Angelfish HELP ASAP!
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Angelfish HELP ASAP!

This is a discussion on Angelfish HELP ASAP! within the Tropical Fish Diseases forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I have an angelfish that is very sick. It started about three to four weeks ago, I noticed these small white spots on him. ...

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Old 09-24-2012, 11:56 PM   #1
 
Question Angelfish HELP ASAP!

I have an angelfish that is very sick. It started about three to four weeks ago, I noticed these small white spots on him. My first thought was Ick, so I went to the pet store and picked up a general medication because I wasn't totally sure it was Ick. I tested my water before medicating and ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate were at 0. My Ph was a little high 7.4. Just to let you know I have a 55 gallon tank with a 405 Fluval filter. I took out my carbon from the filter as the the medication (Tetra Lifeguard all-in-one treatment) says. I medicated for three days with no change and actually he got worse. There were more white spots and they seemed a little fuzzy or slightly protruding from the body. My water is a little cold in this tank about 76 degrees (I have fixed this since and now it is 80 degrees). Also started seeing what looked like glossy spots and a large hole in the head just above the right eye with white stuff and black specks. Black specs started appearing on other parts of the body as well. I went back to the store and got Tetra Parasite Guard and API PIMAFIX for fungus. I stopped the Lifeguard and started these other two medications. In two days the black spots seemed to have disappeared or diminished. The white marks and the hole in the head did not get any better. As a matter of fact the hole in the head looked deeper the third morning of this second round of treatment and the white stuff was gone, just leaving a large hole. None of my other fish are getting sick, but they are getting lethargic and not interested in eating as much, so I tested the water. Well everything was off the charts!! I did a 50% water change to get my levels more in order. I stopped all treatment and changed all my filtration out. My levels were better with my Nitrates still to high. I ordered Nitrazorb online and had to wait till it arrived. I quit all medications. In just a few days everyone was doing better (except my sick angelfish). Three days later I did anther 25% water change. I waited about a week before getting my nitrazorb in the mail. Meanwhile not medicating. Now the black spots have come back. I added the nitrazorb to my filter last Wednesday. After a week of that my ammonia and nitrites are at 0, but my nitrates are still too high (between 40 and 80). Not sure what else to do, Saturday I took my angelfish into the aquarium store to get help. They told me to quarantine him and treat him only. I set up a 20 gallon tank (I had in storage), half full, with the heater set on 82 degrees. I have no filter in the tank just an airstone (as I was told to do by the aquarium store). I treated the water with API general cure and Mardel Coppersafe (again per the aquarium store). My angel is not doing well AT ALL. He has not eaten in two days, he has very labored breathing, and does not swim well. Sometimes he floats around and sometimes he lays on the floor of the aquarium. I tested his water and all levels are good. What am I doing wrong here!! Is there anything I can do for him? I am out of ideas and don't know if what I am doing is completely wrong. Should I put him back in the big tank with the other fish? PLEASE HELP ME!! I feel so sorry for him and feel so hopeless!!!
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:47 AM   #2
 
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Originally Posted by doglover View Post
I have an angelfish that is very sick. It started about three to four weeks ago, I noticed these small white spots on him. My first thought was Ick, so I went to the pet store and picked up a general medication because I wasn't totally sure it was Ick. I tested my water before medicating and ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate were at 0. My Ph was a little high 7.4. Just to let you know I have a 55 gallon tank with a 405 Fluval filter. I took out my carbon from the filter as the the medication (Tetra Lifeguard all-in-one treatment) says. I medicated for three days with no change and actually he got worse. There were more white spots and they seemed a little fuzzy or slightly protruding from the body. My water is a little cold in this tank about 76 degrees (I have fixed this since and now it is 80 degrees). Also started seeing what looked like glossy spots and a large hole in the head just above the right eye with white stuff and black specks. Black specs started appearing on other parts of the body as well. I went back to the store and got Tetra Parasite Guard and API PIMAFIX for fungus. I stopped the Lifeguard and started these other two medications. In two days the black spots seemed to have disappeared or diminished. The white marks and the hole in the head did not get any better. As a matter of fact the hole in the head looked deeper the third morning of this second round of treatment and the white stuff was gone, just leaving a large hole. None of my other fish are getting sick, but they are getting lethargic and not interested in eating as much, so I tested the water. Well everything was off the charts!! I did a 50% water change to get my levels more in order. I stopped all treatment and changed all my filtration out. My levels were better with my Nitrates still to high. I ordered Nitrazorb online and had to wait till it arrived. I quit all medications. In just a few days everyone was doing better (except my sick angelfish). Three days later I did anther 25% water change. I waited about a week before getting my nitrazorb in the mail. Meanwhile not medicating. Now the black spots have come back. I added the nitrazorb to my filter last Wednesday. After a week of that my ammonia and nitrites are at 0, but my nitrates are still too high (between 40 and 80). Not sure what else to do, Saturday I took my angelfish into the aquarium store to get help. They told me to quarantine him and treat him only. I set up a 20 gallon tank (I had in storage), half full, with the heater set on 82 degrees. I have no filter in the tank just an airstone (as I was told to do by the aquarium store). I treated the water with API general cure and Mardel Coppersafe (again per the aquarium store). My angel is not doing well AT ALL. He has not eaten in two days, he has very labored breathing, and does not swim well. Sometimes he floats around and sometimes he lays on the floor of the aquarium. I tested his water and all levels are good. What am I doing wrong here!! Is there anything I can do for him? I am out of ideas and don't know if what I am doing is completely wrong. Should I put him back in the big tank with the other fish? PLEASE HELP ME!! I feel so sorry for him and feel so hopeless!!!
I'm sorry all of this is happening, but you'll likely lose your Angelfish. If your tank has been cycled, I'm not sure why you are getting all those readings, except if you put a new filter with each water change, you are essentially putting your tank into another cycle, because you are getting rid of so much of your good bacteria. Your tank sounds really unstable. Perhaps it is way overstocked, or you over feed, or it's not established enough for the amount of fish you are putting in? How long has your tank been set up? Have you added fish slowly or all at once? Do you use liquid or strip test kits? Anyways, ich does take awhile to cure, even once the white spots are gone. Do some reading on the ich life cycle. Hole in head disease is caused often by stress and/or poor water conditions. Before you get more fish, you want to do some research on the fish you have. You can check above under the fish profiles, and read about fish there, and how to best care for them, compatibility with other fish etc.

Best of luck, and again, so sorry. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:36 PM   #3
 
GwenInNM,
Thank you for your response!! Today when I got home my angelfish is trying to swim around. He is definitely a fighter!! He swims oddly, on the side and turns upside down and stuff, but at least he's trying to swim. I suppose I have done all I can for him, he's either going to pull through this or not. I'm hopeful.
As far as my tank. I have had aquariums on and off during my life. I have never been a guru and would still consider myself on the beginner level. Back in 2005 I decided to get an aquarium again as I missed having fish. At that time I started with a 20 gallon. I had many different fish mostly from the tetra family. I also got a pleco and two black ruby barbs. Not knowing much about either of them. I wish they would do a better job when selling fish and ask you what size tank you have, and what other fish you currently have before just letting you pick out what looks nice and sending it home with you! Back in 2008 I upgraded to a 55 gallon tank. I still have my original pleco and one of my black ruby barbs. The other ruby barb past away about a year ago. My pleco is now 15" long. I was feeding my fish every other day, doing a 30% water change about once a month, and changing out most of the filters once a month. I didn't seem to have much trouble. My fish seemed happy enough and didn't lose fish very often. I thought I was doing something right. About four or five months ago I decided to add some fish which is when I got the three angelfish and some tetras. I was excited about the angelfish, I have only had angels a few times in my life with very little luck with them. They showed a very good appetite so I started to feed them every day, once a day. I know I probably overfeed (quantity wise). (I have been working on that). Everything seemed ok, but I lost one of the angelfish within a month. It didn't show any signs of stress (that I noticed) It was just gone one day. Then this current angel started showing problems which is when this whole adventure began. I use to use the sticks to test my water and didn't really know what I was doing with it just making sure it was in the right zone. I have since bought a testing kit and am testing regularly now. I have ordered a book on aquariums as well as one on angelfish to help me maintain a better tank and hopefully keep angelfish better and happier.
I swear this like science and I still don't know what I am doing!
Here is what I have in my filter. I have a fluval 405 filter. I use 4 prefilter foam blocks, Trays: the bottom tray, tray 4 is carbon and clearmax, tray 3 is clearmax and prefilter media, tray 2 is prefilter media and biological filtration, and tray 1 is biological filtration and nitrozorb. I replace the foam filters, clearmax and carbon monthly, and the prefilter and biological filter I rinse monthly and replace every six months.
These are the fish I have:
15" Pleco
1- ghost fish
1- black ruby barb
1- Penguin fish
5 - lemon tetras
6- black skirt tetras
3- neon tetras
2 - glowlight tetras
5 - rasboras
3 - white skirt tetras
2 - angelfish

I am probably overstocked. If you have any recommendations or see something I am totally doing wrong please let me know. Again, thank you so much for any assistance! I am glad I have joined this forum. I don't know how much help I can be to many people but I hope to learn a lot from all of you!!
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:02 AM   #4
 
Well, It has been one week since my original post and I am surprised to say that my angelfish is still alive. He isn't doing well, but still alive. He isn't eating and I don't know how long he can go like that. I don't see much improvement but have never seen a fish last this long in his condition. He mostly floats around the top of the tank on his side. He tries to swim sometimes but seems to swim in swirls like a tornado. I just don't know what more to do for him.
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:56 AM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by doglover View Post
Well, It has been one week since my original post and I am surprised to say that my angelfish is still alive. He isn't doing well, but still alive. He isn't eating and I don't know how long he can go like that. I don't see much improvement but have never seen a fish last this long in his condition. He mostly floats around the top of the tank on his side. He tries to swim sometimes but seems to swim in swirls like a tornado. I just don't know what more to do for him.
If you are buying test kits, always get the liquid API kits, as strips are not reliable. The internet can be your best friend, along with this forum I quickly googled and found this disease, and suspect that is what your Angelfish has with what you are describing.
Swim Bladder Disease
Symptoms - Fish have difficulty swimming upright, either confined to movement at the top of the tank or the bottom of the tank.
Cause - Possibly due to a virus, bacteria, or improper care
Contagious? - No, but poor water quality can cause other fish to develop it as well.
Treatment - Some feed their fish peas to help in the digestion process. Stop feeing the fish for a few days. Perform frequent small water changes.
Prevention - Feed fish with a vitamin-enriched and varied diet.
Mortality Rate - Medium-High


Also, you don't need to ever throw away your filter media in your canister. Just rinse it in "old" tank water. With all the fish you have, you need to do weekly water changes of about 50%. A 15" pleco is a huge bio-load producer. Do a big water change, and while this fish is showing symptoms keep up with smaller ones every few days. It will be a pain, but may help him live. It wouldn't hurt to try Melafix, as it's safe and can treat bacterial infections. You can buy a bottle of it pretty cheap at Walmart, or get it at any petstore/fish store.

Good luck!!
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:46 PM   #6
 
GwenInNM,
Thank you! I did go to a new aquarium store today because I was looking for a stand for my 20 gallon aquarium. The owner was SOOO helpful and did tell me that he thought my sick angel had Swim Bladder Disease. He told me to increase my water temperature even more. I had it at 82, but he told me to put it at 88 and if the fish is going to live that should help him. I also did a 50% water change as his levels are way off and yes by the way I am using the API master test kit, not the strips. His water was ph=7.6; amm=.25; nitrite = 1; nitrates 20. I did a big water change on Saturday after testing the water, didn't test again. I just did a test tonight and the levels are exactly the same, not sure why my water changes are not doing anything or if there is something else I can try. I did another 30% water change tonight. I have nothing in this quarantine tank, no substrate, no decor, just water, water heater and air stone. I did get the Melafix you suggested and added that to the water too. He sure is a fighter!

The owner of the fish store also told me to have my big tank (55 gall.) at 86 degrees, I had it at 78 degrees. My big tank water tests are ok, not great. Ph is high, 7.4; ammonia slightly elevated not quite .25; Nitrate 0; Nitrates though are very high at about 80. No matter what I do the nitrates are not lowering. I have added nitrazorb to my filter media. I did a 30% water change on Saturday with my big tank (55gall.), but every time I test the nitrates are high usually about 80.

I will keep you updated! Again, thank you so much!!!
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:43 AM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by doglover View Post
GwenInNM,
Thank you! I did go to a new aquarium store today because I was looking for a stand for my 20 gallon aquarium. The owner was SOOO helpful and did tell me that he thought my sick angel had Swim Bladder Disease. He told me to increase my water temperature even more. I had it at 82, but he told me to put it at 88 and if the fish is going to live that should help him. I also did a 50% water change as his levels are way off and yes by the way I am using the API master test kit, not the strips. His water was ph=7.6; amm=.25; nitrite = 1; nitrates 20. I did a big water change on Saturday after testing the water, didn't test again. I just did a test tonight and the levels are exactly the same, not sure why my water changes are not doing anything or if there is something else I can try. I did another 30% water change tonight. I have nothing in this quarantine tank, no substrate, no decor, just water, water heater and air stone. I did get the Melafix you suggested and added that to the water too. He sure is a fighter!

The owner of the fish store also told me to have my big tank (55 gall.) at 86 degrees, I had it at 78 degrees. My big tank water tests are ok, not great. Ph is high, 7.4; ammonia slightly elevated not quite .25; Nitrate 0; Nitrates though are very high at about 80. No matter what I do the nitrates are not lowering. I have added nitrazorb to my filter media. I did a 30% water change on Saturday with my big tank (55gall.), but every time I test the nitrates are high usually about 80.

I will keep you updated! Again, thank you so much!!!
Have you tested your tap water for nitrates? Your poor fish, he is strong. I agree with turning the temp up, but you have to do it slowly, and 88 may be a bit high. 86 is good. Don't put that poor fish in a tank that has any ammonia or nitrites. Those are so toxic. Swim bladder is not contagious, and maybe I'm not understanding you, but I'd keep him in the main tank, that has decent levels, and raise the temp in that tank slowly. The other fish can handle it too.

80ppm is so high! Wow, you've got to figure out why those numbers are so high. Many on this site, recommend shaking the nitrates #2 bottle for 2 minutes, before using it. Apparently, you can get false readings if you don't do that. Try that, but there is something, (perhaps your tap water) that is causing this.

Using Prime will help detox it for 36 hours, but you've got to figure out what is causing that. Overfeeding?

Gwen
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:56 AM   #8
 
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Hope I haven't just missed it; however, I don't see any mention of whether you have live plants. Fast growing floating/stem plants can have a big positive influence on water quality.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:33 PM   #9
 
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Hope I haven't just missed it; however, I don't see any mention of whether you have live plants. Fast growing floating/stem plants can have a big positive influence on water quality.
That's all true, to an extent, but poster will need tons of plants to make a dent. But, I agree, they are desirable for many reasons.

Gwen
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:10 PM   #10
 
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Have you tested your tap water for nitrates? Your poor fish, he is strong. I agree with turning the temp up, but you have to do it slowly, and 88 may be a bit high. 86 is good. Don't put that poor fish in a tank that has any ammonia or nitrites. Those are so toxic. Swim bladder is not contagious, and maybe I'm not understanding you, but I'd keep him in the main tank, that has decent levels, and raise the temp in that tank slowly. The other fish can handle it too.

80ppm is so high! Wow, you've got to figure out why those numbers are so high. Many on this site, recommend shaking the nitrates #2 bottle for 2 minutes, before using it. Apparently, you can get false readings if you don't do that. Try that, but there is something, (perhaps your tap water) that is causing this.

Using Prime will help detox it for 36 hours, but you've got to figure out what is causing that. Overfeeding?

Gwen
First, let me say, sorry for not responding yesterday evening, but I was emotionally unavailable. I want to share this story for any of you out there that may be using the same type of containers for food. My husband and I have many dogs and cats, we have a dedicated room to the cats with many cat towers. We keep their food in the clear plastic containers with the lid that has a snap clamp to keep the food fresh and keep this container in the cat room. Unfortunately, I came home yesterday to find that one of my cats (only 8 months old) had gotten into the container to steel food and got locked inside. He suffocated to death. So please any of you out there who use these containers, please be aware that this can happen and maybe keep this type of container in a place your pets cannot get to, like a pantry. We have chosen to not use them anymore and are purchasing a screw top type container.



Gwen and Fish monger,
Yes, my sick angel is in a quarantine tank, not in the big tank with the other fish. My concern about keeping him in the big tank is that I do not want anyone to bother him as he mostly floats at the top. I donít want them to nip at him. As far as my water, we have a well not city water. I did test the water anyway and ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all zero. I did test my quarantine tank again today and the levels have dropped, not sure why, but they were ammonia-.25, nitrite-.25, and nitrates-0.



My big tank with all my other fish, I only have live plants, rocks, and bogwood in it. I tested the water today again and nothing has changed (ammonia-.25, Nitrite-0, Nitrate-80). I usually shake the nitrate bottle #2 for at least 30 seconds, per the instructions, however today, I did it for the 2 minutes you recommended; still the same results. The nitrazorb I have in my filter doesnít seem to be doing anything! I am not sure what the next step is?
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