Help Sick Angelfish With Open Sore

Section28

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Tank size: 40 gallon
pH: 7
ammonia: 0
nitrite: 0
nitrate: 25
kH: 7
gH: 10
tank temp: 79

Fish Symptoms: 5 year old Anglefish eating and acting normal except hanging, mostly, in one area noticed large lesion on her side. Not sure how to treat it.

Volume and Frequency of water changes: Once every couple of weeks at least

Chemical Additives or Media in your tank:

Tank inhabitants: Two Anglefish; Two Clown Loaches; Two Hatchetfish; One Pleco

Recent additions to your tank (living or decoration): none

Exposure to chemicals: none

Digital photo (include if possible):
 

FishGirl38

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Oh my, that's quite a wound.

Do you have an estimate on how long she's had the lesion? Regardless, has it spread/gotten worse? Was it sudden? or did it happen slowly or over a period of months starting with a small patch? Do your clown loaches pick at your angel at all? If they do, you'll want to get her into a quarantine tank and treat her there so that she can heal faster. Its very interesting that she's still eating though, that's a very good sign. Usually when fish are very sick (like how she's appearing to be) they stop eating altogether.

I'm betting it's bacterial. This definitely isn't fungal. and I really don't think it's parasitic.

From what I know, I would guess somewhere around hemorrhagic septicemia, Columnaris, or another type of deteriorating bacteria. My higher up would probably recommend E.M. Erythromycin for bacterial infections but, Furan-2, Fin and body Cure, and Triple Sulfa each say they treat similar bacteria's (all by API brand - there are other brands out there, this is what I have the most experience with though). They have different active ingredients, and it depends on what specific strain (gram neg or gram pos) the bacteria is and whether or not that medication will affect that type of bacteria.
 
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Section28

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Thank you for your reply.
I really just noticed it tonight though she has been acting a little shy for about a week and although she is eating she isn’t being aggressive about it. That side of her is usually turned away as she likes to face the other way.
I have not seen the Clowns bothering her at all.
My worry is could this spread and should I treat the whole tank? If that is the case I won’t bother setting up a hospital tank (all I have is an empty 20 gallon and I think an old 5 gallon that had a lizard or something one of my boys had).
TIA for any help.
 

FishGirl38

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Well, the contagious factor is dependent on the health of your other fish and the 'cleanliness' of the water. So, essentially you can assume that whatever pathogen is causing this in your angelfish has been in your aquarium since your last edition, or it was recently added by an environmental factor, regardless your fish have already been exposed to it. Not to worry, there are tons of yuck nasties in their natural environment that they naturally avoid anyway.

If the fish don't have any physical scratches or wounds that could be subject to infection AND everyone is getting along, nobody is stressed out or acting strange (except for the angel of course) then it's safe to say that you may not HAVE to treat the tank. If it were parasitic, than without a doubt I would advise to treat the entire tank, but otherwise, there usually has to be another stressor factor (physical wound or conditional stress) that would 'cause' a fish to contract an illness (become susceptible to a pathogens infection).

If the other fish are leaving the angel alone, then she may be able to heal fine in the main tank. It may take some trial and error before you find the right medication that helps eradicate the infection, and depending on the size of the entire main tank, this can get expensive. Medications that I've mentioned range anywhere from 10-20$ a box and have 10 packets dosed for 10G each, the medications are to be used over a course of 3-5 days...a smaller, quarantine tank can be easier to use in this case. The 20G might be okay for her, If not, a 10G tank is a typical size for a quarantine tank and they're not too much, and can be left bare until the angel has healed and its taken down.
 
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Section28

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All other fish seem healthy. 20% water changed about 1-1/2 weeks ago.
I do worry about stressing her out by netting and moving her. That wound is pretty nasty and I’d hate for it to get snagged on the net and cause more damage.
Everything is closed now so I’ll head to the LFS tomorrow at lunch to get meds. Which of the medications mentioned do you recommend I should start with?
Sorry, for the questions. Just haven’t dealt with sick fish in a long time and nothing like this.
Thanks
 

FishGirl38

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I'm sorry about all the worry, angels are delicate fish to top it off. I would believe all of your other fish are healthy too, your water parameters are ideal and your stocking is fine.

It might help to show a picture of the fish to an associate where-ever you go to purchase the meds, tell them you're looking for a bacterial medication that treats gram negative and gram positive bacteria (though, if you go to a chain store they might look at you like you're crazy...its not you, its them)..

Below is a small excerpt from a large thread listing medications and what those medications are used to treat for aquatic use. I'm not sure which bacteria is harming the fish (and so I can't really pinpoint which would be the 'best' to use to start)

Maracyn by Mardel - Erythromycin. Treats: bacterial infections (gram positive and some gram negative).
Erythromycin targets hemorrhagic septicemia (which, I don't believe is what is ailing your angel...this usually presents with red streaks or bloody patches, your angel presents as grey or pale flesh)

Maracyn 2 by Mardel - Minocycline. Treats: bacterial infections (gram negative).

At this point, you've treated a range of Gram neg and gram pos bacterial infections over the course of 10 Days using erythromycin and minocycline. (I've tried this in the past for a....similar but different type of bacterial infection in an angel and the treatment was not initially successful - I did see SOME improvement with the minocycline)

I would maybe try those and then look into Furan 2. (the Furunculosis (aeromonas) would be whats concerning your angel).

Furan2 by Aquarium pharmaceuticals(US) - Wide range of gram positive and gram negative diseases. Treats: furunculosis(aeromonas), dropsy, gill disease, fin and tail rot, black disease. ACTIVE INGRED: nitrofurazon, furazolidone, methylene blue trihydrate

and if that doesn't work...

Triple-Sulfa by Aquarium pharmaceuticals (US) - Broad spectrum anti-bacterial. Treats: cotton mouth, fin and tail rot, furunculosis (aeromonas), body slime, eye cloud. ACTIVE INGRED: sulfamethazine, sulfacetamide, and sulfathiazole.

If you want to change up that order, feel free. I can't see the fish or it's symptoms. Nor do I know what medications you may have access to. Where I work, my manager would probably recommend erythromycin as a first go to (she's got 20+ years of experience) BUT, she's not here, and there are a number of bacterial infections that could be presenting here, regardless, I wish you all the luck and I hope I've helped some.

All Information Above Came From This Link Below: (All Credit To The Author (s))
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/medications-ingredients-disease-treated.33204/
 
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Section28

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Thank you FishGirl,

I think I'll start with Maracyn. With a little luck that will do the trick. If not I will continue to treat going down the list but my hope would if Maracyn isn't effective then Maracyn Two would be.

I really hope I wont need to use Furan 2 with methylene blue. I think that turns the water blue and I have bad memories of using that from years and years ago.

I'll be picking up a box of medication at lunch today, if I can get out of the office, and treat when I get home.

And yes, unfortunately I either have big chain stores or one LFS that has high school kids that don't know much about fish working there, which is why forums like this are so invaluable to me. The closest Fish Store with knowledgeable employees is at least an hour away.

Thanks again and fingers crossed Maracyn will do the trick.
 
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Section28

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So, the store doesn't carry Maracyn anymore. They only carry API products and it looks like API E.M. Erythromycin Fish Bacterial Infection Treatment is the only one that looks to be comparable to Maracyn. I have a couple of other places to try but if I can't find it I may use this.
Anyone have any experience/advice in using this medication?
 
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Section28

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Quick update. She’s in the hospital tank and I put API E.M. Erythromycin. She had a lot of strength when I netted her so if the meds work I think she’ll pull through.
I’ll explain how I set things up and provide updates when, with a little luck, she is doing better.
 
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Section28

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Okay...So, one week in Hospital Tank and ulcer is looking much better (see pics below and in OP for comparison). I don’t have a 10 gallon tank so I used my old 20 gallon. A little more cost for meds but less than treating my 40 gallon and has the bonus of not treating healthy fish and messing up the bio filters.
I took 5 gallons straight out of my 40 gallon and put into the 20 gallon. Then added 5 gallons at a time into 40 then taking 5 more gallons etc. until the 20 gallon was full. Then as I said above used API E.M. Erythromycin as directed and she is looking much better. Now I’m not sure what to do. It’s been a week and I’m anxious to get my Angelfish back in with the community but part of me wants her to heal a little more. My dilemma is the longer I keep her out of the 40 gallon the more the water will be different and more stress reintroducing. Ideally the ulcer would be fully healed but I’m no longer adding meds and maybe I should just move her back and not close down the hospital until I feel it’s really healing up.
What is the boards thoughts on this?
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