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Spontaneous Deaths :'( [contains necropsy pictures]


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Hi all,

Two weeks ago, my beloved goldfish Dimple passed away. He did not seem at all sick, and the water in the tank had no ammonia or nitrate, and about 10ppm nitrate. He shared a 30 gal with my other little fish, Finny. I did a 90% water change after he died and treated with prazi. This morning I walked into my room and found that Finny had died. Honestly, I am quite beside myself. Neither fish showed any signs of stress before passing away. I fed Finny last night and he was eager to eat his food. Both fish were quite young-- I've had Finny for just over a year, and Dimple since July. Does anyone have any idea what could have happened? Please help! There are no other fish in the tank, just two snails, but I really want to know why my fish died.

Many thanks,

-Cyprinidae

03/20/14 edit by DNAlex:

At the request of the OP, I have edited the title to reflect that starting on page 2, there will be necropsy pictures. If you do not wish to see these pics, do not go past page 1. Thank you!

Edited by dnalex
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  • Regular Member

I'm so sorry that both of your fish passed. :(

Given that you said the parameters are good and stable, and that one died after the other, one can only assumed that it's some sort of infectious agent. Beyond that, it's anyone's guess. Sudden deaths are often attributable to mycobacterial infections, but we don't know until we perform the relevant tests, which as essentially not feasible for most hobbyists.

I'm sorry. :(

My recommendation for you is this. At this point, you need to either let whatever affect your tank die off, either by having a very long period of time without fish, or completely disinfect your tank, and then recycle.

Both actually would take the same lengths of time (2-3 months), with the latter being the more careful way to go.

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Thank you all <3 Would I be able to get anywhere with a microscope? Im guessing not, but I have one if that would help. I guess I'll disinfect the tank if thats safest.

Thanks

Edited by Cyprinidae
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Thank you all <3 Would I be able to get anywhere with a microscope? Im guessing not, but I have one if that would help. I guess I think I'll disinfect the tank.

Thanks

You can dissect the fish and perform necropsies. That may give you a better clue. As for microscopes, unless you have ways to fix tissues and certain dyes, it won't be much help.

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I am sorry for your losses. I had a similar situation and lost 3 orandas & 1 common. 1 oranda survived. This was over an approximate 9 month time span. All of the fish were not in the tank at the same time (3 in tank, lost 2 & 3 in tank, lost other 2). All did great in individual QT. My parameters are always good, I change 50% every week, not overstocked, proper filtration/media, QT period, prazi, etc (thanks to koko's). Anyway, when I lost the last fish 2 months ago I had her cosmetically necropsied at the state veterinary school, I hated to do it but I had to have a reason. It turns out she had myxosporidiosis. I believe that is what the other fish were affected by as well, they all had the same symptoms. They would be a little slower to get to the top during feeding, a little quieter, the next day or day after they would be gone. I can't say that is what your issue is but they seem to be similar. I did a lot of searching & reading on myxosporidiosis to understand it. I can't remember the name of the most informative site (I think it was Merck Veterinary Manual of Parastic Fish Disease-or something similar) but if you are interested in reading the material just PM me and I can give you the exact title, I have it bookmarked.

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If this is in the appropriate section-how does myxosporidiosis & mycobacterial infections differ? Maybe there is something we can watch out for sooner?

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If this is in the appropriate section-how does myxosporidiosis & mycobacterial infections differ? Maybe there is something we can watch out for sooner?

One is a parasite, and the other a bacterium. You will see different presentations of inflammation etc in the organs.

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If this is in the appropriate section-how does myxosporidiosis & mycobacterial infections differ? Maybe there is something we can watch out for sooner?

One is a parasite, and the other a bacterium. You will see different presentations of inflammation etc in the organs.

Cyprinidae, sorry for your loss. Were both fish bought at the same time, or from the same store? I have had the same experience with goldies and tropicals.

Alex: Would a treatment of salt during QT help with killing off these parasites, viruses and bacteria? I believe salt should at least kill off free floating fresh water viruses and bacteria?

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If this is in the appropriate section-how does myxosporidiosis & mycobacterial infections differ? Maybe there is something we can watch out for sooner?

One is a parasite, and the other a bacterium. You will see different presentations of inflammation etc in the organs.

Cyprinidae, sorry for your loss. Were both fish bought at the same time, or from the same store? I have had the same experience with goldies and tropicals.

Alex: Would a treatment of salt during QT help with killing off these parasites, viruses and bacteria? I believe salt should at least kill off free floating fresh water viruses and bacteria?

Thanks

I got the fish at different times and from different stores :( They had both been really healthy since I put them into the 30 gal this summer

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I am sorry for your losses. I had a similar situation and lost 3 orandas & 1 common. 1 oranda survived. This was over an approximate 9 month time span. All of the fish were not in the tank at the same time (3 in tank, lost 2 & 3 in tank, lost other 2). All did great in individual QT. My parameters are always good, I change 50% every week, not overstocked, proper filtration/media, QT period, prazi, etc (thanks to koko's). Anyway, when I lost the last fish 2 months ago I had her cosmetically necropsied at the state veterinary school, I hated to do it but I had to have a reason. It turns out she had myxosporidiosis. I believe that is what the other fish were affected by as well, they all had the same symptoms. They would be a little slower to get to the top during feeding, a little quieter, the next day or day after they would be gone. I can't say that is what your issue is but they seem to be similar. I did a lot of searching & reading on myxosporidiosis to understand it. I can't remember the name of the most informative site (I think it was Merck Veterinary Manual of Parastic Fish Disease-or something similar) but if you are interested in reading the material just PM me and I can give you the exact title, I have it bookmarked.

Im sorry you lost so many fish :'( That sounds a lot like what happened to my little guys. If you wouldn't mind linking me that site I would love to read it! Thank you

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If this is in the appropriate section-how does myxosporidiosis & mycobacterial infections differ? Maybe there is something we can watch out for sooner?

One is a parasite, and the other a bacterium. You will see different presentations of inflammation etc in the organs.

Cyprinidae, sorry for your loss. Were both fish bought at the same time, or from the same store? I have had the same experience with goldies and tropicals.

Alex: Would a treatment of salt during QT help with killing off these parasites, viruses and bacteria? I believe salt should at least kill off free floating fresh water viruses and bacteria?

Hello, that's a really good question, and as far as I know, salt at 0.3% will make the tank very inhospitable for many ectoparasites. As for viruses and bacteria, I don't know that at the concentrations that we are using, salt has any sort direct antibacterial or antiviral effects, not least not in the way that it does on many external freshwater parasites.

Salt can be indirectly antimicrobial, though, as it stimulates slime coat production, which is an important innate defense mechanism for the fish.

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/VM/VM00700.pdf

Unfortunately, there isn't much we can do when it comes to myxosporidia or mycobacteria. :(

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thanks for all the hugs, guys

now both of the snails are dead and one of the plants looks almost dead-- could it be the same thing that affected the fish/snails? Maybe the plant is just a coincidence... anyways, I'm going to start out fresh

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I have a ranchu recovering from the brink of death. Went to bed one night, parameters perfect, happy fish. Got up the next morning and it looked like advanced hole in the head. I nearly had a heart attack. I still don't know what caused it and the other fish in the tank are healthy. :idont

I wish you the best of luck in solving the mystery! It's never fun not knowing what's up.

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I have a ranchu recovering from the brink of death. Went to bed one night, parameters perfect, happy fish. Got up the next morning and it looked like advanced hole in the head. I nearly had a heart attack. I still don't know what caused it and the other fish in the tank are healthy. :idont

I wish you the best of luck in solving the mystery! It's never fun not knowing what's up.

Im sorry to hear that! I hope your fishy gets better soon :) At least the others don't have it

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