Fish are dropping dead and I don't know why. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 40 Old 02-20-2015, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Fish are dropping dead and I don't know why.

I have a 29 gallon that crashed a couple of months ago. I had a surviving bristlenose pleco and a cherry shrimp. Since then my tank has remained cycled. I got the tank back up to par and added 3 neon tetras and 2 glowlight tetra two months ago. One glowlight died, I'm assuming it had issues when I purchased it. In any case I waited a couple of weeks to add more fish. One week ago I purchased two peacock gobies, two neon tetras, two cherry shrimp, and an assassin snail. Normally I wouldn't add so many fish at once, but have added several new plants at the same time and water parameters have remained unchanged.
Two days after the purchase I lost a neon, the next day I lost another neon, etc. Yesterday two fish died and today two more. All in all I lost my BN pleco whom I've had for several months, 1 cherry shrimp, my glowlight tetra, and 5 neon tetras within this one week. I am baffled and have no idea what's going on. My only theory is that the gobies could be killing them, although I haven't seen them attack at all. I tested my water levels yesterday with my API kit and Ammonia, Nitrates, and Nitrites are all at 0. The fish haven't looked sick at all, I just find them dead. I've never lost fish like this before, other than my tank crashing due to my own negligence in the past and I'm frustrated and not sure what the problem could be and don't know if I should take the gobies back or not. They are a male/female pair but I haven't seen them act aggressive at all. The only thing I've done differently is add an appropriate dosing of seachem flourish a week ago with a 20% partial water change, which I have always done. I wondered if it was the flourish but thought if it was I would have lost all of the shrimp and they would have gone first. Any advice would help.
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post #2 of 40 Old 02-20-2015, 08:27 PM
sounds to me as if you have a disease in your tank...probably columnaris, especially if you don't see any outer symptoms and your fish are just dropping dead without any warning or outer signs.

it is definitely not the have an illness in your tank.

honestly, i would probably start a salt treatment for columnaris immediately, while keeping a strong, detailed eye on EVERYTHING left alive in the tank. remove the plants if you're using salt, and remove the snail for ANY treatment. whatever disease is in there, the snail won't get it and the plants can be added back into the tank after 2-3 weeks of quarantine in CLEAN, nonchlorinated water (with changes 2-3x per week).
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post #3 of 40 Old 02-20-2015, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Also I forgot to add temp is at 78, I have a marineland bio wheel 200 rated for 50 gallons, and currently left are my two peacock gobies, an assasin snail, a mystery snail, and two cherry shrimp. PH tested at 8.6. I know it's high but successfully acclimated a GBR and Angel and they thrived before my tank crashed, not to mention I've had the first few tetras for quite a while before the new additions when everything started dying off.
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post #4 of 40 Old 02-20-2015, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Is there any way to know for sure? I don't want to add extra chemicals if it's not absolutely necessary.
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post #5 of 40 Old 02-20-2015, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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I googled it and it talked about frayed and ragged fins, ulcerations, musus, and white or cloudy fungus patches. The fish haven't displayed any of those at all and weren't discolored at all. They looked totally normal and were eating and active before dying.
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post #6 of 40 Old 02-20-2015, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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If I take out all the plants and put them back in later won't it recycle the tank?
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post #7 of 40 Old 02-20-2015, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Also the reason I was curious about the gobies is because it said they can become aggressive if they spawn, although I haven't seen it. But the 1st neon that died earlier today as down by their driftwood cave right next to it, that's also where I found another dead neon, and the glowlight tetra that I found dead was in their cave. Not trying to dispute anything you are saying, just trying to ask questions and make sure I give you as much info as I can.
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post #8 of 40 Old 02-20-2015, 09:00 PM
i have the exact same symptoms as you do in my new guppy tank. my tank has been fully cycled for over a year, being occupied ONLY by trumpet snails. then i introduced some store brought guppies into the tank last friday. by tuesday of this week, i had lost 9 out of 15 fish. the females were displaying signs and symptoms:

dropsy (bloat)
crusty mouth

they only showed those two signs. otherwise my dead females were fine.

the males however, were dying without showing ANY visible signs. they were just fine looking, and were dying left and right.

it was like a massacre. everyone would be fine. then i'd turn off the light for the night...turn it back on the next morning, and have 1-3 dead fish. some would float, some would sink.

so as you can see, i definitely had a hard time identifying my disease because some fish had no symptoms, one had dropsy, one had crusty mouth, one had been henpecked by the other fish so his tail was destroyed. some died slowly, and some died super fast. my crusty mouthed female actually died WHILE i was changing the tank water! super fast.

also, columnaris CAN have those signs and symptoms, but it also can be a silent killer with no symptoms at all.
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post #9 of 40 Old 02-20-2015, 09:03 PM
Originally Posted by Kesari View Post
If I take out all the plants and put them back in later won't it recycle the tank?
your plants should be in quarantine anyway...they CAN carry disease i do believe. quarantining won't hurt them...and as far as i know, once your tank is properly cycled, there is no "recycling" it...the plants won't disturb the tank's cycle as long as you introduce them sloooowwwly.

quarantining your plants and rinsing them off in CLEAN unchlorinated water every 2-3 days will do two things:

wash off any disease they are carrying.

keep them refreshed while away from the fish and healthy aquarium.

giving a 21 day quarantine will pretty much guarantee the death of many germs hanging onto the plants.
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post #10 of 40 Old 02-20-2015, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry to hear about your tank too. What are you using to treat your tank? I can't take the plants out of mine, not just for fear of the cycle crashing but also because I don't have the money for a spare tank right now. I had a couple but they got damaged. :(
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