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04-16-2013, 04:14 PM #1
How to find dead fish in planted tank?
Hello from a novice & newbie!
My tank is fairly well planted and all plants are doing well and growing like mad.
I do 50% WC once a week and 10-20% once a week. All has been well with my readings.
Last week a neon and a guppy "disappeared" in one night. couldn't find them anywhere - pushed aside what I could, dug around with the gravel syphon, etc ... Next day nitrates had risen to 100 - argh! Cause or effect? Fish seemed healthy so I decided effect. Been doing daily 50% WC (5 days later) and today levels at 20 (amm 0 and nitrites 0) so will continue with WC for a few more days and hopefully all back to normal. I assume the carcasses have decomposed/been eaten/fertilised plants/whatever!
Is there a trick to find fish carcasses in a planted tank without uprooting all the plants?
Is it just "one of those things". Other fish + shrimp seem quite happy but I know elevated nitrates are no good long-term. What defined "long" term? 5 days ok? ....
Thanks for any help,
Worried newbie ...
04-16-2013, 04:26 PM #2
Your nitrates were at a safe level (20ppm or less) prior to the deaths? I don't believe dead fish would do that - a rotting fish would raise ammonia though. I'm thinking the nitrates were already too high maybe? I don't know the answer to the long-term affect of high nitrates - perhaps someone else will know.
I have lost fish in my moderately planted tank - sometimes it just seems they vanish into thin air - no remains, nothing found outside the tank, etc. I have found dead fish trapped in a plant or between a plant and the tank wall but most of the time you can tell when a fish isn't doing well and you notice it before they die.46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, green corys, 1 guppy, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
5 gal QT with green corys & 2 guppies
04-16-2013, 04:29 PM #3
Do a larger than usual water change next time and see if that extra water movement stirs up anything. Looking at your stock list, it is very likely your snails and cory would have already disposed of most of the remains for you.
04-16-2013, 04:32 PM #4
hi thanks for your reply - yes nitrates are usually under 10, rarely see more than that - when I went away for 10 days (no WC), they were under 20 when I got home. This is why I assumed the dead fish contributed to the increase. However, these were my first deaths (tank newly set up December 2012) and so I don't really know what I'm talking about ;) .
Perhaps then something else happened inside the tank and the two weakest fish didn't make it? I always thought the little cherry shrimps would be the weakest link on that front, but perhaps they are more robust than they look!
I am confused because everything *looks* so well in there - clear water, happy greedy fish and shrimp, happy plants, no algae ...
04-16-2013, 06:36 PM #5
Losing fish for no apparent reason is unfortunately part of the hobby. If you miss any fish and you have shrimp it's best not to feed anything. That will allow you to follow the shrimp to the corpses. Once you located them, which shouldn't take more than a few hours, feed normally again.
04-16-2013, 06:43 PM #6
Sometimes we bring home a weak fish that looks fine initially and for no good reason it starts acting funny, cowers in a corner, etc. or is attacked by another fish at night when the lights are out.
It's upsetting when you've just started your tank, but as long as you are being diligent about your parameters & tank maintenance, there's no way to predict which fish will thrive - we hope they all do.46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, green corys, 1 guppy, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
5 gal QT with green corys & 2 guppies
04-16-2013, 07:04 PM #7
Just yesterday I had one of my Blackskirt Tetra pass away on me, found him stuck to the filter intake. He was always the odd one out of the bunch, his body shape was a bit abnormal. I bought him with the rest back in Oct. '12. He looked a bit sluggish compare to the others, however he would eat and swim around with the others just not as fast. I checked water parameters just to be on the safe side, 0-0-5 pH 7.4, and all the other fish where acting normal. Plus I figured if there was an increase in either ammonia or nitrite the platy fry would be the first to go. Like others had mentioned, it's just apart of this hobby.25 Gal - Tropical
Custom made Wet/Dry/Sump Filter System, AquaClear 20 Powerhead, RenaCal Excel 300 Heater, artificial plants
Fish - 6 Blackskirt Tetras, 4 Red Wag Platy's, 2 Silver Hatchet's, German Blue Ram, Bulldog Pleco, 2 assassin snails.
"Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success." King Solomon.
Pictures of my 10 Gal Sump Filtration project