When the body of an Angelfish becomes infected by a virus, bacterium, parasite, or fungi, a disease can form. Unfortunately, if an Angelfish does form a disease, and it isn’t treated properly at a quick-enough rate, it may die.
Obviously, the best way to minimize the chances of an Angelfish adopting any of these diseases is to provide it with a suitable aquarium setting. By doing so, the Angelfish is equipped with the strongest possible immune system, so it can destroy the cells of the virus, bacterium, parasite, or fungi before they form into one of the harmful Angelfish diseases.
Realistically though, even if an Angelfish lives in a suitable aquarium setting, it’s still not invincible. It can still become infected and be the owner of one of the many Angelfish diseases. If/When this happens, it’s your responsibility to diagnose the Angelfish and provide it with the proper treatment.
The content below is a countdown of the three most-common Angelfish diseases, the cause of each one, related symptoms, and how you should perform the proper treatment for it. Then, below that content, is a list of links for the other diseases that Angelfish are most prone to. Read on…
#1: Angelfish Virus
An Angelfish catches Angelfish Virus by coming into contact with the microorganisms that carry the virus.
If a non-immune Angelfish is placed in an aquarium that hosts this microorganism in the water column, on the tank’s walls, on the substrate, or on the decorations, it will likely become infected. Also, if a non-immune Angelfish is placed in an aquarium that holds an Angelfish that is currently infected, or holds an Angelfish that has been infected within the last 6 months, again, it will likely become infected.
After an Angelfish has been infected with this microorganism for 2-3 days, the symptoms quickly begin. An Angelfish that is infected with Angelfish Virus will:
- Show a significant lack of energy
- Point their nose up and stop moving
- Swim unnaturally with their fins kept close to their body
- Produce an excess amount of slime on their body – causing the slime to drip
Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there.
Because the fish will have such a lack of energy, secondary infections may develop into diseases at this time and add additional symptoms.
All in all, the infectious period of this Angelfish disease last about 3-weeks, but, as sad as it is, most Angelfish don’t survive for more than a couple of days.
- No lights
- A Sponge filter
- A UV sterilizer
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Step 2) Treat the aquarium with Seachem ParaGuard until 3 days after the symptoms are gone. During this time, perform a small water change between each treatment.
Step 3) Add a Mardel Maracyn-Two Powder pack to the aquarium.
- This will reduce the possibility of the Angelfish adopting additional diseases from secondary infections.
#2: Hexamita (AKA Hold-In-The-Head Disease)
Hexamita occurs when a parasite – that normally isn’t dangerous to the Angelfish – rapidly multiplies itself and spreads through the body of an Angelfish. The reason this happens is currently unknown, but some fish experts have made educated guesses. Some of them believe that a lack of fresh plant material in the diet of Angelfish is the cause, while others believe that the stress from poor water conditions is the cause.
When the parasite has spread throughout the body of an Angelfish, the Angelfish will usually stop eating and will also start producing white, stringy feces. Sometimes, if the parasite spreads to the head of the Angelfish, the pores of the head and along the lateral line of the fish begin to enlarge and produce large holes in the fish’s body. If the parasite continues to spread and reaches the Angelfish’s internal organs, the fish will usually die.
Step 2) Every 2 hours, increase the water temperature of the aquarium 1-2 degrees until it reaches 90°F (32°C).
Step 3) Treat the aquarium with MetroPlex.
#3: Velvet Disease (AKA Gold Dust Disease)
Velvet Disease occurs when a parasite (Piscinoodinum) infects the body of a fish. Typically, this occurs when one of three things have happened:
- A fish that carried the parasite was placed in the Keeper’s aquarium.
- The Keeper’s fish was placed into an aquarium that contains the parasite.
- The parasite was already in the Keeper’s aquarium, but the Angelfish was already partly-immune to it. Then, one or more aspects of the suitable aquarium setting for Angelfish was compromised. As a result, the immune system of the Angelfish weakened, and the parasite took over.
When any of these things happen, the aquarium that the fish is in is officially contaminated, and the cycle of Velvet Disease begins.
First, the parasite enters the natural slime-coating of the Angelfish. For the following 3-6 days, the parasite intakes nutrients by feeding on the Angelfish’s cells and by photosynthesizing. As it absorbs these nutrients, it builds a protective shell around itself and develops into a cyst on the fish’s slime-coating. At this point, the parasite will look like small gold/brown/green particles over the body of the infected Angelfish.
After the 3-6 days are over, the parasite bursts from the skin of the Angelfish it’s on and sinks to the bottom of the aquarium. When it reaches the aquarium’s floor, it begins to divide into as many as 256 versions of itself. When the division process is over, the parasite breaks up into smaller, individual parasites and enters the water column in search for a host. If they don’t find a host within 48 hours, though, they die.
An Angelfish that is infected with Velvet Disease will:
- Be coated in gold/brown/green particles
- Rub itself against objects
- Breathe more rapidly than normal
- Eat less
- Exhibit less energy
- Keep its fins at its sides
- Produce an above-average amount of slime for its body
Unfortunately, it doesn’t even stop there.
Most Angelfish will be weakened when the parasites of Velvet Disease burst from their skin. Because of this, secondary infections have the possibility to develop as well – which lead to the Angelfish being show secondary symptoms.
- 1/2 – 1 gallon container
- Aquarium salt
- No lights
- A Temperature of 82-86°F (28-30°C)
Step 2) Cover the aquarium with a blanket.
Step 3) Fill a 0.5-1 gallon (2-4 liter) container 75%-full with warm water. In it, dissolve 2.5 teaspoons of aquarium salt for every gallon of water in the aquarium.
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Step 4) Pour 1/4 of the aquarium salt mixture into the aquarium every hour for 4 hours. After each pour, be sure to re-cover the aquarium with the blanket.
Step 5) Wait for three weeks. During this time, be sure to maintain the hospital/suitable aquarium setting (except for temperature and salinity, of course).
Step 6) Uncover the aquarium.
Step 7) Wait for 24 hours.
Step 8) Turn on the aquarium lights.
Step 9) Reduce the aquarium’s water temperature to its normal temperature.
Step 10) Perform a series of water changes on the aquarium until the salinity level is back to normal.
At this point, the Angelfish should be cured of Velvet Disease. If the Angelfish was in a hospital aquarium setting, it can now be transferred into the suitable aquarium setting. Just remember to acclimate it.
Step 1) Fill a bucket 1/4-full with water from the Hospital aquarium. Then, transfer the Angelfish into the bucket.
Remember, we don’t want to use a bucket that is used for other purposes because it could have harmful bacteria in it.
Step 2) Using an acclimation kit, siphon water from the Suitable aquarium into the bucket of Angelfish at a rate of 2-4 drips per second – until the water level inside the bucket triples.
Doing this will slowly adjust the water parameters inside the bucket to be very close to the water parameters inside the aquarium.
After the water level has tripled, the aquatic life will be acclimated to the water of the aquarium, so it is safe to transfer them into the aquarium.
The health of Angelfish isn’t only harmed by the three Angelfish diseases listed throughout this article. Here are some other things their health is at risk to:
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