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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 7 angels, I never kept them before and didn't do any real research other than basic care requirements.

I as they have been growing I noticed some things about my angels. 5 of the 7 have bends in the dorsal fins, nothing too extreme. I just thought it was normal to be honest.

My marble has the one side of his Gill plate not fully developed.. My stripped silver one had a small hole on the side of his head.

Other wise they all seem great. Put on good weight and growing super fast. Crazy active and begs for food all the time.

Will they suffer long term? Can they live long lives? I wonder how bad they are messed up inside.

I guess this is what I get for buying from chain pet stores and not doing proper research prior. Lesson learned.

I still love each of my angels and hope that they can live long healthy lives. I assume the hole, Gill plate and fines will never repair, eh?

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If the gill plate is a deformity, it won't heal/correct.

The bent fins won't correct themselves either. I have heard of doing surgeries/cutting off the imperfect fin and they may regrow (slow process) perfect again, but I wouldn't recommend that.

The hole in the head on one of the angels, I haven't seen a picture of it so I can't determine if it would cause problems, but look up the "Hole In Head" disease (Hexamita) to see if that is what you are dealing with.

The bent fins may be from merely physical damage (can commonly get bent from nets and what not), or poor genetics or it was kept in poor conditions (too small tank, poor nutrition, etc) by the breeder. So I can't say for sure if longevity would be effected (poor genes or it's early life was poorly taken care of, shortening it's lifespan, it's not the shape of the fins themselves that would cause a decrease in lifespan, it's the internal issues/health/genes) or not (good genetics and health, just physical damage that wouldn't cause any issues).

Whether the gill plate is causing any issues would determine if it affects the fish's longevity. If it's not having issues breathing and it doesn't get infected or damaged by other things, then it shouldn't really shorten it's lifespan. It would be more vulnerable with exposed gill filaments, but if no issues occur, lifespan wouldn't be affected in itself (poor genetics that caused the deformity may determine a shorter overall life though even if the fish operates it's gills just fine)

How long they live depends on how well they are kept throughout their lives of course, but genetics do play a role. If they are high quality angels, bred for the best health, then obviously they would have a better immune system and live longer than a fish that has "lower quality" genetics. The difference in lifespan can vary drastically (from just months longer to many years longer lived), just a lot of factors that occur during a fish's life that can affect how long the fish lives so it's tough to give a definite answer. With the best care, even a low quality genetic angel could outlive a top dollar high quality strain angel if kept in optimum conditions.

But as you know, we can't tell the internals or what quality the genetics the fish has so we can't tell how much of a decreased (or increased if higher quality genes) lifespan the fish may have in comparison to the average angelfish lifespan, we just have to wait and see.

****High quality doesn't necessarily mean the fish were bred with health in mind, I just used that as a means to compare. As you know, a nice looking strain of fish, doesn't really mean they have good health, they may have just been selective bred for nice aesthetic features. A reputable breeder would care about the fish's health and look to better the fish's internal health (not just their looks) in their breeding program.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the great response.

The hole is not hith, looks like another deformity. I can try and get a pic later today. Doesn't look infected or anything. Looks like it was supposed to be there, like if a venting hole existed or something. Not raised or red or anything like that.

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If the kink in the dorsal wan't there when you purchased the fish, it's most likely physical damage of one sort or another. If there was a kink in the dorsal at an early age and it's gotten worse, that's still a genetic inheritance.

The difference is.......you can "fix" a dorsal that's been damaged. You can actually cut a straight line that will remove the damaged area and with lots of clean water it will grow back straight. Sounds extreme (stop laughing!), but it can and has been done. You've been on TAF, dig through the search and you'll see the pictures.

Gill plate holes are a mixed bag. The hole has to be pretty large to affect the fish for the long term. When I first got back in to the hobby, I bought a bunch of dimes from a breeder that was very well thought of. Well, his culling practices left a lot to be desired as all of the juvenile paraiba marbles that I first thought were blushers, actually all had gill plate holes. All perished or were culled except one and he's about 6 years old now. The hole is quite small, possibly 2 or 3mm. So if your fish have grown to a good size with this defect, they'll most likely be fine for the long term.

I can live with ventral fins that aren't quite perfect. I can live with superveil dorsals that aren't perfect. But I can't stand seeing fish offered for sale with short, long, or perforated gill plates as juveniles. That's just being a fish factory that has zero culling standards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I will do some digging, the cutting of the fins sounds a bit cruel. Do you know if angelfish have sensitive feeling in their fines like we do with our skin? Or is it more like hair for us?

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I have one veil angel (well, likely some of her spawn is too). Her dorsal started curving a bit shortly before I put her in the main tank. One of the adults took care of that. :p It's now straight. The q/t was too small really to leave her and her sibling (I assume - they look similar) for very long, but I had a couple of pairs develop in the main tank and it wasn't safe for them.

Ended up with daughter's smoky female (I assume - nobody has indicated interest in pairing off with it so can't confirm) as daughter is afraid it's a sibling to her other smoky. It has the shortened gill plate and near-nonexistent ventrals. Considering these fish were all young adults when acquired, you'd think someone would have noticed.

Then again, I once got a one-eyed angel (deliberately). it came in a mixed bag of bargain angels the local dealer's distributor offered, presumably to clear out some odds and ends. It never had an eye.
 

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Long ago I had a 75 planted tank. I went to a big box store and was looking at the fish. I saw some little angels (about nickel size) One of them had a missing gill plate. I bought 2. Him and a buddy. I just couldn't leave the poor little fella. They grew beautifully and even ended up a mated pair. Laid eggs all the time. Unfortunately the clown loaches saw that as their personal sushi bar. :/
 

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I have a smallish black (chocolate) angel, that had is bottom long fin broken or bent in transport.
He seems quite well adjusted and happy. I've had him about 2 months now, so I'm pretty sure it is not something that would "heal".
 

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I saw a youtube video of a guy who cut back his arowana's fin to make it grow out in better form. It was obviously something that made him very nervous to do, but he'd also done it before... Quite instructional:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VMohfF-rlM
He used clove oil to make the fish sleep- I think just as much so it would hold still as to avoid pain. After pics of the fish when the fin grew back are just amazing.

I don't know if I could ever do something like that, though.
 
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