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Herky 08-09-2009 12:15 AM

Odd angel behavior and coloration
So I got home tonight, it's late. My fish are very much asleep but I looked over at them to see what they were doing and I noticed my angels are all huddled together at the very bottom of the tank. The marbled angels look normal, but my two silver (striped) angels are almost completely white. I've seen them change colors before, going from light to dark and back, but never like this. Almost a total lack of coloration. Nothing has changed as far as tank conditions go, except we turned the AC down and it has been hotter than normal in the house.

No labored breathing, just slow steady breathing. No other obvious signs of diseases or stress. They were all normal and active today. Are they just in a really deep sleep maybe? I've never seen this before so it is worrying me a little. Well, quite a lot actually.

1077 08-09-2009 02:28 AM

Have you checked temp in the tank? If all water parameters are in order= Zero ammonia,Zero nitrites. and NitrAtes twenty or below, I would not worry . Were lights off while fish were allowed to sleep? Fish are capable of picking up vibration long before we enter the room and are sometimes startled by lights being suddenly turned on in the aquarium. I had this happen with Discus that would turn completely dark when lights over the tank were suddenly turned on. I remedied this by placing a night light near the tank so that fish weren't startled .
Could also be that a pair has formed or is forming, Sometimes other cichlids will not display full color for fear of arousing the dominant fish or fishes interest ,,which sometimes leads to dominant fish asserting itself more than usual. Hope some of this helps.

Fishin Pole 08-09-2009 07:10 AM

+1 to everything 1077 said..........I was gonna also ask if the lights where on or off when this was noticed with your angels.....

Herky 08-09-2009 09:35 AM

The lights were off. They are all fine this morning and back to normal color. I've seen them get fairly dim coloration before, but never like this. They were stripes visible, not even silver...just a milky white. I just fed them and they are back to their normal selves. It really kinda freaked me out. Temp in the tank is 81, and water conditions are normal, stable. I have also never seen them huddle together like that, maybe I just haven't paid that much attention when it's late. I've seen them sleep before but normally they do it in the mid line of the tank, not down on the bottom among the plants and rocks. It was strange, but they seem fine now. I was just terrified I was going to lose them.

Fishin Pole 08-10-2009 07:11 AM

I know some tetra species will lose their color temporarily when the light is cardinals look almost white when my tank light first comes on, but within a half hour they color up and are fine............I would think this is whats happening to your angels..........Glad to hear thay are doing ok..........

Byron 08-10-2009 10:15 AM

Assuming everything's OK as 1077 mentioned (no water problems), then FishinPole has it. Many fish, including angels, change their colour or pattern during darkness. Some fish more than others. Pencilfish for instance completely would not recognize them as the same fish; all the lateral lines on all species become separated dots during darkness. Angels also do this (the striped ones).

I'm not a biologist and have never researched why this is, but it is completely natural. I have on a couple of occassions checked my tank well after darkness with a flashlight. In case you're wondering why, I did this a couple of times after first acquiring a trio of driftwood cats (Tatia perugiae) that spend all daylight hours sleeping in tunnels in the bogwood (hence their common name). They only become active and feed at night. I never saw them and wanted to ensure they were OK. I found them, swimming around playfully, eating tablet food put in for them; but I also noticed all the characins were greyish, faded colour and little pattern. I knew this occurred, just never had reason to see it before.

Herky 08-10-2009 12:39 PM

Yeah, like I said I've seen them get light colored before, but man they looked like ghosts. I'm not usually up that late at night, so I've never looked at them at that time. Now that I see they're ok, it was actually kinda neat to see.

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