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Old 04-25-2011, 11:09 PM   #1
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New Angelfish

I just got a new (quarter-sized) angelfish. Is it normal for him to stay in one place for hours, apparently petrified?

He's alone in a 5-gallon hex (quarantine) tank.
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Old 04-26-2011, 11:43 AM   #2
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This morning he was a few inches away from where he was last night, but when I turned on the tank's light he bolted back to his original corner (very near the bottom). He looks scared out of his mind.

He turned down a small helping of bloodworms last night, and flakes this morning.

Is this normal, or am I right to be worried?
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:13 PM   #3
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It sounds a bit worrying to me, especially if he's not eating.

It sounds like he's stressed. How did you acclimate him? Is your quarantine cycled?
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:07 PM   #4
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His acclimation wasn't great, unfortunately. PetSmart got a bad batch of bags (they were leaky). So their solution was to triple-bag the fish with extra water to allow for leakage. This left little room for air in the bag. Luckily, I live quite close to PetSmart so he didn't have to be in the bag for long. On the other hand, the leaky bags didn't allow for my usual float method of temperature equilibration.

I poured the fish, with the water, into a clean storage bowl. I then slowly (over an hour) removed his PetSmart water and replaced it with water from the QT. He freaked out every time I removed/added water during the process. As I didn't want to risk further stress on him, and the PetSmart water was either gone or incredibly dilute at that point, I poured him into the QT with the bowl water.

As for the QT, it was cycled and had housed several guppies just days earlier. I did an extensive clean after "transplanting" the guppies, as that tank was dirtier than I'd usually accept. This may have had an impact on the QT's cycle, but I'm compensating with SeaChem Stability (it can't hurt) and doing PWC.
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:09 PM   #5
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Oh, the QT was devoid of any decorations (they went with the guppies) when the Angelfish was added - only gravel on the ground. After I saw how nervous he was I stole two fake plants from my DT to provide him with some cover (which I think he appreciates).
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:12 PM   #6
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The only thing I can think of, if he doesn't calm down, is to add him to the DT right now. It adds the risk of introducing disease to the DT population, but it also provides him with: extra swimming space, social interaction (do angelfish need this?) - potentially positive or negative, and better hiding places.

Is it really that worrying for a new fish to turn down food the first day in a new home?
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:04 PM   #7
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Sounds normal to me. I don't think your acclimation went too bad. That's sort of how I acclimate, only I drip with an air line instead of using cups. If, after another few days, it isn't eating... then you would have a reason to worry. At this point, I'd say you're just seeing the stress from moving.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:32 PM   #8
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Same here. Your acclimation sounds really good. It might be good to keep him in there to watch for signs of ich or anything though.
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:45 AM   #9
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As of this morning he's doing better, but not fantastic. He moves around some, but I wouldn't call it normal swimming - instead, he cautiously moves a bit then waits nervously before moving a little more. While he still favors his favorite corner, he does move throughout most of the bottom surface area (but not the very front). He stays in the bottom 2-3" of the water, often dragging his "feeler fins" on the gravel.

When I fed him this morning (tropical fish flakes) he didn't acknowledge it at all. At this time he decided to fight his reflection for a while (at least he showed some energy). He did end up eating the tiniest flake, after his battle. I'm not sure if that is encouraging or what. Should I feed him something else instead of tropical fish flakes?

With the light off he shows his black stripes, but when I turn on the light and approach the tank he fades all of his color remarkably quickly. He seems to be able to go back and forth between color and no color quite often.

The tank is kept at a steady 78 F.
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Old 05-28-2011, 03:37 PM   #10
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Sounds like you are doing everything right. How's the angel been since your last post? I've found them to be a little skittish when they are by themselves. Do you have other angels or plan to get more? have you tried blood worms? Most fish can't resist them.
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