What is the angelfish virus?

In this post, we will answer the question “What is the angelfish virus?”. We will also discuss the symptoms of angelfish virus infection and how to treat the disease.

What is the angelfish virus?

It is possible for your angelfish to succumb to an angelfish viral illness, popularly referred as angelfish AIDS, within the next few days of being infected with the virus. This can be a highly dangerous and deadly disease. All non-immune angelfish will develop symptoms within 2-4 days of being exposed. As angelfish AIDS is very infectious, it can occur sooner. 

When an Angelfish comes into touch with virus-carrying bacteria, it contracts the virus. A non-immune angelfish will become infected if it is placed in an aquarium with this microbe in the water column, tank walls, substrate, or ornaments. In addition, if a non-immune angelfish is placed in an aquarium with an infected angelfish or an angelfish that has been affected in the previous 6 months, it is likely to become sick.


·      Weakness, loss of energy;

·      Fins tucked against the body;

·      Excessive sludge production;

·      The fish is mostly at the bottom of the tank;

·      Their nose pointed up.

It has an infectious phase that lasts three weeks. This is a highly serious illness, and if an angelfish escapes it, it can remain a carrier of the disease for up to six months after it has recovered.

Other infectious disorders, such as Ichthyophonus fungal infections (which are internal) but have comparable outward signs in later stages of the disease, can also produce these symptoms. 

However, Angelfish Aids/Virus progresses faster than Ichthyophonus, typically turning from healthy and lively to ill and dead in less than 3-5 days. also worth noting that Ichthyophonus is primarily a cold-water fish sickness. 

Internal worm diseases such as Nematodes or Annelids should not be mistaken with the AIDS/Angelfish Virus since these parasitic worm illnesses typically manifest as a protrusion on the lower abdomen around the aperture or worms emerging from the anus, which should be avoided. In addition, the progression is slower than the Angelfish Virus/Aids. Internal parasite infections can often linger for weeks, with symptoms gradually becoming more obvious. 

Gill Fluke symptoms are similar to Angelfish virus symptoms, however, the progression of Gill Fluke symptoms is slower than the progression of Angelfish virus symptoms since gill fluke symptoms often occur over a period of one week or longer. 

Remedy and treatment options 

When fish are infected with the angelfish virus, their prognosis is poor, and they normally die within a few days of being infected. However, there are other treatments you may attempt, including:

• IIn a hospital tank, infected fish are isolated until they are no longer infectious (no lights, sponge filter and UV sterilizer).

• Treat the tank with Seachem to keep it clean. Perform a 10 per cent water shift between each application to guarantee that the water is protected for three days.

• To avoid secondary illnesses, add Mardel Maracyn to the tank. 

Even if your angelfish manages to recover from the angelfish virus infection, you should avoid putting them in an aquarium with healthy fish for the time being since they may retain the virus for up to six months.

Because the goal is immunity, it’s critical to keep your angelfish comfortable as your immune system prepares to battle the infection (if you can). 

Part of the issue is that the virus spreads so swiftly that the fish’s immune system can’t keep up, necessitating optimal settings. 

This includes a little-known parameter among Redox Balance aquarists, which is crucial for immunity during viral infections. 

It’s also worth noting, according to Redox, that my incidence of Angel Fish Virus mortality was significantly greater in aquariums housed in conditions with a pH below 6.5. Due to the poor Redox balance observed in low pH aquariums, which occurs because acidic conditions oxidize and allow for little or no Redox reduction, this is most likely the case. 

What are the most common reasons for illness in fish?

Diseases originate in fish under conditions that are comparable to those that occur in people and other animals. The lack of care that ensures the species’ quality of life is the factor that contributes the most to their illness. 

Because living in confinement is unpleasant for fish, establishing a good environment in the breeding site is critical for their well-being in fish farming. Overcrowding, poor water quality, and bad management all weaken animals’ immune systems and encourage the spread of pathogens that are hazardous to their health. 

Coming into touch with diseased animals, drinking filthy water, or handling contaminated items are all ways in which contagion can be transferred. When contaminated equipment is utilized, or new organisms are introduced into tanks without first being quarantined, this can happen.

How do I prevent and treat these diseases?

Water quality

Water quality is critical for aquatic organisms’ health, so make sure your settings are appropriate for the species you’ve designed. Tank pH, temperature, ammonia, nitrite, and oxygenation should all be evaluated regularly and changed as needed. 

Aerators for fish farming help to level out oxygenation and temperature in the ponds, which helps to reduce fish stress. Water recirculation systems, despite their higher cost, are a beneficial investment for maintaining cleanliness and lowering water exchange expenses.

Regular cleaning

Faeces, food scraps, and other organic debris that collects in tanks and equipment can serve as breeding habitats for fungi and bacteria. Cleaning is required regularly to prevent infections and maintain the quality of life for fish farmers. 

Pathogens and parasites from the previous batch can live in the trash gathered at the bottom of the hatchery and contaminate the new fish population, thus breeders should be disinfected between batches.


When purchasing new fish, quarantine entails a period of observation in separate ponds from the rest. Because illnesses have an incubation time before manifesting apparent signs, this is a necessary precaution to avoid introducing infected animals into breeding grounds. 

Quarantine ponds should not share water with other breeding sites, as this works as a disease vector.


In this post, we answered the question “What is the angelfish virus?”. We also discussed the symptoms of angelfish virus infection and how to treat the disease.

Please let us know if you have any queries in the comments area below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What is the angelfish virus?

What are the most common angelfish diseases?

Angelfish are prone to diseases such as Hexamite (a parasite that causes weight loss, increased stool production, colour change, and decay of the fish skin, resulting in hole-like lesions), and freshwater ich (a disease that causes weight loss, increased feces output, colour change, and degradation of the fish skin, culminating in hole-like lesions) is a freshwater sickness that affects fish (a protozoal parasite infection that causes white spots on freshwater fish bodies and gills).

When it comes to angelfish infection treatment, what options are available to you?

Levamisole, metronidazole, and praziquantel are all effective therapies. When taken as food soaks, metronidazole and praziquantel are very effective. Antibiotics like nitrofurazone and erythromycin may also aid in the prevention of subsequent bacterial infections.

How do you treat an angelfish Hexamite?

Hexamite is treated with metronidazole (Flagyl) in a bath therapy setting, which is licensed by the FDA. A dosage of 50 mg/kg body weight metronidazole can be administered orally for five days at a time for five consecutive days.

How do you fix ammonia poisoning?

Treatments involve decreasing the ammonia level as soon as possible by a series of modest water changes. Alternatively, an ammonia detoxifier can be employed (albeit this should only be done in an emergency), though such chemicals should only be used in an emergency and do not replace proper tank cycling.

What are the symptoms of nitrate toxicity in fish?

When a fish is exposed to a high level of nitrate for an extended period, nitrate poisoning occurs. Lethargy, breathing issues, irregular swimming or movements, fading colour, and a curled body are some of the signs of this chronic illness.

How do I treat cloudy eyes in angelfish?

There is currently no therapy available for fish with traumatic eye damage. Eye drops are a waste of time because they will fall out as soon as your fish swims away. The best treatment for a traumatic foggy eye is to provide clean water and a balanced diet, as well as to avoid any potential collisions.

What does the hole-in-the-head look like?

The hole-in-the-head illness causes pitting and erosions along with the head and/or the lateral line, as the name implies. The dots may be somewhat depressed and range in hue from brown to grey to white. Serious infections can destroy vast sections of the face and sides, whereas mild instances may just have a few spots.


Strohmeyer, C. 2019. Angelfish Disease, Virus. https://www.aquarium-pond-answers.com/2010/03/angelfish-virus.html

Rodger, H. D., Kobs, M., Macartney, A., & Frerichs, G. N. (1997). Systemic iridovirus infection in freshwater angelfish, Pterophyllum scalare (Lichtenstein). Journal of Fish Diseases, 20(1), 69-72.