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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally got my True Alum Angel's after 7 months. I have a total of 10 True Wild Altums around 3-4 inches in diameter. This will be my new species tank. I am currently dripping them as we speak. If anyone has any suggestions to keep these guys alive during the introduction period PLEASE add your comments. They have been in the store for 10 days before I got them and seem fine. They even ate before I brought them home.

I am SOO excited.
 

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The fact that you are dripping them says you know what you are doing. It is the safest way to acclimate. Although they have gotten used to the local water by now if they have been in the local fish store. But do not hurry them at all and you will have the greatest chance of keeping them alive. Patience is always the key to fish who are healthy.

Just do not allow them to be shocked by temperature changes and really they have already gone through a bit of quarantine so you should be safe.

Take care and enjoy your new little ones.

Rose
:)
 
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You are very lucky indeed, those will make beautiful fish, and maybe if all goes well, you will get them to breed for you. Cant really help much in the care department, ive never kept any really special, angels, but i do know the feeling, about a month ago i finally, got some very hard to come by, native species, i had been searching for a year or more, and trust me, they are getting tender loving care and the best i can provide. Best of luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I got the PH in the bucket to match that in my tank after about 1.5 hours. I then added the fish to my tank, shut the lights & covered the tank with a cover to reduce stress. I will take some pictures soon & post them. Thanks for the replies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sad Update:

*frownUpdate: Not having good luck with my Altums. The first 12 hours #1 died, 18 hours #2 died, 24 hours #3 died, 36 hours #4 died & the 5th is on his way at day 3.

Out of 9 Baby Altums I am left with 4. They all died the same way, Erratic swimming, laying on side, jolting around , then about 3-5 hours after these symptoms occured death. The funny thing is they were all eating and showed no illness till the first of the symptoms started. I have read about a high mortality rate caused by the stress and damage from shipping, However I am still socked. It is not easy watching your dream fish die. My water parameters are great to showing 0 across the bored with a PH of 6.8.

I new I would have death's & that is why I ordered so many for my 55 gallon, but at this point I simply hope I end up with at least 2-4 out of the original batch of 9.
 

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So sorry to hear aquaman. They really are fragile fish. It sounds like you did everything right though. I hope the last 4 make it
 

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What's the differenence between a true Altman's Angel and your ordinary Angel?
Quite often wild Scalare angels (Pterophyllum scalare) are sold as "Altum angels". True Altum angels (Pterophylum altum) are a larger angel with a more pointy mouth & fins and flared striations (stripes) that are more iridescent brown/grey than black. They are from very soft, low PH water that is warmer than typical Amazon fish are used to. The area they are collected in has extremely pure water and is often dark with tannins from decaying wood and leaves.

It sounds like your fish have a viral infection, rather than parasitic, fungal or bacterial, but it's hard to tell. Typically, these fish get intestinal worms that slowly starve the fish to death. A good shotgun cure for your fish now would be to lower the PH to 6.4 and raise the temperature to 86F. Bacteria cannot survive at these parameters and this is closer to the environment they are accustomed to. You made no mention of water hardness. Having very soft water is just as important as a low PH, perhaps more so.

Diet is an important part of Altum health. Many hobbyists are tempted to feed tubifex or blood worms, but these are both cultured in raw sewage and carry far too many pathogens to be considered a viable food. This applies to freeze-dried, frozen, and live.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quite often wild Scalare angels (Pterophyllum scalare) are sold as "Altum angels". True Altum angels (Pterophylum altum) are a larger angel with a more pointy mouth & fins and flared striations (stripes) that are more iridescent brown/grey than black. They are from very soft, low PH water that is warmer than typical Amazon fish are used to. The area they are collected in has extremely pure water and is often dark with tannins from decaying wood and leaves.

It sounds like your fish have a viral infection, rather than parasitic, fungal or bacterial, but it's hard to tell. Typically, these fish get intestinal worms that slowly starve the fish to death. A good shotgun cure for your fish now would be to lower the PH to 6.4 and raise the temperature to 86F. Bacteria cannot survive at these parameters and this is closer to the environment they are accustomed to. You made no mention of water hardness. Having very soft water is just as important as a low PH, perhaps more so.

Diet is an important part of Altum health. Many hobbyists are tempted to feed tubifex or blood worms, but these are both cultured in raw sewage and carry far too many pathogens to be considered a viable food. This applies to freeze-dried, frozen, and live.
So far so good. I got home from work and no deaths. I will keep you updated tomorrow. Today I am slowly raising the temperature from 82.5 to 85-86. My PH is 6.8 and worried about adjusting it to 6.4. The fish at the time of purchase were in a tank with a PH of 7. Would it be to much to lower to a 6.4. This would make a 3rd PH adjustment in 3 days. I need a fast response about PH & the best way to adjust to 6.4. I am thinking of using Sachem buffer. Thanks, Thanks, Thanks.



P.S I am feeding Live Brine shrimp in the AM & Blood Worms At Night. So you think i should do without the Blood Worms. The reason i feed them, is the fish seem to respond better to them.
 

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Stability is more important than dropping the PH. Your current method of controlling PH may slowly bounce back up, particularly if your water isn't acidic (soft). You can lower the PH 0.1 every day without too much concern. This kind of change occurs in nature during seasonal rain and drought.

I strongly suggest you pick up a general hardness kit and look into lowering the hardness with an ion exchange resin or with distilled reverse osmosis & deionized water. Start with pure water and add buffer (sodium bicarbonate etc) until you get to the desired hardness.

Getting the fish to eat is paramount. Getting them to eat what you want them to eat is secondary. For this reason, bloodworms will work for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I went & purchased some Phagnum Peat Moss. I took out my OLD HOB filter and filled up two mesh bags with about 8 oz each. 16 oz total of peat. I figured this would be the safe slow way to drop my ph from 6.8 to 6.5
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My next angel is almost dead:(. I will be left with 3 out of nine soon.

PH dropped 6.8-6.7 from use of peat.
Temp Now 85.5.

Can only hope that the rest survive.
 

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I wish we could figure out what the problem is here. I can't imagine it's anything water quality parameter related since your setup sounds spot on. Like mr.wilson said, something viral could definitely be at work here. Sorry to hear that another one is on its way out =(
 

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Water quality is important to keep stress in check, but it doesn't cause fish mortality in and of itself. I would move on to medicating them while you still have three left.

The first step in treating them is taking a closer look for symptoms. A strong flashlight will help you get a better look at the fish. Take a look at the gills and see if they are a light pink and not red? Are the fins torn or red? Is there any excess mucous or fungus on the body? Are they breathing quickly or (deeper) labored breathing? Are there any small stringy (ciliated) worms in the gills or on the body? Is there any redness or lesions on the body? How are they swimming, near the top, together, near the bottom, circles? What are the exact stages of their decline?

Having said all that, you need to act fast, so a broad spectrum shotgun cure is in order. Formalin (38% formaldehyde gas) is effective against gill flukes (worms), fungal & bacterial infections, and other parasites. The problem with formalin is it's much a poison as it is a cure. The answer is to bath the fish in a stronger solution in a separate bucket of tank water. Go to your local aquarium store and buy a premium brand of formalin that doesn't look like it's been on the shelf for too long. Add 6 drops of formalin per gallon and aerate for 12 hours to remove methanol binding agent. Bath the fish for one hour with light aeration. Be careful netting the fish and try to move them in plastic containers or bags if you can.

Wild Discus and Angels are prone to intestinal worm infections which are harder to spot than external infections. You can treat the tank and food with praziquantel for parasitic worms. If you can't find it in the tropical section, try the pond department. Metronidazole (flagyl) is another medication you can use at the same time and it won't have much impact on the biological filter. Ammonia is less toxic at a low PH, so you have little to worry about anyway. You can add metronidazole to the food if they are eating or in the water if they go on a hunger strike. Tis catalyst cure will treat protozoans like hexamita (hole in the head) as well as some bacterial infections.

You need to act quickly and be proactive at this point in time. When I had an importing company, the Altums usually had shipping and environmental stress related mortality, but after a couple of days, they were fine. I always treated them prophylactically with the treatment above. They usually had torn red fins so I would treat them with nifurpironol or nitrofurazone mixed with malachite green. This covered fungal and bacterial infections and allowed the fins to regenerate while clearing the gills for easier breathing. This kind of treatment requires water changes and a bare bottom tank, so it isn't well suited for a display tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Water quality is important to keep stress in check, but it doesn't cause fish mortality in and of itself. I would move on to medicating them while you still have three left.

The first step in treating them is taking a closer look for symptoms. A strong flashlight will help you get a better look at the fish. Take a look at the gills and see if they are a light pink and not red? Are the fins torn or red? Is there any excess mucous or fungus on the body? Are they breathing quickly or (deeper) labored breathing? Are there any small stringy (ciliated) worms in the gills or on the body? Is there any redness or lesions on the body? How are they swimming, near the top, together, near the bottom, circles? What are the exact stages of their decline?

Having said all that, you need to act fast, so a broad spectrum shotgun cure is in order. Formalin (38% formaldehyde gas) is effective against gill flukes (worms), fungal & bacterial infections, and other parasites. The problem with formalin is it's much a poison as it is a cure. The answer is to bath the fish in a stronger solution in a separate bucket of tank water. Go to your local aquarium store and buy a premium brand of formalin that doesn't look like it's been on the shelf for too long. Add 6 drops of formalin per gallon and aerate for 12 hours to remove methanol binding agent. Bath the fish for one hour with light aeration. Be careful netting the fish and try to move them in plastic containers or bags if you can.

Wild Discus and Angels are prone to intestinal worm infections which are harder to spot than external infections. You can treat the tank and food with praziquantel for parasitic worms. If you can't find it in the tropical section, try the pond department. Metronidazole (flagyl) is another medication you can use at the same time and it won't have much impact on the biological filter. Ammonia is less toxic at a low PH, so you have little to worry about anyway. You can add metronidazole to the food if they are eating or in the water if they go on a hunger strike. Tis catalyst cure will treat protozoans like hexamita (hole in the head) as well as some bacterial infections.

You need to act quickly and be proactive at this point in time. When I had an importing company, the Altums usually had shipping and environmental stress related mortality, but after a couple of days, they were fine. I always treated them prophylactically with the treatment above. They usually had torn red fins so I would treat them with nifurpironol or nitrofurazone mixed with malachite green. This covered fungal and bacterial infections and allowed the fins to regenerate while clearing the gills for easier breathing. This kind of treatment requires water changes and a bare bottom tank, so it isn't well suited for a display tank.
Thank you so much. I want to do the Formaline bath, However i do not think i have 12 hours to airate. Anything else i can use Tonight.




Details remaining 3 altums

Fish gills are not red.
Breathing not erratic.
Sometimes they lay on the bottom of the tank/corner.
Have white patches of slime/ does not look like ike.
some of the fines a bit torn.


Details of fish that had already died.

Some had erratic breathing.
All had Patches of slime.mucus.
All had some torn fins.
ALL have clamped fins.
ONE had a black dot on the body.

PS. If you are wondering why I did not treat them so fast. The first 4 died within 24 hours.
I was also worried that treatment may mess up the biological system causing water parameter crashes which could cause more damage. I thought trying to replicate their original water parameters first would be the best first step. I guess I was wrong.



Need treatment tonight. Can not take a chance till tomorow.








The remander fish have white patches of slime/mucuse.
 

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I've seen this with Discus, and it sucks. There was nothing wrong with my water and the fish just died off from a particular shipper. I think some of it had to do with them pecking at each other for a "spot" once lights were off. They went from an overstocked dealer tank to more space, so they were fighting for dominance as cichlids (which sucks) and resulted in death due to added trama to fish still trying to adapt.

Unless you see something I would not medicate and would not muck with the water conditions too much. I tend to change my pH and hardness with a 25% water change rather than add chemicals directly to the tank. As far as treatment, the most I would do, unless you specifically see something is add aquarium salt to aid in breathing and slime coat.

To over come the eating, I used live blackworms...IMHO the best food to get fish to eat. Second choice would be frozen blood worms.

GL....and BTW you do not belong in the "New to freshwater" ;)
 

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It sounds like a bacterial infection. Go ahead with the formalin bath, the aeration to remove methanol is not mandatory. Add them back to the tank with nitrofurazone & malachite green (usually available in one product). Formalin and nitrofurazone become toxic if you mix them so don't add formalin to the tank.

Wholesalers medicate all of their fish and extra care is given to clean wild caught fish. Your angels were protected from infection for a few weeks until they reached the store you bought them from. A week at the store was enough to let a bacterial infection progress unchecked.

Keep us informed.
 
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