Help. I Rescued A Badly Beaten Angelfish. I Need To Save This Fish. My Heart Breaks For Her.

Beck
  • #1
I saw Scratch at the fish store a couple of weeks ago. Clearly beat up and not really sellable. Her/his has haunted me. Her fins are pretty much all torn off bbjust nubs on dorsal ventral and caudal. Almost nothing left. I don't have proper tank. Just put her in the 4 gallon quarantine tank today. Going to try to set her up better tomorrow. Took a long time acclimating and kept dark for hours. She won't eat and I'm really concerned about how badly she was beaten b(confirmed by lfs employee)
I used stress coat and matched ph to her store water before acclimated.


I just went back to buy her today. Any advice is appreciated. It's after midnight so I'm going to bed, but if anyone can give me ideas, tomorrow I'm going to try to set her up for healing
 
HORNET1
  • #2
I'm surprised you had to buy her.
Your LFS should have given her to you, IMO.
 
Fizzfrog
  • #3
I can't emphasize enough the importance of pristine water. It will do her a world of good. Keep it relatively shallow so she can get to the surface easily, or give her a resting spot near the surface. Keeping her in the dark was a good idea, it'll help keep her stress levels low, and when you start turning on the lights again try to do it gradually if possible. Something that works well for lights that cannot be adjusted is to open the curtains to the room, wait an 30 minutes, turn on the room lights, wait 30 minutes, and then turn on tank lights. Feed high-protein foods - for pellets, I'd go with Omega One betta buffet pellets as they contain whole fish rather than fish meal aka filler. She may not eat for the first few days, but keep trying and be sure to remove uneaten food. Keep the current minimal.

Does it look like rot, or just torn? Either way, pristine water will help, but if it's aggressive rot you might want to consider medication. Could you provide a picture?

Edit: wow, I really need sleep. Read this as a badly beaten betta, not angel. Regardless, my thoughts about lighting, water parameters, and current stay the same, but for the food, go for something made specifically for angels and has a lot of whole fish instead of fish meal. Reaching the surface won't be an issue here either since angels aren't labyrinth fish so you don't have to worry about that.
 
Fashooga
  • #4
Really all you can do is provide clean water and change it as often as you can. Clean water helps reduce risk of infections. Y

You should also look at treating the fish with meds to get any parasites out.

Good luck.
 
Beck
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Q
I can't emphasize enough the importance of pristine water. It will do her a world of good. Keep it relatively shallow so she can get to the surface easily, or give her a resting spot near the surface. Keeping her in the dark was a good idea, it'll help keep her stress levels low, and when you start turning on the lights again try to do it gradually if possible. Something that works well for lights that cannot be adjusted is to open the curtains to the room, wait an 30 minutes, turn on the room lights, wait 30 minutes, and then turn on tank lights. Feed high-protein foods - for pellets, I'd go with Omega One betta buffet pellets as they contain whole fish rather than fish meal aka filler. She may not eat for the first few days, but keep trying and be sure to remove uneaten food. Keep the current minimal.

Does it look like rot, or just torn? Either way, pristine water will help, but if it's aggressive rot you might want to consider medication. Could you provide a picture?

Edit: wow, I really need sleep. Read this as a badly beaten betta, not angel. Regardless, my thoughts about lighting, water parameters, and current stay the same, but for the food, go for something made specifically for angels and has a lot of whole fish instead of fish meal. Reaching the surface won't be an issue here either since angels aren't labyrinth fish so you don't have to worry about that.
Thank you, I have to get her a suitable tank. Right now she's in my tiny plastic isolation/hospital tank. It does have filtration from a cycled tank, heat, and a few plants , but not an ideal setup. I have a spare 5.5 gallon. Would that be enough? I was going to put her in my 20 gal tall but I have 2 baby angels in there and afraid they will get stressed.
I don't think its fin rot bc the girl at pet store said it had been housed with another angel for a long time and they fought constantly. Could fin rot be a secondary problem?
Thanks

Really all you can do is provide clean water and change it as often as you can. Clean water helps reduce risk of infections. Y

You should also look at treating the fish with meds to get any parasites out.

Good luck.
Thank you, I'll look into that. Poor thing, I feel so bad for it.

Does it look like rot, or just torn? Either way, pristine water will help, but if it's aggressive rot you might want to consider medication. Could you provide a picture?

This is the best picture I could get. It's difficult to see the damage on the bottom
 

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Fizzfrog
  • #6
Fin rot could definitely be a secondary problem of torn fins but it often arises out of an injury (major or minor) in poor water conditions, and unless it's major rot it should clear up with clean water. It's hard for me to tell from the picture; do the edges of the fins have fuzzy white stuff on them? As in, white stuff that's not natural coloring. That could be an indication of rot. If there's no fuzzy white stuff, you're probably fine with just keeping clean water.

If the 4 gallon has a cycled filter with enough media to deal with the bioload, it's not a huge deal. A 5.5 will give her more space (might boost her spirits a little) and will give a little more leeway if something happens to go wrong with parameters though e.g. if the heater breaks, there's an ammonia spike, etc. I would not put her in the 20 gallon yet in case she's carrying diseases that haven't shown up, and I think a 5.5 will be okay for her as she heals - it's not like she'll be in there long-term.
 
Beck
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Fin rot could definitely be a secondary problem of torn fins but it often arises out of an injury (major or minor) in poor water conditions, and unless it's major rot it should clear up with clean water. It's hard for me to tell from the picture; do the edges of the fins have fuzzy white stuff on them? As in, white stuff that's not natural coloring. That could be an indication of rot. If there's no fuzzy white stuff, you're probably fine with just keeping clean water.

If the 4 gallon has a cycled filter with enough media to deal with the bioload, it's not a huge deal. A 5.5 will give her more space (might boost her spirits a little) and will give a little more leeway if something happens to go wrong with parameters though e.g. if the heater breaks, there's an ammonia spike, etc. I would not put her in the 20 gallon yet in case she's carrying diseases that haven't shown up, and I think a 5.5 will be okay for her as she heals - it's not like she'll be in there long-term.

Oh good. Thank you. I don't see any fuzzy white stuff. I'll set up the 5.5 and do my best to keep it pristine. I have been putting Seachem Stress Guard in the water cuz I figured can't hurt and might help. I'm off to the petco to find species specific food for her
 
Fizzfrog
  • #8
Sounds great, keep us updated!
 
bizaliz3
  • #9
Poor baby!!
Ya, that LFS should not have charged you for him!
Is there any way you could pick up something larger for him? The recovery will go so much better in something larger. Even a 10? He looks like a pretty good sized angel already.....

I don't see any actual fin rot. So that is good. If I were you, I would do small daily water changes using Seachem prime as the dechlorinator and keep a very close eye on him.

Good luck!!
 
Beck
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Poor baby!!
Ya, that LFS should not have charged you for him!
Is there any way you could pick up something larger for him? The recovery will go so much better in something larger. Even a 10? He looks like a pretty good sized angel already.....

I don't see any actual fin rot. So that is good. If I were you, I would do small daily water changes using Seachem prime as the dechlorinator and keep a very close eye on him.

Good luck!!

He is quite large indeed. Yes they should have just given him to me. He was only $7 though. I spent $60 yesterday on stuff to set up a tank for him. I agree the 5.5 is too small. The problem is my husband already a little over the edge about me setting up a new tank every few weeks. 4 since the end of December I do want to get a 20 long though for the schooling, shoaling fish. Possibly I can get that sooner and put "Scratch" in there until he's healed......
I still haven't seen him eat, but more active today at least. Was just hiding in the plants.....
 
Beck
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Update: he finally ate a bit this morning. Yay! He seems to list to his left a little bit since I've had him. I'm presuming it is from not having the proper finnage for stability, but I know there are other health issues that can affect balance as well. Plus the darn 5.5 gallon is too small for him. I'm really regretting putting the 2" of substrate. I did it because 1) he was always hiding in the couple of plants in the isolation tank, and 2) it's carib sea eco complete so has BB. Still, it took away a gallon of swimming area. I'm going to remove most of it during today's PWC and buy some potted plants Plus, he's not hiding in the plants as much now
Still trying to figure out how to purchase a 20 gallon
 
bizaliz3
  • #12
Have you seen any further fin loss? or any fin growth?
I'm really concerned that he won't be able to recover in a 5.5 gallon.

Have you tried looking for used tanks? Almost all of my tanks were used purchases. You can get some really good deals that way. I have used craigslist and facebook marketplace for mine. Mostly craigslist.

Most recently I was in need of an emergency QT tank for these two new fish I wanted. I was able to find a 25 gallon with glass lid and a nice light for just $20.

I once got a 30 gallon with stand, lid and light for free. I'm not saying you will find deals that good, but you should be able to find a decent 20-30 gallon set up for him. Preferrably a 29 or larger because long term, a 20 gallon isn't really suitable for an adult angelfish anyway. So once he does recover....you really shouldn't be keeping him and two other angels in a 20 high.
 
Beck
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
No further fin loss. Not noticing any regrowth, but it's only been a couple of days. It's not even so much the money for the bigger tank. The problem is my husband is really annoyed that I'm taking over the house with fish tanks....
I'm 95% sure I'm going to go ahead and do it , but he's going to be sooooo mad, oh well, won't be the first time, or the last I'm sure
 
bizaliz3
  • #14
No further fin loss. Not noticing any regrowth, but it's only been a couple of days. It's not even so much the money for the bigger tank. The problem is my husband is really annoyed that I'm taking over the house with fish tanks....
I'm 95% sure I'm going to go ahead and do it , but he's going to be sooooo mad, oh well, won't be the first time, or the last I'm sure

What were your long term plans for your two angels that you already had? Because as adults, they won't do well in a 20 high together.

What size are your current four tanks and what do they house? Possibly downsizing on the number of tanks in order to upgrade the size would be ok with the hubby?? Take down two small ones and put up a bigger ones? I just took down a 20 and a 10 an put up a 55 in its place. Larger tanks are so much easier to care for, more fun to watch and lots more options. If I were you, I'd go for a smaller number of large tanks rather than more small tanks. You talked about wanting to add a 20 long for schooling fish....well, schooling fish are also much more fun to watch in larger tanks anyway.
 
Beck
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
My plans for the 2 Angel babies is a large 40-60 gallon tank that will be the Showcase Tank. I currently have a 5.5 with a male Betta who won't accept any other living creature with him. A 5 gallon topfin aquaponics tank that was originally my Betta home but was too small with the aquaponics part. Now I have 2 Chinese algae eaters in there which I can't put with anyone else either. ( I impulse bought them, then realized when they grow up they eat slime coat on my other fish). The 20 tall with the 2 baby angels, 6 neon tetra, 5-6 sparkling gourami, 3 albino Pygmy cory, 5 otocinclus. (I know its overstocked but have planned to 20 long and Large tank for some of them before they grow up. Plus I over filter and do frequent PWC.
So really the only tank I can get rid of is the 5.5 this beat up angel is in.
The reason my husband is so mad.. I did all this in 8 weeks.
My nickname is Captain Overboard

Edit: I also realize the CAE will need 55 gallons each when full grown. I'll worry about that then. Maybe a true Aquaponics system with them living in the bottom

What were your long term plans for your two angels that you already had? Because as adults, they won't do well in a 20 high together.

What size are your current four tanks and what do they house? Possibly downsizing on the number of tanks in order to upgrade the size would be ok with the hubby?? Take down two small ones and put up a bigger ones? I just took down a 20 and a 10 an put up a 55 in its place. Larger tanks are so much easier to care for, more fun to watch and lots more options. If I were you, I'd go for a smaller number of large tanks rather than more small tanks. You talked about wanting to add a 20 long for schooling fish....well, schooling fish are also much more fun to watch in larger tanks anyway.

I forgot to hit Reply in my reply
 
bizaliz3
  • #16
Edit: I also realize the CAE will need 55 gallons each when full grown. I'll worry about that then. Maybe a true Aquaponics system with them living in the bottom

They will never reach full grown in a 5 gallon. They will be severely stunted in that tank. I suggest you rehome them. Even if you do get a 55 later, they will terrorize the rest of the tank. You don't want a 55 reserved for just a couple CAEs.....I personally think they should be left out of the hobby altogether from the things I have read about them.....

How soon can you get the "40-60" gallon tank? The best choice would be a 4 foot tank. (which is a standard 55) it gives you the most options. The longer the tank the better. You just need to be careful about waiting for the fish to outgrow their current tank(s). Because often they will never out grow the smaller tank because they will be stunted. Don't wait too long to upgrade is all I am saying.

How about forget the 20 long, get rid of the 5 gallon aquaponics tank and just get one very large tank along with the 5 gallon betta tank. Then you can have more space for your fishy friends, but less tanks overall.
 
Beck
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
They will never reach full grown in a 5 gallon. They will be severely stunted in that tank. I suggest you rehome them. Even if you do get a 55 later, they will terrorize the rest of the tank. You don't want a 55 reserved for just a couple CAEs.....I personally think they should be left out of the hobby altogether from the things I have read about them.....

How soon can you get the "40-60" gallon tank? The best choice would be a 4 foot tank. (which is a standard 55) it gives you the most options. The longer the tank the better. You just need to be careful about waiting for the fish to outgrow their current tank(s). Because often they will never out grow the smaller tank because they will be stunted. Don't wait too long to upgrade is all I am saying.

How about forget the 20 long, get rid of the 5 gallon aquaponics tank and just get one very large tank along with the 5 gallon betta tank. Then you can have more space for your fishy friends, but less tanks overall.

I know that everything you are saying is right, but it will be 2-3 months before I can afford the large tank. Plus I was looking at flat back hex to fit on a corner stand I already have. A 48" tank I would need to buy a cabinet and find a place to put it.
Maybe I'll just get a 29 gal now (I have a place to put it) and wounded angel can heal there. By the time he/she is healed I could possibly have the big tank set up and all three angels can go in there with maybe 3 bristlenose pleco ( I like the yellow and orange longfinned)
20 tall can be community and the 29 can be for schooling/shoaling community.
Top fin can go - rehome the CAE
The 5.5 that wounded warrior is in now can be home for another male Betta or save as QT ,.......
So I'd have 5 tanks even if I get rid of the top fin. Might keep it for shrimp.
Does this make me a hoarder? Lol
 
bizaliz3
  • #18
So I'd have 5 tanks even if I get rid of the top fin. Might keep it for shrimp.
Does this make me a hoarder? Lol

I have 16 tanks squeezed into a 2 bedroom apartment/condo. So I have no room to talk about being a fish/fish tank hoarder.
 
Fizzfrog
  • #19
I'm not sure what extra stuff you have in terms of filtration, heating, etc. but Petco usually has a dollar-per-gallon sale going on. It's only the tank though, doesn't come with a hood or lights or anything, but perhaps consider checking that out?
 
RedLoredAmazon
  • #20
You could use a sterlite container as a QT. That way you are tempted to turn it into another permanent tank. Maybe you could nurse the angel back to health and then find it a new home with a responsible owner. We did that with a guinea pig; my dad was freaking out that we added another piggy to the house. It worked out as a nice comprise.
 
Beck
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
You could use a sterlite container as a QT. That way you are tempted to turn it into another permanent tank. Maybe you could nurse the angel back to health and then find it a new home with a responsible owner. We did that with a guinea pig; my dad was freaking out that we added another piggy to the house. It worked out as a nice comprise.

I do have a 8 gallon sterilite I was using as a QT. I could buy a 12-15 gallon one for her for temporary. I already ordered another heater and I have enough filters because I use 2 on every tank. That's a really good idea, thank you.
I have totes that size but not clear. I already ordered a lighted hood for the "temporary " 5.5 that she's in now. So I guess something will be going in there
I took out half the substrate during today's PWC and that gave more space.
Her fins look a little smoother and less "tattered" and she ate a bit and is more active. This weekend I will move her into something bigger, either a big Sterilite or a 29 gallon from petco. Thank you again for your time and advice

I want to thank everyone who took the time to post advice. It really helped a lot
 
Zoomo
  • #22
I sure hear you on the hubby issue. I thought I was being slick and he didn't notice how much stuff I have been buying until recently. He said something like, You know I don't even buy myself a pair of pants because I worry about money, but here you are spending so much on "fish." It really annoyed me, quite honestly. I work 40 hours from home, making just about the same as he does, I clean, do dishes, take care of kids, buy the groceries, laundry, etc., and work, and I pay any and all bills before I buy "fish stuff," and then I asked a few questions, like "how much do you spend when you go camping, and how much have we spent on the cars, and what do you spend every day on lunch at work, etc., and what about the money I spent for us for the kids for their bdays, xmas, etc. He basically thinks all animals/pets are not worth any money and he doesn't even like to buy dog food/cat food and fish definitely rank the lowest on his list. I buy what I want when I want and he can kiss my hiney. Of course, when it's a big few hundred dollar purchase I may converse with him over it. Like I recently purchased a new office chair because my butt goes sore at work sitting 8 hours a day, and just told him I was in the market for a new chair, but didn't tell him I spent 294.00 on one.

I say buy what you need for your fish. They need things and it is not our fault they need so many things or they are so expensive. Hopefully we get to a point at some point where everything is bought other than regular maintenance and food and we can just enjoy the fish. I am not quite there yet but maybe one day.
 
Beck
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
I sure hear you on the hubby issue. I thought I was being slick and he didn't notice how much stuff I have been buying until recently. He said something like, You know I don't even buy myself a pair of pants because I worry about money, but here you are spending so much on "fish." It really annoyed me, quite honestly. I work 40 hours from home, making just about the same as he does, I clean, do dishes, take care of kids, buy the groceries, laundry, etc., and work, and I pay any and all bills before I buy "fish stuff," and then I asked a few questions, like "how much do you spend when you go camping, and how much have we spent on the cars, and what do you spend every day on lunch at work, etc., and what about the money I spent for us for the kids for their bdays, xmas, etc. He basically thinks all animals/pets are not worth any money and he doesn't even like to buy dog food/cat food and fish definitely rank the lowest on his list. I buy what I want when I want and he can kiss my hiney. Of course, when it's a big few hundred dollar purchase I may converse with him over it. Like I recently purchased a new office chair because my butt goes sore at work sitting 8 hours a day, and just told him I was in the market for a new chair, but didn't tell him I spent 294.00 on one.

I say buy what you need for your fish. They need things and it is not our fault they need so many things or they are so expensive. Hopefully we get to a point at some point where everything is bought other than regular maintenance and food and we can just enjoy the fish. I am not quite there yet but maybe one day.
I hear ya there! Why do they not understand how important our pets wellness is? I know I am a little (or a lot) extreme about it but my furry and finned kids give me great joy and I want to do the best I can for them. Like you say, hopefully someday it will just be maintaining but I fear I am going to end up with a "fish room". And I'll probably be sleeping there alone lololol

I also "discussed" with him that I need a 50 gallon now hahahaha
 
Zoomo
  • #24
I also "discussed" with him that I need a 50 gallon now hahahaha
I have the 40 gallon now, and 2 betta 5 gallon tanks, and I want another already. I want minI puffers badly. I also want to separate out the male mollies, as they harass the females something fierce, but have nowhere to put any more tanks. Honestly, all I have is floor space I walk on, so literally no where to put them. So for now, I am waiting. If any of the bettas die or somehow I get more space, I will get more tanks. But, spent 100 on new filters this week, and about 30 on other Amazon stuff I "needed" for my fish. I am not doing so great with the plants, for some reason, so may have to buy Flourish soon. The anubias are fine, but anything else just melts and dies. I am trying to give them time to re-grow, so we shall see. OOH, ALSO, a 50-gallon if you get it on a $1 per gallon sale, would only be 50 bux, so no discussion needed. LOL
 
Beck
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
I have the 40 gallon now, and 2 betta 5 gallon tanks, and I want another already. I want minI puffers badly. I also want to separate out the male mollies, as they harass the females something fierce, but have nowhere to put any more tanks. Honestly, all I have is floor space I walk on, so literally no where to put them. So for now, I am waiting. If any of the bettas die or somehow I get more space, I will get more tanks. But, spent 100 on new filters this week, and about 30 on other Amazon stuff I "needed" for my fish. I am not doing so great with the plants, for some reason, so may have to buy Flourish soon. The anubias are fine, but anything else just melts and dies. I am trying to give them time to re-grow, so we shall see. OOH, ALSO, a 50-gallon if you get it on a $1 per gallon sale, would only be 50 bux, so no discussion needed. LOL

I now have a 75 galllon that all 3 angelfish are in and once she got into the big tank the beat up ones fins have grown back beautifully. I fear her growth was stunted by being in the small tank at the pet store for a year because my 2 baby angels are now her size. One is even bigger.
Before you get the 50 gallon look at the 75. I was going to get 50 but it was high and narrow. The 75 is the same length but not as high and much wider so more depth I did have to get rid of my couch though! I don’t have the best luck with plants either but I don’t regularly use my Florish so... anubias does seem to be pretty bomb proof though lol. A lot of mine melt too. I heard that was because they grow them emerged and when we submerge them they rot. I have good luck with java ferns too. It’s the stuff with the soft leaves that I have trouble with. Except when I leave them floating they seem to do better.
My Mollies are ok in the 75. I think I have more females than males though. Good luck with your tank. We seem to be very similar
 
Zoomo
  • #26
I now have a 75 galllon that all 3 angelfish are in and once she got into the big tank the beat up ones fins have grown back beautifully. I fear her growth was stunted by being in the small tank at the pet store for a year because my 2 baby angels are now her size. One is even bigger.
Before you get the 50 gallon look at the 75. I was going to get 50 but it was high and narrow. The 75 is the same length but not as high and much wider so more depth I did have to get rid of my couch though! I don’t have the best luck with plants either but I don’t regularly use my Florish so... anubias does seem to be pretty bomb proof though lol. A lot of mine melt too. I heard that was because they grow them emerged and when we submerge them they rot. I have good luck with java ferns too. It’s the stuff with the soft leaves that I have trouble with. Except when I leave them floating they seem to do better.
My Mollies are ok in the 75. I think I have more females than males though. Good luck with your tank. We seem to be very similar

BBM, that is too darn funny. Wonder if getting rid of the hubby would make more room. Actually my problem is I want my fish in my office with me, not around the rest of the house, so I guess I could find a space in the living room, but then I will never get to see them and others in the house do not care about the fish, and I literally am in my office pretty much 24/7, even sleep in here. If I replaced the 40 with a 75, I'd have room on the dresser the 40 is on as there is free space on either side of it but not much. For now, I am happy with the 40. I just want stinking puffer fish. They cannot go in the community tank. If all my plants die, I am giving up and will just get big bushy fake plants.
 
Beck
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
BBM, that is too darn funny. Wonder if getting rid of the hubby would make more room. Actually my problem is I want my fish in my office with me, not around the rest of the house, so I guess I could find a space in the living room, but then I will never get to see them and others in the house do not care about the fish, and I literally am in my office pretty much 24/7, even sleep in here. If I replaced the 40 with a 75, I'd have room on the dresser the 40 is on as there is free space on either side of it but not much. For now, I am happy with the 40. I just want stinking puffer fish. They cannot go in the community tank. If all my plants die, I am giving up and will just get big bushy fake plants.

I think if you get the little dwarf puffer fish you can keep them in a 10 gallon. Not positive that’s good advice though. I saw it on a YouTube video about getting rid of pest snails
 

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