Aaack.. my hatchetfish are disappearing!!
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Aaack.. my hatchetfish are disappearing!!

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Aaack.. my hatchetfish are disappearing!!
Old 06-19-2013, 08:39 PM   #1
 
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Thumbs down Aaack.. my hatchetfish are disappearing!!

Help!! My new hatchetfish are disappearing. I'm assuming they are jumping out but I have yet to see any bodies in or around the tank. I do have dogs, but they're disappearing either while I'm at work or asleep and the dogs would not be able to get to the tank to eat any jumpers.. :/ I've lost three so far, all on days where we do have bad thunderstorms so I have a feeling the thunder may be startling them.

I'm not sure if they are jumping.. When I got them, I specifically bought a new lid and cut the plastic so there's mostly on a quarter inch around any of my tank equipment.. Isuppose in some places iit's close to a half inch in places, but they're very small holes. Is there a way to cover these up even more that won't catch on fire either (it's by my light). Or are there any other places they would be..?

Tank inhabitants are cardinal tetras and one juvie red lizard whiptail that's less than 4" long. And like three ghost shrimp.... If they were dying, wouldn't there at least be somesort of skeleton or something? Back when I was having problems with my cories getting injured and they would die, the shrimp would have a feast with their poor lil bodies but there was always at least a little skeleton left over. I can't find any evidenceanywhere on where they'd be.. I had 12 this weekend and I'm down to nine. I had 7 for a couple weeks without issue and got five more last Friday and it's just gone downhill from there. :/

Also, I have a sponge over my filter intake.. So I know they can't be in the filter. And I'm still waiting on my plants to grow in so I have a fairly clear view of most of the substrate..
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:44 PM   #2
 
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Could you tape the open spots? This is not good.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:46 PM   #3
 
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Will the tape stay? I'm not sure I want to use something like duct tape, but I'm not sure how long other tape may stay if it gets wet. I wouldn't want the fish to get stuck to the tape either. That'd be bad..
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:49 PM   #4
 
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Hmm. Fish stuck to tape might be worse.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:53 PM   #5
 
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Ya think cling wrap would be durable enough? :/

Poor fish. I've never seen them jump though.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:56 PM   #6
 
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I use packing tape (similar to duct tape), and I do it "double sided" so there is no sticky side exposed. Take the cover plastic strip off, make sure it is thoroughly dry both sides, and then tape the opening on both sides so the two sticky sides where they are over the opening will stick together. Eventually the mositure will cause tape to lose its hold, but in my experience that takes months.

It doesn't take much of an opening for hatchets, especially at the small size of new fish. I was having them get caught between the cover glass and the tank brace, something I would never have imagined, but I would find the dessicated corpse in the morning. I moved them into the 70g which doesn't have a brace.

Floating plants like Water Sprite can help in this, because you can have the plant under the openings, and the fish won't jump through a plant. They only jump through open water surface. Lowering the water level helps too. I did this while I was trying to figure out how to solve the problem I had, and finally decided just to move the fish to another tank.

If they do jump out, it is possible the dog eats them. Cats will too. Before you find them.

Byron.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:02 PM   #7
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I'd read about hatchets jumping but didn't think it would be that bad... I was going to pick some up next week.

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Old 06-19-2013, 09:09 PM   #8
 
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I'd read about hatchets jumping but didn't think it would be that bad... I was going to pick some up next week.

Jeff.
I think it is often at night. The hatchets are "resting" but nocturnal fish are out and about, and they come up to the surface and the hatchets jump. Corys for instance going up for air during the night. During daylight, the hatchets generally see what's coming and move aside.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:09 PM   #9
 
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I didn't think of double siding it.. I will try that.

The tank is in a corner, and if they were jumping out, it'd be out the back and down behind the stand. It'd be hard for my dogs to get to them, not that I'd have been able to save them anyways. It'd help solve the mystery though.

I checked the brace and there are no fish there. And I do have frog bit I just got last week and that's already almost doubled in amount. Glad to hear the plants will help when they do grow in. I'll put some cling wrap on there for tonight and work on taping it tomorrow. Ugh. I though having more of them would calm them down (not that they seemed frantic before) but now they're just disappearing.

I think they're doing this because I planned on stopping at having 12 of them.

I don't have anything other than the whiptail and tetras.. I wouldn't think the whiptail would do much to scare them. I'm thinking it is the thunder. I sleep through average thunderstorms and these have been pretty loud. One of my dogs is terrified of thunder, now I've got fish that probably are too. Ugh, lol.
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Last edited by jennesque; 06-19-2013 at 09:13 PM..
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:13 PM   #10
 
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I didn't think of double siding it.. I will try that.

The tank is in a corner, and if they were jumping out, it'd be out the back and down behind the stand. It'd be hard for my dogs to get to them, not that I'd have been able to save them anyways. It'd help solve the mystery though.

I checked the brace and there are no fish there. And I do have frog bit I just got last week and that's already almost doubled in amount. Glad to hear the plants will help when they do grow in. I'll put some cling wrap on there for tonight and work on taping it tomorrow. Ugh. I though having more of them would calm them down (not that they seemed frantic before) but now they're just disappearing.

I think they're doing this because I planned on stopping at having 12 of them.
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Another thought...if it is the newly-acquired fish that are disappearing, they might be just dying from something. Hatchets are delicate. When I foolishly introduced some internal protozoan into my tank with new fish (prior to my quarantining days now) it was the marble hatchets that took it the worst; I went from 21 down to 4 within a few days. I rarely find the corpse when a fish dies, unless it is floating.
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