Frequently Asked Questions about Angelfish Health
My angelfish will not eat. What should I do?First, it's very important to determine why it isn't eating. Stress can come from many sources that might cause them to stop feeding. Are there any symptoms other than not eating? If the fish swims normally, looks normal and acts normal, then it's not likely a bacterial infection or an external parasite. It could have an internal parasite such as a nematode, flagellate or other parasite. It could also be recovering from the stress of transportation or frequent tank changes.
Unless you have a microscope and the knowledge to identify the possible parasites, then the best course of action is a heat treatment. Caution: do not use heat if the fish is bloated, fins are clamped, has a thick slime coat, has ragged fins or red streaks in the body/fins.
Raise the temperature over a period of 24 hrs to 95-96 F. Hold it there for 7-10 days. Make sure aeration is good. When feeding, offer only one bite to each fish. It's very important to not offer more, even if they eat the bite. If they don't eat it within 2 minutes, remove the uneaten food. If you do not, then expect to fail. Food left in water of this temperature will spoil very quickly and will likely turn the fish off to that particular food forever. If the fish does eat the bite, then repeat this procedure every few hours for the next 2 days. After that, slightly increase the amount of food offered each day until it is eating normally. Slowly lower the temperature over the next 24 hours.
My angelfish is sick. What's wrong with it?Diagnosis of angel fish diseases can be tricky even with the fish in front of us. It's almost impossible without physical examination, but here are a couple of guidelines to help you narrow down the disease. Angel fish that do not eat, are not bloated, have no red blood streaks in their fins or body, are not clamped or slimed, usually have internal parasites. Heat the tank to 95°-96° F. for a week to 10 days. This will stimulate their immune system and get them eating, but probably will not eliminate the parasite. Treatment should be geared towards the particular parasite. If you don't know what it is, then Disco Med is an effective medication that will work on many internal parasites. Once they are eating, the best way to eliminate the parasite is with a medicated foods. The best approach is to feed one geared towards internal nematodes (worms), and then another that is designed to eliminate flagellates. A metronidazole laced food, designed for flagellates, is best used during the heat treatment.
Rotting fins are either the result of introducing a virulent pathogen or from overfeeding. The answer to overfeeding is obvious. The treatment for the virulent pathogen can be difficult. Usually, only extensive trial and error with different medications will solve this, if at all. Laboratory testing is often necessary with tough cases of fin rot. If you want to take a shot at curing this, then choose a broad spectrum antibiotic. If you suspect fungus, then use something with Malachite Green in it.
Angel fish that have red streaks around the mouth or base of the dorsal usually have a systemic (internal) bacterial infection. Do not use a heat treatment for any suspected bacterial diseases. Treatment for an internal bacterial problem is very difficult, unless you are knowledgeable about giving an intra muscular injection of the proper anti-biotic. If the angel fish is still eating, your best bet is to try a flake food that has an anti-biotic added to it. Angel fish that are very bloated, likely have a type of internal bacterial infection that has affected the kidneys. Angel fish exhibiting this symptom are usually too far gone to be saved. If you catch this type of angel fish disease early when the fish is still eating, then a medicated food with an antibiotic in it may work.
External parasites, fungus and bacteria are generally easier to cure, but can be just as difficult for the average hobbyist to identify. Preventing the introduction of an angel fish disease is 10 times easier than trying to cure one. We highly recommend using a sound quarantine procedure on all new arrivals, including plants or anything from another tank that held fish, and a good book on fish diseases.
Last night at feeding time one of my angel fish was floating around in the current. This morning it is still laying on its side. What is wrong with it?The symptoms you described are classic for a swim bladder infection. When the bacteria is actively multiplying, the angel fish bloats, typically "floating" as you described it. At some point the swim bladder is destroyed by the bacteria and the fish can no longer maintain an upright position and become "bellysliders", unable to stay in mid water without great effort. This angel fish disease almost always results in a fish that has permanent swimming difficulty. Prevention is the key with this problem. It's usually the result of overfeeding or feeding food that has started to spoil.
Frequently Asked Questions about Angels Plus
Frequently Asked Questions about angelfish