Dead Fish.... Aaaargh! Need some consoling - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 35 Old 03-02-2010, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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I posted the water parameters. They are spot on.

Check an earlier post.

All 0 and Ph is 7.6. They are perfect. I have an excellent Cannister filter. I cleaned it 2-3 weeks ago.

The SAE are perfectly healthy and swimming around. They mostly graze the broad leaves of the plants and skim the bottom. I have never seen them bother any fish. For the most part, they are fairly docile.

I have cleaned out 40% of the water today, about 2 hours ago.

Water temp is 78F, again, I posted all my specs earlier.

The fish seem fine, until one just starts to go weird. The molly turned upside down.

The guppy went vertical, pointing up. I never saw what happened to my Neon Tetras.

Some fish, the smaller mature fry just disappeared completely. Probably eaten.

I was really, really happy with what was happening in the tank. The last few days are upsetting.
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post #22 of 35 Old 03-02-2010, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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I have been using PRIME.

Also, have been adding a small amount of plant fertilizer.

I changed today to a chlorine remover only and no fertilizer.

I have been using Prime and the fertilizer for months. No issue. This all came on at once.

All the fish look generally healthy until they start to die.

The SAE are fine, swimming strong. They don't really dart around. They graze up and down the plants and the bottom. They only really come up high in the tank when I drop in food. Then the fish all come together, but there is no competition to eat. They all seem to get along fine.

There is no slimmy stuff on the dead fish. I looked carefully. They look normal. No damage or bites or anything like that. One Neon Tetra on the bottom (lost 2) was eaten to the skeleton. The SAE was nibbling on it.

Other than that, the fish just died and either sank or floated to the top.

Am 0
Ni 0
Na 0
Ph 7.6

Eheim Cannister Filter (recently cleaned out)
78F (Jaeger Heater)

50g tank with lots of plants

What else can I tell you?

OH, I have lots of spot Algae I am dealing with.

Lots of snails in the tank. I let them multiply, figuring they can't hurt.
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post #23 of 35 Old 03-02-2010, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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My loses so far.....

2 Male Molly
1 Sunrise Platy fry that was getting to a nice size
1 Molly fry that was also a nice size
2 Neon Tetra
1 Male Guppy (been around since Sept)
1 Female Guppy I bought Thursday
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post #24 of 35 Old 03-03-2010, 04:45 AM
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My guess is still that one of the new guppies came home with some sort of disease. Even the most immaculate of store tanks could be harboring some disease you're not seeing. I have no idea what sort of disease it might be that's killing your fish off so quickly and with no visible symptoms. Are you noticing any change in behavior in any of the fish that are dying prior to death? Flashing, hard breathing, loss of color, anything like that?

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post #25 of 35 Old 03-03-2010, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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The only thing that is noticable is a lack of strength. I don't know what flashing is.

What happens is they start to struggle to swim horizontal. You can see something is wrong. From the moment I notice, they are gone within the day.

That is the only noticable sign.

Also, this morning check shows no losses. However, one of my prized Red Wag Platy was hiding and only came out after I dropped in flakes. I am hoping she is not next.

Last edited by Big Fish; 03-03-2010 at 07:20 AM.
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post #26 of 35 Old 03-03-2010, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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> Are you noticing any change in behavior in any of the fish that are dying prior to death? Flashing, hard breathing, loss of color, anything like that?

Come to think of it, I did notice one of the fish had no color at all. It was a pale, pasty white. I couldn't quite make out if it was a guppy or a sunrise platy. It was about the same size and I am missing one of each anyway. I couldn't tell because there was absolutely no color at all in it. No physical damage, just the washed out color. My guess, it is the platy due to the small tail.

I assumed I missed it in the plants for some time and sitting in the water did this. I thought nothing of it until I reread the posts here looking for a something I may have missed.
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post #27 of 35 Old 03-03-2010, 01:21 PM
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I agree with Jim, something must have been brought in with the new fish. Nothing else about the details of your tank put up any red flags.

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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post #28 of 35 Old 03-03-2010, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by aunt kymmie View Post
I agree with Jim, something must have been brought in with the new fish. Nothing else about the details of your tank put up any red flags.

I am beginning to agree. I also did something I don't usually do. I poured in all the water in the bag. I typically leave the fish in the bag about 45 minutes. I then coax the fish out and pour the left over water in the sink.

This time, I simply untied the knot and poured all the water and the two guppies in the tank.

Who knows. I will call Big Als and see if other fish have died in that tank.
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post #29 of 35 Old 03-03-2010, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Called the fish expert at Big Al's.....

a) could be shock to the fish. he said, any number of factors.
- PH differences in the tanks. even a small amount from my tank and theirs
- he said I should not have changed out the water like I did. I should have brought a sample into them.
- they have an digital pencil meter (something like that) that accurately measures PH.
- he suggested I carefully check PH all the time and add Prime to keep it in check.

b) fish that died could have been nibbled on by other fish and picked up what ever it had and spread it

c) he said it was definitely not bacteria. bacteria has visible symptons, bloating, open soars, damaged fins etc.
- my fish show no signs of anything

d) he said it could even be a decline in slim on one fish that was the weak fish and he passed on what ever was ailing it.
- not sure about this, my neon tetra was the only nibbled on fish that was obviously eaten and the SAE were chewing on it and they are fine
- the smaller fry I had that were doing nicely are gone and he said that could be the way the disease went from fish to fish

e) he said pouring in all the bag water means nothing. he did say 1 hour is too long in the bag. and, I should have put pencil holes in the bag and merged the water that way. 15 minutes, take the fish out. water is not the issue.

He said, in his opinion, they died of shock.

Honestly, I am having trouble believing they died of shock. I bought two guppies. One of the two is happily swimming around, still alive. The other one I bought died and my original guppy died too, along with a pile of other fish.

Anyway, he was very nice and patient and asked me to wait till next Monday, then go in to talk about restocking the lost fish.

I have not lost a fish today so maybe I nipped what ever was happening earlier. I pretty much changed over half the water in the tank. Remaining fish all look fine.

Last edited by Big Fish; 03-03-2010 at 05:50 PM.
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post #30 of 35 Old 03-04-2010, 03:38 AM
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Let me respond to those:

a) Sure, pH shock can kill fish. However, the tiny amount of water in the bag you got from the store wouldn't be enough to really do much to your tank's pH. In other words, a huge pH difference might have been enough to shock the two new fish to death since they weren't acclimated, but this doesn't explain why fish you had previously would be dying. I don't think pH is really a factor, then.

b) That's definitely a possibility, but then again you witnessed the SAE's eating dead fish and they're fine, so whatever disease it is, I don't think that's the sole vector of transmission (if it is a vector at all).

c) I disagree. Often visible symptoms like what you're describing are the result of bacteria, but think about all of the types of bacterial infections we humans can suffer that don't have overt physical symptoms. Fish are no different. I don't think a bacteria can be ruled out so easily.

d) More speculation on the transmission vector. It could be passed on by eating infected fish but, as you pointed out, your SAE is fine.

e) Totally disagree with everything he says here. There are all sorts of waterborne illnesses. Basically, you never want to put water from the LFS in your tank. His pencil-hole method might be less stressful on the fish than simply dumping them in the tank but you're still getting all of the LFS water in your aquarium. I would avoid this at all costs. There are several ways of acclimating that don't result in LFS water being put into your tank. The simplest is to dump the contents of the bag into a container of some sort that's floating in your tank, adding a small amount of your tank water to the container every 10-15 minutes. Drip acclimation is even better.

Honestly, I think all of his responses are tailored around denying that there could have been any illness that came from his store, either in the fish themselves or in the water they were in. He has no way of knowing this, though.

I still think it was some sort of viral or bacterial infection (I've never known any sort of parasite to kill so quickly). Without visible symptoms, other than the general "I'm sick!" sort of behavior you witnessed just prior to fish death, pinpointing the exact illness would be just about impossible. A broad spectrum antibiotic treatment might have worked but then again it might not have. It sounds like you're on track now, though. You've likely witnessed the healing powers of the simple water change. Glad to hear your fish seem to be doing better!

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