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HELP! My angelfish looks bad

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I bought a dwarf Lemonpeel angelfish two weeks ago and it was doing great. I noticed a few hours ago ...

  1. #1
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    Default HELP! My angelfish looks bad

    I bought a dwarf Lemonpeel angelfish two weeks ago and it was doing great. I noticed a few hours ago that it was laying on its side at the bottom of the tank. I thought it was dead but it's not. Now it's sitting at one end with its nose up in the air. It was having trouble swimming as well. Upon closer inspection it appears as if it has a small hole near its head. I was looking up saltwater fish diseases and think it may be hexamita (which I think is the same as Hole in the Head disease). It's belly also looked distended and it isn't eating. Do you all think this is the correct diagnosis and if so, I read you should treat the water with Metronidazole. I don't have a QT set up right now and am afraid by the time I do that the fish will have died. Please advise.

    BTW, all tests on the tank are in normal ranges. My other fish (two clowns, and one damsel) are doing fine. However, a week after I got the lemonpeel it seemed to be twitching a bit. I'm assuming there may be something like Lymphocystis going on as well.

  2. #2
    Moderator Lotus's Avatar
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    Did you check this page for visual ID of the disease: Marine Fish Diseases and Parasites ?

    Has the damsel been bothering it at all?

    To be honest, if it's already on its side, a hospital tank as soon as possible is your best bet.
    Lotus and Ecotank's tanks

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  3. #3
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    Hi Lotus, well I set up the QT tank last night but the petshop was already closed and when I came down this morning it had passed. It's really sad because it was a beautiful sweet fish. I feel like it's all my fault. I really don't know what happened.

    With regards to the damselfish. It was very territorial. My husband saw it go after it a few times. I never actually saw it nip at the little guy, but I can see a little spot on its side now that could be from the damsel. Also, last night when the angelfish couldn't move the damsel was hitting it with its tail. Do you think he could have been the culprit and not some disease??

    Also, with regards to the angelfish twitching last week....all of my fish have been seen on occasion scratching themselves against objects or the sandbed. Is there some parasite in there I should be treating for? They don't have any obvious spots on them, and exhibit no other signs of distress. Our damsel was the first one we bought and he at first looked like he had some white spots on him which consequently fell off.

    Thank you.

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    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    One more thing, I took a look at that disease info site and it says you should have some meds on hand, which now I think is a great idea. It recommends these ones below. Which would you recommend keeping for emergencies and which wouldn't you use? Also, should you administer them all in a QT tank? Thanks again.

    -Formalin 3 - Treats and cures a wide variety of bacterial, fungal and parasitic problems, for some parasites, such as brooklynella, this is the only effective treatment.
    - Cupramine - a copper based product useful against marine ich and marine velvet.
    - Maracyn 2 - an anti-bacterial product.
    - Malachite green - effective anti fungal product.
    - Methylene blue - useful with freshwater dips.
    - Neomycin - anti bacterial.
    - Pipezine - dewormer.

  5. #5
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    Regarding your fish scratching themselves and the white spots that 'fell off', that sounds like ich. The fish may have ich ALTHOUGH the spots are not present. if it looks like salt/sugar on them, then I would bet it is ich. If its a splotch of white, then maybe bacteria/fungal.

    Not to sound presumptuous but maybe you should treat the tank for ich?

  6. #6
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    Hey Matthew, yeah I thought at first it could be that. Very well could be. I wish I knew more about fish diseases. However, I'm thinking now that it may be Lymphocystis because I read that is like ick but the spots fall off (it was my understanding they don't with ick), and can be transmitted to others. However, there's apparently no cure for Lymphocystis to my knowledge, they just need to fight it off on their own. Read also that Damsels are common carriers of that. The reason I thought it could be that as well was because the only time I saw the spots was on the Damsel and it was more like cauliflower spots on his tail, rather than dots.

    Thoughts?

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    hmmm in all honesty I have only dealt with ich in freshwater and brackish tanks. I have also not dealt with lmphocystis and therefore can only tell you about my experiences with FW/brackish ich.

    My South American puffers (FW) had ich and I used the 86 degree/marine salt method. Within 2 days the ich was visibly gone BUT I continued to treat for the rest of the month; same concept behind using medication for the full treatment and NOT stopping just b/c you feel better.

    I know ich can be transmitted to others and the fish trying to scratch themselves seems like typical symptoms.

    I read a little about lmphocystis and if it gets into the gills then the fish can have difficulty breathing (as evidenced by your angel).

    Are any of the other fish appearing lethargic and/or do they have open sores?

    here's the article i spoke about above.
    Lymphocystis Disease of Fishes, by Dr. Adrian Lawler
    Last edited by MatthewLaw; 10-25-2008 at 12:25 PM.

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    Super Fish Lorna's Avatar
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    A word of advice. Under no circumstances should you treat your main display tank with any medications. Medications should be administered in a hospital quarantine tank. The most effective method for ich is the hyposalinity method and must be done in a qt tank. The main display should have all fish removed to the qt where they will all be treated at the same time. The display should remain fallow for 6 weeks for ich cycle to complete and without any host the parasite will die out.

    I would seriously also consider geting rid of the damsel as it will only harass any additions in the future. All additions should be housed in a qt tank prior to adding to the display to ensure you don't add any pathogens to the main display after you get rid of the ich. All additions should be meticulously researched to ensure the compatability with existing fish. Good luck....
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  9. #9
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    Matthew, thanks for the link. I think it's probably Lymphocystis, particularly since the angel fish had some white stuff on its mouth, which likely prevented it from eating. Not sure if that's what eventually killed it, or a secondary bacterial infection.

    Lorna, thanks for the advice. We did do research on the fish compatibility beforehand, and was said to be fine with the rest of our tankmates. In your opinion, do you think what I described is ick? I wouldn't want any new additions to get the same thing, but hesitate to treat the fish for something they don't have. Thanks.

  10. #10
    Super Fish Lorna's Avatar
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    sounds like ich or the damsel harrassed it to the point it was so stressed it gave up. The damsel should come out as it will only harass any additional fish. Yes they may get along together but more important is the order in which you add them. Always remember the most aggressive fish must be added last. That way they don't have time to set up and establish territory prior to any additions......
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