Angel fish is sick again but this time the meds aren't working

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Sabrina, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. SabrinaValued MemberMember

    I noticed a few days ago that my angel fish, who lives alone in a 30 gallon tank, was looking really gross all of a sudden, she had gross scaly stuff on her face, and her fins had got all clumpy together, her tail fin has a huge hole and black stuff around it, so I thought it might be fin rot.

    So I've had her on Lifeguard meds for 3 days, since it works for a whole bunch of stuff (fungus, ich, fin rot, bacterial gill disease, etc). These meds worked amazingly for her before when she had ich, but they aren't doing anything now, and just now she's taken a turn for the worse, suddenly has no energy to swim, so the current keeps pushing her down onto the gravel. She looks like she might die soon. I'm at a loss of what more I can do. But just yesterday she was fine, although her fins looked gross, she still was swimming around and had an appetite. She's breathing okay, not rapid breaths like when she had ich, but right now she looks very lethargic and tired.

    I can't take a good picture because I can't get close enough to her.
  2. tokiodreamy

    tokiodreamyWell Known MemberMember

    Fin rot is a water quality issue and can be fixed with large frequent water changes.

    What's your parameters?

    Edit: unnecessary meds can cause stress to fish. How long has your angel been on the meds. Whats the temp? When was your last water change
  3. OP

    SabrinaValued MemberMember

    I've been doing water changes, the last one was right now. No offence but I hardly doubt just changing the water is going to help her because she looks like she's about to die, I'm pretty sure she needs meds, since fin rot is supposed to be a bacterial infection, not that I know for sure that's what is wrong with her though.
    I researched that putting some salt and tea tree oil in the water can help with fin rot so I just did that as well.
    And I already said I started her on the meds 3 days ago!

    edit: and also the water change I just did was probably a really bad idea, because it just made her even weaker. I don't know what else to do, i dont think she's going to make it this time.

    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  4. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    What are your parameters? Both tap (or whatever your source water is) and tank. Temperature? Tankmates?

    Water changes are often enough to help a fish heal since the cleaner the water the less stress the fish will be under and the better its immune system will work.

  5. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    I am really sorry your angelfish is sick. If she is struggling and weak then there isnt much more you can do. Once they get to that point there really isnt anything more you can do. IME

    Hard to say what it is but the only thing that can infect a fish that fast is Columnaris for bacterial and warmer water makes bacterial infections thrive.
  6. OP

    SabrinaValued MemberMember

    Oh no I raised the temperature because I thought warmer water is good for boosting their immune system and that helped her when she had ich. I'll start lowering it immediately and see if that helps at all.
  7. DoubleDutch

    DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    Sorry to say Sabrina but I go with @tokiodreams.
    All the things you've done (with the best intentions) aren't helping your fish.
    Waterchanges can help in a certain stage and also prevent finrot in the first place. Using the right meds (right diagnose) without adding salt and raising the temps could also have helped. Think this fish might be too far.
  8. PeacefantasyWell Known MemberMember

    Unfortunately theres not much we can go by without knowing your parameters.
    From the information given, my guess is there is a water quality issue.
    How often do you do water changes and what percentage do you do?
    I definitely recommend only using meds as a last resort. As other users posted before, meds can really stress them out, and can make them far worse off.
    The only thing I can recommend right now is doing 50% daily water changes (calmly and peacefully) double dosing with Prime, and no.more.meds.

    Side note: I know Tea Tree Oil has amazing uses..for humans. If anybody has experience using it with fish, please share :)
  9. tokiodreamy

    tokiodreamyWell Known MemberMember

    Raising the temp while giving meds is unfortunately a bad combination. Do you have enough oxygenation in the water? Imcreasing heat will cause it to lower and some meds might too. Add another airstone or lower the water line so the filter creates a current if you haven't already. What was the temp at?

    I used the lifeguard meds with a bad case of ich in both my tanks which the heat treatment would not work (it always had in the past). It killed my cycle in my 29g and I had a minicycle. So checking your parameters during and after meds is always advised.

    If you're using the meds you're only supposed to do a large water change I believe before the treatment and on the 6th day of treatment. Doing them consistently might cause the meds to fail. Read the box carefully on instructions. However, like I stated before, fin rot is almost always helped with constant large water changes. People have grown back fins and stopped their fin rot by making the water pristine. Adding a little salt is okay, but I'm not sure about the combination with meds. Also not sure on the oil.

    Check your parameters, post them here, and if they're less than ideal I suggest stopping the meds, getting the temp back to normal, and doing a large 50-60% water change. Also add carbon to the tank and replace in 1-2 weeks since it will have absorbed all the meds. Then continue with 40-50% daily or every 2 days with a little aquarium salt and monitor closely.
  10. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    I "adopted" an angel with bad finrot and his fins grew back almost completely within 3 weeks just with daily water changes. I still constantly check parameters on his tank because he's still vulnerable but I think he's in the clear!
  11. OP

    SabrinaValued MemberMember

    She passed away last night :(

    I already said I was doing water changes, that she lived alone in the tank, that I wasn't sure if it was fin rot or not, etc, I really wish some of you would read things before responding.

    There would have been no point in telling you my water parameters simply because it's not like you would have been able to do anything with that information other than tell me to do more frequent water changes, which I was already doing, so it's not like it would have made any difference to tell you that. I know from experience using the meds that I had to take out carbon, not use prime at the same time, give the meds a 24 hour run before doing a water change after, etc, it's not the first time I've had to use those meds.

    And it doesn't matter what my water parameters are now, because I'm just going to empty out the tank today and put it in storage. I'll bring the live plants to the pet store and tell them to quaruntine them for awhile first.
    I still have a beta fish in a 5 gallon though, and he's doing well, but I'm kind of worried about him because I was using the same syphon and net for each tank. He looks fine, but I wonder if I should take precautions and treat him too.

    The only person who was right was AlyeskaGirl. I researched Columnaris disease and it sounds exactly like what she had. Exactly what she had! And the treatment is basically water changes and adding aquarium salt, carbon sulfate or antibiotics. I dont know if the lifeguard tablets are the same thing as that or not, but it says on the package that they should treat bacterial problems. They didn't really do anything for my angel fish though.

    Although I have seen her so sick with ICH before that she couldn't move and was only floating on the top, I had managed to save her that time.
    So this time, I did everything I did when she was sick with ICH last time. If only I had known it was columnaris before it got to that point. And using the meds, along with frequent water changes and increasing the temperature is what cured her really fast last time!
    Sounds like increasing the temperature is the last thing you should do for Columnaris disease, even though it works great for ICH, but it also says decreasing the temperature again wouldn't stop the spread of the columnaris infection, so basically turning down the temperature last night wouldn't have done anything anyway, not at that point.

    But, to the people who keep saying meds are harmful to fish, I really do not agree with you. They were literally a life saver to her last time when she was sick, they worked amazingly before, and also saved my neons at the time (I gave my neons away to a good home awhile back because they were living with my beta fish in harmony until one day he started becoming more aggressive, now he's alone).

    Back when she had ICH, the parasites left little wounds in her fins after they fell out and died. She was very healthy for the longest time but her fin holes weren't healing very fast. The meds worked great and messed up my cycle so I had to keep doing frequent water changes and using prime after, but I think maybe her fins got infected gradually over time and I just didn't know what to look for so I didn't catch it. I'm pretty sure she looked fine a couple of weeks ago. I recall a week ago looking at her and thinking something looked off, but she was acting normal and I couldn't really put my finger on what looked different about her at that point in time. By the time I did notice something was very wrong, it had progressed too far.

    Anyways, nothing worked this time. I wish I had known it was columnaris infection before it got that bad....

    At least she had quite a long, full life for an angel fish. I had her for 4 or 5 years, and she was full grown when I got her. I got her from someone else who had her since she was a baby, and I can't remember how long the person had her for, but I'm guessing that my angelfish was very, very old, since I researched they only usually live up to 10 years or so in captivity.
  12. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    I'm sorry for your loss. It does sound like she was too far gone to save, even if we had all correctly guessed the cause the first time.


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