Help Angelfish Rescue

Dora

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This morning I picked up a 20 gallon tank with one very sad looking angelfish in it. To make a long story short, these people didn't want it anymore and offered me the whole set up for free as long as I took the angelfish as well. I didn't know them (they are friends of a friend) so I had no idea what type of tank or what conditions it would be in but my husband and I went prepared with 5 gallon buckets and everything needed to move it. Well when I got there I almost fainted at the deplorable conditions of the tank. Nasty, murky water with some live plants that are barely alive. I asked when the last time a water change was made and they looked at me like I was from a different planet. She told me she just adds filtered water whenever it gets low! Anyway.. I moved everything and put back the gravel and most of the water. I did about a 15 to 20% water change and figure gradually I will clean out all the muck. Any suggestions as to how to even begin getting this tank healthy? I asked what she used to condition the water and she said she didn't, that she just used filtered water. When I did the water change I put in some stress coat + which I use for my guppies. The fish amazingly doesn't look too bad. He's big and she seems to think he's about 3 or 4 years old. How he's made it this far I don't know. His top fin and tail seem a bit mangled and he's swimming a little lopsided which I attribute to the damage he has. Am I doing the right thing for him? I don't want to stress him out too much and kill him! Any advice would be appreciated. I have a well established 10 gallon tank with guppies in it, but I have NO experience with angelfish. Thanks for the help!

Dora
 

Shawnie

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aww poor thing..just continue with small 20% or so water changes a day, with the stress coat ...if you have some prime or amquel+, that would help as im sure the ammonia/nitrites are crazy....the water changes with the stress coat will heal up his fins....as long as hes the only one in there, you are fine for now good luck dora!
 
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Dora

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Yup he's the only fish in the tank, but he has a snail in there with him as well. So daily 20% water changes won't affect the good bacteria? I was afraid it would disrupt the cycle too much. I think just with the water change I did today he's happier already. Hoping he's not too stressed out!
 

Shawnie

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Yup he's the only fish in the tank, but he has a snail in there with him as well. So daily 20% water changes won't affect the good bacteria? I was afraid it would disrupt the cycle too much. I think just with the water change I did today he's happier already. Hoping he's not too stressed out!
the water doenst contain enough bacteria to ever disrupt the cycle process.....its the media/decorations/subtrate thats got most of what you need....only doing small water changes will help him so he doesnt get a shock from clean water ...im sure hes adjusted to the dirtiness so we dont want to put him over the edge with too much cleaning at once
 

Prince Powder

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WOW! Great rescue! I think you're doing everything right so far. This poor fish is probably very accustomed to his nasty water so while it would be great to get him in something cleaner, he will have to be acclimated very, very slowly. Regular, but very small water changes will clear the tank up without shocking him too much. Definitely wait for more responses, I just wanted to say KUDOS to you for the rescue.
 

Butterfly

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If he's been in that horrible tank for very long he has probably acclimated to the water parameters. Doing a small water change each day will change them for the better very slowly so he has a chance to slowly acclimate to the change. Good for you for rescueing him. You know we will want pics when things are in good shape
 
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Dora

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Thank you to everyone for your responses! I'm glad I'm doing the right thing for him, I don't know how much swimming around he did before all this but he seems to be pretty happy exploring his cleaner tank. He doesn't hide much at all even though we made sure to give him a nice corner with plants to hide behind. I haven't fed him and was planning on giving him a couple of days before I do. He seems to poop a lot, not sure if he's just stressed out or if angelfish are just messy fish, then again the tank is still pretty gross so it could just be old stuff floating around. The lights on the hood don't work, went out and replaced the bulbs and they still don't work. The lady said they haven't been working for a while but that he's been "really happy" without them. My guess is I'm going to have to buy a new hood for the tank. Will it affect him to not have the lighting? He's apparently only used to natural light because they had the tank between two windows.
 

Butterfly

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Does the light have a ballast? They are lots cheaper than a new light and easy to replace.
Carol
 

catsma_97504

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Angels orient themselves to the lighting. I've had angels almost swim sideways from natural light only.

Great rescue. Good luck.
 
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Dora

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Does the light have a ballast? They are lots cheaper than a new light and easy to replace.
Carol
My husband seems to think it's the actual switch. It doesn't seem to pop back up. It's an eclipse hood, no idea what model, but I may be able to look online and see if that piece is replaceable. It has a built in filter so unfortunately I can't just go out and replace the hood, I would have to replace the filter as well.
 
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