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FAQs on Freshwater Angelfish Nutritional Disease

FAQs on Angelfish Disease: Angelfish Disease 1, Freshwater Angel Disease 2, FW Angel Disease 3, FW Angel Health 4, FW Angel Health 5, FW Angel Health 6, FW Angel Health 7, FW Angel Health 8, FW Angel Health 9,

FAQs on Angelfish Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Parasitic (Ich, Velvet...), Genetic, Treatments,

Related Articles: Freshwater Angels, Discus, Juraparoids, Neotropical Cichlids, African Cichlids, Dwarf South American Cichlids, Asian Cichlids, Cichlid Fishes in General

Related FAQs: Angels 1, Angels 2, Angelfish Identification, Angelfish Behavior, Angelfish Compatibility, Angelfish Selection, Angelfish Systems, Angelfish Feeding, Angelfish Reproduction, & FAQs on: Wild Angels (P. altum), Cichlids of the World, Cichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid DiseaseCichlid Reproduction,


Angelfish with weird green stringy poo? Mild Constipation? - 10/25/12
Hey crew!
<Hi Bailey>
I've gotten help with my angelfish once before from you guys and while i did take your advice on a problem i had with some baby angelfish a few months ago, they sadly all died.
My fish are all well, except my oldest angelfish, a 3 year old marble has some really weird poo. Its stringy and green, which I'm unsure what this could be, i tried researching it but nothing really came up.
Have any of you guys heard of this? I'm very confused.
The water temperature is 82 F, the pH is 7.0, and the nitrite level is 0. 50% weekly water changes or more because my old filter broke and having to use a smaller 160 penguin filter on my 55. Getting a new Aquaclear this week. Tank has been running for a year and a half. Sand substrate, mixed with water changes. A few silk plants here and there..two air stones run on 40 gallon air pumps.
I tried to get good pictures as best i could, but she is very camera shy and never seems to sit still..
<From what I can see in the photo, it appears to be a minor case of constipation.  The green color will often come from flake food when dyes are used for coloration, or just from a diet heavy on the vegetable side. 
If the fish is behaving normally and otherwise shows no symptoms, I don't think it's much to worry about.  Just cut back on feeding a little bit, and perhaps be diligent about that recommended one day of fasting per week. You might also try to feed a little frozen brine or Mysis shrimp for some roughage.  The exoskeletons can help in this matter.  However, do keep a close eye on the stomach area of this fish. Angelfish can be prone to bloating and blockages. Catching that early is helpful.  Hope that helps. -

Dead Angelfish    6/23/12
Hello WWM Crew,
When I came home from work tonight I found that my black angelfish had died. The only indication something was wrong was last night while I was feeding them frozen bloodworms
<Mmm, I really don't like these sewer fly larvae... please search WWM, the Net re their use>

he stayed up in the upper corner and showed no interest in eating. Before that he was eating and behaving normally and had about doubled in size since I bought him. I know he was still alive when I first woke up but I couldn't locate him before I left for work. I have a 46 gallon bowfront tank  using a Rena Xp2 canister filter and a large air stone, Ammonia-0, Nitrite-0, Nitrate-0, Temperature- 78F, Ph-6.4 , 20 to 30% water change done weekly. In the tank there are 3 other angels (all still juveniles (including the one that died) added about 2 months ago), 5 Otocinclus (added 4 days ago), 16 albino Cory cats (4 adults that have lived in the tank for several years and 12 juveniles ranging between 4 and 5 months old), an infestation of Malaysian Trumpet Snails  and several live plants.
I've been adjusting the water flow for a few days so that it breaks the surface while the lights are off and  back down during the day to keep the surface relatively smooth. I've also been adding 7ml of Kent Freshwater Plant 3 times a week for about a month (last dose was this morning). I was only feeding them flakes once a day until 4 days ago when I started alternating with the frozen bloodworms (which I've done twice) and last night I clipped a slice of cucumber to the glass to see if the Otos would eat it (they didn't and I now know blanched zucchini would be a better choice). Also of note is that I've noticed a couple of the small Corys staying at the surface at different times during the day and night, and I've lost 3 of the juveniles in the past several weeks.
<Mmm, very small ones? The smaller they are, the more easily lost to anomalous causes>
The Cory's behavior lead me to think that there is not enough oxygen in the water
<Mmm, Callichthyids (and many other S. American/Amazonian basin fishes) are facultative aerial respirators... they can/will gulp air at the surface if there are low DO issues>
 but with the filter turning over the water more than 6 times an hour and the air stone I find that hard to believe. If any of you have any insight as to why the angel may have died and if it's linked to the death of the juvenile Corys I'd greatly appreciate it. 
<Well... black/ish angels (Pterophyllum) are historically more subject to such sudden, inexplicable losses... I would cut down on the Kent product>

Also is keeping just 3 angels a good idea or should I add another once I know the water is safe?
<Mmm, actually... in this size/volume/shape system, I'd stick w/ the three>
 Finally I know that when they mature there may be an aggression issue if two angels pair off and  need to be separated from the others. I'm wondering if they could be housed in a 37 tall with a Senegal Bichir if the need arises?
<The bichir may well prove to be too aggressive, consume the angels>
 If not I have a 20 tall that I can use.
<This will do handily>
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide and thanks for the help you've already provided. I've learned a great deal from this site and it has saved me from making several mistakes.
<Ah good. Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Angelfish belly and cichlid questions 6/17/09
<Good morrow Alastair>
A couple of questions for your very helpful team:
Firstly, I have a pair of angelfish in a 50 gallon tank (with a pair of Gourami, some barbs, a few Plecos, and a shoal of x-ray tetra). Today I spotted that one of the angels has a swollen belly - photos attached.
<I see this>
The swelling is quite localized, in an area about a centimetre round, just where the feelers grow from. Is this something I should worry about? or might the fish be female and pregnant? Just tested the water, nitrite and ammonia 0, ph about 7.4.
<I would hold off for now... perhaps, hopefully this apparent swelling is transient... given the mix of other fish life you list, that they are fine, I am wondering if this isn't temporary... At any length, I would not "treat" for this per se at this juncture>
Secondly, I've just acquired a 55 gallon tank full of established Malawi cichlids, plus some other fish that don't belong there. There are a couple of 4-inch clown loaches, and two Ancistrus, which I plan to move
to the 50gallon on the advice of the LFS,
<Yes, I would do this as well>
plus what I think is a large south American cichlid - photo attached. Is he ok to live in with the Malawi cichlids or should I look to rehouse him? He seems pretty shy and spends most of the time hiding in the ocean rock or chilling near the bottom.
<And given the reported behavior I would move this neotropical Cichlid elsewhere as well. Bob Fenner>

Re: angelfish belly and cichlid questions 6/17/09
Sorry - forgot to say that the angelfish is spending much of the time near the bottom of the tank, not moving very much, though did come to the surface and eat when I fed this morning..
<Mmm, a good sign that it is eating... again, I urge patience here. BobF>

Re: angelfish belly and cichlid questions 6/18/09
Hi Bob,
Thanks for the message. As you suggested, I waited a couple of days, and the angel's swelling disappeared overnight last night. No sign of any laying tube, so I guess it was temporary constipation or similar. S/he's looking totally happy and healthy again!
<Ah good>
I moved the Ancistrus and loaches to my planted community tank today, acclimatizing them slowly to the new conditions, and they seem to be happy there. I moved my big 10" Sailfin Pleco the other way - I read that big enough specimens can get by fine in cichlid tanks, and I think if I hadn't done this the filter in the planted tank would have gotten overloaded. He seems happy and is feeding hungrily in the cichlid tank, so fingers crossed this'll work out.
<Am hoping>
And the neotropical cichlid is going to be taken in to the LFS in a few days - they're a big place and will able to take good care of him.
<Tres bien!>
Thanks again for your kind and careful advice,
<Most welcome my friend. BobF>

Constipated angelfish (severe), FW  - 11/20/07 HI Bob, Your site is awesome! I've taken the advise of using Epsom salts @1tablespoon per 10 gal. in order to free up the blueberry sized intestine of my 8 yr. old, 5 ½' black angelfish. It's a 20 gal. tank shared with 2 very small catfish and one large plant. I've had the angel and the plant for 2 ½ years, there have been no sudden changes to the tank. The water condition is fine. I use TetraMin pro, but noticed the worm and shrimp diet recommended on the site. However, today I'm going to stop putting any food at all in the tank until this fish relieves itself. The problem looks severe, the anal is so swollen that it's becoming slightly red. All the fish behave normally except that yesterday I saw the angelfish twitching its 2 lowest fins and making small jerking motions with it's body. I've tried different things with a skinless smashed green pea, but the fish won't eat. It still rushes to the top of the tank always anxious to eat whenever I approach the tank though. Today I'm going to begin slowly upping the dose of salt. Any other suggestions? Thank you! <Greetings. Constipation in cichlids is very common, much more common than people might think. Pellet and flake food is especially bad at causing this, as will freeze-dried foods. The best foods for clearing up constipation are peas, algae, live Daphnia, and live brine shrimp. It does sound as if your fish has developed a prolapsed anus. This will heal by itself once the infection caused by the constipation subsides. Not feeding the fish at all for a couple of weeks will do no harm whatsoever, and if you starve the fish a bit, it might eat the tinned peas more readily. Alternatively you may want to provide live Daphnia or brine shrimps every day or two, as few angelfish turn their snouts up at these. Raising the Epsom salt concentration will also help. Cheers, Neale.>

F/W Angelfish, Hole-in-the-Head - 10/28/2005 I have a black angelfish that has a white lesion above one eye. It started out as a simple spot a week or two ago, but now it looks as if it's grown and is protruding out from under the skin. Meanwhile, it also has some pinholes appearing in the area behind his eye and gills.  <A very classic description of "hole-in-the-head" disease, or "head and lateral line erosion" (HLLE).> His fins (and the rest of his body) are fine. None of the other fish have been affected. The attached photo isn't great (the tank background is black) but you can see the brightness of the spot (part of it is glare; the spot itself is probably about 2mm in diameter) and maybe the pinholes if you look closely.  <Your description is actually a little clearer than the pic - thank you for sending the image as well.> <<Photo...??>> <<<Photo was lost in the recent webmail weirdness we've experienced.  -SCF>> The system: 50 gallon tank with two angels, two balsa, 2 rainbows, 1 zebra loach, 5 T-Bone Rasboras, some live plants. The tank has been established for 2 1/2 years, with the most recent livestock (Rasboras) being added about six months ago. I have a Penguin 170 hang on/BioWheel filter and a Magnum 350 canister filter. I vary their food: flakes, granules, freeze-dried brine and frozen bloodworms and vegetable matter. Any idea what it is and/or what I can do for it? <First, I note that you make no mention of your water quality. Test ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes. Next, take a look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwhllefaqs.htm  and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hllefaqs.htm  for further information and ideas. Make sure to take the opportunity to check out the links in blue at the tops of those pages, as well.> Thanks, -Melissa <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

New angelfish sudden sickness... systems... nutrition...  2/8/06 My 8 year old brother recently received a second-hand 25 gallon tank from a family friend a few weeks ago. It came with 3 red tetras, 2 Corys, 1 blue Gourami, and 1 Plecostomus. Four days ago, he bought two angelfish from the pet store. They are all fed flakes. <Need more than this> The tank is vertical, so most of fish stay close to the bottom during the day and swim up at night, but the angel fish are mostly seen at the top of the tank all the time. One of them liked to stay close to the heater, the other swam around. Today, one of the angelfish (I'm not sure if it is the heater one) started to lay on his side and is just breathing and moving his fins around a bit. <... likely water quality related> My mom called her friend who has fish and was advised to put the sick fish in a separate tank with some sea salt, which is what she did. So, it is now in a large jar with the water from the old tank and added salt.( I was confused by this because these are freshwater fish ) It has no water pump or heater, and it is laying on its side the same way. <Will die there> The other angelfish is in the original tank and is doing fine. I haven't seen any bullying, but there is a curious cat in the house which likes to watch them closely, but it doesn't seem likely he would only stress one fish. I want to research more, so I could know what else to tell you (I don't know anything about fish) but it looks like the little one doesn't have much time. Could you please give me some idea of what happened, and what we can do? Thank you for your help. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwangelfishes.htm and the related/linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Sick FW Angel - 8/23/03 I have a female angel fish that has some kind of illness that I am unable to determine.  This has been going on over a month now.   <hmmm... that long, less likely to be a contagious pathogen. Too slow. good news> It started out like she was full of eggs, she has had numerous batches of eggs in the past, successful and a few unsuccessful. So I just thought she was pregnant again, I didn't think a lot about it until she just kept getting bigger and bigger.  This went on for a couple weeks.   <there are some afflictions of discus and angels that are expressed this way. Have you added new fish in the last month without quarantine? perhaps a disease was carried in> I called the local fish store and they advised I change her diet and feed her seaweed or smashed English peas.  (Thinking constipation.) I did that for 1 week, she was still getting bigger even after eating the above.   <It was good advice... you can/could add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt per five gallons too> She then developed bubbles in her scales where her stomach was stretching.  This whole time she has had a normal appetite. Two weeks ago, she was nose down stationary barely breathing.  I thought she was going to die.  The next morning I was expecting her to be dead and she was swimming around like nothing was wrong.  She was acting normal for a week or so, and did the same thing I just described.   <hmmm.... really does not sound pathogenic... more likely a physical or congenital anomaly. Do try the Epsom salt and repeat it full strength 3 days later in this case> I have just started putting parasite medicine in the water to see if that would help.   <not likely parasites at all... no indication here> The only other fish in the tank with her is the male that is her breeding pair.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know.  The fish store here is puzzled as well.  Thanks- MC <go to our index page at wetwebmedia.com and do a Google search at the bottom for "Epsom salt" and read the FAQs on it. Best regards, Anthony>

Constipated angelfish? Hi, <Hello, Mark!  Sabrina with you today> I have a large angel fish that has developed a larger than normal stomach over the last week or so. It is lethargic, is not eating or producing waste. It also seems to be gulping. Otherwise it looks OK - no external signs of infection, parasites, injury. Is this likely to be constipation? <Sounds like it to me, or possibly the beginnings of dropsy - are the scales sticking out, pinecone fashion?> If so, I have been advised to try syringe feeding a little natural yogurt as this could be more effective than Epsom salts. Is this a good idea? <Personally, I've never heard of using yogurt for constipation in fish....  I'd be especially skeptical about it, to tell the truth.  If nothing more, handling out of water and then force-feeding would be far more stressful to the fish than trying Epsom salts.  Epsom salts are effective, though, and can be dosed at a rate of 1 tablespoon per 10 gallons, or even up to 2 Tbs per 10g, if the lower dose doesn't do it.  If the fish looks to be tempted to eat, try feeding a thawed frozen pea; squeeze the soft inside part out of the shell before offering it.> Thanks,  Mark. <Any time.  Good luck with your angel.  -Sabrina>

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