Revive Angelfish

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Brian Adams, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. Brian AdamsValued MemberMember


    I'm new to Fishlore, but I've been reading the threads for a few months now. I've enjoyed the community, and have found a situation that has given me a reason to create my first post.

    I have recently set up a new 55 gallon tank, and ordered some Angelfish from Mr. Gordon has absolutely beautiful fish, and does all he can to make sure the fish arrive alive and healthy. He added a couple extra fish along with my order. I assume they were added to ensure I received at least 3 fish alive.
    I did have 3 fish survive, but there were 2 tiny little guys that were fighting for their lives. I lost one, but there is one more who is breathing, but not swimming. I can't help but cheer him on, and want to do anything I can to save him.

    He is less than dime sized, and I've seperated him into a hospital tank. There is no substrate, and I've only added an air stone to the tank. I can see his gills move, and every once in awhile (like once an hour manybe?) he'll start to swim upright for a few seconds. Mostly though, he just lays on his side.

    Is there a way to revive a dying fish? The water I have him in was treated, of course, and I added much of my established aquarium water. That water has some tannins from a nice piece of dark driftwood, some aquarium salt, and no ammonia. There is little to no nitrates, nitrites either. The ph is between 6.8 and 7.0.

    The little guy seems to be fighting, but he's so week. Please help me help this juvenile! I would love for this underdog... er... underfish? make a full recovery!!!
  2. Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

    Is your hospital tank heated, filtered and cycled?

    I would try to minimize stress as much as possible. Keep the lights off and keep the tank clean and warm. Frequent water changes done carefully and gently may help too. I hear you wanting to revive the poor thing, good luck!

  3. kayla.sWell Known MemberMember

    Please keep us updated on how he's doing! I keep angelfish too...

  4. Brian AdamsValued MemberMember

    Yes it is heated to around 77 degrees. I've added cycled water to it, but due to the little guy's size I have not added a filter. However, I just got back from my LFS with a flow sponge.

    Thanks for the support Lchi87!

    Will do Kayla.s! I have a towel over the tank now to reduce outside stimuli.

    Fingers and fins are crossed!

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2017
  5. Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

    Angelfish do better at warmer temps than that, I'd gradually raise it to 80F. You will need to also stay on top of your water changes since the tank is not cycled. Very little good bacteria lives in the water column so sadly taking water from an established tank will not help. :(
  6. Brian AdamsValued MemberMember

    I was afraid of that, but I was not expecting to set up a hospital tank so quickly. I have another tank with well established substrate. I think I will scoop some and delicately place it in the little 10 gallon.
    Unfortunately the heater is just a little 10 gallon non-adjustable. The only other spare I have is a 250w heater I planned to use in a sump. My 55 gallon is at 79.8 degrees though.
    This 10 gallon tank is what I use to drip acclimate my fish. I wasn't expecting to go full ER mode!

    I just pulled my towel up to add the substrate I mentioned before and the little guy swam to the other side of the tank! Though he stopped, and began laying there motionless other than his gills again. But I'm encouraged by this sudden burst of energy!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2017
  7. Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

    We never expect to have to set up a hospital tank, it always happens when we least expect it :(

    Since you have a sponge filter now, you can always run it in an established tank when you're through using it in your QT so that if you ever need to set up a tank in a hurry, that sponge will already house a good amount of bacteria. Seeding it for a month in an established tank is usually good enough for an instant cycle in a new one. That's one reason why I have sponge filters running on all my tanks in addition to my main filtration; its always good to have backups!

    If you're able to, I'd try to get a better heater for your QT...77F is something an angel can tolerate but warmer is ideal. I typically run my QT tank a little warmer than my main tanks anyway because immune systems function better at warmer temperatures and certain things like ICH can be treated with heat alone.

    I really really hope the little guy perks up; I'm rooting for you both!
  8. Brian AdamsValued MemberMember

    Thanks again! Your advice is highly welcomed!
    I love the idea of keeping the flow sponge established just in case of an emergency. I will do this for sure! One question though...
    Let's say I have a situation that requires medication. I would assume that after the fish is cured I would need to clean the sponge completely to ensure no medication/diseases have seeded themselves in the filter. Is that right? Or would that be a non-issue if the fish being treated beat whatever it was that made it sick?
  9. Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

    You're welcome! I have always thoroughly cleaned and allowed the sponge to dry out completely after it's been used with ill fish, just to be safe!
  10. AvalancheDaveWell Known MemberMember

    Fish exposed to too much transport stress (low oxygen, rough handling, high ammonia) often get infections such Colunmaris or ich so be on the lookout for those. It would be sad if the fish beat ammonia toxicity only to succumb to something else.
  11. Brian AdamsValued MemberMember

    Sadly the little guy didn't make it. I took Lchi87's advice and got a good heater for my hospital/acclimation tank, and when I got back I found it motionless, no gill movement, and no response to stimuli. :(
    Maybe I should have euthanized it from the beginning to keep it from suffering, but I can't help but try and save my little animal friends.

    But on the bright side I have a 10 gallon QT tank that is ready for action if I need it in the future.

    Even better, the 3 Angels I ordered have acclimated to the new tank very quickly! It hasn't even been 12 hours now, and they're exploring, and searching for food! I feel bad holding out on them, but I was told to not feed them for 24 to 48 hours after introduction. Doctor's orders!

    Thank you all for your advice and well wishes! I appreciate it!
  12. Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

    So sorry for your loss :( you did the best you could. But now you're equipped if anything else should happen at least. Good luck with the rest of the young angels!
  13. Brian AdamsValued MemberMember

    I hate thinking of what they go through when traveling from breeder to seller/customer. The owner of has an amazing reputation, and I have found no information regarding a transfer of sick/infected fish. Having said that, I understand how difficult it is to find Ich until the fish is stressed. I have been, and promise to continue looking out for problems. thanks for the advice!

    Thanks! I'll post my aquarium pics once all my fish pass quarantine and I have them all together!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2017

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