View Full Version : Having a most frustrating experience with Angelfish

02-07-2015, 09:41 PM
I have three tanks now, a 30 gallon sick tank (which used to be my starter aquarium) and two larger ones, a 50 g and a newer 44 pentagon. I decided to just keep Angelfish and took the others I kept for a while to the local private aquarium shop. Everywhere people say that Angelfish are easy to keep and make a good beginner fish. I am not really a beginner but I never kept Angelfish before.

I baby all my tanks and the water readings all come out fine. I have had all these fish for several weeks now and everything was going great. Then..

First, the 30g... One of the Angels started to hang out at the top a lot, and I noticed he had a reddish streak going along his dorsal fin. I took a pic of him and took it to the aquarium shop. They recommended Pimafix, which I administered immediately, and the red on the fish seemed to start going away. They were all eating fine, but a couple of days later, another Angel was dead, and he didn't even look sick. After him the first who had a red streak stopped eating and died. I took water readings again and they were normal. I still had another Angel in the tank who is black and started having clumped fins and whitish on his body. I went to the pet store again and this time got a tablet treatment called "All in 1 Remedy" which claimed to treat a variety of illnesses without having to guess which one the fish had. After treating the tank for a few days (carbon removed from the filter as they said to do on the meds), the black Angel's fins appear to be back to normal, though the whitish stuff is still on him and the tail rot is still visible, which I suppose will take time to recover. He is eating well and no longer hides.

In my larger tank everything was going great, and I have two larger adults Angels there, one of which suddenly started having clumped fins. But she was eating well, so I decided to try Pimafix on that tank just in case. The other adult, the larger male, seems okay. I also have several baby Angels in the same tank some of which are going into the 44 g pentagon tank once it is ready. The babies are tiny, and I have 5 of them. They seem to be all okay as well. Today the adult with clumped fins stopped eating. So I put her into the sick tank which is medicated with "All in 1" with the black Angel who is still in recovery. Immediately I noticed that the one I added into the fish tank was not doing well. I hope I am not too late placing her into the sick tank, and that placing her in there didn't traumatize her more and quickened her death. I am beginning to think Pimafix is either not all that good/strong or it just doesn't help with the type of an illness they have. I feel so frustrated. It seems that's all I have been doing lately is - water changes, readings, administering medicine, and I am still losing fish. I Googled this and came across a post on another forum where someone's situation with their Angels was almost identical to mine, but they didn't get any answers to what the problem could be or what to use just questions about the water readings.

It seems that the first major clue that something is wrong with Angels is clumped fins. (I am becoming paranoid, because that is all I look at these days - are their fins clumped, and when they swim, they fold them and unfold them, and it's hard to tell.) When you first notice this, what should be done right away to prevent something serious developing? Also, is it a good idea to remove the sick fish and place it into another tank when this seems to traumatize it even more, and what affects that fish could start affecting others in the tank as well. Would it be better to treat the entire tank instead? If so, what is the best medicine to use for Angelfish, and would treating the entire tank be safe for all of the fish, even if they are not affected by the illness/parasite?
What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!

02-08-2015, 12:29 AM
So sorry you're having problems.
What, exactly are your Ammonia, Nitrite and nitrates numbers and what kind of a test kit do you use?
How about water temp? What are you running your heater at?
How often do you generally change water in your tanks and how much do you change out?
Answers to these questions can help try to figure this out.

Pimafix, btw, isn't really a medication and I've rarely hear of anyone getting good results from it.

I've recently read that a red line along a dorsal fin on an angel could be the result of stress and once that line appears, often the fish die shortly after if the fish isn't removed from the tank where he feels stress or unless the stressor is moved. If you're not seeing bullying or fighting during the day, try to observe them at night if you have a blue light or a very low light setting.
Angels fight a lot in certain situations. And they bully which is pretty typical angel behavior.
Are there any other fish in the tank that could be bullying or nipping?

Here's something else to consider. I just pulled it off a page I googled. " The angel could have hemorrhagic septicemia. It's a bacterial infection that causes vascular inflammation, hence the blood streaks on the dorsal fin base. It is almost always caused by poor water.It can be treated with a broad spectrum antibiotic."[/I]

So if you can rule out bullying you may be looking at a bacterial infection. Metro+ is a good antibiotic and you may want to consider treating the sick fish with that if stress is ruled out.

Another thing, have you ever treated them for internal parasites? If not, you may want to treat every tank with Prazi-pro. It's mild and will kill most internal parasites. It's just a good precautionary treatment for all fish - even if internal parasites are not the cause of your problem.

02-08-2015, 01:21 AM
Sounds like they could be getting something maybe at the fish store and your bring it home. Are you using the same net to transfer the angels from tank to tank if so and the angels did have some kind of illness you've spread it to all your tanks from the net. Been there and done that. There's a fish store by me I won't by angels due to the fact the survival rate once I bring then home is very small. I'll put it this way I bought 8 DD black angels and lost 7. Symptoms were clamped fins and turning whitish in color. That fish store has a big main filtration system so all their tanks have the same water and whatever is in the system only seems to effect angels. If you buy more put them in quarantine for a month. If any issues arise use melafix it's a all natural mild all around antibiotic for fish. I have good and bad results using it. The bad results were they said it is live Plant safe. NOT, I killed almost all my plants when I used it. Just make sure you get a new net or boil your old ones. I spread Ich this way once.

02-08-2015, 02:31 AM
Thank you for your replies! I didn't see Prazi-Pro at Pets Mart, but found it online at Dr Foster and Smith. I went back to Pets Mart today and got some freshwater aquarium salt. The sick Angel that is in the quarantine tank is still alive but barely. What saddens me is that I got two adult Angels that are quite a few years of age, at our locally owned fish store, and if they had lived at someone else's place and did well for several years, then got sick when I brought them home, then it is something I am doing wrong. All but two of my Angels came from local stores and bred in our city. I haven't noticed any bullying so far, and the water readings are all normal. I am using the Tetra Easy Strips. The only thing about our water here is that it is not as soft as Angels normally prefer. But everybody is telling me that shouldn't be a problem, especially since these were bred locally and the two adults have lived in our local water all their lives. I change water every other day, but about 10 to 25%. After the death of the fish, I changed 50%.

02-08-2015, 02:57 AM
Something else I forgot to mention. Maybe important. It appears that trouble started when I added blue snails into the tank. I got them to work on algae. Before them the tank was healthy and happy, but this could just be a coincidence. They were never in the large tank, and yet one of the fish there got ill anyway, so that led me to believe the snails were not the problem. But I have removed them from the tank since and they are now in the 44 g. I am debating now whether to keep them or take them to the fish shop.

02-12-2015, 02:39 AM

It seems that the illness they have had is finally under control. Still holding my breath... All-In-One Remedy by Marineland has done the trick. Unfortunately I lost two more fish because I started on the medicine too late for those two. But the others are recovering. It is interesting though that the two Angels I got online have been thriving and both doubled in size since their arrival at my house a few weeks ago. But the Angels bought locally are the ones who have been affected by this illness, even though the store kept telling me that they are locally bred and used to our water. I think I'll stick with online purchases next time.

02-12-2015, 04:54 AM
so glad that things have turned around for you. Sorry that you lost the angels though :o(