So 4 loaches and 2 catfish just died in my tank
So I've had a few fish from my local dam in my tank for the last few weeks. These 6 fish didn't seem to be in any distress and survived for a while but I never fed them so a few of them eventually died off. I don't know if this is due to lack of food or other reasons. My tank is about 3-4 weeks old and I release my cycle isn't fully set up, but the levels in my tank aren't dangerous for the fish.
During this time I plant a number of different plants, all of which have survived and grown well, and are still growing well at the time of posting.
Thursday, I purchase 4 clown loaches and 2 bristlenose catfish and everything seems okay. Friday one of my loaches dies. Saturday another 2 of my loaches die. Sunday the last loach and both catfish die.
I had tested my water (ph, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate) before putting these loaches/catfish in and everything was fine. After 2 loaches died I took a sample of my water to my local aquarium to get a 2nd opinion, their results also show my water as fine.
What is going on? I just spent $80 on fish which have all died and left my with one original fish which I didn't want to survive. The only thing I can think of is that the original 6 fish from my local dam have introduced some sort of disease into my tank which have killed the 6 I actually paid for within 3 days. Is this possible? I need all the help I can get here...
You're in the right place to get the information you need to successful keep fish, but don't get any fish, until you do more research, learn about what fish is best for you etc.
Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.
I concur with Gwen. And we need more data to sort through all this.
What is the tank size (gallons, or liters)?
Be specific as to what fish (species, and numbers of each) are in the tank, and when they went in.
What are the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate test numbers?
What is the pH of the tank water?
What is the pH of the source water (presumably tap)?
Are any chemicals or additives going in the tank (and which water conditioner)?
Why didn't you feed the fish? For how long?
Once a fish in tank cycle is started, it's vital not to add anymore fish in the process (I realize you probably are just learning this stuff though.)
Unless you live in a tropical region you really shouldn't be mixing wild caught and tropical fish together. Wild caught fish can carry lot's of parasites, however I feel like something else was a bigger problem in this case.
When things don't get fed food death is usually a side effect. ;/
EDIT: Also you shouldn't take animals out of the wild like that. There is no telling what conditions they were used to and they can harbor parasites and or other disease. You take fish used to being a big body of water, put them in a small tank, and then don't feed them chances are the stress would cause illness to surface (even if they don't appear stressed the stress is still there). I'd be looking for possible signs of illness that were passed on to your new fish.
I live in Australia and the fish my friend captured from Manly Dam (they were the ones I didn't feed, I fed the loaches/catfish). These initial fish were purely there to help start the cycle.
My pH is sitting at 7.6 for the 2 weeks I have been testing, with ammonia at 0, nitrite at 0.25 the first week then 0 the week after, and nitrate at 0 both weeks. Temperature has been a constant 25 Celsius. My tank size is 130L. The 6 initial fish that went in were Plague Minnows (apparently). Most of those died for whatever reason, then I put 4 clown loaches and 2 bristlenose catfish in 2 weeks later (after testing water conditions). One plague minnow continues to survive in my tank however.
I have been using API Stress Coat and Stress Zyme to the directions listed on the bottle.
I know my tank isn't properly cycled but I thought since the levels within my tank were acceptable, they might have a chance (obviously not and I've learnt my lesson)
And my article on bacteria includes some information about nitrifying bacteria too:
The more you read and learn, the more knowledge you will have, and there is a lot of knowledge required to maintain a healthy aquarium.;-)
Using wild fish was very dangerous as others have mentioned, so I let that pass.
The loaches are all dead, but before you consider more, I would point you to our fish profiles, second tab fro the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. Each profile includes information on numbers of that species (some fish are shoaling and need a group), minimum tank sizes, water parameters, compatibility, etc. I mention this particularly because clown loach get large, up to a foot, and they must have a 6-7 foot tank. Your 130 liter (= 34 gallons) is no where near sufficient space for this species. There are other loach species that would do OK, the loaches are under the Cyprinids in the profiles. When the name is used the same in posts as in the profile, it will shade, example clown loach, and you can click it for that profile.
Comments on the two API products mentioned. StressCoat is a water conditioner, so this is fine to use when tap water is added to the aquarium. StressZyme is a product I do not recommend; it messes with the natural bacteria and this is something best left to nature. It is not to be confused with a bacteria supplement for new tanks, such as Tetra's SafeStart or Seachem's Stability. These are 100% live bacteria that jump-start the nitrification cycle, but they do not eliminate cycling. They simply seed the bacteria.
Could the safest option simply to be restart my tank on a fishless cycle? I'd need to take out my laterite/gravel combo and buy some more.
If all you have in there is one wild minnow, probably.
I wouldn't release him as he could have gotten something from the loaches/pleco and you wouldn't want to introduce it to the wild.
Pretty much gotta get rid of him.. One minnow alone is not a happy minnow.
I also have a number of plants which are doing really well, is there any way I can reuse these plants after I restart my tank?
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