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View Full Version : Celestial Pearl Disaster-- need help!



AquaCats
06-23-2012, 10:36 PM
My smallest aquarium is a 10 gallon freshwater setup. I've been running it for the past year or so with a school of 10 Celestial Pearl Danios and 1 Honey Gourami. They have been doing wonderfully. On the 18th, I added 5 more CPDs to the tank. About 2 days ago, I found a dead one in the tank. I didn't think much of it, as it was one of the new fish, and it was rather skinny. Jump to today: Aquarium cleaning day. I remove all the plants and find 5 more dead ones! I've lost 6 since adding the new ones 5 days ago, and some of them were my old ones! I'm mortified.

I cleaned the tank and removed the dead guys. Before cleaning, I checked my water levels: 0 ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrite, 10 ppm nitrate. All good.

It's a densely planted tank, so I didn't see the fish in distress. The remainder of the fish look fine, then again, the dead ones had no physical symptoms at all. Nothing.

After changing the water, I added a small UV sterilizer from another tank to help eliminate anything that might be spreading in the tank. I plan to do 30% changes daily for a while.

Does anyone have any idea what could be going on here? What else, if anything, would you recommend I do? I'm at a loss.

ScottishFish
06-23-2012, 10:57 PM
The new ones could maybe have been hassled to death by your original stock? Then after a few dead ones were laying around you could have had an ammonia spike which may have then killed some others, by the time you've tested your water your filter could have brought the readings back down to zero? Just one possibility

AquaCats
06-23-2012, 11:01 PM
The new ones could maybe have been hassled to death by your original stock? Then after a few dead ones were laying around you could have had an ammonia spike which may have then killed some others, by the time you've tested your water your filter could have brought the readings back down to zero? Just one possibility

That seems a bit out there, but I hope that's what it was. That's an easy fix. I doubt that's it, though. I'm paranoid about it. I'll be watching it every hour or so, I'm sure.

AquaCats
06-24-2012, 04:42 AM
Lost another, and one more will die in the hour. It looks like a very fast propagating bacterial infection of some sort. Treated with Maracyn 2 and am hoping to save as many as possible, but the outlook is grim.

Lady Hobbs
06-24-2012, 04:48 AM
15 Celestial and a Gourami is rather pushing the limits of a 10 gallon. I can't believe with dead ones in the tank your ammonia level didn't raise. Do you think it's possible the gourami could be attacking them? Perhaps he felt crowded and stressed and is having a personality change.

Goes to 11!
06-24-2012, 05:20 AM
15 Celestial and a Gourami is rather pushing the limits of a 10 gallon.
+1

Totally agree, Not enough real estate for everyone to get out of the way when the Gourami gets territorial.

AquaCats
06-24-2012, 05:38 AM
The gourami has never messed with them. That was the first thing I checked. They max out at 1/2 inch in size, and we were going for a micro tank. The dead ones looked to have died all this morning. That's why we didn't have an ammonia spike. I am starting to notice physical symptoms that are developing blindingly fast.... So fast that I didn't notice physical symptoms initially. I know 15 seems like a lot, but they are so tiny and aren't much of a bioload. We clean the tanks weekly, too, and our filter on it is rated for 20 gallons. The symptoms look to be either viral or bacterial. I'm doing more research at this time. I don't know how much this discussion helps other than to get it off my chest. I've been keeping fish for 16 years off and on, and I've never lost a group like this before. I'm calling the shop I bought the new fellas from on Monday and asking if they've had any problems with their CPDs...

AquaCats
06-26-2012, 04:30 AM
We've lost all but one. This really stinks. I imagine the last will go soon.

Indian Woods Angels
06-26-2012, 03:34 PM
The celestial pearl danio is an extremely high oxygen fish. It needs a constant surface motion to prohibit bacterial growth on the water surface. A colony or grouping of 15 celestial danios would be best kept in a 30 gallon aquarium using a hang on tank filter and perhaps a sponge filter driven by a power head.

This fish is also extremely sensitive to ammonia situations and it suffers kidney and liver damage from high levels rather quickly. Keeping the fish in a lower than ideal O2 situation sort of just wears them down and they become very prone to stress and break down in their immune system. The new ones could not adapt to the situation that the existing ones had adapted to over time and with the loss of the new ones the cycle became stressed causing the whole group to crash.

I would only stock a maximum of 5 of these in a 10 gallon tank. This would bore me and so I would rather have the group in a 30 gallon setup.

These are neat little fish and I have bred them several times.

AquaCats
06-26-2012, 08:38 PM
Indian Woods Angel: I didn't know that regarding Celestial Pearls and oxygen. I have an Aqueon 20 (125gph, rated to 20 gallons) HOB filter. The filter provides quite a bit of surface disruption. I figured that, plus the weekly water changes and vacuumings were quite a bit of oxygenation. Maybe not. What you are suggesting is a possibility.

Ammonia wasn't a problem. The tank has been established for about 3 years (1 with the first 10 celestial pearls). The Aqueon filter has a wonderful system for biological filtration, as well. I checked the water levels (ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate) before I added the new ones and several times throughout the week leading to their deaths. Nothing amiss.

I called the LFS I purchased them from and asked if anything was wrong with their stock. They told me that theirs were fine.

Maybe it's like you said. I never thought a school of 15 in a ten gallon would be a problem as they are so small. I've never messed up like this, and I hate to think that this is something I brought on and not a fluke. I guess it comes with the hobby; you learn, sometimes you lose, but you always learn.

Indian Woods Angels
06-26-2012, 09:15 PM
Where I came to really understand these better was in my grow out tanks. I over stocked my grow outs and lost a bunch of them. I was not too happy to lose a big batch of them because they were fairly rare at the time and I took a hit in the fun fish fund. I then treated them more like rainbows and had a lot better luck. When you stock rainbows you go a bunch lighter as well, you have to watch their respiration rate and coloring to see how well they are coping. These little guys will spawn nearly daily and color flash a lot, if you don't see good colors and don't witness a lot of interaction on the spawning side of things they are just not in top form. These guys also don't really appreciate a big water change to fix things like ammonia. They get a bit stressed by it and you can lose them to that as well. They tend to hang at the top and gasp a bit with anything over 35% in my water even if I age it well.