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Old 08-14-2003, 01:46 PM   #1
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Emperor Angel has a bad-looking pectoral fin :o(

Last night I noticed that our 3" Emperor Angel's left pectoral fin is looking cloudy and frayed vs right, and he seems to be using it less. Otherwise his activity and feeding seem normal. I'm worried - could this be an early sign of some disease or infection? We have 7 fish, ~= 15 fish-inches in a 40-gal SW tank with 2" CC substrate, various dead corals for hiding places, and ~ 5 snails, no LR yet. Ph 8.0, SG ~ 1.23, NH4 & nitrites zero, nitrates steady @ 5.0ppm, temp ~= 78F. Fluval 204 filter, 2 powerheads, protein skimmer. We feed them one frozen pellet of marine sponge etc mix & a few flakes nightly.

I know we're a bit overcrowded, but returning a fish is not an option now.

Advice?
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Old 08-14-2003, 05:12 PM   #2
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Angels are actually quite prone to fungal infections, could just be simple fin rot as well. Either way, increasing the amount of water changes you do will help, say like 2x10% weekly. As well you should make sure the Angel is getting some extra vitamins by means of Zoe, Selcon or other. If it persists after a few weeks you should isolate it in a proper >>QT<< and treat with a broad spectrum anti-biotic for gram negative bacteria.

Once the problem has cleared up however, I would suggest taking the Emperor back to the LFS. The cramped quarters of a 40 gal tank with 6 other fish is most likely waht caused this in the first place. Even though your stock may meet the 1"/rule, a large angel will not fair well in such an environment.

Cheers
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Old 08-14-2003, 05:58 PM   #3
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Hi, Steve,

Thanks so much for the advice - it's very reassuring. I'd hate to have to tell my daughter we lost her prize angel in the first week we've been solely maintaining the tank! I'll pick up some vitamins and some gram-neg antibiotics, do some more frequent water changes, and hope for the best.

I know we are overcrowded, in spite of the good advice of this forum, to which we did not listen. The LFS guy told my daughter we could have more fish in our tank, so she talked us into buying the big angel, a beautiful dwarf angel, and a clown. Like I said, returning any of them is not an option - family politics trumps good sense. We'll just have to make the best of it. Actually, maybe I could use this as an excuse to upgrade to a bigger tank ;o)

Say, if I did that, could I just get a big tub for a temp holding tank, transfer the CC, some corals, part of the water, then move the fish into it (might need two tubs), then transfer rest of water, CC etc. Then I could move out the now-empty 40-gal tank & stand, bring in the new one (aiming for 80-gal), transfer in reverse. Temp, ph, salinity, etc all monitored within specs, of course, and heater & powerhead in each tub. We could get by without a separate filter for the tub for a day, right?

Oh, and a question about water changes. She had been doing them without heater or aeration, but getting ph, salinity, NH4 & nitrites OK. Is this safe for the fish?

Thanks again.

Regards,

Bob
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Old 08-14-2003, 06:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeitzke
I'll pick up some vitamins and some gram-neg antibiotics,
Make sure they are not used in the main display tank. Anti-biotics must be used in a QT tank as they will destroy your tanks' biological filter.

Quote:
Actually, maybe I could use this as an excuse to upgrade to a bigger tank
If it keeps the family peace, then that would be the best option. If these fish are left as is you will be even less popular soon.

Quote:
Say, if I did that, could I just get a big tub for a temp holding tank, transfer the CC, some corals, part of the water, then move the fish into it (might need two tubs), then transfer rest of water, CC etc. Then I could move out the now-empty 40-gal tank & stand, bring in the new one (aiming for 80-gal), transfer in reverse. Temp, ph, salinity, etc all monitored within specs, of course, and heater & powerhead in each tub. We could get by without a separate filter for the tub for a day, right?
That would actually be fine. I would suggest two rubbermaid bins though and place all the cc in one (or possibley change to sand) and the rock in the other. I would also divide the fish/corals between the two to cut down on possible aggression. As long as each bin is properly aerated and the temp is kept up, a day is no different that moving a tank to a new home/apt. Might wanna keep some ammonia binder on hand as well.

Quote:
Oh, and a question about water changes. She had been doing them without heater or aeration, but getting ph, salinity, NH4 & nitrites OK. Is this safe for the fish?
In smaller tanks, any kind of extreme change is not good. Temp is just as important as the rest. I would quite honestly recommend a small 50w titanium heater that can be easily used in a small bucket with a PH.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 08-14-2003, 07:01 PM   #5
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Yeah - going to fish heaven would be worse than back to the LFS, for sure.

No antibiotics in main tank - of course. But vitamins are OK, right?

Quarantine tank - sounds like a good idea to keep one ready for such treatments. I'll have to look into how to manage that. We don't have a handy space for one. It could be a small tank, but would need a sand or CC substrate, cycled for NH4 & nitrites mgmt, and all the other parameters in spec, with a heater and PH. Would it need its own filter too? Light?

We seem to be getting in deeper and deeper ... But we enjoy our tank and the fish.

Really appreciate your advice.

Regards,

Bob
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Old 08-14-2003, 07:04 PM   #6
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Oh wait a minute. Quarantine tank for antibiotics treatment - no point to substrate, cycling - duhhh.

Then I guess it could just be a temp setup in a big bucket, with heater & PH only, right?

Sorry - replied before I thought it through.

) Bob
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Old 08-14-2003, 07:06 PM   #7
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But vitamins are OK, right?
I would actually recommend using them at least once a week irregardless of ailments. It's a great immune booster and can help the fish fight problems before they start.

Cheers
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Old 08-26-2003, 09:07 PM   #8
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Emperor Angel fin problem getting worse, even with vitamins

Our Emperor Angel's problem is gradually getting worse, even though we've been giving vitamins daily for two weeks now. His left pectoral fin is down to an inflamed stub, and his left side behind it shows a pale area that may indicate that whatever the fin has, is spreading. His behavior is OK, so far - he feeds aggressively. We've been dipping the nightly live sponge/shrimp/whatever frozen pellet food in the vitamin mix (Zoe, I think), and even dumping a little directly into the tank 2x/week.

Is it time for gram-neg antibiotics in a quarantine tank? If so, how long should he be isolated?

Any other suggestions for coping with this (other than fewer fish)?

TIA

Bob Peitzke
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Old 08-26-2003, 10:51 PM   #9
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Re: Emperor Angel fin problem getting worse, even with vitam

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeitzke
Is it time for gram-neg antibiotics in a quarantine tank? If so, how long should he be isolated?
Definately!! Make sure you use twice the recommended dosage for the first day and treat for at least 7 days straight. If possible, take some QT tank water in a glass and pre-dissolve the med first. Take a few tbsp of that mixture and soak the food in it every sevond day as well. Remember, this must be done in a QT tank.

Cheers
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Old 08-27-2003, 08:23 PM   #10
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Will do the QT antibiotics

Thanks, Steve. We'll get a tub or something for a quarantine tank this weekend, along with a PH and heater, and quarantine the E.Angel with your antibiotics regimen. I'll report results.

Cheers,

Bob Peitzke
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