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Sudden death of 5 large healthy goldfish


NancyJean

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Tank size 90 gal, 4 Orandas and 2 shibunkins Equipment: 306 Fluval canister, 406 Fluval canister, large HOB filter, large air bubblers, large lava rocks. Annubias plants. ammonia 0. Nitrites 0, nitrates 20, ph 8.0, gh 3, kh 6, TDS 300-400.

Help please. I have lost 5 large goldfish in a matter of 48 hours. I had 3 large orandas and a male and female shubunkin, ages 5 to 3. All were healthy, active, eating well, the orandas had huge wens. Wednesday morning I woke up to find 2 floating dead, 2 barely breathing. The largest male shubunkin and the smallest orandas are seemingly fine. It'struly sad to see such large beautiful fish that I've had for years floating dead. why they would all suddenly die with no signs of anything being wrong?

No changes to food, no new medication, no new fish added. I was out of prime, so used Tetra Aquasafe declorinator during the weekly water change on Sunday. New additions to the tank were a large fake rock decoration and an underwater blue light string attached to a bendable air bubbler bought at petsmart. The 30 gal tropical tank next to this tank received 4 new apple snails and a baby albino pleco 3 weeks ago.

After removing the dead fish, the ammonia was .25 and the nitrate was 1.0 and the nitrate was 20. However I believe this spike could have been from two large dead fish floating in the tank all night? I'm just saying this because the tank has cbeen cycled for 5 years. I just tested the first water now and ammonia is zero, nitrites zero, and nitrates are 20. Ph is 8, gh is 4, kh is 9. TDS is 398.

I was so excited because the male shibunkin has finally got breeding stars and the female looks like she is full of eggs, so we are setting up a pond outside for them. The smaller oranda I rescued a couple years ago from the pet store, he was starving and had severe fin rot and I nursed him back to health

The sick fish that died had red streaks in their tails and seemed to be hemorrhaging around the vemts and on their sides. No indication the day before of anything being wrong. There was blood in the water after they had died. Yesterday I researched online and found a parasite called costia that kills quickly and causes hemorrhages so I used Quickcure in the hospital water. A couple of hours later, they were swimming around, so I was hopeful. But when I got up in the middle of the night to check on them, they were floating again so I drained most of the water added fresh water and added some aquarium salt. Then thursday two more were dead in the hospital tank. The female shubunkin died Friday with spider like hemorrhage on each side. But her tail is not streaked.

We had recently had a lot of rain, it is spring, the city may have used more chloramine/chlorine to combat increased bacteria in the water from run-off (we live in a rural community) and at that time unfortunately I ran out of Prime so used another less effective de-chlorinator during the Sunday water change. If I had to guess I would say it was caused by chlorine/chloramine poisoning. It was the perfect storm for my poor fish.

After looking up septicemia, it sounds frightening similar. The outward signs of hemorrhaging didn't show up until right before they died but it was present around their vents and on their sides. Poor things.

Of my 2 remaining fish, one is doing ok and eating. I am giving her Metromeds. The other is sitting on the bottom not eating.

Would it be best to separate them? Add salt? Force feed medicated food to the one not eating?

If it is fish septicemia, is this contagious to people? I have leukemia and wear gloves but wondering if I should clean hospital tank and equip with bleach.

It's so odd that the largest and the smallest fish seem ok but all of the medium-sized fish were affected.

I have removed the decoration and I have removed the underwater light. Is it possible that one of these, or using aquasafe instead of Prime, could have caused it? I am at a loss and feeling helpless and guilty and sad

I just had a thought. There is a ranch store here that sells injectable antibiotics for livestock. Any thoughts about injecting him with antibiotics? I really don't think he is going to make it, he hasn't eaten for days now and his eyes appear to be bulging a little.

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First, I am sorry for your losses. Second, I don't think it would have to do with the water conditioner used for the water change on Sunday, if you didn't notice any problems until Wednesday morning. Someone better with diagnosis and treatment will be along to help.

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:hi  I'm going to move this to the D&D section of the forum.  I realize that your post contains most of this info but please fill it out when you get a chance so as we are used to looking at this information in this format and it's easier to locate the information when we need to reference back. 

 

 

  • Test Results for the Following:
    • * Ammonia Level(Tank)
    • * Nitrite Level(Tank)
    • * Nitrate level(Tank)
    • * Ammonia Level(Tap)
    • * Nitrite Level(Tap)
    • * Nitrate level(Tap)
    • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
    • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)
    • Other Required Info:
      • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?
      • * Water temperature?
      • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?
      • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?
      • * How often do you change the water and how much
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size?
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners?
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often?
  • * Any new fish added to the tank?
  • * Any medications added to the tank?
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

 

 

I'm so sorry for your loss. 

 

If you can separate them, you could treat the one that is not eating with waterborne meds.  I would suggest metronidazole and kanamycin.  Seachem makes both products.  I've only been able to find these at a locally owned fish store or online.  If you need a link, let me know.  :D

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What a terrible experience!  I'm so sorry for your loss.

 

You gave a lot of information, but it was hard to sort through it.  I'm sure some of that was because you are upset.  Would you please copy the form below, paste it into your reply, and put the information in the form.  It will help us a lot. (Edit:  I see I was sniped by fantailfan1, so I removed the form.)

 

I agree it sounds more like poisoning than disease.

Edited by shakaho
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:hi  I'm going to move this to the D&D section of the forum.  I realize that your post contains most of this info but please fill it out when you get a chance so as we are used to looking at this information in this format and it's easier to locate the information when we need to reference back. 

 

 

  • Test Results for the Following:

  • * Ammonia Level(Tank) 0
  • * Nitrite Level(Tank) 0
  • * Nitrate level(Tank) 20
  • * Ammonia Level(Tap) 0
  • * Nitrite Level(Tap) 0
  • * Nitrate level(Tap) 0
  • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) ph 8.0, gh 4, kh 9
  • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) ph 8.0
  • Other Required Info:

  • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? api test kit drops
  • * Water temperature? 67
  • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 90 gal for 5 years
  • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? fluval 306 canister, fluval 406 canister, large HOB
  • * How often do you change the water and how much 75 percent every week

  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? sunday 75 percent
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size? 7 about 4 to 8 oz
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? prime
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often? twice day
  • * Any new fish added to the tank? no
  • * Any medications added to the tank? no
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. really nothing
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? bloody streaks in tail
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? one is bottom sitting not eating now
 

 

I'm so sorry for your loss. 

 

If you can separate them, you could treat the one that is not eating with waterborne meds.  I would suggest metronidazole and kanamycin.  Seachem makes both products.  I've only been able to find these at a locally owned fish store or online.  If you need a link, let me know.  :D

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Wow, I'm no expert but I agree it sounds like some contaminant poisoned your tank - those parameters look fine to me. I'm cheering for your remaining fish and hope they pull through for you!

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Our city was putting out some bad water last summer.  I lost some fish, but only after large water changes.  I usually do small daily changes.

 

Our water problems came about from increasing chlorination to handle a pollutant.  Chlorine can combine with many substances, and some of the products may be toxic.  

 

Prime bonds lots of things, and it might have been protecting your fish.  Activated charcoal might also help.

 

Can you put your survivors in a smaller tank and get  purified water from some other source?  

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:

 

If you can separate them, you could treat the one that is not eating with waterborne meds.  I would suggest metronidazole and kanamycin.  Seachem makes both products.  I've only been able to find these at a locally owned fish store or online.  If you need a link, let me know.  :D

Thank you so much for helping. I am so sorry for the original lengthy post, trying to give as much history and using the voice convertor app, sorry that I was ranting.

Listed below is what I have done since Wednesday:

3 daily treatments of Quickcure to entire tank to kill parasites.

MetroMeds medicated food to the one fish who is still eating, from GoldfishConnection.com before they closed shop. I believe the MetroMeds contains the metronidazaloe you mentioned?

For Bruiser, the fish who is not eating, I am soaking MetroMeds in RO water until a mush, then turning off the filters and dumping it over him in the hopes that something will soak in.

Bruiser's behavior is labored breathing like taking a breath is difficult. He was bottom-sitting, but now swimming a little, but keeps going to the top for air. No outward signs, no lesions or red spots, no streaking in his tail. (the hemorrhage spots showed up right before the others died.)

The weird thing is I have 6 other tanks, all tropical small fish, same water changes and no disasters.

This is what I have at home in stock:

MediGold medicated food and Metromeds medicated food

Anti-bac bath powder (also from the Goldfish Connection)

API triple sulfa antibiotic powder - says it treats bacterial fish disease like hemorrhagic septicemia (?)

Maracyn 2

Tomorrow after I hopefully get the meds you mentioned, I will set up the hospital tank again for Bruiser. Should I fill it with RO water? We have an RO system at home. I can't thank you enough for your help! It was really awful to wake up to see so many dead.

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What a terrible experience!  I'm so sorry for your loss.

 

You gave a lot of information, but it was hard to sort through it.  I'm sure some of that was because you are upset.  Would you please copy the form below, paste it into your reply, and put the information in the form.  It will help us a lot. (Edit:  I see I was sniped by fantailfan1, so I removed the form.)

 

I agree it sounds more like poisoning than disease.

Thank you. Sorry about the lengthy post. I was so upset. Poor fish. Hope they didn't suffer.

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Our city was putting out some bad water last summer.  I lost some fish, but only after large water changes.  I usually do small daily changes.

 

Our water problems came about from increasing chlorination to handle a pollutant.  Chlorine can combine with many substances, and some of the products may be toxic.  

 

Prime bonds lots of things, and it might have been protecting your fish.  Activated charcoal might also help.

 

Can you put your survivors in a smaller tank and get  purified water from some other source?

I can use water from our drinking water RO system or water from my sister's well, or I could get some big bottles of water from the store. That is a good idea! Thank you.

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Wow, I'm no expert but I agree it sounds like some contaminant poisoned your tank - those parameters look fine to me. I'm cheering for your remaining fish and hope they pull through for you!

Thank you so much for the kind words and understanding.

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What  horrible thing to have happen. I am so very sorry to hear your lost your fish like this, really, I am.

 

To me, too, it sounds like a water issue, especially since no new fish have been added.  Normally, the first thing you do when you suspect a water quality issue is water changes, but what do you do when you are not sure you can trust your water?

 

Could there be anything tied to the specific room?  A few years ago a member lost healthy fish when febreeze or something similar was sprayed there. I have bookmarked a link to an article on non-disease causes of fish illness, covers chloramine poisoning and others.  You can find it if you google "are you fish really suffering from disease sympatico".  Maybe that will help with some answers if it was environmental.

 

RE R/O water, the water parameters are probably different than what your tap water, so maybe a good idea to test first and, if quite different, post back here to see if members can advise on how to handle to minimize stress on your fish. In this case, you may want to get some Buff it Up or similar to try to normalize conditions for them if it is indeed quite different.  Do you have some extra pumps and bubblers? Some extra O2 would be a good idea, I think.

 

I personally might hold back on meds at the moment, at least until a MOD can advise.  I have had fish with septicemia, but I have never had fish hemorrhage blood in the water. It seems they were bleeding internally from some cause. I had one fish that had got sick and had blood pooling that I could see in her abdomen, but it was all internal, and no other fish were affected.  The fact that most of your fish were hit so quickly, and no new fish in the tank, seems to me to point to an environmental factor, but that fact that your other tanks are fine makes me less sure.

 

I hope your remaining fish will be OK. 

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Our city was putting out some bad water last summer.  I lost some fish, but only after large water changes.  I usually do small daily changes.

 

Our water problems came about from increasing chlorination to handle a pollutant.  Chlorine can combine with many substances, and some of the products may be toxic.  

 

Prime bonds lots of things, and it might have been protecting your fish.  Activated charcoal might also help.

 

Can you put your survivors in a smaller tank and get  purified water from some other source?

I can use water from our drinking water RO system or water from my sister's well, or I could get some big bottles of water from the store. That is a good idea! Thank you.

 

All promising choices.

 

Check each of them for a match to the pH of your tank.  Then let them sit overnight and check pH again.  You want something with a stable pH.

 

How are the survivors doing? 

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Just a thought, but with just the one tank being effected is it possible that someone maybe accidentally knocked something into the tank & possibly didn't want to say anything??? To me it sounds like some sort of posioning happened.

 

That's just my :twocents worth. Just me but I would take that tank down, clean out EVERYTHING & start from scratch!!

 

Whatever it is I hope you get it sorted out soon!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...
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This is terrible- I am not certain....My first reaction is that there was a large amount of free NH3 (ammonia)- released when your water was dechlorinated.  Sodium Triphosphate is the typical compound used to neutralize chlorine and chloramines.  However without a binding agent to convert it to NH4, ammonium (this binding agent is found in Prime)... Sodium Triphosphate can be detrimental in the amount of ammonia it cuts loose from the Chloramine molecule.  With smaller water changes its OK- but with larger changes the amount of Ammonia can be too much for the system. Goldfish are pretty hardy creatures- they may have survived 2 days of ammonia toxicity...?

 

http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/chlorine-chloramine

One very important note should be made if chloramines are present. Sodium thiosulfate will neutralize the chlorine portion of chloramine. However, the free ammonia that is released in this reaction gives rise to an obvious problem since ammonia in small amounts is toxic to aquarium life. It would be far better to use products that specifically claim to safely remove chloramines.
Na2S2O3 + 4NH2Cl + 5H2O ----> Na2SO4 + 2H+ + 4HCl + 4NH3

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An interesting suggestion, Longfellow, but I don't think that's what happened.  This is a well-established tank,  so the ammonia released from chloramines would quickly be oxidized.  Healthy adult goldfish can handle low doses of ammonia for a day.

 

The symptoms suggest chlorine poisoning.  It's quite possible to forget to add dechlorinater even when you do it every single time you change water.  I killed a tank of sickly fry by adding everything but Prime.  As soon as I saw the fry dashing around the tank, I realized what had happened and added the Prime, but they all died anyway.

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