one, if he had ich before, and you did a partial treatment, he still has it in all likelihood. Before he joins your other animals in the display I'd make sure he has had a full course of treatment for ich, either hyposalinity or preferably the rest of the Cupramine course. Second, that lesion could be anything based on the photo--viral, bacterial, remnant damage... You can watch it and see how it goes, or while he is in the middle of the Praziquantel courses you could add some antibiotics to ensure no bacterial infections. Favorites of mine include Kanamycin (hard to find at your LFS but can be found at fishyfarmacy.com) or Nitrofurazone (available locally). For me, expensive desirable fish=high desire to try to treat instead of wait :) >
I know the special needs of this fish regarding diet and space. His final destination will be in a 125 gallon with a 38 gallon sump. Because he is my most expensive fish and I am cheap at heart, I am determined to give him the best care possible!
<As I said so far your treatment and handling has been well thought out and thorough. Do let us know how it goes.>
Thanks for your help!
<pleasure, Christine>

Re: Pomacanthus imperator with flukes and mystery raised scale patch 5/28/2009
Thank you for the quick reply!
Yes, I did test Cupramine while it was being administered. I began testing with a API Copper test kit but found the levels to be somewhat ambiguous. I purchased a Red Sea copper test kit to double check my doses, finding the color chart to be more user friendly. According to Seachem, the Red Sea kit is appropriate.
I've always been wary of copper. I talked to Seachem support to discuss the treatment of flukes with Cupramine.
<Mmm, not my choice of treatments... I'd look to Anthelminthics... Levamisole would be the best... Prazi, others secondary. Less toxic, more specific>
They told me that to be effective against flukes, the copper must be at 0.4-0.5 mg/L. I've only ever treated at 0.25mg/L without issues and am reluctant to use such levels on a delicate fish like the emperor.
<Me too... I would not exceed 0.35 ppm of free cupric ion period>
I will give the emperor a week after the PraziPro treatment to decide to treat for ich. He'll be in the tank for at least three weeks by then. I will keep him in the quarantine until his raised scale issue is healed, which should be plenty of time for ich to raise its nasty head. If it does or if I see any signs, I will treat at 0.25mg/L.
You are correct about the "fleshy bits". The area does have a little fleshy area hanging off. It concerns me greatly. If it does get worse, what would you recommend as a course of treatment?
<No treatment... perhaps the stocking/using of cleaner organisms>
Like I said before, I have little experience with pathologies...I hear a lot about formalin dips. Is that advisable?
<No... too harsh and stressful to move the fish>
Of course I will do more research on treatment options while awaiting your response.
There are other things I noticed today. It seems that this morning, the angelfish was breathing with only one gill. His breathing rate was calm. I've heard that this could be just normal, albeit mysterious behaviour for the fish.
<Yes... also indicative of gill "complaints", e.g. flukes/Trematodes>
Another thing I have observed is two white spots on the ventral (anal?) fin of the angelfish (seen in the image attached now and previously). These have been present for at least four days without change. At first, I thought they were flukes but did not come off during the freshwater dip. They haven't fallen off and/or spread like ich...Could it be something like a slight case of Lymphocystis?
I will take a trip to the LFS to look for the antibiotics you mentioned (Nitrofurazone or Kanamycin). While I am wary of mixing medications, you mentioned adding them to the existing PraziPro treatment. I will do more research in the meantime!
I sincerely appreciate your feedback!
<When in doubt, treat with nothing. BobF>

Re: Pomacanthus imperator with flukes and mystery raised scale patch 5/28/2009
I was rummaging around in my collection of random aquarium bottles and found that I had some API Melafix. Would that work for an antibacterial agent? Personally, I'm not quite sure it is effective...
<It's worse than a hoax... not to use>
I'm pretty sure that the LFS has Nitrofurazone in the form of API Furan-2. Would that be appropriate?
<... I'd leave off with this here as well>
Sorry about sending numerous e-mails. I'm beginning to feel rushed, especially because I'm unsure what to do about the lifted lesion-like area! That, and I do not trust the word of my money-hungry LFS.
<See my prev. close... RMF>

Emperor angel bumps: Probably Lymphocystis SW Viral Disease 4/30/2009
Hey Crew!
<Hi Grant>
Any idea what these bumps on my emperor angel could be?
I really only have experience with ich and this doesn't look like that, it's all clumped up and looks fleshier looking.
<It looks like Lymphocystis You can see some pictures of it here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/viraldislymph.htm and read the FAQs about it here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lymphfaqs.htm >
For history on him, he came from Christmas Island about 2 months ago. I quarantined him, he had ich, I treated with Cupramine.
Once he had been disease free for a period of time, I introduced him to my display tank. He has been fine for about 2 weeks and now he is getting these bumps. there are some on his fins and then some on his side.
<Which is typical>
Thanks for any help you can offer!
<Read the FAQs, Not much really to be done other than keep up with the water quality and good diet. It normally clears itself up in a few months time.>

Treatment Options for Juvenile Emperor with Ich -- 03/22/09
Hello WWM Crew,
Thanks you for your outstanding website. With the help in no small part of your collective advice, I have managed to develop a 135 gallon SPS system which is thriving in a way I could not have imagined when I began this venture about two and a half years ago.
<Ahh, congratulations>
If nothing else, I hope this message is a testimonial to other readers about the value of the quarantine tank.
I also hope that get some of your experienced advice in connection with a juvenile emperor angelfish that I acquired last week. He is a bit small (about 1-1/4 inch nose to tail) but exceptionally energetic and curious. He also demonstrated a very good appetite at the LFS store. I purchased him and introduced him to his temporary home; a 20 gallon OT with "mature" sponge filter, heater and a couple of power heads.
Unfortunately, after a day or two in quarantine, he started showing signs of Ich. Referring to the attached photo, you will likely see the tell-tale spot on his pectoral fin, as well as a couple tiny spots on his caudal and anal fin.
<I see this>
My first response was to begin to lower the salinity of the tank and monitor the progression of the parasite and host (i.e. see if the fish can fight off the Ich with its own natural defenses as he continues to gain strength in QT). I am also wiping down the floor/walls of the QT and replacing about four gallons of make-up water (taking "diluted" water from the main display) on a daily basis.
The salinity is now down to 22 ppt
<Mmm, needs to be quite lower for hyposalinity to be of use here>
and emperor is showing no signs of distress and maintains his voracious appetite. But there is also no evidence of any significant reduction at the affected areas.
<Also good>
I have done lots of research on the subject of Ich and believe that early and decisive action is very important, so I am presently considering two treatment options. The first is to continue the water change and hypo salinity regimen (taking salinity down to 15-16 ppt for the prescribed duration). Assuming I can get to the point where there are no longer any visible spots attached fish, I would do a 100% water change (again, using diluted water from the main display) and completely wash down the interior of the QT.
The second option would be treatment with SeaChem Cupramine, but given the "tender age" of this juvenile emperor, I am concerned about the toxicity affects over the (hopefully long) lifetime of this particular fish.
I realize that it is up to the individual aquarist to take responsibility and implement the appropriate treatment option, but I would very much appreciate hearing the thoughts of folks with your collective experience.
Would you follow one (or both) of the treatments outlined above, or possibly something else altogether?
<Due to the factors you mention, I would go with the first option>
Thanks in advance.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Fish white spots - is it ick?  3/14/08 Hello <Daniel> The next day after I bought this Imperator, white spots started to appear. I moved it to the QT, treated him 7 days with Aquarium Munster's Protomarin Intensiv (20mg copper sulfate pentahydrate, 1mg tetramethyl-4 & 4-diamino-triphenyl-carbinol) and a 30 minutes dip in Aquarium Munster's Furamarin (24mg Nifurpirinol). <Was the free copper ion level checked... at least daily... to assure there was a constant therapeutic concentration (0.20-0.35 ppm)? I think not> It started to look better after the treatment, but now, after 2 weeks of that he turns more and more to white. I noticed the discoloration is amplified especially when the lights are off. Few months ago I lost a Forcipiger with the same symptoms. The other fish feel fine. Could it be a fungus? Or internal bacteria? <Mmm, not likely> Please find below the water parameters: Temperature: 78.8F PH = 8 KH = 8 NH4= 0.5 NO2= 0.1 NO3= 10 PO4 = 0.5 Cu=0 Ca=420 Salinity = 1.025 I'm looking forward for advice. Thank you Daniel <This Angel appears to be (still) infested with Cryptocaryon... I would read thoroughly here: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Need Help with Sick Emperor Angel... env... Crypt  1/10/08 Hi Crew, <Jim> I need your help. I woke up this morning and my Emperor Angel is bloated around the belly and swimming hard to stay down in the water column. From what I have read on your website that is likely a bacterial infection. But I am not sure how to proceed with treatment. <Mmmm> Let me describe the sequence of events: The tank is a 150G (long), Fish Only, Wet/Dry (I know, not the best, but it has been set up for almost 12 years and I haven't wanted to mess with it), Berlin protein skimmer (again, I know, not the best and scheduled for replacement--but it has seemed to work adequately on this non-reef aquarium), Vecton UV sterilizer. Had six fish before emperor--raccoon BF, large Foxface (have had 7+ years--how long do they live?), <At least 10-12> Volitans lion, pair of Bluejaw trigger, small v-tail grouper. >Yikes... packed in!< The grouper was the newest fish--added this spring. Nothing else in the he last two years. When I got the butterfly, direct from a diver in Hawaii, it seemed to have a small white spot on its side--looked like it might be an external parasite. <No worries> It wasn't growing or seeming to affect the fish, so I left it alone. Don't know if that was the right call or not--but over the years I think my efforts at "treating" sick fish have done more harm than good, so I try to adopt a "wait and see" approach. <You are wise here> In November, the spots began to multiply and get larger. I would have liked to add a biological cleaner, but couldn't figure out anything the lion wouldn't eat. I finally removed the fish to a QT tank with a cleaner goby, who went to town. <Ah, good> For Christmas, my wife bought me the emperor--I've been wanting one for years. Fish arrived FedEx, very healthy. I acclimated him straight into the display--I know, QT is of vital importance, but my only QT at present is a 20G, and I wouldn't have wanted to QT a 7" angel <... Jim... your main tank is way too crowded...> in a 20 even if the BF weren't already there. I am working on procuring and setting up a 55G QT. I noticed a day or two later that the emperor was only using one gill about half the time. Then after about a week, the emperor developed a case of ich. I immediately lowered specific gravity to 1.009, and dosed with OrganiCure (not sure I should have done the OrganiCure in retrospect, but I was extremely anxious). Emperor was clearly distressed and his eyes clouded up slightly, but was still eating well and breathing almost normally, and about 24-48 hours after I lowered the specific gravity everything seemed to improve. I know that the cysts would have fallen off anyway as part of their life cycle. I also know they could come raging back in two or three weeks, <Sooner> but I am hoping the UV and the lowered SG will mitigate against this. I also saw a couple spots on the BF too (I had just returned him before the outbreak, possibly prematurely, but again--he is large and a 20G can only be stable with a 5" fish for so long), but nobody else seemed affected. Everyone was doing great, emperor was cleared up except for the slightly cloudy eyes, which I attributed to the stress <And the medication... the formalin principally> of the ich and which were slowly improving. Then this morning I got up to find the emperor swimming hard for the bottom, very bloated. <... yes...> Water parameters have been good in the past--Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate => 10 ppm. I don't check alkalinity, calcium, etc. since it is FO. I will check the main parameters after work this afternoon, and perform a 20% water change as a general measure (there was of course a massive water change when I lowered the SG). What else can I do? <... really? Move all to larger or more "spread out" quarters...> Should I really put the fish through the stress of trying to remove him (there's a lot of rockwork) and QT in a 20G tank? Medicate food with antibiotics? <Not efficacious> Just keep water quality good and wait? <This would be best... if there was more space...> Please advise--I don't want to lose this fish after waiting 5 years to get one. Thank again for your help. Jim <... the Emperor alone needs more than 150 gallons... Don't think it will do enough good to ask you to read on WWM re Pomacanthus imperator... or the "origins" of Crypt... but the situation you're in is predictable from your statements above... No quarantine, the use of OrganiCure, the crowding... Do you see this? I would move as many of the fishes here to other quarters as practical... and, yes... read on WWM re the above mentioned topics... then, let's chat. Bob Fenner>
Re: Need Help with Sick Emperor Angel   1/11/08
Bob, <Jim> I do read WWM quite a bit... I have for years. And contrary to what you apparently think, I do try to take responsible care of my animals. <Mmmm... I made no such comment re your motive, activity/ies other than to state your system is too crowded...> And I do try to keep adult size needs in mind, too--hence I have not had any Naso species tangs in 10+ years since I became aware of their long-term needs. The fact that most of my fish have been with me 4+ years, and in many cases much longer, seems to suggest that I am doing okay overall. <Good> I didn't realize that six fish (now seven) was overcrowding a 150G tank, <Yes... psychologically, and from your numbers on water quality measure, from the standpoint of taxing your maintenance/gear> especially since none of these fish seem to have "territory" issues with each other. <They're established...> The Pomacanthus page on WWM says nothing specific about size, and the general angelfish page only says "as large a system as possible." Looking for more specifics, Marine Center says that the minimum tank size is 55G (ridiculously small), LiveAquaria says 100G, which I still think is inadequate, and Aquacon says 125G. <For a/the record... I'll say a (stock size) 240, or three hundred gallon for long term care of this species> I just realized you had a separate page dedicated to Pomacanthus imperator, and I see you recommend a minimum 400L to begin with, and ultimately twice that, which according to my math is 200G. So I guess by that criterion, 150G is too small. <With the other life present especially> I just thought 150G would be adequate, though I wouldn't really want to try anything smaller. In fact, the 150G was specifically purchased so that I could keep this species. How many fish (large fish--I know size is important) are permissible in a 150G tank? <... a good question... in that it's not easily answered. At least two criteria need to be considered... The physiological "load" such a volume can take/handle safely and just as important the "psychological" load any given mix might present... Thinking on this... what is there must be taken into account AS WELL as order of introduction... how many other factors might we co-reason? Feeding, physical break-up of the environment... "enriched" aspects of water quality control... might all "stretch" or reduce the size/possibilities here> If we are shooting for "natural" conditions, then I need a tank the size of my house per fish! <Mmm, maybe so... but this is unrealistic... am sure you agree. What I and other folks are "shooting for" is keeping our livestock that way... for a reasonable span of time... as displays mostly> Unfortunately, my vocation requires periodic relocations, though never outside the state, so there is a limit to the size tank I can reasonably have--big tanks are no fun to move. <Don't I know...> So I have different tanks with different animal populations in mind--a 150G long for my large fish, a 150G show for my LPS, a 72BF for my soft corals and anemone, and a 55G in my office for a few small, more docile fish like a Firefish and a small Anthias. And soon a 55G QT in addition to the present 20G. <Nice> I do generally quarantine all my fish, but I have never purchased a fish this large before (some, like the Foxface, have gotten that big in my tanks, but were not purchased at that size), and the 20G made me nervous, not that it matters now. I have also read up on crypts, repeatedly. Unfortunately, I am not always sure what to believe. I have generally tried to use QT with hyposalinity, because my experience is, as WWM suggests, that this is the best (only?) real solution. The OrganiCure was only an (ill-advised?) <Mmm, no... not knowing you well, what language we share meaning-wise, am given to state that the active ingredients in this commercial product have real value... in applications of use to hobbyists as well as commercial concerns... Have used many gallons myself...> move of desperation. I have also tried letting a tank go "fallow," as suggested. My 55G at the office was infected a couple years ago, so I removed and (re)quarantined all the fish, leaving the live rock, starfish and camel shrimp in the tank alone for over two months. The fish were QT in hyposalinity only, and quickly recovered. When I placed them back in the tank over two months later, they became reinfected in about two weeks. I had expected the life cycle of the parasite to run its course by then. All I can figure is that some encapsulated cysts had gone dormant? <Very likely so> Anyway, I do try to take responsible care of my charges. I am sorry that your opinion of my care is so low. <Again... this is not the case> As an update on the emperor--he was not doing well, and seemed to be getting worse, so I drained my 20G QT and filled it with water from the display tank. After reading your article about the Koi that got the "bends," I started thinking about the rapid change in osmotic pressure when I lowered the salinity from 1.021 to 1.009, so I raised it a little (1.012) in the QT tank before I moved the emperor. I then treated with the recommended dosage of Maracyn and Maracyn 2, hoping that one of the antibiotics would be effective. By evening, the bloating had begun to subside and the fish was swimming right side up. The next morning he was eating again, and is doing fine now. I plan to finish out the round of antibiotics and then return him to the display, assuming everything is stable in both tanks and there is no sign of further ich/illness. Jim <Wishing you and your Emperor well. BobF>

Emperor Angle is Sick!!! Crypt Most Likely 6/26/07 Hey guys <Hello> I bought a adult Emperor Angle, 5 inches, a few weeks ago and he's getting white spots all over him and also really tiny white spots on the eyes. <Sounds like Ich, Cryptocaryon irritans, to me.> Everyone else in the tank is doing fine my toxic ammonia is at 0.014 I did a 25 % water change and its still reading the same. He's eating but acting kinda funny twitching and stuff. I read about lowering the sp gravity. What do you think I should do? I'm setting up my quarantine tank now, <This is what you should do.> I know I should of did that a long time ago and I'm kicking my self in the butt rite now for not doing it. But this will be my schooling on that one!!!! Is there any fast set ups on the Q tank I can do to get him rite in there? <Yes, just need to do daily water changes.> Any meds I can use in the main tank without killing my liverock? <No> I know you have the info on the site but it would take me awhile to find it and I don't want to lose him!!! Please help him!!! Thanks a lot Todd <Lots to read here. Start here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm , here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QuarMarFishes.htm , and here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ichart2mar.htm .> <Chris>
Re: Emperor Angle is Sick!!! Crypt Most Likely 6/27/07
Hello again <Hello> I've got my Emperor and everything else in a quarantine tank with copper. <Good, watch the copper levels very closely.> The emperor already looks 100 times better. <Good.>Since the copper messes with the bio filter is it even necessary to use a filter during copper med? <Not really, but you do need water movement, which the filter can supply.> Cuz you don't want charcoal, mech filter or the bio media when copper is in use? <Correct.> No protein skimmer either? <Nope> Just lots of water changes? <Yep> I just have Tank with bare bottom, pvc for hiding, powerhead for water movement, heater, thermometer, and a air pump with air stone. Do I have everything I need? <Yes> In my reading I've read that to quarantine for 2 to 4 weeks to see if fish has any sickness effects but I also read the some fish are just carriers of ick and do not show any problems. <Will still be cured by the copper. They just don't show the normal signs of white spots. Also looking for a absolute minimum of 4 weeks symptom free after the treatment ends before adding back to the tank, 6 weeks would be much better.> So if you put a fish after he was fine during quarantine, that is a carrier, in main display, a fish that is more prone to the disease will probably get it right? <They are not really just carriers, their gills are infected and are lower functioning, but not visually effected.> Why don't you just treat every fish in a copper quarantine just to make sure? <You should after an outbreak in a tank they live in.> Except those you cant use copper on, what kind of med do you use on copper intolerant fish for preventive measures? <As far as preventative measures go, I do not recommend them, even copper is quite toxic to fish, and unnecessary exposure is not a good idea. Kind of like getting chemotherapy for cancer "just in case" you have it.> I have 6 fish in a 29 gal quarantine tank, Emperor is 5" the rest 1" to 3 " Should I be doing a 20% water change everyday? <Most likely necessary, test for ammonia/nitrite and change accordingly.> Before I coppered my fish I Did a freshwater bath, I raised the ph and temp to the same as display tank and put them in there for 3 to 5 minutes. Everyone was alright except my tang like went into shock and froze up but was fine after I put him in the quarantine tank. Did I do the bath rite? <Seems like it.> Is there anything else you can dip/bath newcomers before quarantine that's a good all disease prevention? < Methylene Blue is a good thing to add to dips, can help with some diseases.> Once nets, buckets, tank and supplies, etc are completely dry can they still carry a disease on them? <No> If so what can I use to disinfect? <Hot water, a mild bleach solution.> What do the pet stores use on new fish they just received so their whole stock doesn't get anything from a sick fish. <The vast majority of stores use nothing, a few run copper continuously, and even fewer QT their fish.> All their tanks are hooked to the same filtration at most pet stores, and I read that UV helps to keep the parasites down but not totally get rid of them. <Yes.> What measures do the pet stores and the big wholesalers use so they don't get the whole fish stock sick? <As stated above, most use nothing.> And I don't think they quarantine every fish in a separate tank, that would be a lot of work but would probably be the safest!! <Would be, but probably not cost effective.> Also how do the tanks take the bioload changes from selling out and then adding a huge stock over and over again, or does it not effect the water as long as its only a week or so before they get a full stock in again. <Most store's bioload does not change that much over time, a pretty constant addition/subtraction going on.> I would think the bacteria colonies would start to die off as the stock got down to 5 to 10 fish from like 50 to 100, and then as the bacteria start to die then there's 100 fish again. <You assume most have good water quality to begin with, which is sadly not often the case.> The web is the best!!!! I always learn a lot on here, there's just so much good stuff I never get to what I was looking for in the 1st place!! If fish go to heaven, then you guys are the fish gods!!!!! Thanks for all the info, Todd <Welcome> <Chris>
Re: Emperor Angle is Sick!!! Crypt Most Likely 6/26/07
Hello again <Hi> Thanks for the info! I read a lot of the info you referred me to! Good Stuff! <Welcome.> So can marine ich come from just a fish getting stressed or does it have to be in the aquarium 1st and/ or the fish already being infected? <Must be present in the system first.> If I do the 45 day quarantine tank with meds and have no symptoms and do the 45 day no fish display tank, can the fish still be infected even though no signs are present during quarantine? <As long as the treatment is done correctly all of the parasites should be eliminated with this method, and reinfection can only occur if you accidentally add the parasite back somehow.> Can the display tank still be infected after the 45 days of no fish? <Unlikely, but the longer you wait the less likely it becomes, I try to do 60 days fallow to be extra safe.> Why does the ich not attack inverts? <Just not biologically capable of feeding off them, however they can carry ich tomonts so they should be QTed as well before adding to the tank.> So its ok to leave all my cleaning crew hermit crabs, snails, emerald crab and a flower duster in the display tank for the 45 days no fish period? <Yes> Thanks so much for the help!!!!! Todd <Welcome> <Chris>

Re: Rapid Breathing Emperor  1/26/07 Bob, thanks for your input on my "declining" situation. Yes, unfortunately this problem has gotten worse.  The day of your response my powder blue tang began to scratch on the rocks.  Just slight little brushes.  Nothing too aggressive, but still displaying some irritation.  He did this occasionally for about four days, and then I observed my emperor angel flash on one occasion.  NOT GOOD!  I performed a 20% water change.  I did this in hope that there was some kind of water quality issue that my test kit could not pick up.  I watch my fish very closely, and as of now it has been a few days since I have witnessed anything like this. <Mmm... the Crypt will be back... is just cycling...>   They are both eating very well and appear to be calm.  I have never seen a spot on either one of them.  If I was a betting man I would say that my emperor angel has been subclinically harboring parasites this whole time and once he was moved to the tank with my ich magnet they are beginning to gain the upper hand. <Agreed>   I understand about the life cycle of ich, and I am also aware that the apparent improvement is probably just ich (or some other pathogen) rallying the troops for another assault on my finned friends. <Correct> I guess because of the fact that I have yet to see any spots I am reluctant to treat these copper sensitive fish.  Am I just being ignorant by thinking that at this point I can beat this thing with good nutrition, vitamin supplements, garlic( unproven, I know), and good water quality.  Obviously this would be ideal, but I fear by doing this the situation could spiral out of control.  I have read and experienced first hand how fast these parasites can manifest themselves and kill.  My first fish, a auriga butterfly, died three days after showing spots.  I don't imagine the PBT will fair much better.  Bob, I regard your opinion t be the best available, and I could sure use it right now. Thanks a bunch, Jim <A matter of a bunch of review, reading: http://wetwebmedia.com/ichartmar.htm and the many files above. BobF>

Emperor with ich Hello Crew! I have a quick question: I have an emperor angel in QT and he just came down with a few ICH spots. I know they are copper sensitive, what other med can I use to get rid of this?  <I would try a freshwater dip, that should help. There really are no medications other than copper that effectively work. When using copper for angels don't exceed .15ppm of copper. If the fish shows stress, filter the copper out with activated carbon. Good luck. James (Salty Dog)>

Recovering Emperor Hi guys <Scott F. your guy today> I have an adult Emperor Angel which I treated for ICH when I first got him 6 weeks ago and no longer see any sign of that infestation. <That's good to hear> My problem now is that his color has blanched (overall and even more in certain spots) and his eyes became cloudy.  I have been treating him with Maracyn 2 for 6 days and the overall color has improved a bit, his eyes are not nearly as cloudy but then again not yet perfect.  He still has numerous faded spots.  In reading the "faq's" on your site, I see that this is a common problem and also noted that Maracyn 2 might not be the way to go.  What should my course of action be and how long should it take to cure him?   <Well, use of a product such as Maracyn is certainly acceptable to help reduce the possibility of secondary infection. However, if you think about it, this fish has been through the trauma of illness, and the stress of treatment (albeit, a successful one) over the last few weeks, so it may be time to give him a break from medication for a while.> Are the faded spots "normal" for this fish?  He is being treated in a 10 gal QT tank.  Thanks as always. Joe <I have noticed this with a number of Emperors after disease treatment. I think that some of this discoloration may be the result of skin damage from the parasites, and possibly even from the treatment itself (prolonged copper treatments can damage some fishes). Another thought is that it is a result of imperfect water quality (which sometimes happens in a treatment tank, where water volumes are small...Keep up the good water quality...Execute frequent, small water changes, and observe this fish carefully. Feed high quality food, and I'm sure that you'll see some dramatic improvement in this fish soon! Good luck! Scott F>

Sick Emperor I mailed about one week ago and received a gracious reply by Anthony. I had treated my Emperor Angel with copper, FW dips, Marex, and Greenex in a vain, uneducated effort to rid him of Cryptocaryon. I was advised to do FW dips for 8 days with daily vacuuming of the bare bottom. I have done 4 days of dips and vacuuming but the ich persists. In fact, the distal part of his anal fins are starting to shred. He still eats and acts normally, but his clinical condition is not getting better, in fact he is worsening. Plus, my last FW dip yielded some unusual results. The water I put him in was crystal clear, pH adjusted, and isothermic. After transferring him back to his quarantine tank, I noticed a few (4-8) scale-like objects floating around in the FW dip container. They were mostly clear, but they looked to me like large scales (2-3 mm clear plates). Potentially corresponding to less-pigmented areas that exist on his body and head, however he had this before the last dip. It doesn't have a head and lateral line distribution. Should I continue FW dips? <I would have made a decision on a good course of action and stuck with it. Jumping around from treatment to treatment (as it seems you have done) is not helping. FW dips and daily water changes can be very effective, but will not cure your fish over night.> Is this HLLE? <No, likely damage from the parasites boring into the skin and handling.> I am tempted to take my chances and acclimate him to the main tank. <Oh God no!> He would more stability of water quality and have a better variety of algae on the LR in the main tank. <And get to infect your entire tank, too.> I feed him angel formula, red and green algae on clips, and vitamin-enriched flakes now, but maybe he could get more in the main tank. Desperately yours, John <Please, for your sake and that of your fish, complete one full treatment protocol before going on to the next. -Steven Pro><<Flukes. RMF>>

Emperor angelfish breathing problems Hi, I have a 10 in. xmas island emperor angel. <please don't tell me this fish is in anything less than an eight foot tank. A magnificent fish and still has growing to do!> I've had him for 2 or 3 mos. now and he is doing great and everything. <hmm... was this animal quarantined for the first 4 weeks? Else, you need to get a large QT tank ready. Many parasites with the big fishes for stressful shipping> But the right gill seems to be not working. The gill opening is not opening and closing. It is just closed. <yep... this is a telltale sign of gill flukes. Tough to cure but possible. Needs meds in a bare bottomed QT tank though. Formalin is needed. Take aged water and a mature filter (with seeded media) to the QT tank. Be prepared to do daily water changes for the first eight days minimum to control parasites (larval cysts on bottom of tank) and for water quality (test daily at first). The display needs to run fallow for 4 weeks. 4 weeks minimum for angel in QT. No treatment in display... meds get absorbed and parasites flourish in sand/gravel> When I feed him he eats it then for the next 5 minutes or so his gill is working a bit but then it quits after those 5 minutes. The left gill is working good maybe breathing a little faster. What do you thin is wrong? Is it ick? <some sort of parasite that has begun in the gills... as most do> Please reply as quick as possible I fear he may not have much more time. Please help me and my fish. Thank you. <best regards, Anthony>

Problems with my Emperor Angel <flukes?> Hi Bob, I am writing about a problem with my newly bought Emperor Angel. I have a 125 gal. FO tank, only because I live in Hawaii and anything related to having a reef is illegal here?  <Do know of the laws in the fiftieth State, and disagree with them... > It has been set up and running for about 8 months now. All my chemistry is just about perfect. Anyway I bought my Emperor about three weeks ago, when I put him in a QT for about 10 days. Everything seemed fine, so I put him in the main tank. About two days later he started to scratch at both his eyes. It's now to the point where you can see little rub marks on the clear part of both eyes. I have had ich in the past, about three months ago. I treated it with copper sulfite and everything was good and still there is no signs of ich on any of the other fish or the Emperor, except for the scratching. I also don't have a cooler, so I use a fan for evaporation, therefore I am always replenishing with RO water. Any advise at this point would be great. Thanks for all the help you have already given in you column and book.  >> Sounds very much like a chemical or physical anomaly to me... not necessarily or directly anything "catching"... What I would do: Add a biological cleaner, my fave choice, one or two Lysmata amboinensis, the Pacific Cleaner Shrimp. And add a pad of Polyfilter to remove metals, possible biochemical problems... And lower your specific Gravity to about 1.018 to diminish the infectiousness of possible lingering parasites....increase gas solubility, lest there is insufficient aeration, circulation in this system. And place some macro-algae, even Ogo (wish I was eating some Ahi poke right now!) for "comfort food", improving water quality, absorbing some of that probable biochemical anomaly.... Bob Fenner who will be in touch
Re: Problems with my Emperor Angel
Hi Bob, again.... Well today I took the Emperor out and put him in a QT. He was looking worse than yesterday. His fins are almost totally cloudy now and spreading to the gills. He is also breathing more rapidly than normal. Also, he was hiding horizontally under some rocks, which really scared me when I first got home. He did come out to eat, but went strait back to hiding. <Bizarre... the behavior and looks you describe are very bad... but the fish came out and ate? Unusual> So let me get this strait, you don't want me to put any kind of medication in the QT. I did use a slightly lower specific gravity (l.018) in the QT. I just wish I knew what is wrong, so I don't make the same mistake again. I followed your advise and bought a poly filter and put it in the main tank, but of course there is never an immediate cure. Thanks again for any advise. Mark >> <I would not have moved the animal... but if I had, I would have run it through a Nitrofuran compound (probably Nitrofurazone) dip (about 250mg per five gallons, in slightly lowered spg water, for ten minutes) before placing it in quarantine... Keep your eye on it, Bob Fenner>

Ailing emperor Hi Robert, Maybe you can help. I've had a changing juvenile emperor anger in my tank for 3 weeks now. It has white "clumps" on the ends of it's fins and on both of it's gill spines. Besides the unsightly spots, it eats normally, swims normally, and interacts normally with the other species in the tank (150 Gallon fish only). None of the other fish show signs of the same ailment. What am I up against? Thanks, Scott <Almost without doubt this is a case of the environmental/viral condition called Lymphocystis. Take a read over the materials on the subject stored on the www.wetwebmedia.com site. Lymph can be cured... Bob Fenner>

Question on Imperator Angel Mr. Fenner: First off, thanks for all the help and advice that you offer to marine aquarium folks like myself. I know it has helped countless people. <You're welcome. Deeply gratifying to hear, be part of> Now to my question, and the problem I am having. I have a 150 gallon tank, set up with live rock, a few leather corals, and some fish. The tank is maintained in a very meticulous way, with systematic partial water changes, monitoring of Ph, KH, Nitrates, Phosphate, and Calcium. The water is always crystal clear, and there is some nice coralline algae growth. The following are the readings on the water: Temperature - ranges from 79 to 81 degrees F Specific Gravity - kept between 1.021 and 1.022 Ph - 8.3 KH (in dKH) - 10.6 Calcium - 380 Nitrates - less than 10 ppm Phosphate - 0 Ammonia and Nitrite - 0 Fish In The Tank: Imperator Angel, Naso Tang, Purple Tang, Harlequin Tusk, Niger Trigger, Fox Face, 2 Blue Damsels, 2 Cleaner Gobies I have had a recurring problem with the Imperator showing signs of Cryptocaryon, primarily associated with its pectoral fins. I have had the fish for two months, and it was at the aquarium store for a couple of months before I bought it. The angel is in the final stage of changing from juvenile to adult colors. <This species is "touchy" in the way of easily contracting the common reef fish scourges, unfortunately> The other fish in the tank have not shown any signs of parasite infestation, and some have been in the tank for a few years. The Imperator's body does not show any signs of parasites, but there are splotchy areas in the pectoral fins, and the fish frequently rubs up against the side of the tank or smooth rocks. The rubbing seems to be directed toward the pectoral fin area. During the two months I have had the angel, I have given it fresh water baths, and also put it in a quarantine tank with copper safe for two and a half weeks. When I took it out of the quarantine tank and put it back in the main tank, it showed absolutely no signs of parasites, and was no longer rubbing up against the walls of the tank. After being back in the main tank for about a week, the splotches and the rubbing returned. I now have the angel back in the quarantine tank. Throughout all of this, the fish has remained a very outgoing and friendly fish. Even after being caught and put in the quarantine tank, the fish was eating out of my hand a few minutes later. The fish has remained active through all this, and does not act like a sick fish. The splotchy areas and the rubbing, however, make it clear to me that there is a problem. Because of the live rock and the leather corals, I know I cannot use copper on the main tank. I do have an ultraviolet sterilizer on the tank (with a new bulb) and an ozonizer hooked up to the protein skimmer. I may be wrong, but it appears to me that parasites are always around, to some extent, even in a well maintained tank (unless a copper treatment is in use). <Yes to the omnipresent possibility of "disease" (do read through "The Three Sets of Factors" that determine health, posted on the www.wetwebmedia.com site... you'll find yourself agreeing/nodding so much that you'll resemble an old Beatles doll in a fifties Chevy with poor shocks. A UV would likely help, I would not use copper... anything improving water quality and nutrition would be beneficial as well... Like more, better live rock, macro-algae, a sump/refugium...> Am I correct that parasites are always present to some extent, but that they only tend to become a problem if the water quality goes down or a fish's immune system and natural defenses go down? Is the Imperator Angel a fish that is prone to parasite attack, while the other fish in my tank do not show any sign of it? Is there anything that I haven't tried, that you would recommend to help solve this problem? <Not linear, mutually-exclusive events... some parasitic and infectious load is present in all systems, some organisms with complex (intermediates) life cycles are more easily excluded... there is an interplay twixt "initial state (genetic and developmental), suitability of the environment (a huge category) and the presence/degree of infectiousness of disease-causing organisms... read the above citation> I could return the fish to the aquarium shop, and trade it for another type of fish. I hate to do that, because it is a beautiful and outgoing fish and it has become a member of the family. But I don't want to continue subjecting it to fresh water baths and quarantine. <Won't help the specimen to be moved, or you/your sense of place in both your lives> Thanks a lot for your help. Pete Vosbury <Be chatting my friend, Bob Fenner>

Fin rot and sores on Imperator Bad news. Apparently, I burned my fishes with too much copper. My imperator angel now has his tail and pectoral fins damaged (missing portions) as well as suffering from body sores.  <Oh no...> I've been feeding him Zoe-soaked Mysis shrimp and Nori, and he eats well, as do all the fish in the tank. The sores seem to be getting a little smaller, kind of brownish-scabbed over, but still, this beauty does not feel well and my heart aches for the damage wrought on him by my mistake. Should I wait it out to see if he self-heals or treat him/the tank with an antibiotic? <Just wait...> He also is covered by little white things, not cyst-like as in ich, but kind of like tiny tufts, about 0.5 to 1 mm each in size. My Koran angel, while not suffering from body sores, seems to have a little of the edges of his fins eroded as well, and the yellow tang, while not having any fin erosion, seems to have some of the same white tufts (for lack of a better description) on his tail fin. <Could be some manifestation of the burn... or indirectly Lymphocystis... described on the www.WetWebMedia.com site under "Environmental Diseases"... a similar description physically> A couple of the other fish do, too (on their fins), but not to the extent of my imperator. What to do, what to do?  <Maintain high water quality, use cleaner organisms (shrimp, gobies)... and be patient> The hospital tank has turned into a disease tank. If you recommend treatment with antibiotics, please be specific about which one, and advise whether the neon gobies I have coming in a couple of days should go into the tank, and whether I should put my cleaner shrimp (3) in the tank now.  <Do both, now and when you get the gobies...> Bear in mind that I did treat the bare tank with copper and removed it with water changes, poly-filter pads, and carbon. I've also put some peppermint shrimp in there just to make sure they wouldn't croak...they've been in there for 3 days. Thank you, Sherri <Steady on my friend. Bob Fenner, in Cabo San Lucas>

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