How To Treat An Angelfish With Swollen Lips (Angelfish Lip Fibroma)

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Written By Editorial Staff
Reviewed By Ana Boyle

Veterinary Experts

Angelfish Lip Fibroma is a swelling or tumor on the lips of an Angelfish. It is a fairly common ailment in Angelfish and can be treated if caught early. In this article, we will discuss the Angelfish Lip Fibroma, what causes it, and how to treat it.

In the world of fishkeeping, few fish are as popular as the angelfish. With their distinctive fins and beautiful coloration, angelfish add grace and beauty to any aquarium. They are also relatively easy to care for, making them a good choice for novice fishkeepers. Angelfish are native to the freshwater rivers of South America and typically live for 5-10 years in captivity.

Why Does My Angelfish Have Swollen Lips?

There are three main causes of Angelfish swollen lips:

  • Water Quality Issues
  • Angelfish Lip Fibroma
  • Mouth Rot

If you notice that your angelfish have swollen lips, it is most likely suffering from a condition known as Angelfish Lip Fibroma. Angelfish Lip Fibroma is a growth or tumor that forms on the lips of the fish. It is caused by genetic factors. Per a scientific study published in PubMed, lip fibroma was associated with retro-virus-like particles. Unfortunately, there is no cure except surgically removing the tumor.

Further, if you notice fin erosion, lesions on fish skin, or gill necrosis, your Angelfish is most likely suffering from columnaris, which is caused by a bacteria known as Flexibacter columnaris, which is commonly found in aquariums. This bacteria enters the fish through open wounds or breaks in the skin and begins to multiply, causing the tissue to swell. Angelfish are particularly susceptible to this condition because they have a lot of surface area on their lips, making it easy for the bacteria to enter.

A swollen lip is not due to columnaris. It has very distinct symptoms, and you will be able to notice a huge swelling on the upper or lower lip of your fish which prevents the fish even from feeding. Angelfish Lip Fibroma is a genetic disease most commonly seen in fish that is stressed or have a weakened immune system.

Mouth rot or cotton mouth is caused by bacteria known as Chondrococcus columnaris. It appears as a white fungus at the lining of the lip and eventually grows around the mouth.

Diseases caused by Flexibacter and Chondrococcus are both commonly called columnaris, but both have their distinct symptoms. Flexibacter targets the body, including fins, skins, and gills, while Chondrococcus targets the mouth area and appears like a white fungus, hence known as cotton mouth disease.

How Can I Treat Angelfish Lip Fibroma?

If you think your angelfish have Angelfish Lip Fibroma, the first thing you should do is isolate the fish in a hospital tank. Angelfish Lip Fibroma is treated with a combination of surgery, antibiotics, and clean water. If your Angelfish has lip fibroma, which is essentially a tumor, the tumor must be removed surgically. Doctors at Companion Exotic Animal Medicine and Surgery Service, University of California, treated lip fibroma in Angelfish with cryotherapy. Antibiotics will kill the bacteria causing the infection, while clean water will help to speed up the healing process. Angelfish Lip Fibroma is a fairly common ailment, but it can be easily treated if caught early.

If you think your angelfish has Angelfish Lip Fibroma, isolate the fish in a hospital tank and contact your veterinarian for treatment. Your vet will have to remove the tumor surgically. Removal of the mass is important in cases of Lip Fibroma as it prevents the fish from eating. Upon removing the mass, your fish will finally be able to feed normally and make a full recovery.

My Angelfish Has Lip Fibroma: Will It Die?

Most lip fibromas are benign in nature. It is a tumor or cyst located on the outer region of the Angelfish lips and will not result in the death of the fish. However, the size may play a role in the ability of your fish to eat. If it is big enough, your angelfish may not be able to eat at all, which can eventually lead to death. It is important in such cases to have the tumor removed surgically by an experienced aquatic vet.

How To Treat Angelfish Mouth Rot!

Angelfish are beautiful, multi-colored fish that make a great addition to any freshwater aquarium. They are relatively easy to care for but susceptible to several diseases, including mouth rot. Mouth rot is a bacterial infection that can cause the mouth tissue to appear white and break down. If left untreated, it can be fatal. Symptoms of mouth rot include white lining, swelling in the mouth and gills, and pus or mucus discharge.

Mouth rot is typically caused by the bacterium Chondrococcus columnaris. The first sign of mouth rot is usually a white or yellowish discharge from the fish’s mouth. If you notice this discharge, it’s important to take action immediately. Begin by testing your water quality and ensuring that all parameters are within the ideal range. It’s also important to check for any sharp objects in the tank that could be injuring the fish’s mouth.

It’s important to start treatment for angelfish mouth rot as soon as possible. The first step is to quarantine the affected fish in a separate tank. This will prevent the spread of the infection to other fish.

Next, you’ll need to treat the fish with a bactericide or antibiotic. Be sure to follow the directions carefully, as overdoses can be harmful to your fish. Many angelfish owners have reported success with Oxytetracycline, Tetracycline, Kanamycin, Phenoxyethanol, or Nifurpirinol. Again, it is best to contact your vet for the correct treatment plan for your fish. Finally, do not mistake mouth rot for being a fungal disease despite the looks. Contrary to popular belief, it is caused by gram-negative bacteria, and you will need broad-spectrum antibiotics to treat the illness.

Finally, keep a close eye on your fish during treatment and monitor for any improvement or deterioration in their condition.

Angelfish are delicate creatures, but with prompt treatment, you can successfully resolve most cases of mouth rot.

Will My Angelfish With Swollen Lips Recover?

With early treatment, Angelfish with swollen lips can make a full recovery based on the prognosis. In cases of lip fibroma, the treatment requires cutting off the tumor with surgical precision; otherwise, the tumor will prevent your fish from feeding, and this can result in death.


This brings us to a conclusion on “How To Treat An Angelfish With Swollen Lips Angelfish Lip Fibroma .”Angelfish Lip Fibroma is a common ailment that can be easily treated if caught early. If you think your angelfish has Angelfish Lip Fibroma, isolate the fish in a hospital tank and contact your veterinarian for treatment.

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