What do angelfish with clamped fins indicate?

In this blog we will discuss about angelfish clamped fins.This comprehensive guide will give you the reasons behind clamped fins and their treatment as well.This blog will surely help new angelfish keepers along with experienced aquarists.


In this blog

  • What do angelfish with clamped fins indicate?
  • What are the common causes of clamped fins in angelfish?
  • How do you deal with angelfish clamped fins?
  • Can angelfish survive Ich infection?
  • How do angelfish behave with clamped fins?
  • Do we need a separate hospital tank to treat clamped fins in angelfish?
  • Summary 
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Reference 

What do angelfish with clamped fins indicate?

Angelfish with clamped fins do not open the fins in the typical way of their kind, but most often fix the fins closer to their body.Such fins may be the first sign that the fish is unhealthy and that is the main reason for its altered behavior.

What are the common causes of clamped fins in angelfish?

The most common cause of clamped fins in angelfish is ich, which appears as white spots on the fish and look like salt crystals and another common cause is velvet disease, which looks like dusty, velvety rust or a yellow coating on the fish.

Ich or white spot disease in angelfish

ich, also known as white spot disease,is a parasitic infection that affects a variety of freshwater fish species and is caused by the ciliated protozoan Ichthyophthirius multifiliis and is one of the most common diseases encountered in tropical-fish tanks.

It is caused by ectoparasites that cause multiple white spots on the skin and gills of freshwater fish. It is a common parasite infection in freshwater fish and is one of the few fish parasites visible to the naked eye.

The clinical manifestations of Ich are most commonly white spots on the skin and gills. Sick fish may show signs of common illness, such as sitting at the bottom of the aquarium, loss of appetite, and red fins.

Treatments available online and in pet stores to cure this condition:

Waterlife Protozin Whitespot/Fungus Treatment, 100 ml

  • Water treatment for improving fish water quality.
  • Helps to cure common ailments found in aquariums.

Waterlife Protozin 250ml

Waterlife Protozin 1LTR

  • Treats Protozoan and Fungal Infections

Velvet disease in angelfish

Velvet disease also known as gold-dust,rust and coral disease is a fish infection,which is caused by dinoflagellate parasites of the genus Piscinoodinium,specifically Amyloodinium in marine fish,and Oodinium in freshwater fish.

This disease gives infected organisms a dusty, brownish-gold color and is one of the reasons for clamped fins in angelfish.

How do you deal with angelfish clamped fins? 

First, test the water in the aquarium and change the water partially.If the clamped fin is due to an infection, an all-purpose antibiotic can be applied to the water, and adding one tablespoon of aquarium salt per gallon will also help to treat their clamped fins.

Partial water changes in angelfish tanks

Partial water changes will balance the pH and eliminate parasites and bacteria floating in the water. Change water only if your medication plan allows it.

For some medicines, it is advisable to wait for a while before changing the water.This is because the medicine can be removed from the water after it has worked.

  • Test water quality with a good quality water testing kit and then do the water changes accordingly.
  • Frequent water changes should be avoided,as it can stress angelfish.
  • Water changes will keep the tank water environment healthy and help angelfish to heal faster.
  • Water should be monitored everyday,without stressing angelfish.

Antibiotic treatment or anti-white spot treatment for angelfish clamped fins

Efficacious treatments include antibiotics like levamisole, metronidazole or praziquantel.

Metronidazole and praziquantel are very effective when soaked in food,while feeding angelfish.

Antibiotics like nitrofurazone or erythromycin may also help prevent secondary bacterial infections.

Aquarium salt treatment for angelfish clamped fins

One tablespoon of salt per three gallons of water is used to fight mild cases of bacterial and fungal infections.

Additionally,it gently stimulates the fish’s mucus coat,causing the fish to produce more beneficial mucus that can stop some parasites and microbes from entering their bodies.

Raise water temperature to treat angelfish clamped fins

Aquarium water temperature has a significant impact on the speed at which the ich life cycle is completed. In warm temperatures i.e 75-79°F, the life cycle is complete in around 3-6 days.

At these temperatures, chemical treatments must be carried out daily, which requires at least 3-5 treatments.

Raising the water temperature to 82 degrees Fahrenheit will speed up the parasite’s life cycle, allowing it to heal and infect faster.

Dim lights for several days to treat angelfish clamped fins

It is recommended to dim the lights in the room or turn them off altogether when using a treatment to get rid of the parasites.

Treat with copper sulfate for ten days angelfish clamped fins

Copper sulfate can be used to treat a variety of parasites that affect fish in aquariums.Treating fish velvet with copper sulfate also kills fish velvet.

Therefore, it is not necessary to distinguish between the two parasites. Copper sulfate removes all ectoparasites in fish.

Copper sulfate treatment is  best among all treatments.Products containing acriflavine can be used, but these usually have undesirable side effects on fish.

The best product for treating infections is Mardel’s Coppersafe, but any aquarium fish copper sulfate solution will do.

The only drawback of using copper sulfate in aquariums is that it kills invertebrates too in the tanks.But it would be better to have a seperate hospital tanks to treat such conditions.

Discontinue carbon filtration during treatment for angelfish clamped fins

Carbon eliminates chemicals from water and the treatment is made of chemicals, so there can’t be any carbon in it.Carbon removes/ neutralizes the drugs you put in the tank.

The carbon in the filter removes contaminants and chemicals from the water. So, if it was left while the tank was processing something, the treatment would be removed and whatever you were trying to tackle would still be a problem.

Can angelfish survive Ich infection? 

Ichthyophthirius multifiliis is an obligate parasite and it cannot survive unless live fish are present and It is capable of causing a large number of deaths in a short period of time.

An upsurge of Ich is an emergency condition that requires immediate action,and without proper treatment, the disease can lead to a 100% mortality rate.

How do angelfish behave with clamped fins?

Lethargy or listless behavior-Angelfish looks tired and lethargic, it can be the result of many factors.One of the common causes is improper aquarium water temperature & other possible causes are overfeeding and poor water quality.Sometimes they sit at the bottom of the tank. 

Do we need a separate hospital tank to treat clamped fins in angelfish?

Yes, it is very important to treat an angelfish with clamped fins in a separate hospital tank,as it will avoid the transmission of infections to other tank mates and will get the proper time and environment to get cured without other tank mates.

A hospital tank is basically a spare tank that you can use to treat infected fish.This tank should be set up to imitate the conditions same like the main tank so that transporting the fish to the hospital tank will reduce as much stress as possible on your fish.


  • Angelfish often fall victim to certain infections such as hexamita, a species that causes weight loss, increased fecal production, skin color change and decay, producing porosity.
  • Freshwater ich, a species that causes and white spots on the gills and can result in clamped fins.
  • Aquarium water should be monitored daily to keep the water parameters pristine and suitable for angelfish to thrive.
  • Water changes should be done partially without stressing them.
  • Using antibiotics to treat clamped fins due to ich and velvet.
  • Giving proper salt treatment to clear off the infections.
  • Practicing proper tank maintenance to keep the angelfish away from stress and infections.
  • Test your aquarium water first to check overall water quality using a quality test kit, and perform partial water changes to ensure health.
  • A good all-around fungal treatment such as protozin  should have an effect on most causes of clamped fins.
  • Clamped fins is the state of an aquarium fish in which the fish keeps its fins folded and held against the body.
  • The fins are not fan-shaped and the fish become lethargic.These fins do not indicate one particular illness,instead, the clamped fins may indicate several different problems, such as poor water quality and parasites.
  • Therefore, it is necessary to identify the exact problem in fish. Regularly providing a clean and healthy environment will prevent the fins from becoming clamped.
  • However, if you look carefully at the fish every day and you see clamped fins, you have enough time to solve the problem.

Frequently asked questions

Is it possible for  angelfish Ich to go away on its own?

No, it’s probably just shedding for reproduction, it’ll end up with all your fish. If they’re healthy,they can fight it, but it’ll keep sitting in the angelfish aquarium waiting for a stressor to exploit and kill them.

Is it possible to feed the angelfish with clamped fins during the treatment of ich?

Soak the fish in medicine and do not feed or change water for a week. In the meantime, the aquarium filter and heater must be on.

How long does the velvet disease in angelfish with clamped fins last?

It should be used for a full ten days according to the recommended dosage to make sure the parasite is completely wiped out.

Will velvet disease in angelfish with clamped fins heal naturally? 

It is usually too late for fish that have reached the end of the disease. They usually do not respond to treatment and most often die.

What is the difference between ich and velvet? 

The difference between Ich and velvet symptoms is that velvet is more severe and occurs more quickly.