Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Sick Fish or Coral
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 11-16-2005, 01:28 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Pacific Palisades, CA, USA
Posts: 149
Sick flame angel

We have a lovely flame angel that we got last weekend. Now its left eye is cloudy and fins are ragged, and it's started swimming erratically. Other fish are fine, though the yellow tang seems a paler yellow.

Salinity is ~ 1.023; ammonia & nitrites nil; ph looks ~ 8.2. 36 Gal FOWLR

Suggestions?
__________________

__________________
bpeitzke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2005, 08:41 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 1,538
Give the angel a FW dip for at least three minutes but no more than five. Make sure the temp is close to the tank temp and of course dechlorinate it first. Use RO water if you can.

While the angel is in the freshwater, watch to see if anything falls off, particularly if it is opaque white and round. If you have a hospital tank, put the angel in it.

What other fish live in there with the angel? The ragged fins may suggest the angel is getting picked on.

Some info. on this parasite...

There is a particular external parasite that is known to be problematic for the fact it cannot be killed with medications...not even copper can touch it. The only way to kill them off the fish is to dip the fish in freshwater. I'm still looking for the name of this parasite, but I do know it's a trematode of sorts. The parasite is natural to the lumberjack fish Japanese fisheries harvest. When these fishermen started trekking these fish around the world, they spread their parasite too and now the parasite is found in almost all the oceans.

It is nearly impossible to see these parasites. They are transparent and round. When exposed to FW, they turn opaque and fall off the fish. A cloudy eye can suggest these parasites may be present. It's the only place on the body of the fish they show up.

Angels are one of the fish that are common to have these parasites. Many fish are so it's a good idea to dip most new fish before purchasing if possible. Some fish should not be FW dipped like wrasses and small gobies. Tangs, angels, butterflies, damsels, triggers, puffers, lions, groupers, anthias, etc are all OK to dip. Even eels, but not right after they eat.

If you see these parasites are present, then I would suggest to treat the angel with an antiseptic and Formalin. Aquarium Pharmeceuticals use to have Wound Control. They might not have it on the market anymore. I don't know if they had substituted it with another product. It went on the fish directly instead of in the tank. Good antiseptic.

You will want to dip the angel again. These parasites are monogentic which means they do not need a second host to complete their life cycle and breed right on the fish.

Let me know how the dip turns out...and I will warn you now...some people may not condone doing FW dips but it is the only way to rid these certain parasites and a positive way to confirm or deny the presence of these parasites. It's worth the stress the fish goes under for the moment. If the angel lays down just fan water over it's gills. The fish will be fine. I've dipped hundreds of fish without problems from the dip.

I notice you have a 36 gallon tank with a yellow tang. Too small of a tank for it and being that and having very close quarters with the other fish, you may want to dip them too. Again, please let us know what other fish are in there.
__________________

__________________
http://www.tricitytropicals.com
------------------------------------
We, as a people, know so much more about outer space than we do about our own oceans. This lack of knowledge can very well spell the dangers that lay in wait for us.

The oceans surely would swallow us before a rock comes down to smite the planet of it's life.
Nov/2004
TCTFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2005, 12:01 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Pacific Palisades, CA, USA
Posts: 149
Too late for flame angel :o(

Sadly, we found the flame angel dead this morning. I'm afraid I asked for advice too late. But I found your advice and explanation of these parasites so thorough and valuable that I'm saving it in my growing SW fish infobase. I'm sure it will help us down the road.

I think we'll start doing the FW dip on all new fish (excluding the ones you warned about).

The tang has been thriving, and appears to coexist with the others just fine. I haven't seen any picking from the other fish, and her fins show no stress. The only concern is that she seems a bit paler lately. I know our tank is smallish for a tang, but our daughter really wanted one, and the common Yellow was the only one I could find with tank min anywhere close to ours.

Thanks again for your advice.

Regards,

Bob Peitzke
__________________
bpeitzke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2005, 06:46 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 1,538
The ragged fins of the angel is a clear sign someone is nippy. Without knowing what fish you have in there other than the tang /I would suspect the tang doing it. They can be jerks to new fish especially in a small tank.

Here's a tidbit on tangs...even the smaller yellow species....

They are open water swimmers and require ample swimming room to satisfy their needs in captivity...or they die very prematurely. Tangs also need tons of vegetation to eat and a variety of it. Purple seaweed is good to offer. The paling color of the tang is suggesting stress. So what else do you have in there?

The tang could also be stressed from the angel especially if it did have these parasites. They will swim from fish to fish.

You are lucky enough for the tang to still be alive, but if it stays in that tank it won't be for much longer. Your daughter would be devastated to see it die...more so if she'd never gotten it in the first place.

It's all too common when parents bring their kids to the store with them to pick out fish for the tank. Many end up getting fish they know won't survive well. Most of these animals are taken out from the wild for our enjoyment. The least we can do is respect their captive needs to keep them alive and healthy for their potential life spans...not just for the moment. I am a parent too so I know what you mean (I have an 11 year old son), but it doesn't teach our kids the right thing to do if we give in to their 'begging' and tantrums. Sometimes it's best to just deal with it and avoid problems later. It would save thousands of fish per year from premature death.

Hope it all goes well.
__________________
http://www.tricitytropicals.com
------------------------------------
We, as a people, know so much more about outer space than we do about our own oceans. This lack of knowledge can very well spell the dangers that lay in wait for us.

The oceans surely would swallow us before a rock comes down to smite the planet of it's life.
Nov/2004
TCTFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2005, 07:11 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Pacific Palisades, CA, USA
Posts: 149
More background on our tank environment

The other fish we have in this 36 gal FOWLR tank are:

- 5" speckled green puffer (voracious feeder but hasn't been seen bothering other fish)

- 3" Maroon clown

- 1.5" zebra damsel - hasn't shown any aggression to others

- 2.5" yellow tang

The angel's ragged fins looked frayed to me, not bitten. This was most evident on tail & left pec fin.

From your advice I think we need to give the tang a FW dip. Maybe the others too.

Our daughter is no child - a 28-yr-old lawyer! She is married & they have their own place now but she still considers the tank "hers". I hear you about tank minimums and fish density - you're preaching to the choir.

So family politics trump good aquarium practice (sigh). I just have to do the best I can to keep 5 fish healthy in this smallish tank. We have lots of LR & hiding places, and I really haven't seen fish bothering each other. The only one who did that was our neon damsel, who had grown & gotten more aggressive. We returned him to LFS and saw him there recently.

I've been a bit lax on the seaweed refills for the tang - working late too many nights. I'll make sure to do it every other day; hope that will help.

We check ammonia, nitrites & ph weekly, all seem fine. I check salinity 2x/week, and am keeping it between 1.022 & 1.025. Water temp ~ 82 degrees. We have a Fluval 204 (?) filter with biohab & charcoal, a protein skimmer, and two powerheads.

I'm wondering about things we can't check (don't know how to) - nitrates, dissolved metals. ... I've been using tap water for water changes, changing ~ 5 gallons every week or two. Maybe I need to do it more often? Wonder if using RO or DI water. If so I'd need a way to make it from tap water, as trips to the LFS for it are too time-consuming for my current schedule.

Appreciate any advice.

Thanks.

Bob Peitzke
__________________
bpeitzke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2005, 09:58 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 1,538
Ragged, frayed, it's all the same. Ragged/frayed fins is a sign someone is picking on that fish. Bitten up fins look ragged and frayed. Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it's not happening. The messed up fins is your clue and with that line of fish...could have been any one of them. Tangs are known to get nippy and I've always seen clowns face off with smaller angels. Those would be my first guess.

You may be better off not getting anything new for the tank. It's a bit crowded even without the angel. These animals are going to grow and the bigger they get, the smaller their territories and the more ferocious the fighting will be...and at that point you will see it and not just see hints of it.

You check for nitrates just as you do ammonia, nitrite and pH. Get a test kit. Your nitrates are very important to know. I wouldn't worry too much about dissolved metals. It would be better to use RO or dionized water. Basic routine water changes for a healthy tank should only need about 15% changed once every two weeks. When it's a bit crowded, do about 10% once a week. You do not want to make any big water changes on a marine tank unless medically needed.

You can purchase an RO unit and have better water for the tank and you. Tap water has some scary things in it.

http://tricitytropicals.com/index.as...S&Category=805

The above is a link to a water purifying system. Check it out.

Bring the temperature down slowly to 76 degrees. 82 degrees is too warm.

LOL...you must have been cracking up reading about what I wrote about kids and their parents...but goes to show...kids never stop asking...LOL.
__________________
http://www.tricitytropicals.com
------------------------------------
We, as a people, know so much more about outer space than we do about our own oceans. This lack of knowledge can very well spell the dangers that lay in wait for us.

The oceans surely would swallow us before a rock comes down to smite the planet of it's life.
Nov/2004
TCTFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2005, 10:32 PM   #7
SW REEF 18+ YEARS
Community Admin
 
melosu58's Avatar



Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38,244
Also I may add that frayed and shortened fins and cloudy eyes could be a viral or bacterial infection. I did not see anywhere to indicate he had ich. My experience has lead me to treat cloudy eyes as an infection. Also I am not a proponent of fresh water dips. I`ve seen too many fish die from the stress of one. But of course this is IMO. For sure the tang needs to be in a bigger tank.
__________________

SITE ADMINISTRATOR

You can view many of my fish and corals in my photo albums in my profile.

View my tank


AA Community Rules|AA TOS

Forums 101 - posting, accounts, basics
melosu58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2005, 11:46 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 1,538
Quote:
Originally Posted by melosu58
I did not see anywhere to indicate he had ich
I'm not talking about ich, so no, it was not mentioned nor indicated.

The angel's description of symptoms are identical to these parasites I am talking about. They create the infections you have mentioned. That's a primary reason why it's almost too late once these parasites are discovered to save the fish from the ailments these parasites produce.

FW dipping is the ONLY way to rid them off the fish. These parasites are worse than the shock the fish face being dipped. With the FW dip, they at least have a chance to survive. Without it, they die.

As mentioned, I don't know the name, but I do know the origin of this parasite. There was an indepth article in PetNews or some other Pet Supply wholesaler/retail mag a few years ago. I can't find the article and so can't find the name, but it is NOT ich.
__________________
http://www.tricitytropicals.com
------------------------------------
We, as a people, know so much more about outer space than we do about our own oceans. This lack of knowledge can very well spell the dangers that lay in wait for us.

The oceans surely would swallow us before a rock comes down to smite the planet of it's life.
Nov/2004
TCTFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2005, 12:06 PM   #9
steve-s
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I seriously doubt the problem here is any kind of trematode. Water quality and overcrowding are definately going to be at the top of the list. What melosu58 has touched on is moreso the right direction. Meds and/or dips are not really the solution either just yet anyway. Reducing the bioload, cleaning up the water quality and choosing proper foods for the fish you have should be the main goals.

Ammonia and nitrite should be undetectable (zero). The fact that nitrates are not even tested will be a large factor.

FWIW, FW dips can be an effective tool when used properly as well as a cure for certain external problems. If Monogenea which can be quite common in larger angels especially, the dip may be effective if that is the problem. SW Formalin baths are usually the prefered method. So far I have seen no information relayed by the original poster to support the presence of a parasite. The bottom line here is properly identifying the problem and following through with the appropriate action.

Cheers
Steve
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2005, 04:26 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 1,538
The cloudy eye is a dead give away with the angel swimming erratically. Nitrate levels being high would only say these parasites can get a better foothold in the system and formalin dips are generally done in freshwater. These parasites are transparent and therefore INVISIBLE to the naked eye unless they get on the eye of the fish. Then it looks like they have a cloudy eye. The only way to know for sure whether this parasite is present or not is to dip the fish in FW to see if these things fall off the fish.

Steve...you evidently don't come across this matter very often. I work closely with wholesale marine fish. I see this almost on a daily basis and do these treatments all the time. How else would you know that your fish have these parasites? You see your fish swimming erratically. Cloudy eye...sometimes two, heavy breathing and the animal is sick. Where do you think disease come from in the first place? Most that you see in an aquarium with a fish that hasn't been in there for more than a week, are amplified of what they have when they were first caught. High nitrate would progress an existing problem and I did tell this person how to test for nitrates.

Doesn't matter if nitrates are tested or not when it comes to identifying this parasite. They can be present on the fish whether the tank water is pristine or fowl.

I'm surprised this parasite has been largely overlooked by the majority of those who are on the retail/consumer level. It certainly isn't over looked by the wholesale/retail end of it.

Steve...be open to learning something that is very important in marine fish. It's a growing problem and the only way to control it on the market is to be aware and treat appropriately. A formalin bath without freshwater will NOT kill these parasites. In fact...formalin isn't meant to kill the parasite. It's meant to treat for the diseases these parasites can leave in their hosts. It's a preventative measure for the most part. Now if you treat the disease without treating the origin of the disease...then it returns because the element creating the disease in the first place may still be present. High nitrate would amplify the problem, but doesn't mean high nitrates is the origin.
__________________

__________________
http://www.tricitytropicals.com
------------------------------------
We, as a people, know so much more about outer space than we do about our own oceans. This lack of knowledge can very well spell the dangers that lay in wait for us.

The oceans surely would swallow us before a rock comes down to smite the planet of it's life.
Nov/2004
TCTFish is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
angel, flame, flame angel, ick, sick

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sick Flame Angel echidnanebulosa Saltwater & Reef - Sick Fish or Coral 3 10-15-2005 12:28 AM
please help...my flame angel is sick (updated with pic) itzafugasi Saltwater & Reef - Sick Fish or Coral 17 11-23-2004 10:23 PM
Sick Flame Angel birman Saltwater & Reef - Sick Fish or Coral 3 02-11-2004 07:29 PM
Sick Flame Angel Cando Saltwater & Reef - Sick Fish or Coral 8 08-26-2003 12:26 PM
help; sick flame angel clownfish Saltwater & Reef - Sick Fish or Coral 7 02-20-2003 03:42 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:27 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.