Diseases & Treating Sick Freshwater Angelfish
Even the most experienced angelfish breeders have to deal with
angelfish diseases. Sometimes keeping the water at optimal conditions
and doing regular fish
tank maintenance isn't enough to prevent an angelfish from
getting sick. Regular maintenance is however a good way to reduce
the chance of any fish getting sick. Preventing diseases is
always better than trying to cure diseases. The common freshwater
angelfish diseases can be divided into 2 categories, bacterial
and parasitic diseases.
Common Bacterial Diseases:
Cotton Wool Disease - Usually caused by low temperature,
poor water quality or crowding. It can be seen as an expanding
translucent layer on the skin of the fish that eats away at
the skin. The edges often are bloody. The fish should be discarded
if the disease is in advanced stages. If the disease is in its
early stages it can be treated by using either 4 teaspoons marine
salt to a gallon of aquarium water and potassium chromate or
Dropsy, Popeye, Bleeding or Red Streaks on Skin - These
are signs of an internal bacterial infection related to Vibrios.
At the early stages of this infection the fish can be treated
with a few commercial medications like Maracyn-Two or Erythromycin.
Fish T.B. - This disease usually shows up as loss of
color and swelling of the body. The fish may also have blood
streaks and blood spots anywhere on the body. This infection
is usually a result of poor water quality which lowers the immune
system of the angelfish. There are no treatments for this infectious
bacterial disease and the infected fish should be removed at
first signs of it to prevent spreading to tank mates.
Common Parasitic Diseases:
Hexamita - Angelfish can pick up this infection when
under stress from poor water conditions, shipping or other diseases.
The infected fish will stop eating, hide and act listless. It
will also have whitish colored feces. The best treatments for
Hexamita are drugs with metronidazole.
Ich or White Spot Disease - Chilling and stress are
common causes of outbreaks of white spot disease or Ich. The
disease appears as tiny white spots on the skin of the host
fish. The angelfish may also rub against tank wall and decorations.
There are several commercial remedies available to treat Ich.
Look for ones that contain formalin, malachite green or copper
Velvet Disease - It can be hard to detect on the infected
fish but it appears as a dusty golden film on the skin and eyes
of the angelfish. The infected fish may also rub against the
walls and decorations in the tank. Copper sulfate or formalin
are both effective treatments for velvet disease.