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  1. #1

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    Angry Oh, c'mon! Another one?


    0 Not allowed!
    Well... I've had my 2nd fish casualty in about a month. First my Dwarf Gourami died. He showed no physical ailments and one day started having difficulties breathing and swimming. Within an hour he was dead on the gravel. I wrote this off as Dwarf Gourami Iridovirus, because he was perfectly healthy... from what I could tell.

    Today, I found one of my Serpae Tetras dead on the gravel... and again, there were absolutely no indications that he was sick. When I scooped him out, he was bright and colorful, had no spots, nothing was wrong with his eyes, stomach, etc. He looked perfectly healthy, just like the Gourami.

    I checked my parameters today and again... everything was fine. 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites & within 10-20 Nitrates, per usual. Can't really tell with the Nitrates, because both oranges are really close to each other... could be anywhere between 10-20.

    I did check my heater, however, and found that I had the temperature setting on 82' F, still... from when I was fish-in cycling. I completely forgot to reset it, but from what I can tell, 82 is still within the norm for these fishes. I just lowered it to 79', just in case.

    I wonder if the DGIV spread to the other fishes? I read that it's specific to Dwarf Gouramis... but it's possible it could be contagous to other species, I suppose.

    I also did just come back from a short vacation... Left on Friday and arrived on Monday. I checked the parameters of the water before I left and dropped in one of those 3-day shell vacation feeders from Top Fin/Petsmart. When I came back, it was rotting away... I wonder if that had anything to do with it?

    Algae can't kill fish, can it? AHHH!! Now I'm paranoid I'm doing something wrong, but I can't figure it out. I've been going "by the book" since the cycle... my book, being the information I obtain here.

    Maybe Petsmart just has crappy fish?

    Do you think the fish that I broke in the tank with could have ammonia burn on their gills? And it's just taking a few months to catch up with them?

    I have no explanation... and I apologize for all of the questions and hypotheticals, but I'm just trying to figure this out as I type. lol
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  2. #2

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    0 Not allowed!
    And fish sometimes just die for no apparent reason. Sometimes I won't lose a fish for a year but then suddenly might lose a couple for unknown reasons. It happens. People suddenly die, too, that have been deemed as totally healthy.

  3. #3

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    0 Not allowed!
    The two times I have kept Dward Gouramis I have found them to be easily stressed and delicate. I guess its just one of those things - I bought 20 cardinals watching the shop agent flicking them out of the net with her hands and cringing while she looked at me like a mad man when I said I'd rather not have any with broken backs - 4 died 2 weeks later, greater water volume always helps as fluctuation in my experience is nearly as bad as poor water quality but it looks like your water is in good shape. I would ask about oxygenation but its a gourami so not that!

  4. #4

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Hobbs
    And fish sometimes just die for no apparent reason. Sometimes I won't lose a fish for a year but then suddenly might lose a couple for unknown reasons. It happens. People suddenly die, too, that have been deemed as totally healthy.
    I suppose that's true. I just thought it might be something I'm doing or not doing, since both died within a month. I wonder if fish become stressed, when one in their number dies. I recall that when the Gourami died, the 4 tetras stayed on the other side of the tank, keeping their distance from him. Kind of odd behavior... from what I've seen of other fish in pet stores, it's typical that some would peck at the dying or dead fish... or just ignore it. They seemed worried/stressed at that time.

    This time, I found that the tetras swarmed around their fallen comrade, just hovering around it, but they didn't peck/nibble... just hung around.

    I know that some birds, like parakeets, will get stressed when one in their numbers dies, especially if kept in the same cage. Often times they'll die soon after.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomtgael
    The two times I have kept Dward Gouramis I have found them to be easily stressed and delicate. I guess its just one of those things - I bought 20 cardinals watching the shop agent flicking them out of the net with her hands and cringing while she looked at me like a mad man when I said I'd rather not have any with broken backs - 4 died 2 weeks later, greater water volume always helps as fluctuation in my experience is nearly as bad as poor water quality but it looks like your water is in good shape. I would ask about oxygenation but its a gourami so not that!
    By greater water volume, do you mean staying away from smaller tanks and/or limiting the amount of fish you keep in smaller tanks? In the beginning I was going by inch/gallon, as that's all I knew until I started coming here. It's possible that a 10gal is too small for a dwarf gourami + 4 serpae tetras. Even while they seemed to live peacefully and were visually healthy, I suppose the close proximity could have stressed them out. Probably one school of a small fish, like neons, or 2 2-3" fish in a 10 should max it out. More room to wander makes for happier, stress-free fish, I would assume.
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  5. #5

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    0 Not allowed!
    10 Gallons is fine for that number of fish, however, I just find that you are more prone to fluctuations in the water parameters with a small tank, that could be temperature, ph, hardness, etc, not just the nitrites and nitrates, so it is less a stocking issue and more just that a small body of water is less forgiving. It also might not give them enough room to hide etc - and they will be less stressed out in a bigger tank when you are busy vacuuming and doing water changes. Hope that helps

  6. #6

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    0 Not allowed!
    One other point, tho it likely has nothing to do with your fish deaths as your water was ok. Tho, come to think of it, you might want to test your tap water, just to see that your test kit is good.

    But back to the point I wanted to make in the first place - personally, I think those vacation shells and whatnot suck. I've never seen a fish picking at them yet, and I think all they do is sit there and rot, just like you surmised. The fish are better off with no food and clean water than soggy rotting food. If you are concerned about your fish going without food, buy one of those automatic feeders.

    Sorry about your deaths, but as folks say, sometimes fish do just die for no discernable reason. If they are dying one per day, that's one thing, but deaths separated by days/weeks with no signs of sickness or bullying - that can be put down to plain ole Bad Luck.

  7. #7

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    0 Not allowed!
    Well, this all helps. Thanks guys, I appreciate the input. I don't think I'll be using those vacation feeders anymore. Seems risky, especially if you're going to be gone for more than a weekend. Could probably result in an ammonia spike, if let go for long enough.

    I think I'm going to chalk it up as bad luck. Once I transfer these guys to the big tank, I think I'm going to replant my 10gal with real plants and see how that goes. A natural tank looks nicer, in my opinion, anyway. Then I'll probably have a betta with a couple of bottom dwellers. Keep it low-population.
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  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by sheamurai
    One other point, tho it likely has nothing to do with your fish deaths as your water was ok. Tho, come to think of it, you might want to test your tap water, just to see that your test kit is good.
    Looks like the tests are ok. I just did a test for all 3:
    Ammonia = .25
    Nitrites = 0
    Nitrates = 0

    Chalk it up for bad luck and unexplainable deaths. =/
    Adventures in Aquaria - The KevinVA Story

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  9. #9

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    0 Not allowed!
    To the vaca feeders, they suck the oxygen out of the water. Do you have an airstone or anything to oxygenate the water? I've fine away for 4+ days and have had no fish die. Just feed a little more before leaving and its worked out for me.

  10. #10

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    Sorry about your lose KevinVA, but don't blame yourself. Seems to me that you are doing everything right and are trying your best for your fish. Good luck with your 10 gallon planted, those are always fun to do.
    Roll the Dice!

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