Angelfish Single Gill Breathing - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 18 Old 02-07-2013, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Angelfish Single Gill Breathing

Hi guys,

I'm having more issues with my 36 gallon second hand tank!! It came to me overstocked and filthy, so I re-homed the majority of the fish and started 50% weekly water changes. I kept an angelfish and two gouramis and added in 2 guppies and a balloon molly after about a month. My water parameters are good now, nitrAtes 0, Nitrites: 0, pH 7.5, ammonia 0.

Unfortunately, I just lost both gouramis within a two week timespan from symptoms that looked like ammonia poisoning, even though the ammonia in my tank has been 0 since I got it. I suspect that the levels were pretty high before I took posession of the tank, and some of the fish I re-homed looked like they weren't in the best shape either. That leaves just the angelfish from the original inhabitants, and I noticed when I got him that he had red spots in his eye, but I was told that was ok, since he doesn't seem to have any other issues.

When I open the tank lid, he darts to the top and eats flakes, freeze-dried shrimp and bloodworms like crazy. I alternate between feeding those three things regularly, usually once a day in small quantities and I ocassionally give them shelled cooked peas. He has seemed pretty healthy up until this point.

I wasn't home the night before last, and when I came home from work last night, he suddenly was only breathing out of one gill, the other looked shut. On the gill he is breathing from, the inner part seems to hang down some, and it looked a little red inside, but they usually look that color. He does seem to be breathing harder, but just kinda floats around the tank with no real pattern. He's always an avid eater, and I haven't seen him eat anything in two days, so I'm very concerned that I might lose him, I can't take all this death lately!! Please help!

Also, I bought a 10gal to use as quarantine/hospital tank, and I'm in the process of fishless cycling it, but it's not ready, so I can't move him out right now:/
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post #2 of 18 Old 02-07-2013, 06:44 PM
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The QT usually doesn't need cycling because you will possibly be medicating any fish in there and during medicating you should be doing 100% water changes.

Are you running a filter with this QT tank? Cycling a tank can take a month, it be nice to get the fish in there ASAP so you can start running some tests.

Brace Yourself.....Winter Is Coming
75 gallon Angel Paradise Updates:http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...gallon-220330/
Fluval Spec V Steel crowntail betta, 3 zebra danios,
Fluval Spec V - unnamed dumbo plaket betta, 3 zebra danios
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post #3 of 18 Old 02-08-2013, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishyFishy89 View Post
The QT usually doesn't need cycling because you will possibly be medicating any fish in there and during medicating you should be doing 100% water changes.

Are you running a filter with this QT tank? Cycling a tank can take a month, it be nice to get the fish in there ASAP so you can start running some tests.
After the gouramis died, all the other fish were healthy for several weeks. I started cycling the QT tank for new fish, not necessarily intended as a hospital tank at the moment. The angelfish seemed extremely healthy before this happened. I did notice this morning that right at the base of his side fins he has some redness, and he got behind the filter intake and wiggled against it, but that's the only time I've seen him rub on anything in the tank and he hasn't done it since. The little balloon molly rubbed against a couple of things in the tank a few days ago, but I haven't seen it do that again either, and he doesn't have any red spots or anything questionable looking at all.

And yes, the filter on the QT tank is an aqua-tech 5-15 gallon that came with the 10gal tank.

Last edited by FishNerd86; 02-08-2013 at 07:09 AM.
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post #4 of 18 Old 02-08-2013, 09:52 AM
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What test kit are you using?
Is the redness streaking?

Brace Yourself.....Winter Is Coming
75 gallon Angel Paradise Updates:http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...gallon-220330/
Fluval Spec V Steel crowntail betta, 3 zebra danios,
Fluval Spec V - unnamed dumbo plaket betta, 3 zebra danios
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post #5 of 18 Old 02-08-2013, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishyFishy89 View Post
What test kit are you using?
Is the redness streaking?
It doesn't look streaky, it's just red right around the fin bases. I test with API 5 in one strips.
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post #6 of 18 Old 02-08-2013, 10:29 AM
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The strip tests aren't always reliable. Nearly the whole forum recommends API's liquid test kit.
Anyway you can get pictures of the fish in question? My guess is ammonia. A picture may give us a better clue as well.

Brace Yourself.....Winter Is Coming
75 gallon Angel Paradise Updates:http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...gallon-220330/
Fluval Spec V Steel crowntail betta, 3 zebra danios,
Fluval Spec V - unnamed dumbo plaket betta, 3 zebra danios
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post #7 of 18 Old 02-08-2013, 10:33 AM
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Angelfish DO get a redness....more like a pink hue to their swimfin. But it usually only appears on juvies and disappears when adults. I've read that FEW angelfish keep this hue, but most do not. I have not seen an adult angel with this pink hue.


Since your angel is experiencing issues with breathing and has redness, I'm inclined to believe it is ammonia poisoning. It could be something else tho, that is why your picture could give us a better clue.

Brace Yourself.....Winter Is Coming
75 gallon Angel Paradise Updates:http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...gallon-220330/
Fluval Spec V Steel crowntail betta, 3 zebra danios,
Fluval Spec V - unnamed dumbo plaket betta, 3 zebra danios
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post #8 of 18 Old 02-08-2013, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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It's not that kind of redness, and he hasn't had it before now. I can try to get some pictures up tonight when I get home from work. I don't feel like it's ammonia, I do a 50% water change every week and there are only 4 fish in that 36 gallon tank. I'm not saying it's not possible, but I just feel like it's unlikely.
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post #9 of 18 Old 02-08-2013, 11:35 AM
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With a 50% weekly water change and a bioload that low, their shouldn't be any ammonia. It must be something else.....This is gonna bug me.

Brace Yourself.....Winter Is Coming
75 gallon Angel Paradise Updates:http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...gallon-220330/
Fluval Spec V Steel crowntail betta, 3 zebra danios,
Fluval Spec V - unnamed dumbo plaket betta, 3 zebra danios
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post #10 of 18 Old 02-08-2013, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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I did add 25 lbs. of gravel on Sunday (that I rinsed repeatedly before adding in small scoops). I wonder if something isn't just irritating his gills? But with the redness on his fins, I'm thinking something bacterial maybe? He still isn't eating anything. Also, I'm cycling that QT tank, the nitrite has spiked and I'm really not sure what I'm doing. I've read 4 different articles that all have different recipes for the amount of ammonia and how often you should add it. Is there a way to undo all that and just start over so I can put the angel in there? I started out adding way too much ammonia, so I did two 80% water changes, ammonia went to zero, but the nitrites are still off the charts, as are nitrates. Help!
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