My fish keep dying
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My fish keep dying

This is a discussion on My fish keep dying within the Tropical Fish Diseases forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> 1. Size of tank? 29 gal 2. Water parameters a. Ammonia? 0ppm b. Nitrite? 0ppm c. Nitrate? <30ppm (tested a week ago at 20ppm) ...

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Old 07-20-2011, 08:32 AM   #1
 
Unhappy My fish keep dying

1. Size of tank? 29 gal

2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia? 0ppm
b. Nitrite? 0ppm
c. Nitrate? <30ppm (tested a week ago at 20ppm)
d. pH, KH and GH? pH=8.3
e. Test kit? API freshwater master test kit

3. Temperature? 78

4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)? FW

5. How long the aquarium has been set up? 3 months

6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them?
I am down to 2 swordtails, one male and one female. they have been in there for 2 and a half months

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, but all came from the same store within a month and a half of each other.

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants? a few live plants
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom? gravel
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors? a few rocks, either quartz types or slate. all of the slate is from my mom's old tanks but have been dry for five years or more

9. a. Filtration? Marineland Whisper (came with tank)
b. Heater? rated to 35 gal.

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used? light that came with tank, on most days from 8 to5 or 6 (tank is at our office, so one during business hours)
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long? no.

11. a. Water change schedule? about 5 gallons every week to two weeks (i don't let my nitrates get to 40 ppm)
b. Volume of water changed? about 5 gallons
c. Well water, tap water, RO water? tap water let sit for at least 24 hours to declorinate
d. Water conditioner used? none
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed? i don't have a vacuum yet, so i have yet to do so

12. Foods? Aqueon tropical flakes
How often are they fed? small amount every other day

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms? see below
b. Appearance of poop?
c. Appearance of gills?

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? no
b. What meds were used?



list of changes:
  • 2 zebra danios added a week after the tank was set up, along with plants
  • cycle seemed to level out (almost 0ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrite, about 5 ppm nitrite) a few days latter
  • a week after the first fish, added 4 more danios and two swordtails
  • a few days after that, 0ppm ammonia, .5 ppm nitrite, and >5ppm nitrate
  • two and a half weeks after first fish, one danio died. nitrites were pretty high, though i don't remember exactly what they were. i assume he was one of the first two
  • three days later ammonia 0ppm, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 10ppm
  • another danio missing (assumed dead, but i couldn't find it anywhere)
  • after a week of stable levels, added a small common pleco(2 and a half inches long) and a male betta. (last change)
  • the next day another danio was dead
  • over the next month, my remaining three danios all died
  • the pleco died two days after the last danio
  • today, a week after the pleco died, my betta is dead


Symptoms:
a few of the danios got bent backs the day or two before they were found dead, but not all of the. the last one looked just fine the day before.
the pleco was just fine one day, dead the next.
the betta seemed to be rather lethargic for a day or two but other than that looked fine

no spots/patches, no discoloring, no notable changes in appetite, no gasping, and no other common symptoms i've read about.

i'm reall worried about my swordtails now, i don't want to loose them too. but i have no idea what to do other than start over, which i also don't want to do.

Please help me
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:42 AM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KendraMc
c. Well water, tap water, RO water? tap water let sit for at least 24 hours to declorinate

d. Water conditioner used? none

e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed? i don't have a vacuum yet, so i have yet to do so.
This is something that you may want to consider changing i.e. not using a water conditioner. If you are using tap water, just letting it stand 24 hrs, may not degas/remove all of the clorine, I think it takes much longer than that, you also really need to keep it agitated/aerated to effectively degas it.

Tap water may also contain chloramines (depending on your water co., most do add it now), which is also harmful to fish. I would recommend using a water conditioner, much safer imo.

I would also advise investing in a vacuum pump. Leaving it go for 3 months without syphoning the gravel will cause a build-up of toxins.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:51 AM   #3
 
i know plenty of people who just let their water sit for 24 hours and use it and have never had a problem with it. my mother had a tank for decades and never used conditioners, never tested the water, rarely did water changes, and only once every few years did an actually cleaning. her tank also was overstocked for years and she never had problems like this. yeah, fish died, but at normal rates, not one a week like i've been having.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:40 PM   #4
 
I'm not trying to discount any ideas, i'm just pointing out that in my experience, added water and dirty substrate seem unlikely to be the cause for my fish dying.
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:39 PM   #5
 
Need to find out if your tap water has chloromime in it. This will kill your fish and does not leave on it's own like chlorine does.

If it's at the office is it possible for someone to be putting stuff into it?
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:53 AM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KendraMc View Post
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, but all came from the same store within a month and a half of each other.

12. Foods? Aqueon tropical flakes
How often are they fed? small amount every other day
Just because they came from the same store within that time frame, doesn't necessarily mean the fish were all healthy, some of the fish may have been new arrivals at the store also.

How did you acclimatise them? The shock of the different water parameters may have killed the ones that died the following day after being introduced.

I would try and vary their diet as much as possible and is there driftwood in the tank for the pleco (realise is deceased now), it can be a necessary part of their dietary requirements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KendraMc View Post
i know plenty of people who just let their water sit for 24 hours and use it and have never had a problem with it. my mother had a tank for decades and never used conditioners, never tested the water, rarely did water changes, and only once every few years did an actually cleaning. her tank also was overstocked for years and she never had problems like this. yeah, fish died, but at normal rates, not one a week like i've been having.
Yes! I have heard that reasoning/logic many times....That doesn't mean the practice is a good one. Each tank is different, it may work for those people and the fish are surviving regardless, but perhaps it isn't working for you, since you have been loosing fish the next day/ or weekly and sounds like it has been happening virtually from the beginning. Some fish can tolerate water quality problems longer than others.

Water Companies change the consistancy/add or remove chemicals to the water all the time (particularly with the change of seasons). I am not saying that not using a water conditioner or not syphoning the gravel are the reasons/only reasons your fish keep dieing and it is your choice/your tank, nor am I here to argue or say what is the right/wrong way of doing things in this hobby, but would it be so hard to even consider it, try it, to see if it would make a difference and possibly save the fish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladayen
If it's at the office is it possible for someone to be putting stuff into it?
That is a very good point!
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:51 AM   #7
 
it is a really small office, so no one is putting anything in it. the only people to have been here from the beginning and the start of the issues are interested in getting the tank to work.

i acclimatize the fish by putting them in the bag from the store in the tank for at least a half an hour, and since all of the fish lived at least a few weeks in my tank, i don't think the change has anything to do with it.

I have decided that I'm going to start over with a different water source. of course, i'm about to head out of town for a week, so it is going to have to wait until i get back, if either sword is still alive. if not, i'll just start over entirely. and i did check, my city does not add chloromine to the water here.

i'm also going to get fish at a different store from now on. between me and a friend (also at the office), we have bought 12 fish from them. the two swords are the only ones left. and he has a different water supply and did use water conditioners on it. i think i'd have better luck at petco.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:29 AM   #8
 
I know that degasing the water can work, but for your peace of mind I would consider looking into getting a conditioner. Seachem's Prime for example only needs two drops for a gallon of water. I bought the smallest bottle 6+ months ago and there is still half left. It cost Less than $6.

What kind of plans do you have in the tank?

A better acclamation process is to float the bag for 20 minutes to get them used to the temperate. Every 10-20 minutes add about 1/5 the volume of water in the bag from the tank into the bag. Example. The bag holds 2 quarts, every 20 minutes add 1/2 a quart of tank water to the bag. This will slowly make the water in the bag the same as your tank. Do this over 1 hour or so. I'm sure you know but never dump the stores water into your tank.

There is a possibility that the fish were sick from the store.

Do you know the hardness of the water from the tap?
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:35 AM   #9
 
since my fish all lived a few weeks after being added to my tank, i don't think acclamation was the problem.

as for plans, all i know is i'm going to put the plants and rocks i have back in after rinsing them off and i'm going to add some wood. for fish, i want to get another pleco and maybe some bloodfin or rummynose tetras. maybe some more swords, maybe some gouramis. other than that, i don't really know. i just want some fish to live at this point.

and i do not know the hardness of my water, my test kit didn't come with that one, but i should probably check the water i switch to when i start that process.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:31 AM   #10
 
You can call your water company and find the hardness. Often they will also have it on a website.

I would look for a bristle (bushy) nose pleco. The common pleco can grow to 24 inches+.
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