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Old 02-21-2023, 09:24 AM   #1
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Sudden behaviour change angelfish

History: I have a 200L fish tank, I had 6 angelfish and others like tetras, ancis, corys. The first problem happened to one of my angelfish, he had white spots on his fins and body, I guess it was icht. I successfully cured him with salt water dips, but after that I noticed some signs of fin rot.

I had an other angelfish, who died a week ago I think he was raised in bad conditions, he came with broken fins and didn't grow at all. He stopped eating 2 weeks ago and died eventually. He was coming at the food, but always spitted it out. I tried to swap the food source but refused everything. I couldn't help him.
My main problem is, that now 3 other angels stopped eating day after day, starting with the one with fin rot. No visible signs of any icht or external parasites though. They used to be casual angelfish, extremely interested in food, always coming towards me and my hand. They were peaceful towards others. Now things changed as the 6th angel died.

Behaviour change: they turn away from my hand and are not so friendly. They come at the surface when I give them food, but they refuse it, or spit it, just like my dead angel used to do. Which is very strange, they sometimes shake their fins and body as if they had some kind of nervous system problem. And they are always hiding and when any of the fish come near them, they will show aggression and make them flee.


Of course I do water changes frequently, and did like 30% after the death of the angel. I have a few plants that are growing well, there are some algae at the top of the tank, but I don't think the water quality is bad, I have strong filtration which is well cycled. I should buy a test kit though.

I have really no idea what happened and I really like my fish and don't want to see them die . I would really appreciate any help. Could the dead fish somehow infect the others or could the fin rot spread to other fish as well (their fins are nice looking)?

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Old 02-21-2023, 09:31 AM   #2
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I attached some pics, on the first you can see the angel with fin rot (second pic is 2 months old, he had pointy fins back then) the third is just a pic of the group. They are young angels.
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Old 02-21-2023, 09:45 AM   #3
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Please take a read through the "unhealthy fish" sticky and give as much detail as you are able.

https://www.aquariumadvice.com/forum...his-32451.html

Ich cant be cured by salt water dips. Ich is a parasite that has a life cycle. At various stages the parasite will be infecting your fish, it will be reproducing in your substrate, it will be free swimming and looking for a host. Treating a fish outside of your tank could possibly cure the fish, but the tank would still be infected.

Either it wasnt ich, or the parasites infecting your fish just moved onto another stage of its lifecycle which would have had the appearance of curing your fish.

Ive kept 4 angelfish in a 200 litre tank before. It worked for a period of time, maybe a year. Then as they started to pair up things got fractious. I was able to manage for maybe another year before i had to start seperating fish otherwise they would have eventually started killing each other.
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Old 02-21-2023, 10:56 AM   #4
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The fish had the white spots around his fins almost 2 months ago, and he didn't 'ich' I read that the icht lifecycle is much shorter than that (at 26įC temp). So I guess that wasn't icht, maybe just simple fin rot (which he still suffers from). Thanks for the info.
Any ideas regarding the strange behaviour? I can't see any white spots or iching behaviour.


Additional info: The tank has been set up since mid december 2022.
The filtration is done by Sunsun HW-702A (1000 L/h).
There are 12 neons, 10 corys, 2 anci and now 5 angelfish. I have all of them since december 2022. They get normal tropical flakes as their main diet, also pleco food for the corys and ancis.
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Old 02-21-2023, 11:04 AM   #5
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Healthy fish will often live with ich and show no symptoms. Just because it hasnt manifested again doesnt mean there arent still parasites in the water. If there are, sometime in the future when a fishes immune system is compromised due to some other factor, maybe years later, the ich could manifest again and you would then wonder where it came from.
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Old 02-21-2023, 11:10 AM   #6
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So I should treat the tank with something against icht either way. I get it now. Any ideas how I could save them now?
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Old 02-21-2023, 11:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zguriman View Post
History: I have a 200L fish tank, I had 6 angelfish and others like tetras, ancis, corys. The first problem happened to one of my angelfish, he had white spots on his fins and body, I guess it was icht. I successfully cured him with salt water dips, but after that I noticed some signs of fin rot.

I had an other angelfish, who died a week ago I think he was raised in bad conditions, he came with broken fins and didn't grow at all. He stopped eating 2 weeks ago and died eventually. He was coming at the food, but always spitted it out. I tried to swap the food source but refused everything. I couldn't help him.
My main problem is, that now 3 other angels stopped eating day after day, starting with the one with fin rot. No visible signs of any icht or external parasites though. They used to be casual angelfish, extremely interested in food, always coming towards me and my hand. They were peaceful towards others. Now things changed as the 6th angel died.

Behaviour change: they turn away from my hand and are not so friendly. They come at the surface when I give them food, but they refuse it, or spit it, just like my dead angel used to do. Which is very strange, they sometimes shake their fins and body as if they had some kind of nervous system problem. And they are always hiding and when any of the fish come near them, they will show aggression and make them flee.


Of course I do water changes frequently, and did like 30% after the death of the angel. I have a few plants that are growing well, there are some algae at the top of the tank, but I don't think the water quality is bad, I have strong filtration which is well cycled. I should buy a test kit though.

I have really no idea what happened and I really like my fish and don't want to see them die . I would really appreciate any help. Could the dead fish somehow infect the others or could the fin rot spread to other fish as well (their fins are nice looking)?
Unfortunately, to properly diagnose the problem the first thing you need to KNOW is what the water parameters are. (IMO, test kits should be mandatory equipment when you purchase a tank setup. )Fish behaviors can change based on water parameters.
In your case, Bacterial infections are quite common after ICK infestations. You need to know the Ph and hardness of your water to know what medicines are going to be effective to treat that. The fin shaking can easily be a reaction to a pain in their fins or a reinfection of the parasite since ICH has an on the fish stage and an in the substrate stage.
Fish refuse food for a few different reasons. The food could be bad, the texture doesn't feel right, the fish has a bacterial infection in the throat area causing it tough to swallow so they taste then spit it out are the more common reasons.
As for their behavior towards you, this could be a reaction to your being in the tank to remove the fish for the dips. They need to relearn to trust you.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-21-2023, 11:27 AM   #8
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Thank you guys for the help so far. I think you are right, last commenter. The angelfish show this shaking behaviour after they 'try' to eat, I guess because of the pain. How can I be sure if it's bacterial or fungal or any other type of disease and how could I treat it before they starve to death?
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Old 02-21-2023, 12:29 PM   #9
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I wouldnt advise medicating with anything unless you know what the problem is.

All im advising is that if it was ich, what you did wont have done anything to remove it from the tank. We dont know that it was ich. Many people misdiagnose. If you get something reoccurring that you think might be ich, eg a fish flashing or white spots on a fish then try and post a good quality photo of the infection or get a video of the fishes behaviour.

As to whats happening now, we dont really know whats going on. Water quality would be the first thing to look at and you arent able to test the water. The most likely cause of fin rot will be poor water quality. For now, get a cupful of water to test later when you are able to. Then up the water changes, maybe 30% everyday or 50% every 2 days. If you arent able to get a test kit, fish stores are usually willing to test your water. Make sure they give you actual numbers, not just "all good".

Aquarium salt is something that may be beneficial. 1 rounded tablespoon per 20 litres/ 5 gallons. Double this if you see no improvement after a couple of days. If you do a water change remember to add back in aquarium salt in proportion to amount of new water added.
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Old 02-21-2023, 02:28 PM   #10
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Hi and welcome to the forum

Can you post some clear pictures of the fish? Make sure they are under normal white light. I can't tell anything under blue, red or other coloured lights. I would also like a picture of the entire tank photographed from the front. And if you have any pictures of the fish when it had the spots, that would help.

------------------

We need to know what the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH of your tank water is. If you don't have test kits, take a glass full of aquarium water to a pet shop and ask them to test it for you. Write the results down in numbers when they do the tests. If the shop says your water is fine, ask them what the numbers are. Different people have different ideas on what is fine.

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How often and how do you clean the filter?
Fin rot is usually caused by poor water quality that damages the tissue and allows harmful bacteria and fungus into the wound. Then it spreads and kills the fish.

The treatment for fin rot normally involves big (75%) water changes and gravel cleaning the substrate every day for 1 to 2 weeks. Also cleaning the filter if it is established and hasn't been cleaned in the last 2 weeks. And maybe adding some salt if the clean water doesn't help.

------------------

This isn't what's killing the fish but is a sign something isn't right. You have is a very bright tank with a light substrate. Angelfish, tetras, Corydoras and bristlenose catfish all come from black water. This is water that is heavily stained with tannins and the waterways are usually lined by trees so the fish aren't exposed to bright conditions. If the fish are healthy and happy, then a bright tanks isn't as much of an issue. But if they are feeling unwell, then a bright tank will only make them more stressed out. In one picture, all the angelfish are hiding behind a rock. This appears to be stress behaviour and can be from poor water quality, or something startled them, or something in the tank is picking on them.

Adding floating plants like Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta) would help by providing shade. If it grows too well, you can plant some in the substrate.


TURNING LIGHTS ON AND OFF
Stress from tank lights coming on when the room is dark can be an issue. Fish don't have eyelids and don't tolerate going from complete dark to bright light (or vice versa) instantly.

In the morning open the curtains or turn the room light on at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the tank light on. This will reduce the stress on the fish and they won't go from a dark tank to a bright tank instantly.

At night turn the room light on and then turn the tank light off. Wait at least 30 minutes (or more) before turning the room light out. This allows the fish to settle down for the night instead of going from a brightly lit tank to complete darkness instantly.

Try to have the lights on at the same time each day. Use a timer if possible.

If you don't have live plants in the tank, you only need the light on for a few hours in the evening. You might turn them on at 4 or 5pm and off at 9pm.

If you do have live plants in the tank, you can have the lights on for 8-16 hours a day but the fish and plants need 8 hours of darkness to rest. Most people with live plants in their aquarium will have the lights on for 8-12 hours a day.

------------------

If the fish had a cream/ white edge to the fins it is excess mucous caused by something in the water irritating the fish. A big water change usually helps to fix it.

If the fish had cream, white or grey patches on the body or fins, it is usually an external protozoan infection (Costia, Chilodonella, Trichodina) and salt can treat it.

White spot on fish looks like little grains of salt sprinkled over the body and fins. Initially there won't be many white dots but after a few weeks without treatment, the fish get covered in them. Salt does not treat white spot. Heat does but you need to get the temperature up to 30C (86F) and keep if there for 2 weeks, or at least 1 week after all the white dots have gone. Copper or Malachite green based medications will also treat white spot. However, copper kills invertebrates like shrimp and snails. Malachite Green is a carcinogen (causes cancer) and care should be taken if handling this product.

------------------

Grabbing food and spitting it out is either bad food, the fish don't like that type of food, or an infection in the mouth or throat. Salt can sometimes clear it up but other times you need something stronger like a liquid broad spectrum medication that treats bacteria and fungus (preferably not an antibiotic).

------------------

At this stage, get your water tested and do a 75% water change and gravel clean every day until we work out what is going on. This will dilute any nutrients if the filter isn't established, and will dilute disease organisms that might be affecting the fish.
Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it's added to the tank.

Post some more pictures of the fish.
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Old 02-21-2023, 02:30 PM   #11
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SALT

Using Salt to Treat Fish Health Issues.
For some fish diseases you can use salt (sodium chloride) to treat the ailment rather than using a chemical based medication. Salt is relatively safe and is regularly used in the aquaculture industry to treat food fish for diseases. Salt has been successfully used to treat minor fungal and bacterial infections, as well as a number of external protozoan infections. Salt alone will not treat whitespot (Ichthyophthirius) or Velvet (Oodinium) but will treat most other types of external protozoan infections in freshwater fishes. Salt can treat early stages of hole in the head disease caused by Hexamita but it needs to be done in conjunction with cleaning up the tank. Salt can also be used to treat anchor worm (Lernaea), fish lice (Argulus), gill flukes (Dactylogyrus), skin flukes (Gyrodactylus), Epistylis, Microsporidian and Spironucleus infections.

You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), swimming pool salt, or any non iodised salt (sodium chloride) to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

If you only have livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), goldfish or rainbowfish in the tank you can double that dose rate, so you would add 2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres and if there is no improvement after 48 hours, then increase it so there is a total of 4 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, Bettas & gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria but the higher dose rate (4 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres) will affect some plants and some snails. The lower dose rate (1-2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres) will not affect fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

When you first add salt, add the salt to a small bucket of tank water and dissolve the salt. Then slowly pour the salt water into the tank near the filter outlet. Add the salt over a couple of minutes.
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