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Angel can't stay at the surface

Peter,  many cichlids (yes angels ARE cichlids) have a relatively long
life span.  Some breeding pairs (or groups) don't even get going really
well till they are this old, some older.  At 3 or 4 years old it is not
at the end of its lifespan.  Unfortunately, from the information you
have supplied, it sounds like it may be a swim bladder problem  The fish
has to basically swim constantly to remain upright and stationary.  I
assume the fish just started doing this, was it recently injured?  I
have never heard of any cichlid with this disorder (most are pretty
tough and resilient in general) but  physical injury is always
possible.  If this is a community tank, the likelihood increases.  I
have never heard of an effective treatment and checked it out in
Loiselle's "The Cichlid Aquarium".  Here is what he says, and I quote
"Swim bladder injuries, manifested by a loss of either equilibrium or
neutral buoyancy are untreatable.  Afflicted fish may well survive for a
considerable time if maintained in isolation.  Their liklihood of
surviving the normal rough and tumble of a community tank is nil, as is
their utility as breeding stock.  Such fish are best humanely

I'm really sorry.  If you decide to destroy the animal, there are humane
ways.  You can put it in a small container and use a fish tranquilizer
(drawing a blank on name, it is used to transport fish and slows down
their respiration) at way over the recommended dosage or put the
container in the freezer, it does basically the same thing, slows their
respiration down and then it stops.  Loiselle advocates slamming the
fish into something hard.  That always seemed barbaric to me and I'm
afraid I just don't have the stomach for that.  Sorry I have no pleasant

Perhaps someone else has a better answer but from the information I
have, it  sounds like a swim bladder problem.

Daphne in Hotlanta