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  1. #1

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    Default Totally stumped on what's wrong with my Angel, any ideas?


    0 Not allowed!
    I noticed tonight while feeding my fish that my angel has this nasty swelling at the base of it's fin. It looks lumpy, with red and white patches; The fin looks intact, but it looks like the area between the webbing is missing entirely. I have never seen anything like it. Other than its fin, the fish is displaying good color & it's behavior doesn't seem too off. Any information would be appreciated. IMG_0313.jpg

  2. #2

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    from the lack of webbing between the fin rays I'm guessing fin rot. what are your water parameters(ammonia, nitrite, nitrate)? fin rot is usually caused by sub-optimal water quality.

  3. #3

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    I use a live ammonia tracker, according to it the ammonia levels are fine (but I'm sure it's probably not as precise as my API testing kit). I have had some problems with Nitrates in the past, despite weekly water changes. I will have to check the water parameters, as I haven't for a few weeks. Thanks for your input. I always thought fin rot ate the fin from the tip to the base. I've seen many pictures of it, but the fins always looked extremely frayed and different, maybe from a secondary infection? All the other fish seem unaffected.

  4. #4

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    0 Not allowed!
    I moved the Angel to a quarantine tank & have been treating it with quick cure. The fin rot is almost entirely healed.

    The water parameter's for the main aquarium I keep it in is:
    GH 180+
    KH 40
    PH 7.5
    Ammonia 0 ppm
    NO2 0 ppm
    N03 80 ppm

    The hardness of the water is what concerns me the most (it may very well be above 180, I will test it with the liquid tester as well). I still need to test the hardness of my tap supply. I get the jest of water hardness, but I don't completely understand it. Any further information that could help me get my water parameters more suitable would be greatly appreciated! I don't want to move the Angel back and risk it developing fin rot again. Also, I have had this aquarium running for at least 2 years, so it's established.
    Last edited by Discordia; 11-06-2013 at 12:05 AM.

  5. #5

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    a GH of 180 isn't all that worrisome, considering your angelfish is from a line of many, many generations of fish bred in captivity.
    what is much more worrisome and possibly the cause of the angel's fin rot is your nitrate levels. nitrate should not exceed 20 ppm, most aquarists keep it even lower.
    As soon as your fish is in a medication-free environment then the finrot will likely re-occur unless the root cause is eliminated. how often do you change the water of
    your tank? to maintain low nitrate levels, many aquarists change at least 50% weekly.

  6. #6

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    I remove 10 gallons per week vacuuming the gravel to remove the build up. It is a 55 gallon aquarium. I've read that doing large water changes was bad for the biofilter, so I've always been reluctant to do such. It does sound like larger water changes are needed though, so I'm not always battling nitrates. When doing large water changes on a regular basis, should I avoid cleaning the gravel every time?

  7. #7

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    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Discordia View Post
    I remove 10 gallons per week vacuuming the gravel to remove the build up. It is a 55 gallon aquarium. I've read that doing large water changes was bad for the biofilter, so I've always been reluctant to do such. It does sound like larger water changes are needed though, so I'm not always battling nitrates. When doing large water changes on a regular basis, should I avoid cleaning the gravel every time?
    Changing your water does nothing to your biofilter - bacteria lives primarily in the filter media not the water. In a 55 gal tank with nitrates that high, you really need to do some really large water changes (like 2 each day AM & PM - at least half the water at a time if not more) to get that # down - you certainly don't want your fish to get ill again from stress.

    The only things that will kill bacteria in your tank is if they have no source of ammonia (removing all your fish) or the media dries out - neither of those things are happening now so you don't have to fear you'll wreck the biofilter.

    Most of us do a gravel vac about once a week or so, doing a different area each time - there is also bacteria living in the gravel but much less compared to the filter media.

  8. #8

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    once you get your nitrates down with a couple large water changes you can find out what water change schedule is best for keeping your nitrates under control.
    for instance you could do very little water changes on a 75 gallon with a few tetras, but the same 75 stocked with large cichlids might require a change every two days long term.
    unless you have plants in the tank, feel free to vacuum the gravel as much as you like.

  9. #9

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    0 Not allowed!
    How much to gravel vac can depend on your stocking, how much you feed, and how well planted your tank might be. My tanks are generally moderately to well planted and I do very little vaccuming in most of them. Some surface pick up as needed, maybe every other week, more if I've over fed a bit. But I do a 50% water change once a week. Plants help keep the nitrates down, also.

  10. #10

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    0 Not allowed!
    Thank you all for your help!

    I got my water parameters under control now. Yesterday, I finally moved my Angel back to the main aquarium because it would not eat in the QT. It's fin is no longer swollen, but it is still red & sore looking. I figured I would follow up with Melafix & monitor it closely. HOWEVER...

    It seems that this fish is having another problem. It is exhibiting pop-eye in one eye only. It isn't protruding, but it is extremely cloudy like a cataract. Any suggestions as to why & what would be the best method of treatment? (I have a feeling this fish is going right back to QT). It's eye was normal looking just yesterday & far as I know, it didn't hit anything to damage its eye.

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