View Full Version : Help or hope for my Angelfish

12-03-2008, 04:11 AM
Hi, I am new to this forum and hope someone can give me some insight on what is ailing Mr. Blurpie.

Mr. Blurpie is a large beautiful angelfish, almost 3 years old and has fallen ill and can't figure out what is wrong??

About a month ago I noticed he started breathing funny, did many water changes and one day he dropped to the bottom of the tank and still lays there to this day.

I just got back from a 10 day vacation and the poor thing is still holding on, I honestly thought he'd be gone by now.

After taking water samples to my local Petco the only thing off in my tank is the pH. I have been treating my tank now with "neutral regulator" (we tried some fizz tabs prior to vacation which didn't work) and now using the other stuff the level is going up and just about normal.

He can swim a little bit if another fish disturbs him, may sit upright for a few minutes and then falls over. He has no marks on his body, hasn't been nibbled out by his fellow tank mates and I just have no clue what is wrong?

Any help or suggestions of what else I could do would be greatly appreciated.


12-03-2008, 04:22 AM
Welcome to the AC!
What size is your tank and your filter?
When and how much was your last water change?
What were all your perameters when they were tested.
You really should have your own test kit!
I would start with a large water change!40-50%

Lady Hobbs
12-03-2008, 04:25 AM
Welcome to AC.

Sorry about your angelfish. Have you noticed scales are raised as this could be bloat? But if not that, swim bladder disease for sure which is caused often from overfeeding or constipation. Sounds as he may have air trapped in his stomach preventing him from swimming normally. Actually, I've surprised he is still living as he is probably not eating, either, is he?

If you can get him to eat some cooked shelled pea's, try that. How long since you've done a water change?

12-03-2008, 04:55 AM
Oh my goodness I can't believe how quickly you replied :19:

I can 100% rule out bloat. None of my fish are overfed and the rest are very healthy looking (I've experienced a fish or two in the past with bloat).

My tank is 29 (30 gallons) and we have a 205 fluval filter.

I did a 25% water change yesterday.

I just did a test strip:

Nitrate 20
Nitrite 0
Total hardness 150
Total Chlorine 0
Total Alkalinity 120
pH - in-between 6.3-6.8

I probably should get my own testing kit.

BTW, I have 2 large pleco's, 2 large silver dollars, some type of long Danio, 1 serpae tetra (he's going on 3 and bright red) and my angel. He's about 3"x3".

PS Lady Hobbs, no he's not eating that I can see or have observed (I watch closely). In fact he was the only fish that when I waved my hand at feeding time would swim to the front ... and of course got fed first ha-ha. It is very sad seeing him like this and too I can't believe he is still hanging in there.

12-03-2008, 05:12 AM
How often are your water changes and you did not mention ammonia.
Yes a liquid test kit is the way to go.
Is there any marks on the fish?
Is its stomach swollen or sucked in at all?
Are any of its scales sticking out ?

12-03-2008, 05:20 AM
I don't see a rating for ammonia, but they did test for that at Petco.

My fish has no marks on it, which I have been watching for and there is nothing unusually about him.

His scales aren't sticking out and from what I can see his body has not shrunken in as one would expect at this time.

Could he have some type of internal parasite?

Almost forgot, I try to do water changes once a week, usually it goes no longer than 2 weeks at a clip.

Lady Hobbs
12-03-2008, 01:19 PM
Do you feed flake food? Flake food can cause swim bladder problems because the food swells in their stomaches. If you feed them flake, let it get wet first before feeding them and better yet, switch to a good pellet food. There are several quality foods in pellet form.

You may want to try him with some anti-parasite food, as well.

12-03-2008, 01:46 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong here but if your reading 20ppm of nitrates after a 25% water change you prob should do another water change more around 50%-60% to bring down your nitrates a bit... I don't think 20ppm is harmful to fish and is prob not what caused the angelfish problem but it could of been much higher before that W/C...Maybe someone can jump in here that knows a little more about nitrate levels

Lady Hobbs
12-03-2008, 01:52 PM
20 nitrates and lower is recommended. You are correct in that it is probably too high before water changes. People often do such small water changes that it hardly makes a difference, as well.

12-03-2008, 03:27 PM
I feed my fish pellets and flakes (a little of both). I believe the food I am using is quality. I don't think I can give him anti-parasite food as he's not eating.

Could he possibly have an internal parasite?

As for the nitrate level, I don't have an "exact" number (only reading from a range), the level could be a little less than 20, but agree I should probably do another water change (again I was away for 10 days and possibly why it is still reading a little higher).

12-03-2008, 04:08 PM
A really good quality food is NLS!
If your fish has an internal parasite you should get some garlic and crushed it till its minced.Add a little garlic and juice to your flakes and mix it up.Your fish may go nuts for this and if you feed for 3wks it will starve the parasite to death.
Always do between 30-50% water changes.It will help to keep your water in check!

12-03-2008, 04:27 PM
I have never heard of NLS, I use Ocean Nutrition Forumla ONE flakes and pellets and actually just looking at the bottle of pellets see it contains garlic.

Approx. how much garlic would be good to mince?

12-03-2008, 04:37 PM
I have never heard of NLS, I use Ocean Nutrition Forumla ONE flakes and pellets and actually just looking at the bottle of pellets see it contains garlic.

Approx. how much garlic would be good to mince?
NLS,New Life Spectrum is great food.
If your food has garlic in it great.
I crush up a section of the clove at a time and use just a wee bit at a time.Too much will stink up your water.I use a little on the edge of a butter knife and mix with pellets or flakes.
I have never heard of the food you are using but it sounds good.

12-04-2008, 03:32 AM
Hi again,

I just found out from my hubby that when we do water changes it's actually 30% ... so this a good thing??

I have a new question up for grabs ...

Could a low level of pH cause mega algae on artificial plants and ornaments?

I was feeding my Pleco's Algae tabs (stopped about 2 months ago due to my Pleco's not coming out and the tabs rotting), but not sure if the 1st few treatments we did with pH fizz tabs helped break up the algae. Since those treatments my Pleco's are very active and doing a great job.

One more question ...

How to clean off ornaments.

We were told we could fill up a 5 gallon bucket with water and 1 cup of clorox, set the ornaments in there for maybe an hour or so, and then transfer the ornaments to another bucket. To remove traces of clorox there is a product we need to use (can't remember the name of it) and that will clear any residue. Does that sound right?

I apologize as I really haven't had time to glance 100% through this forum and hope these questions are okay to ask within this post. (I am a moderator on a guinea pig forum so understand how important it is to keep posts of the same questions together :c3:)

12-04-2008, 03:40 AM
I can help you on the ornaments, IMO, no clorox is nessisary unless a really invasive algae or a disease is in the tank, if so, then make a really really really weak bleach solution and let it soak that way, otherwise, brushing it off by hand, or with a scrubber will work just fine in plain water.

Lady Hobbs
12-04-2008, 04:24 AM
Anytime you use bleach for cleaning, a mild solution is fine with a brush and then letting it set in dechlorinatored water or air dried. There are several good foods out there for us consumers and I'm sure your choice is fine. New Life Spectrum is a good food as well as Hikari and probably Omega One. All are top brands.

Your fish could have a bacterial infection as well and nothing you had any control over. What was he eating while you were away? Was he feed by someone else, an automatic feeder or a food block?

12-04-2008, 05:16 AM
While on vacation my mom came over every 2 days and fed them their daily food.

The algae actually was really bad about a week or two before we left for vacation and why my hubby had asked at the pet store recommendations on cleaning the ornaments.

Come to think of it, about a month or two earlier it was all on the front of the tank (like I've never seen before) and realized it was due to the sun hitting the tank. Since then I now keep the blind shut until the sun rises and possibly that is why along with my Pleco's becoming more active things are looking brighter?

I really don't like the location of my tank, but 3/4's of the year the sun does not hit it.

Wild Turkey
12-04-2008, 01:36 PM
I would highly recommend thumbing through the free e-book in your spare time. I think it will shed a lot of light, it usually does, even for experienced keepers.

12-05-2008, 04:08 AM
As for previous questions if he is eating it's YES. I just fed the other fish and watched he got a little excited ... it looked as if he was trying to move but just doesn't have the strength.

So I pulled out a big net, got him in and fed some flakes. So it seems he still does have an appetite.

This is really bothering me, he's not paralyzed and can swim a little, I noticed getting a very close look at him he has a little green on his side (maybe from laying around?) but overall is not sunken in and if he'd just sit up looks healthy.