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Results 1 to 10 of 31

Thread: Mass fish death

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  1. Default Mass fish death


    0 Not allowed!
    I guess its contrary to conventional wisdom, but I made a bunch of changes in the tank, instead of making one change at a time and observing. I have had a slew of fish die off, and I cant pin point the culprit.

    I have a 55 gallon semi planted tank.
    Original Stock:
    1 Gourami
    1 CAE
    1 Rainbow shark
    1 Male Cherry barb
    3 nerite snails
    4 cory cats
    10 Black neon Tetras
    10 Glowlite Tetras
    10 Tiber Barbs
    two moss balls
    two anubias
    1 Java Fern

    Things were balanced and doing well like this for months. However, as the gourami grew and the CAE grew older, they started to get more aggressive. I have also been getting fed up with fake ornamets, I want to go more natural. Here is the series of events over a few days.

    I removed the Gourami and CAE and found a new home for them.
    I removed a large fake bonsai tree.
    I removed two bubblers

    I added 5 Cherry barbs (2 Male, 3 female)
    I added 4 Black Neon Tetras
    I added 12 Neon Tetras
    I added some Giant Hair Grass, a banana plant, and some Cabomba
    I added some malaysian driftwood

    Also in recent days, as I posted before the black neons have been spawning and its gotten the tiger barbs frenzied.

    I measure the water parameters and all seems fine 0/0/ <20.

    However, in the past 4 days, I have lost 4 neons, 5 Black Neons, 2 cherry barbs, and two more black neons are gasping rapidly right now.
    Due to the re-newed aggression of the tiger barbs, I had suspected them. The first few deaths were very indicative of being attacked, the bodies were rather shredded. However, the last few deaths have been clean, and the barbs seems to be calm right now.

    My list of the culprits:

    1. Tiger barbs agression that I am not seeing. ( getting ready to rehome them anyway )

    2. New fish from store were just weak and didnt make the transfer, and/or introduced some new bacteria into the tank that killed others.

    3. The black neons I had were very large is size for that species and they were old and like salmon, just died after spawning. The lager females ejected eggs around 10-12 times in the past two weeks.

    4. Taking bubblers out lowered oxygen levels in the tank and fish are suffocating (seems like a stretch)

    5. New driftwood, even though it was boiled and soaked, leeched something into the water that the test kit doesnt indicate and fish are dying. (some fish died before introduction of driftwood.)

    6. When moving stuff around and planting, lots of sediment/detritus was stirred up and could have infected some fish.

    Any, all, or none of the above. Only seems to be one or two fish at a time, but its been going on for 3-4 days. Why not all fish at once? Why are Tiger barbs, pleco, farlowella, and cory cats seemingly unnaffected?

    Getting ready to do a 50% water change in about an hour. Will vacuum gravel and rinse filters.
    55 Gallon Freshwater Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"

    Video of 55GAL Tank - DEC 2012

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Actually, my first guess would be a huge ammonia spike from adding in much more bio-load than you took out. What are the water parameters?
    2 10 gallon tanks, 1 20 gallon tank, 1 Fluval Edge, 1 29 gallon tank, and one backyard pond.

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I tested ammonia twice and both times it was zero, ( I had the same theory )

    Params are 0/0/<20 as stated above. If you want other params, pH is around 6.7 or 6.8. Karbonate Hardness is low, general hardness is about 180 using the API test strips. I use liquid ammonia test kit and it showed 0.
    Last edited by ddavis1979; 02-11-2013 at 11:59 PM. Reason: forgot to add data
    55 Gallon Freshwater Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"

    Video of 55GAL Tank - DEC 2012

  4. #4

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    1. Tiger barbs agression that I am not seeing. ( getting ready to rehome them anyway )

    2. New fish from store were just weak and didnt make the transfer, and/or introduced some new bacteria into the tank that killed others.

    3. The black neons I had were very large is size for that species and they were old and like salmon, just died after spawning. The lager females ejected eggs around 10-12 times in the past two weeks.

    4. Taking bubblers out lowered oxygen levels in the tank and fish are suffocating (seems like a stretch)

    5. New driftwood, even though it was boiled and soaked, leeched something into the water that the test kit doesnt indicate and fish are dying. (some fish died before introduction of driftwood.)

    6. When moving stuff around and planting, lots of sediment/detritus was stirred up and could have infected some fish.
    1. While tiger barb aggression can never be ruled out, I would say you would see them chase other fish if this was the cause of the deaths. Also, I would suspect that the first few corpses may have been shreded post-mortem (hey, fish don't often pass up free food...)

    2. If the fish from the store were weak, you would have only lost the new fish (but you lost more black neons than you introduced). It is entirely possible that a new disease was brought into the system though, you really should consider quarantine in the future.. However, for my part, whenever I buy neons (not that often, and usually 10 at a time), I always lose one or two in the first couple of weeks, so weak stock could account for some of the losses at least.

    3. Most tetras will happily spawn every so often through their whole life, and tend to live for quite a while. I have 2 female black neon tetras that I've had for about 12 years now (one is half-blind... old age and all that), and you have lost other fish that were not spawning, too.

    4. This was actually what jumped out at me. Depending on what other filtration you have and how much water surface agitation occurs, and what shape your tank is... oxygen starvation can be a possible cause, especially at night when the plants switch from making oxygen to using oxygen, and you have added quite a few breathers in there... stick a bubbler in and see if it helps.

    5. Chances of boiled and soaked driftwood leaching something out are pretty slim if you got the driftwood from the LFS, but a real possibility if it's a "found" pice of wood.. but if some of the fish died before the driftwood, you can probably rule it out.

    6. It's possible that some gasses got released if you have a deep gravel bed that is not getting vacuumed too often, but it's pretty rare for that to happen. Also, the fish that were affected would have died promptly, not over the course of a few days.

    Gasping at the surface means the fish are not getting enough oxygen - either because there isn't enough in the water, or because something is affecting their gills (like a bacterial infection or ammonia burn or a parasite), or because their blood is not carrying the oxygen effectively to their organs (nitrite poisonin). If you have no traces of ammonia or nitrite in your water, I would suggest you put at least one of the bubblers back in there, and see how it goes.

  5. #5

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I think number 4 of dizzydezzy has a lot of merit since you removed bubblers and added very active fish. Also, the Bards could be responsible once they started on smaller fish and went out of control. As for number 6, this is possible and has happen to me. When #6 occurs, there is no measurable spike after a hour or so.

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I would guess #4 as well.......... it seems the most likely culprit, unless, during all the switching and changing, something on your hands or items may have had contaminants on them.
    2 10 gallon tanks, 1 20 gallon tank, 1 Fluval Edge, 1 29 gallon tank, and one backyard pond.

  7. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm playing devil's advocate and think #6 is your issue.

    I did a major rescape with my tank, moving so many things, and whatever was stored in the gravel was released and killed 2 tetra's and my cockatoo cichlid.

    I ended up having an ammonia spike, but my BB was well established and took care of that in a day.

    you can cross #5 off, if you boiled it then that should kill the random buggers, the extra tannins that are released are harmless.

    what is your current filtration?

    I really doubt removing a bubbler will cuase that big of a drop on O2. that just seems unlikely (unless after removal of the bubbler-you are getting minimal surface agitation)

    last suggestion is weak stock and or stock is bringing in random bugs.

    try to QT the next batch. that will help troubleshoot as well

  8. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I dont have a QT tank yet....I am not even really sure how i would set one up. I called on a cheap 20 gallon tank last week on Craigs List but it had already sold. If I were to get a QT tank, how would I keep it cycled and healthy without fish in it, I rarely buy fish once the main tank is settled.

    The filtration is one Aquaclear 70 HOB powerfilter and one Marineland Penguin 350 Biowheel HOB powerfilter. I have put a barrier in front of the Aquaclear filter to re-direct the flow towards the back wall of the tank, however, the surface agitation looked like enough. Those bubblers are a severe pain in the rear, and I hope hoping to do without them, but I will add them back in to see if I get better results.
    55 Gallon Freshwater Tank (semi-planted) 48"x21"x13"

    Video of 55GAL Tank - DEC 2012

  9. #9

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tiari View Post
    I would guess #4 as well.......... it seems the most likely culprit, unless, during all the switching and changing, something on your hands or items may have had contaminants on them.
    I think #4 is unlikely and very improbable. I've never subscribed to that theory. If it were true you'd see the tank load gasping at the surface every night. Ammonia spike, some kind of anaerobic built up in the bottom, contaminents seem far more likely.

  10. #10

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    I think #4 is unlikely and very improbable. I've never subscribed to that theory. If it were true you'd see the tank load gasping at the surface every night. Ammonia spike, some kind of anaerobic built up in the bottom, contaminents seem far more likely.
    +1 Totally agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by ddavis
    The method I use for acclimating the new fish is floating the bag for 10 minutes, the cutting a hole in the the bag and continuing to let it float, there is a small water exchange at the opening and within a few minutes the bagged fish swim out into the tank.
    oh my Wow... um.. OK, There's a couple of things I do differently & Much I would suggest you do differently.

    A. I never ever float a bag in my QT tank. That bag was sitting on the counter at the lfs right? Ever see what they clean that counter with?
    I am willing to bet you wouldn't want that stuff in your tank... Can you see where I am going with this?

    B. You are not so much acclimating your fish as you are releasing LFS water that has Poseidon knows what all in it into your tank.
    THIS is a big nono .
    [Read Cliffs sig - It's risky enough already that you don't QT, IMO You are begging for trouble lol]

    I never put any lfs water into my QT tank. Ever Never... and also not ever, Never. I hope that point is clear. ..Seriously never.

    When I get fish from out of town [Differing water parameters] This is a sketch of how it goes:[OBVIOUSLY this timeframe & % is tweaked as required]

    * Take a bucket and put some tank water in it, An amount equal to roughly half the amount in the bag.
    * Dump fish and lfs water into bucket.
    * Every 10 minutes or so increase the volume of water by 1/3-ish.
    * When the water volume doubles dump half out.
    * Repeat the above step.
    * When your done with that net the fish and put them into the QT tank.
    Last edited by Cliff; 02-12-2013 at 01:15 PM.
    Gas mileage isn't everything OIIIIIIIO
    Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
    Why pretend there are no stupid questions? Actually, There are many stupid questions: "Should I drink this bleach?" Is just one example.
    Having said that, Just because it's a stupid question doesn't mean that it shouldn't be asked. It's better to know.

    A warm beer is better than a cold beer. Because nothing is better than a cold beer, and a warm beer is better than nothing.

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