Unexplainable Die Off!
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Unexplainable Die Off!

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Unexplainable Die Off!
Old 10-06-2009, 05:52 PM   #1
 
KuhliLoach's Avatar
 
Unexplainable Die Off!

Just 3 weeks ago, I started up a new 14 gallon aquarium. I have introduced over that time:
4 Neon Tetras
5 Tiger Barbs
5 Panda Corydoras (Now 1 in a hospital)
1 Sailfin Pleco
4 Clown Loaches
1 Upside down Catfish
1 Electric Yellow Cichlid
2 Male/Female Guppies

1 Java Fern
2 Dwarf Grass
1 Amazon Sword

I was running 2 fifteen gallon filters (A total 0f 30 gallon power) initially. Then about a week ago, I upgraded one of the two to an "Aqua Clear 50 Gallon". I had treated the initial tank water with Aqua Plus. Then weekly with easy balance.

I have experienced no die offs or any ill effects for the first 2 weeks. But during the 3rd week, 2 of my panda cories were acting strange. They were hanging out at the surface breathing. I know that cories can breathe our air if needed, but the tank was well oxygenated to begin with. Knowing that these cories are particularly sensitive to pH change, weekly water changes and application of easy balance were utilized.

Well, a day after the strange acts, one died overnight. The body showed no signs of foul play (No damage from other fish). Or even disease. That when I upgraded one of my filters to the "Aqua Clear 50 Gallon". The next day, the other one died as well, with no signs of damage or disease.

At first, I thought it was the pH, but the water was crystal clear. Also, my tetras; another very sensitive fish showed no such ill effects and continued to thrive daily.

The following day, a third Cory contracted fin rot on the tail fin. He died the very next day as his entire tail fin was devoured to the base. I didn't even have enough time to get any sort of treatment.

Here are some Pictures:





After this third death, I quarantined the last 2 in a hospital tank. On the first 2 days, I treated with Maracyn. But then, on the third day, the fourth Cory contracted what seemed to be fin rot. The dorsal fin was fraying, along with white cotton like material lining the very edge of the fin itself and some scales. I realized that the infection was probably a gram negative, so I completely changed the water and medication. I began to treat with "Furan2" and Melafix. I followed according dosing that began this last Sunday October 4, 2009. All was well these last 2 days Oct 4-5, with daily dosing. The two cories were fine, swimming around periodically. Then just today as I awoke just two hours ago, the infected was dead. He must have passed overnight.

I inspected the body and saw the frayed dorsal fin, as well as a blood streak in the skin near the fin. Between the scales was a minute but noticeable amount of white cottony growth.

He was absolutely fine the night before.

I simply cannot explain these losses. I used to raise oscars, clown loaches, and other fish in ponds. But never had such troubles with diseases. I know that the tiger barbs may have pecked at the corys. And that this would cause fin rot. But that does not explain the rapid death. I mean, the water is crystal clear, being treated by easybalence, receiving 65 gallons of filtering, with ammonia and nitrite not being a problem. I mean my tetras are fine as ever. The water is also adequately oxygenated. I live in Hawaii where the tap water pH is 7.6 on average. Thatís why I treated the water with Aqua Plus. All the other fish are totally fine.

Anyone have an explanation or knows whatís going on?

I do know that I am stretching the limit, but that's why I have over filtration. I do plan to get a larger aquarium in the near future where as the fish become larger, they can be transfered. None of those fish other than the guppies or tetras will remain in this tank for very long. There are no signs whatsoever of stress or agression as I do monitor them often.

I know what I am doing, I have had a 30 gallon for about 8 years that had a full grown oscar, an eight year old 10 inch clown loach, with a med sized bala shark. I again, over filtered the tank. The Oscar is alive to this day (as I gave it away).

I know the max size of all of my fish, and how far I can stretch this tank, therefore will make appropriate accomodations when the time comes.

Thanks,
The Kuhli Loach
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:08 PM   #2
 
I think your tank is over stocked. Also I believe you added too many fish at once. Also panda corys are sensitive to water parameters. Ill add more when i getback
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:27 PM   #3
 
Overstocked for sure regardless of the filtration. I over filter my tanks also so I do understand that you can stretch the limits a bit... but you added way too many fish to the tank in a short period of time. You say that ammonia and nitrite are not a problem. What were the actual readings? Panda corys are extremely sensitive to ammonia and nitrite and prefer lower range PH (though 7.5 shouldn't be too high for them) and they prefer cooler temps (though they can survive well at slightly warmer temps).

What were you exact water parameters?
What type of substrate are you using?

I experience cory die off once with tail and fin rot but it was over the course of 7 - 10 days and not that quick.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:28 PM   #4
 
23 fish in a 14 gallon leaves a little more than half a gallon for each fish thats less than a betta should be kept in. a full grown clown loach needs a minimum of maybe 50 to 60 gallons. before purchasing fish to add to your aquarium you should research them thoroughly on their required water perameters, tank mates, feeding, social activity, and many other aspects.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:17 PM   #5
 
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I just bought a few testors.
pH reading is at 7.5 (Here in Hawaii, out Tap pH is 7.6)
Ammonia is at 0.00

Don't have a nitite test yet. The tank is indoors with no direct sunlight whatsoever. Substrate is common gravel that you can buy for aquariums.

The reason I bought pandas, clown loaches, and barbs was the fact that they are recommended tank mates. I reaserched and cross refrenced that. Also, many sites said that electric yellows are hardy, peaceful community fish.

What freaked me out was the quickness of the deaths. Symptoms, then 2 days till dying. I mean, I was treating a cory without symptoms and he still contracted and died of fin rot dispite the Furan 2 and Melafix.

I wonder if he contracted a fungus or virus, I did not treat for fungus.

I do know that the fish are overstocked, but I will move them when I get the resources for a bigger tank.

I'm not sure if the cories died of stress though. The other fish are totally fine, eating well. It seems that these cories could have been a bad batch. All of the dying was of a single species. None of my other fish are showing ill effects.

Thanks.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:18 PM   #6
 
The cories probably weren't a big batch. Cories do not due well with medication. Which probably could have harmed your cories even more. Also cories are shoaling fish so they do well in large groups which you have. However just because they are recommended tank mates does not mean that they need to be placed together. They will get too big for your aquarium. Truly a cories best tank mate. Is other cories! Its not to due with if they are peaceful fish or if they belong together. Its if they have their space aswell. Truly as someone said about each of your fish had about 1/2 gallon to itself which is not close to enough. Having these many fish in your aquarium make it very hard to maintain a high water quality no matter how many filters you have on your aquarium. Then with panda cories being highly sensitive to water parameters this could be another problem.


So for cories since that is what you seem to be having problems with. They need perfect water quality. They need to be kept with their recommended ph and temperature.. Very important! Also they die with salt and medication, the best medication for them is the highest water quality.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:20 PM   #7
 
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you claim to know what your doing?....a full grown oscar in a 30 gallon tank?.........minimum for a full grown oscar should be at least a 55, better yet a 75.....and thats if he is the only fish in the tank..........You need to do alot more research....the remaining fish in your tank have wide spectrums of water parameters and needs and they all cant be met in one tank..........the cory deaths, sounds like ammonia poisoning, gasping at the surface for air is NOT typical cory behaviour......What type of test kit are you using?.......Research the cycling process, this should have been the first step before fish went in the tank, but thats a common mistake alot of newbies make......after 3 weeks and all those fish your cycling process could take a VERY long time...........Research, research, research........Sorry to sound harsh, but you made alot of mistakes that cant be fixed overnight or with medication, i suspect your gonna loose alot more of your fish before your tank ever stabilizes.....Over filtration will not cure problems that arise from overstocking, no matter how much water you turn over in your tank, its not gonna cure limited space......
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Old 10-07-2009, 02:29 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishin Pole View Post
you claim to know what your doing?....a full grown oscar in a 30 gallon tank?.........minimum for a full grown oscar should be at least a 55, better yet a 75.....and thats if he is the only fish in the tank..........You need to do alot more research....the remaining fish in your tank have wide spectrums of water parameters and needs and they all cant be met in one tank..........the cory deaths, sounds like ammonia poisoning, gasping at the surface for air is NOT typical cory behaviour......What type of test kit are you using?.......Research the cycling process, this should have been the first step before fish went in the tank, but thats a common mistake alot of newbies make......after 3 weeks and all those fish your cycling process could take a VERY long time...........Research, research, research........Sorry to sound harsh, but you made alot of mistakes that cant be fixed overnight or with medication, i suspect your gonna loose alot more of your fish before your tank ever stabilizes.....Over filtration will not cure problems that arise from overstocking, no matter how much water you turn over in your tank, its not gonna cure limited space......
Heh, you should see my local pet shop, a 60 gallon tank selling 4 full grown oscars and a large ghost knife. Been there for a month or two now. Yes a full grown oscar in a 30 gallon. I gave him away about 3 years ago. He's still livin well in that same tank!

Using the "Mardel Live NH3" for ammonia. Showing 0.00 I swear. pH is the API pH kit 6.0-7.6 Reading from 30 minutes ago 7.4

I will transfer the fish when the time comes. I was just a little surprised that the cories died so fast after 2 weeks of perfection. I know now that cories will be way to sensitive for this tank. When they get bigger, the fish will be moved.

I know for most, my tank is fearfully overstocked, but hey, look at the pet store, they've got 30+ fish in one 10-20 gallon tank for months at a time.

Thanks all for quick replies!
Kuhli
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:20 AM   #9
 
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The number of fish you introduced in less than a month to a fourteen gallon tank was a recipe for sick fish from the outset. Do try and move some,(half) to other quarters or return them until such time as your finances allow you to provide suitable enviornment.
I cannot comment on possible cause for fish deaths without knowing NITRITE levels,.NITRATE levels, Feeding schedule, What types of food and how often, water change schedule,how much water is changed out and how often. But I will say,, That I would not be surprised if more of your fish suffered similar fate unless numbers are reduced either by finding new homes,or..from dying.
As for the pet shop,, Four adult Oscars would each be 10 to 14 inches long and could not survive in a 60 gal tank for more than a few days to perhaps a few weeks. I wish I had a dollar and a doughnut for every time I've heard..."I know a person who keeps their,(insert choice of large fish unsuitable for tank) in this tank or that bowl. I would be quite fat and rich to boot.
You say you will move some of the fish when it's time. The time is upon you now. Nothing you can offer at this point will change that.But hey,,Don't take my word ,or the others here,,visit some more forums and run it by them. I suspect the suggestion's will be similar. Good Luck with the remainder of your fish.
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