How often do fish die? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-26-2012, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Question How often do fish die?

Hi everyone,

I'm fairly new to fish keeping and I'm wondering if it's normal for a fish to die every couple of months or so. I've had my tank set up since March and I've had 4 out of 13 fish die. I've got a 55 gallon with 3 stardust mollies, 3 dalmatian mollies, 2 platies, 3 tetras, a plecostomus, and a bunch of fry. I want to finish stocking my tank but I'm scared to add more fish because I'm afraid they're going to die. My water parameters are good. Is it possible they're stressed? I've got a platy right now who sits around on the bottom of the tank and barely moves. When she needs to, she can swim fine, but she doesn't seem to be eating. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed because I don't know what's going on or if I'm doing something wrong. Please help! Thanks!
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-26-2012, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peachyqui View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm fairly new to fish keeping and I'm wondering if it's normal for a fish to die every couple of months or so. I've had my tank set up since March and I've had 4 out of 13 fish die. I've got a 55 gallon with 3 stardust mollies, 3 dalmatian mollies, 2 platies, 3 tetras, a plecostomus, and a bunch of fry. I want to finish stocking my tank but I'm scared to add more fish because I'm afraid they're going to die. My water parameters are good. Is it possible they're stressed? I've got a platy right now who sits around on the bottom of the tank and barely moves. When she needs to, she can swim fine, but she doesn't seem to be eating. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed because I don't know what's going on or if I'm doing something wrong. Please help! Thanks!
I'm no expert but I can say don't add more fish until you figure it out. IME a platy on the bottom has a parasite of some type. I got gill flukes from snails on a plant and lost 2 platys in 4 days. They were lethargic and on the bottom.Are any of your other fish glancing or rubbing/flashing against objects in your tank?

Consider the needs of your fish before acting on your desires.

Last edited by marshallsea; 09-26-2012 at 10:13 PM.
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post #3 of 14 Old 09-26-2012, 10:13 PM
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Live bearers like your mollies and platy perfer a little salt in their water. Try adding 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons every day until you see an improvement. On the other side this will cause stress to the pleco and tetras. When adding salt (the best to use is marine salt) take water from the tank and mix salt in it in a large bowl or pot then add the salty water to the tank.
You said your parameters are fine but didn't say what they were ph, and temp will help tell us if your fish are suited for your water

55gallon T5 lighting 2 54w bulbs one daylight 10k, one actnic.
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-26-2012, 10:19 PM
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Every fish will die once in its life. Sorry couldn't help it.

When you say your parameters are good, what are the exact numbers?
What is the pH and hardness of your water?

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-26-2012, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
Every fish will die once in its life. Sorry couldn't help it.

When you say your parameters are good, what are the exact numbers?
What is the pH and hardness of your water?
Hey, I wanted to say it but didn't think it was appropriate. I was wrong.

Consider the needs of your fish before acting on your desires.
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-27-2012, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 40
Nitrite:0
Total Hardnes: 150
Total Alkalinity Buffering capacity:120
pH:7.2

The temp. is 78 degrees F. I'm doing a 20% water change today, and I was told that would fix the slightly high nitrates. I've been adding a little bit of aquarium salt to the water already. Marshallsea, none of them are doing that, but this morning I noticed that my other female is moving her fins really fast and also sitting at the bottom. So I have one that's lethargic, and one that's freaking out, both sitting at the bottom of the tank. Ahh! What am I doing wrong??
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-27-2012, 09:10 AM
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what filtration are you using?

10g Fry / Hospital / QT tank (as needed)

75g Saltwater Reef, Ocellaris Clownfish, Lyretail Antias (baby), Lemon damsel, Longtail Fairy Wrasse, purple dottyback, snails, crabs and a few LPS corals.

220g Still sitting empty (come on Lottery I need the numbers to come up!)
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-27-2012, 09:13 AM
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It is also very possible that you got a bad batch of fish from your LFS (Local Fish Store), fish stores are about making money and sadly don't really care for the fish as much as we do at home.

This is why, when purchasing a new fish, you should always quarantine them for a period of up to 3 weeks to observe them and see if they behaving normally, eating and not showing any signs of illness or distress.

10g Fry / Hospital / QT tank (as needed)

75g Saltwater Reef, Ocellaris Clownfish, Lyretail Antias (baby), Lemon damsel, Longtail Fairy Wrasse, purple dottyback, snails, crabs and a few LPS corals.

220g Still sitting empty (come on Lottery I need the numbers to come up!)
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-27-2012, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peachyqui View Post
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 40
Nitrite:0
Total Hardnes: 150
Total Alkalinity Buffering capacity:120
pH:7.2

The temp. is 78 degrees F. I'm doing a 20% water change today, and I was told that would fix the slightly high nitrates. I've been adding a little bit of aquarium salt to the water already. Marshallsea, none of them are doing that, but this morning I noticed that my other female is moving her fins really fast and also sitting at the bottom. So I have one that's lethargic, and one that's freaking out, both sitting at the bottom of the tank. Ahh! What am I doing wrong??
It's very difficult to diagnose correctly. During this time you should be doing very regular water changes and vacuuming gravel. If in fact you have parasites, a lot of them will be in the gravel. Water changes should always be your first line of defense when you have problems, parasites or not.Sadly, once Platys are lethargic and on the bottom constantly, I've never seen one survive. If your other fish are normal, you may not have parasites as I would expect all to be affected. Are you using test strips? If so, at this point, you must get an API Freshwater test kit. They cost about $30 but they last a long time. Test strips are inaccurate , hard to read and useless. Get the API test kit, change water at least once every 2 days, and google your fishs symptoms and see if you can find something that matches.Careful with the salt, plecos really shouldn't be in salt.

Consider the needs of your fish before acting on your desires.

Last edited by marshallsea; 09-27-2012 at 10:08 AM.
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-27-2012, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
Every fish will die once in its life. Sorry couldn't help it.

When you say your parameters are good, what are the exact numbers?
What is the pH and hardness of your water?
Olympia, that was my knee-jerk response also.

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