Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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PetFishInTheSushiShop 04-26-2010 12:19 PM

Murdered fishies?
Alright, well I have a couple of questions.

First, I had a preggo "male" guppy that began to give birth about three weeks ago. She started to pop out one and 30 minutes later, it was still halfway in. We tried to pull it out a couple of times, but it was stuck pretty well. She never gave birth to that one or any of the other ones. She lived about a week after that and died with the baby still stuck. Have any of you ever had this happen before?

Secondly, I was stuck with one guppy, one neon tetra, and one bumble bee goby (it was doing fine in freshwater btw). So I went out and bought 2 more neons, 2 male guppies, and 1 female guppy 2 weeks ago. The neons were small in comparison to the one I had and the guppies looked a little weird, but otherwise everything was fine.

The next morning, one guppy was dead. It looked like it might possibly have ich, so I treated the tank and everything was fine. The next morning, one of the smaller tetras was dead. The day after that, another guppy died. Last week, I purchased 3 more gobies. A couple of days ago, 1 goby died. Yesterday, the last guppy I bought was dead. This morning the very last guppy died. I checked the water parameters on Saturday and there was no ammonia or nitrites and the nitrates were fine. I'm left with my original tetra and 3 bumble bee gobies... What do you think happened? :cry:

DCR 04-26-2010 12:48 PM

Without seeing the condition of the fish during and at the time of death, it's very difficult to diagnose the cause of death. Complicating that is the fact -- it's just really hard to diagnose fish death to begin with. Heh.

The Ich parasite can and will kill fish, but the infection usually has to be bad enough to where there will be no question as to the parasite's presence. The fish will usually be so covered in little "salt grains" that it's virtually impossible not to see it.

There could be a plethora of reasons for sudden fish death. Do you have any images, or a detailed list of symptoms we could go on?

Byron 04-26-2010 01:08 PM

It is helpful and usually necessary for members to post the data on the tank when problems such as yours are being mentioned; such as tank size, when it was set up, maintenance schedule (water changes, how often and how much), any "stuff" added to the water, and lastly water parameters. Some of this I can probably gather; first, I'm assuming this is the 10g tank shown under your "Aquariums" since the stocking is or was the same. Second assumption, it is not a new tank, since you mention under Maintenance that on March 14 you completely cleaned the tank. I don't have info on water parameters though, nor on your regular (if any) water changes, and that is significant stuff to know.

I believe there is a problem with your combination of fish. Bumble bee gobies do not associate well with other fish, and tankmates should be carefully chosen. Such behaviour may not always manifest itself as outright "attacks" on other fish; sometimes just the presence in the aquarium of such fish will cause stress to other fish, be it from chemical substances released by fish or whatever. It is important for a healthy community, and even moreso in such a small space where the fish are closely confined to their neighbours, that the fish be truly compatible in terms of not only behaviours but water parameters and environment (objects in the tank).

Which brings me to the water. There are two species commonly called bumble bee goby, one requires brackish water to last, the other can tolerate fresh but will also do better in brackish. Neons cannot tolerate brackish, so right away that is not a good mix. Guppies can tolerate brackish to a certain extent but I would not recommend it. Plus there is the inherent behaviour of the goby; both neons and guppies are not suitable tankmates.

As for the demise of fish, it could well be related to the above and something triggers it. Again no mention was made of regular weekly partial water changes which would be essential in a 10g with these fish and no live plants. The "cleaning" on March 14 sounds like one that would have killed most if not all of the nitrifying bacteria, in effect starting a new tank. And that would certainly have been very stressful if not worse. Major "cleanings" should not be necessary if the tank is balanced (fish to water volume, compatible fish, proper environment including water conditions) and receives weekly water changes of 30-50%. Filter media should be rinsed in tank water as needed to maintain a steady flow of water through the media, and only be replaced when it no longer functions.

I can't add much more without some additional information.


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