Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Sudden Fish Deaths - please help? (

JoStraayer 11-04-2012 09:07 PM

Sudden Fish Deaths - please help?

2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia?
b. Nitrite?
c. Nitrate?
d. pH, KH and GH?
e. Test kit?
Not sure of the exact details, but after 3 deaths, the water was taken to our local pet shop and tested and was told all water levels were ok, and that we could turn up our tank (22 degrees celcius increased to about 25 degrees celcius).

3. Temperature?
22-25 degrees celcis

4. Fresh Water

5. How long the aquarium has been set up?
Over 8 months (maybe a year) including a house move

6. What fish do you have?
Im sorry im not sure on the technical names, but will do my best and hope you know what I'm talking about...
Before the deaths
10x Neon Tetras (over 8 months)
8x Rummy Nose tetras (6 months)
2x Albino sucker fish (over 8 months)
2x Pleco sucker fish (the brownish ones) (2 months)
2x Dwarf Gouramis (1 male, 1 female) (3-4 months)

Sudden deaths have occured to the following:
1x Rummy nose - his eyes were eaten, so at a guess, attacked by the Dwarf Gouramis - not too concerned about this incident - happened over a month ago.
Within the last 1-2 weeks have had the following deaths, soon after water changes, but I did nothing different.
1x Neon Tetra
The next day or so
1x Rummy nose
Same day/ in the evening.
1x female dwarf Gourami - this was really sad, she was swimming around the tank all crazy then jumped out of the tank and landed on the filter, had to push her back into the water, then swam around all crazy again, gasped for one more breath outside the tank then died.
Before she died she was constantly in one area of the tank (near the top, barely swimming around) this did seem like normal behaviour (am i wrong, could there have been something wrong with her the whole time?)
Before I did the fish change the male Dwarf Gourami was dead, sunk to the bottom of the tank.

This fish showed no signs of sickeness, my only concern is the oxygen quality, because they did seem to gasping/breathing in the water fast (faster then normal) the tetras anyway.

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants?
2x living plants
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom?
gravel bottom
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors?
drift wood, one fake ornament (a hollow treasure chest the fish can swim in and out of.

9. a. Filtration?
filter built into the tank - this is cleaned as it should (sponge cleaned in the old tank water, carbon changed every 6-8 weeks.
b. Heater? - yes, set at 22-24 degrees (maybe increased to 26 after advice from pet shop)

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used?
the UV light built in the tank, usually only on during night time (4 hours), or when we are home during the day.
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long?
sunlight exposure everyday day, but no direct sunlight on the tank (its hidden away in the corner of a room.

11. a. Water change schedule?
20-30% water change weekly

c. Well water, tap water, RO water?
NZ Tap water
d. Water conditioner used?
Yes, sorry to sound vague, but ones that the pet shop recommended, along with a blue treatment to prevent fish dieseases like fin rot. (10 drops added each time a water change)
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed?

12. Foods?
fish flakes, and fish palets
How often are they fed?
1-2 daily

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms?
b. Appearance of poop? - normal, actually hardly ever see them poop
c. Appearance of gills? look normal, apart from what looks like them gasping - their mouths, not their gills tho.

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis?
b. What meds were used?

This is our 3rd proper go of keeping tropical fish, the first two goes ended in disaster because we didnt know what we were doing.
Now we are more experienced we rarely have deaths, except for the ones mentioned above.
I would love to hear any advice, I love my fish but dont know is going on! so sad to have especially lost our two Dwarf Gouramis, apparently they are rare here, and only sold in pairs. (male/female)

Romad 11-05-2012 07:37 AM

Sorry to hear about your fish loss :( It appears to me that your tank is/was seriously overstocked. Not sure what your local pet shop meant by "normal" when it comes to testing your water.

Can you get yourself a freshwater test kit like API Freshwater Master test kit and test it yourself? It is a bit more expensive than the test strips (which are usually not very accurate) but it will last you a very long time.

It's important to know what your levels are for ammonia, nitrIte, nitrAte, and ph.

And common plecos get to be quite large and will outgrow that tank very quickly. They are also notorious poopers and will foul your tank daily. Especially with 4 of them in there.

Cut feedings down to a small amount once a day or every other day until you can get to the bottom of what's going on.

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