Angel with possible swim bladder injury from another angel

laa

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I have recently inherited a 75 gallon tank with two approximately 3-inch angels...supposedly a male and female. The tank was emptied and moved to my house approximately 4 weeks ago. Other fish in the tank are 2 plecos, 3 cory catfish, 6 zebra danios and 2 white clouds. The fish seemed to handle the move with no apparent problems except we lost 4 rummy nose tetras.

The angels showed no apparent signs of distress until approximately 2 weeks ago when the male began harassing the female and biting her. There seemed to be tension between the two on and off for the next week. About 6 days ago I found the male on his side on the bottom of the tank unable to keep buoyant in the water. He tries to swim and does manage to flutter up to mid tank level, then sinks to the bottom again.

I immediately put him in a quarantine tank. I have inspected him for any signs of disease but there are none. No bloating, no cloudy eye, no clamped fins, no pop eye, no signs of ich or parasites. He will eat if I hand feed him. I have researched what this could be and the only thing that seems possible is an injury to the swim bladder from fighting. The other fish show no signs of disease or distress.

The water chemistry is as follows:
nitrate 40ppm
nitrite 0
hardness(total) 120ppm
alkalinity(total) 200ppm
pH 7.8
ammonia 0
temperature 79F

Does anyone know anything about fish with a bruised swim bladder? Will it heal in time? Shall I continue hand feeding or is there no hope? This whole experience has been very upsetting to me and the fish!

I would appreciate any advice at all...thank you.
 

Isabella

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How did you cycle your tank? With all the fish in it? If not, where did you keep all the fish during the cycle?

I believe your nitrate is too high. A nitrate of 40ppm is the maximum nitrate level one should have. But just because it is allowed doesn't mean you should keep it at 40. Perform regular weekly water changes to be removing the nitrate. Perform a thourough gravel vac with each water change. Strive to have nitrate at 20 the highest, don't go above 20. Of course, it would be best to have 0 nitrate.
 
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laa

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Isabella said:
How did you cycle your tank? With all the fish in it? If not, where did you keep all the fish during the cycle?

I believe your nitrate is too high. A nitrate of 40ppm is the maximum nitrate level one should have. But just because it is allowed doesn't mean you should keep it at 40. Perform regular weekly water changes to be removing the nitrate. Perform a thourough gravel vac with each water change. Strive to have nitrate at 20 the highest, don't go above 20. Of course, it would be best to have 0 nitrate.



According to my water test kit, a nitrate level of 0-40ppm is considered a "safe" level.

As for the cycling of the tank, the tank had been established and doing fine at my brother-in-law's home for the past 5-6 years. We moved it to my home about 4-weeks ago. We saved 20-30 gallons of water from the tank to fill it(as well as new water properly treated for chlorine of course) when we got it to my place. The gravel and all filters, an aquaclear-300 and an Eheim model 2226 were moved "as-is" therefore hopefully leaving any beneficial bacteria intact in the filters and gravel.

As I said, all the fish have been doing fine over the past 4 weeks that the tank has been in my home. They swim, eat, play normally with absolutely NO signs of disease or distress.

So, for these many reasons as well as what I have said in my original post, I can only conclude that my angel has been injured and has a bruised swim bladder. This brings me to my original query:

DOES ANYONE KNOW IF A FISH WITH A BRUISED SWIM BLADDER WILL RECOVER???? I REALLY NEED SOME INPUT HERE ABOUT THE FISH IN QUESTION AND NOT ABOUT MY WATER CONDITIONS WHICH I TRULY BELIEVE TO BE ADEQUATE.

Thank you very much.
 

Isabella

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If you saved a lot of water and transfered already mature filters + matured gravel, then yes, your tank was most likely already cycled, which is a good thing. My water testing kit ALSO states that nitrate up to 40ppm is safe and I have indicated so in my previous post (by saying that it is "allowed"). But I have also added that "just because" it says on the label that a nitrate reading of 40ppm is "safe" does not necessarily mean you have to keep that nitrate at 40ppm at all times. What if it is 41ppm? You'll have no way of knowing this because there is no "41ppm" on the color chart. Which is why I said it would be safer for you to keep it below 40. In my personal opinion, 40 is too high, and I suggested to keep it at 20 max. BUT that is just my opinion, and it is - of course - entirely up to you if you want to keep it around 40. Was just trying to give you some good advice.

Now, about your sick fish. Does your angel have VISIBLE signs of bruising in the area where its swim bladder is? If it is just a bruise, it should heal in clean water fast (which is why I stressed that the lowest nitrate possible is best to have). But if the water isn't too clean, the wound can lead to some infection, so watch your fish closely every day. But if it is a swim bladder disease, you need to treat it with a medication for the purpose of treating a swim bladder disease. For the information on how to treat it, refer to this chart: . If it is of no help, perhaps someone experienced with fish having a swim bladder disease will be able to help you. You need to make sure whether it is just a bruise or an actual swim bladder disease.
 
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laa

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There are no visible signs of anything on this fish. The bruising to the swim bladder is internal I believe. This has been stated in some books and other internet sites that I found when researching this problem. Nothing is ever mentioned if the fish will recover.

Perhaps someone has had some experience with a similar situation.
 
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