Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Angels

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for visiting our Vicki's Angelfish blog through the year, leaving comments and being our friend. It's been a pleasure to visit our blog friends made this year - friends around the globe with kitties and pups and lots of great people.

We hope that you enjoy your holidays... You eat plenty of great food... Visit with lots of wonderful people, cats, dogs and other critters... Laugh a lot, smile a lot, and feel good.

From our tank to yours...

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


This past weekend, Popeye the Sailor Man, the blue angelfish so named because he'd developed popeye, was returned to the community tank.

He had been in the infirmary tank for about a month, and his eye had healed nicely, thanks to Binox and Maracyn Plus, two antibiotics that worked together to prevent secondary infections and helped to reduce the swelling in the eye. He remained isolated for another week, just to make certain that he was back to normal, before I moved him back to the home he'd lived in since he was about 8 weeks old.

He joined his mate, as shown below.

Angelfish can live to be ten years old. They mate for life.

There is another pair in the same community tank, that I called the Bickerstaffs because, though they are mates, they seem to constantly bicker!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Large Pleco

I don't normally see the largest pleco in my community tank because he generally comes out at night and is tucked inside a tree trunk during the day.

But this morning I found Mick Jaggerfish hanging on the side glass, so I snapped these photographs.

In this one above, you can see his reflection in the glass. He is approximately 15 inches long.

And in the second photograph, it was taken from outside the tank looking in. He gets along very well with all the other fish, and helps to keep the algae from forming on the glass.

Monday, December 16, 2013

An Update on Emmie Lou

You might recall the white marble angelfish that was born to Lindsay Buckingfish and Stevie Fishnick a few months ago. She was the only survivor in that particular clutch of fish, though both before and after, that couple had several clutches with many survivors who have since grown to adulthood.

Because I spent so much time and effort trying to keep the sole angelfish baby alive, I decided to keep her and I named her Emmie Lou. She was introduced to a community tank where I have a good proportion of females to males. I was hoping that she was a female (difficult to determine until she was older) because another male in the tank could be problematic with possible territorial issues.

I'm very happy to say that Emmie Lou is doing great and yes, she is a female. She is younger than any of the other angelfish in the tank, so her size is much smaller in comparison. But here she is with a male blue marble and a male koi angel.

It's feeding time and you can see the food floating on the water's surface.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Simone - The Tri-Colored Collie

Simone went to the beauty shop last week and had her "hair done". Collies require brushing at least once a day. She loves to be groomed, and will stand perfectly still for as long as it takes to brush her.

Simone is a tri-colored collie. Other collie colors include sable (like Lassie), white, and blue merle.

Male collies tend to have much larger manes, which is one reason all the collies that portrayed Lassie were male.

The thick undercoat at their necks was used during their jobs protecting livestock. If a wolf lunged at the dog's throat, they were likely to get a full mouth of hair and no contact with the skin at all. Likewise, they have a thick undercoating at the backs of their hind legs for the same reason.

Twice, one of my Jack Russells got out of the back yard and began roaming the neighborhood. Both times, Simone came to me immediately, pawed at me and ran back and forth to the door fretting, until I followed her. She led me to a window each time where I could see Eddie or Lucy running in the street. I opened a nearby door, called to them, and thankfully they came running straight back (with the bribe of a cookie). I then patched the hole under the fence where they'd made their escape.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Butterfly Pleco

Here is a rare picture of my butterfly pleco, which lives in a community tank with four freshwater angelfish, some tetra and corydoras.

I've had this pleco since he was about an inch long. He is now at his maximum length, around 6 inches. The butterfly pleco can grow to 5 to 7 inches in length. They're very shy creatures and will often hide during the day and only come out at night when the other fish are sleeping and the tank is dark. Normally having the light on in the tank is enough to send him under a rock or in a cave. He may be under the impression that I can't see him, since this picture found him at the back of the tank behind some grass and rocks.

The butterfly pleco, like most plecos, are very peaceful fish. Though some can grow quite long - I have a pleco in another tank that is around 15 inches long - they do not bother other fish. They eat algae off the sides of the tank and decorations and tend to be bottom feeders. I add a Pleco Block to the tank each week, which provides plankton and wood, necessary for their digestion.

I do not have plecos in my breeding tanks, however, only in the community tanks. They will eat the eggs and newborn fry of other fish.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Appearance of Antibiotic in the Water

I mentioned in yesterday's post that adding Binox to the aquarium water can turn it a yellowish-green. I actually like this because it tells me which tank still has the antibiotic present, and whether it is diminishing.

In the picture at right, you'll see two 20-gallon tanks. The one on the bottom is the honeymoon suite for Lindsay Buckingfish and Stevie Fishnick. Their water is perfectly clear.

The tank on the top is where the sick blue angelfish, whom I've named Popeye the Sailor Man, is recuperating. You can see the significant change in the water color.

Now that Popeye the Sailor Man is so much better, I will continue replacing about 1/3 of the water each week, but I won't be adding any more antibiotic unless his eye begins to protrude again. When the water is perfectly clear - which should happen within 2-3 weeks - he will most definitely be ready to join the other fish in his old community tank, shown at right. This picture was taken before he became ill, and he is swimming with his mate.

It will be interesting to see the two reunite. Angelfish mate for life. I believe these are two brothers and they were from the same clutch, so they're not technically a "couple" but they have hung out together, side by side, since they were the size of a dime.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Medicine for Popeye

When this blue angelfish acquired popeye, I knew I had to act quickly.

Popeye occurs when one eye (and sometimes both) begin to swell significantly. It can be due to an injury or to poor water conditions. Since I change 25-33% of the water weekly and monitor the water quality, I knew it was more likely that this fish was injured.

The first thing I did was remove him from the community tank and place him in a 20 gallon tank by himself.

I added Binox to the water, which can turn the water a yellowish-green color. This is an antibiotic.

I also began feeding an antibiotic food. But his appetite was poor and I was concerned that he was not getting sufficient treatment.

I took a trip down to my friendly neighborhood pet shop, Carroll's Pets in Lumberton, North Carolina, where Shelli recommended that I add Maracyn Plus to the regimen.

Since I'd just added Binox the day before, I waited a full day before adding the Maracyn Plus.

I added three teaspoons the first day and one every other day for the first week.

Then I performed a 33% water change, added the Binox again (a half dose) and continued with the Maracyn Plus every other day.

The results have been terrific. This blue angel has almost completely healed and the addition of the medicine in the water also prevented any secondary infections. Secondary infections are common with ailing fish, because their immune system is down. It is often the secondary infection and not the popeye that kills the fish.

I will change the water again this weekend and make a decision whether to keep this fish in the tank for one more week or transport him back to the community tank, where three other angelfish are waiting. Because the others are males as well, I want him to be in peak condition when he returns. The other angels were from the same clutch as this one.

Angelfish can live to be 10 years old if given the right treatment and correct water parameters. This ailing angelfish is less than 2 years old.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Recovering from Popeye

I haven't posted here in a couple of weeks. I've had a sinus infection that has laid me low and I've also had my hands full caring for the blue angelfish that has popeye.

Around the middle of November, I placed this blue angelfish in a 20 gallon tank by himself. It's easier and less costly to treat a small tank than a larger one, and I don't run the risk of healthy fish building up an immunity to antibiotics by focusing only on treatment of the ill fish.

In the photograph on the right, you can clearly see how much larger one eye is than the other. Popeye can occur due to an injury or to bad water conditions. Since I change 25%-33% of the water each week and monitor the quality, I deduced that this fish most likely injured himself in the community tank.

I am happy to report, however, that he is doing much better now. Within the week, he will be ready to return to the community tank.

Here he is below in a recent video. You can see the swelling in his eye has been reduced significantly and he acts like he's feeling much better - especially evidenced by his increasing appetite.

Find out tomorrow what I did to bring him back to peak health.