Danios are swiftly dying off, no tails, mass bruise-like discoloration - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-18-2012, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Danios are swiftly dying off, no tails, mass bruise-like discoloration

Okay, so here's what's going on with our tank (pictures included);

Please keep in mind that none of the rams, nor the Pictus, are displaying any symptoms are are healthy and swimming and eating normally and actively.

The previous night (1/17/2012) we had moved seven (7) long-fin zebra Danios to the 55g from our already-established 20g that we've had them in for the past two (2) weeks with no problems. We previously had five (5) long-finned pearl Danios in the 55g tank, as well as fifteen(15) leopard long-finned Danios in the tank before we moved the long-finned zebras from the 20g to the 55g.

This didn't happen until this morning (1/18/2012), when we woke up to five (5) of our fish dead. We came home tonight after visiting a specialty fish store, and we're going to lose four (4) more by morning, possibly more.

We've spent the day monitoring our fish and there have been no signs of aggression, aside from the occasional chasing that happens among dithers. The rams school and stay towards the bottom of the tank, and wander around. They leave the Danios and the Pictus alone; just as well, the dithers leave the rams and the Pictus alone, and the Pictus hangs out at the driftwood. Keep in mind that this tank is also fully-planted.

Because three of our rams have ich, we've increased the water temperature to 88 degrees (we did it in small increments so that we didn't shock any of the fish with the temperature change), and so far the ich has been dropping off and the rams are improving. The leopard and pearl Danios have been in the tank with the rams for the entire week in this water temperature being closely monitored and have had no problems until last night, until after the zebras were introduced. So far none of the zebras have been included in the casualties.

I don't know what to do, do you guys know what it is? Are the zebras bullying the rest of the Danios, or are they (*gulp*) being cooked alive? If so, I will remove them *right away* and get them their own tank tonight if need be. Please help! Details are below.

1. Size of tank: 55g

2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia? 0 ppm
b. Nitrite? 0 ppm
c. Nitrate? 0 - 5.0 ppm
d. pH, KH and GH? pH is 7.0 - 7.2, don't know about the other two.
e. Test kit? API master kit

3. Temperature: 87 degrees

4. Fresh water

5. How long the aquarium has been set up: 4 weeks total, 3 weeks of a planted cycle before-hand with two pictus catfish

6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?:

1xElectric blue ram
2xGolden rams
3xGerman Blue rams
(currently)22xDanios, soon to be 18x, possibly lower by morning.

This is the first batch of fish in this tank; all of the Danios are their full-size, and the young rams are two or three months away from reaching maturity. The golden rams are already mature.

7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? No quarantine, first batch of fish in the tank.

8. a. Live plants: Micro swords and various stem-plants (anubias, ro-something...)
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom? Eco-complete substrate
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors? A large piece of drift-wood, no sharp edges (on the outside), has lots of hiding areas, as well as leafy stem-plants and a thick carpet of micro-swords to hide in, and floating roccia.

9. a. Filtration? 70g biowheel filter from Marineland
b. Heater? 2x150w

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used? 8 a.m. - 10 p.m., 4x6500 compact fluorescent (23w/bulb)
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long? No sun-exposure

11. a. Water change schedule? 1/week
b. Volume of water changed? 25%
c. Well water, tap water, RO water? RO water + Conditioned tap, aged
d. Water conditioner used? Prime
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed? 1/week

12. Foods? Nutrafin Max (Small tropical fish micro-granules)
How often are they fed? Feed for two days, skip the third, feed another two days, skip the third, so on and so forth.

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms? Tail fins and sometimes the under-fins completely gone by the time of death, mass discoloration of the bodies that starts in small patches but quickly covers the body. Fins don't disappear before the discoloration moves over the body, all happens at the same time.
b. Appearance of poop? Normal
c. Appearance of gills? Normal

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? Heating the tank in case of ich.
b. What meds were used? None

15. Insert photos of fish in question and full tank shot if necessary.

This fish in the picture below, right under the leopard on the top, is showing the symptoms.

Please help me.

Last edited by Caveat; 01-18-2012 at 10:53 PM. Reason: I didn't mean to put an angry smiley after 'please help me'. > > Whoops.
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-18-2012, 11:00 PM
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Ohmygosh I'm sorry :( Poor fish! I hope someone knows what's wrong. I'm just going to go out on a limb and say it's the temperature, but really I don't know so don't freak out... Good luck and I hope it's resolved!

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post #3 of 14 Old 01-18-2012, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. :)

I'm getting so distressed, my husband just had to put another Danio out of it's misery. I don't want to lose any more of them, but it isn't fin-rot (it's starting in the middle of their backs and on one side or the other, not always at their fins), and it isn't any other disease we can find. None of the fish are battering them. Not even the specialty fish-stores we've visited have any clue; it may be a genetic defect. :c I don't want them to die... *sniff*

With love,
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-19-2012, 04:09 AM
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"My dither fish need dither fish!"
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-19-2012, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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I looked up different sources online and none of the symptoms that they list for septicemia is being shown by any of the fish; even the ones close to death are still trying to swim their little hearts out. I don't know.

With love,
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-19-2012, 02:19 PM
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So you don't think the discoloration is hemorrhage? I can't tell from the photos.

"My dither fish need dither fish!"
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-19-2012, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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No, there's never any red present on their bodies, and they're very active, even while they're dying. Also the septicemia is a bacteria (can be a virus), the rams and Pictus have not been affected by it. Husband just witnessed a zebra punching another fish though, that may be it. We're going to remove the zebras and see what happens.

With love,
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-19-2012, 04:37 PM
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Best of luck. Unseen agression good possibility and I agree, 87 seems a tad high.

p.s.: I don't know how you euthanize your fish. I might recommend finquell. It is used to sedate fish, and, when overdosed, will kill. The fish just goes to sleep and does not wake up. Just a suggestion: I have a bottle at home; thankfully I don't have to use it often, but I have had to on a few occasions.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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Last edited by twocents; 01-19-2012 at 04:49 PM.
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-25-2012, 11:55 PM
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Any updates?

I just got through battling this with a shoal of Bleeding Heart Tetras. It goes unbelievably fast. I ended up losing all but 3.

From what little I could scrape up by researching the symptoms, I think it may have been Neon Tetra Disease (it can affect Danios as well), but I'm not absolutely certain if that's really what it was or not. In either case, I hope you had better luck than me! :(
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-26-2012, 01:06 AM
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I believe it is the temp which is much too warm for the Danios who prefer much cooler water than Mikrogeophagus Ramirez (blue rams) if indeed they are the blue rams as opposed to the bolivian rams.
Would also wonder what water parameter's are with respect to ammonia,nitrites unless 55 gal is heavily planted as opposed to just five or six plant's.
Temp may not affect danios straight away but over the course of a few day's or a week, they would become stessed with temps much above 76 degrees F.
Some danios are reported to suffer from what is often called .."wasting disease or skinny disease " but i have no info to share on causes or treatment other than to quarantine any new fish before placing them in main tank.
Will say that Danio's often do better in hard,alkaline water with temps between 72 and 75 degree's from my expieriences with these fish.
Don't believe the danio's and rams to be a good fit together, and might move the danios back to 20 gal tank with cooler tapwater only,, rather than R/O tap mix that I assume is for the benfit of the rams.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.

Last edited by 1077; 01-26-2012 at 01:12 AM.
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