Random Angelfish Death
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Old 12-13-2008, 05:55 AM   #1
Delphinus85
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Random Angelfish Death


Last weekend my husband and I bought a young angelfish from a pet store we usually buy from and trust. We also got some java moss and another plant (Can't remember the name). Anyway, we placed him in our 10 gallon tank to quarantine him before letting him go in our bigger tank. Well, he was perfectly healthy, and this tank has a great water quality. In this tank we had the java moss, the other plant, a chinese algae eater (very reclusive, leaves everyone alone) and about 21 newborn platy fry. No one shows any sign of illness, and our angelfish was always lively and active until one morning, we found him dead.

A few other pieces of information. We have been putting newly hatched brine shrimp in to feed that platy fry using a turkey baster, feeding with dried egg yolk, and powdered flake. We have been feeding him regular flakes and occasional blood worm. The temperature has been a pretty constant 78 degrees.

Does anyone have any idea why our dear angelfish just dropped dead?
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Old 12-13-2008, 07:59 AM   #2
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You say the water quality is great in that tank, is that from actual testing?
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Old 12-13-2008, 02:44 PM   #3
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Well, this is why it is so important to use a QT tank! The one security is knowing that if it was some type of disease you have not exposed your main tanks. Yeah for that!

NOW FIRST ***My disclaimer: This applies only after all regular fish-keeping protocols are being done 100%!!!! Tank fully cycled, religious water change schedule, water always conditioned properly - w/ real measuring tools used - no guesstimates on dosing, regular filter cleaning, etc., etc. * * *


After several years of fish-keeping I've now come to accept and not beat myself up that not all fish make it. And sometimes you'll just never know why. Sometimes you can know and pinpoint what makes a fish sick and die. Sometimes it is just impossible. You may just not have enough info available to you, ie., longer and detailed history of behavior, origins, shipping methods; a larger population to observe/compare; more diagnostic tools - microscope. It may have been a disease - bacteria or fungus; or perhaps parasites - internal, ie., intestinal, blood, or gill flukes., etc., etc. Sometimes fish can be injured during mishaps in shipping, ie., ammonia burn. Sometimes the fish is just weaker stock and/or has been thru too many changes. I think stress does take a bigger toll than we consider.

I've found that cichlids in particular can be very stressed by moving around. I personally think it is because they are so very smart! I've moved angelfish that I've had for months, from one tank to another in my home, same water parameter and very well planted. Still they hide, sulk and go off feeding for a few weeks. Had extreme problems w/ Laetacara dorsigera when I move them around. They've gone from adorable begging puppy-dogs to completely hiding when I enter the room.

I'm just sharing these things because often when there's problems with fish we think it must be bad water or disease, or bad bugs, etc., and forget to take into account the more subtle stresses fish experience.

Even for humans, moving is one of the top 4 stresses you go thru in life. And we know and understand the whys, whats and wherefores. Fish can be anxious because their entire environment has changed, and their 'homies' are now gone!!! Gees, they just don't know what's up! Fortunately for us fish keepers, most of the fish handle the change and do adapt quite well into their new homes.

When I experience losses (either mysterious or determined) then I tell myself to remember: that's why keeping fish is a hobby - Fish keeping. A hobby with a big learning curve, as well. It's not quite just like keeping a pet dog or pet cat! All in all, in spite of being in our homes fish still retain their 'secret lives' and mysterious other-worldliness! I also vow to remain dedicated to best husbandry practices and continue growing my knowledge. Perhaps this is also one of the things I enjoy the most about fish keeping - because there is so much to learn I've yet to be bored.
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Old 12-13-2008, 06:07 PM   #4
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How big was your angelfish? Very small babies are quite fragile and often die easily and suddenly from any toxins in the water.

And as Waterfaller asks, what exactly were the readings on the tank?
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Old 12-14-2008, 05:55 AM   #5
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well, looking at the longer post, I am thinking it was probably the stress of moving then. It was a 3 hour drive back to the house from the pet store. He was a real young 'un too. Oh well...better luck next time I guess...lol
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:25 AM   #6
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Bring a small cooler with you next time, and make sure the LFS puts oxygen in the bag.
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:12 AM   #7
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Yeah we will do that. We just did a complete test on our water. Everything was at 0, except nitrate which was at "10" (I'm guessing that's PPM...the meter said it was low) and the PH was something like 6.8 or something.
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:01 PM   #8
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IF the angel was really tiny, also try getting slightly larger ones next time.

Little dime-sized babies often just can't take the stress of a new tank.
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seAdams View Post
IF the angel was really tiny, also try getting slightly larger ones next time.

Little dime-sized babies often just can't take the stress of a new tank.
Conversely, many argue that young Angels are more adaptable than larger Angels. Maybe not dime sized, but nickel to quarter sized, perhaps.

I'm a huge Angelfish fan and have probably had at least two dozen inexplicably die on me within a month or two of acquisition in the 20+ years I've been keeping fish. More often than not, I attribute it to an internal virus or fluke that was already present during transport, and only manifested itself fatally after the stress of moving weakened the fish.

For this reason, I've resolved to only buy from well-known breeders on The Angelfish Forum. I picked up six Half Wilds last winter from a breeder in the midwest and am simply blown away by their health, vigor and growth rates. Unless you're lucky enough to have a local breeder with quality stock, then unfortunately, these types of sudden deaths are just a part of keeping Angelfish.
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Old 12-17-2008, 02:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
but nickel to quarter sized, perhaps.
I had never had trouble with those sized babies, which is why I said it might be better to avoid only dime sized ones.

I agree petstore angels can be fragile due to bad breeding practices and selling them too young.

A breeder is always the best option!
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