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whtroze 12-25-2008 11:32 PM

Help ASAP suddenly dying
Hi all, hopefully someone can help me or give some good advise. My fish have been doing great for the last couple months, and now suddenly I've had some deaths that don't make sense. 2 guppies died yesterday (young adults), and now today a neon tetra died (juvinile). No warnings before the deaths, the fish appeared normal, then suddenly later that day found dead.

My tank a well cycled and established 15g with a 20g Whisper filter with a bio-ammonia filter. The fish do better with this filter than they did with my old filter I had months ago (a 10g Whisper with no bio-ammonia filter). Temp is regularly 75F range, pH norm 7.3, ammonia less than 0.02 ppm. The fish eat twice a day premium flakes with freeze-dried bloodworm substituted once per week. Lighting is regular time and even length. No exposure to sunlight. Community include about 10 guppies varing is breed and age, 5 neons (used to be 6), 2 platies, and a small algae eatter (about 1 inch and rarely see him). Lots of places to hide provided for the fish.

All my fish seem healthy and are eatting well. One of the female guppies just dropped a few babies yesterday. I use a liguid test kit to check the tank parmeters. I'm very confused why suddenly there are deaths since the parmeters are normal and unchanged. Plus, I know it is unlikely for a fish to drop fry if there is something wrong in the environment. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Cody 12-25-2008 11:48 PM

Two things I ind strange here.

1) .2ppm reading of ammonia. If you can ever actually get a reading of ammonia, then it is toxic to the fish. Ammonia levels need to be 0 at all times. This may be a problem. Could we also get a nitrite and nitrate reading?
2) Your tank is very overstocked, especially with all of those guppies. They will continue to breed and breed untill you can get them out, or they die from the overstocking. How do you plan on getting rid of them?

whtroze 12-26-2008 08:33 PM

ammonia is less than 0.02 ppm. basically no detectable level. The overstock problem seemed to resolve a few months ago with the larger filter, I stopped having problems then. As for the baby guppies, your right, they do keep breeding. Rarely do to see more than 5 fry at any one time. I have a lot of friends who take them. Also my tank is purely recreational and I allow basically the "fittest to survive" for the babies. I do not isolate them, and I know that many are probably eatten, particularly by the neons.
Like I said earlier, my tank has been doing great for the last couple months (about 3 months I think). Nothing has changed that I can detect, except for sudden deaths starting a few days ago. Good thing is, no one died today yet, but I am worried since there was no warning to the others and if I can prevent something I would like to. I don't believe any animal should suffer if it can be prevented.

1077 12-27-2008 02:48 AM

Not sure but were it me , I might try twice weekly one to two gal water changes on monday and sunday, I would take the flake food and grind it up in the palm of my hand and only feed as much as i see them eat in one to two minutes and feed once daily. I believe if you try this you may find that you don't need the bio-ammonia stuff . Vaccuming a small area of the bottom lightly (no digging into the gravel) and a different area each week would help too. The bio ammonia stuff may not be working that well or ammonia levels would or should read zero. Also some of those products used to bind organics or ammonia are regenerated with salt. If you add salt (not saying you have) they can release what they have collected back into the tank. All you should need to deal with ammonia is a dechlorinator that detoxifys ammonia, chlorine, and chloramines. that along with proper maint. will benefit your fish.;-)

1077 12-27-2008 03:11 AM

Addition to previous post, Ammonia and or nitrite spikes can happen overnight and be undetectable by morning. Could be the product you are using has reached the point where it is no longer effective.

whtroze 12-28-2008 03:41 PM

thanks for the advise. Its has been 2 days now and no one else has died or appear to be under any stress. Hopefully it was just a freak thing. I will try the water changes and vacuums that you suggested since I am not all that good at doing that regularly. With the larger filter I do have to add water more often, but I admit I haven't vacuumed each time. It would possibly make sense for ammonia spikes that aren't detectable when I test since I wasn't there when the fish died, only afterwards. Thanks all for the help.

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