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Multiple Deaths In Same Tank, Others Looking Sickly


mardaokansi

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Ashley needs some help w/ her tank and fish. She has lost Bjorn, Stardew, and Pamby. Bjorn died first a few months ago. Stardew and Pamby just passed away.

[0.25 ppm]...........................................................Ammonia Level?

[0 ppm]................................................................Nitrite Level?

[80 ppm]..............................................................Nitrate level?

[above 7.6]..........................................................Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)?

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)?

[api drops]............................................................Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?

[76].......................................................................Water temperature?

[55 gal, previously running for years, recently moved & tank has been running since June '10]...........Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?

[rena filstar xp3].....................................................What is the name and size of the filter(s)?

[*]How often do you change the water and how much?

[2. Rowan is almost tennis ball sized, 7-8 in. Pamby about 4 in.].........................................................How many fish in the tank and their size?

[none. on well water.]...............................................What kind of water additives or conditioners?

[TetraFin as a staple. Seaweed/Kelp wraps and bloodworms as a treat. ].............................................What do you feed your fish and how often?

[no]...........................................................................Any new fish added to the tank?

[salt @ 0.1% and EasyBalance w/ Nitraban]................Any medications added to the tank?

[looks like popeye. but dorsals are up and perky, however they don't look ok].....................................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.?

She has done two w/c back to back. Took out the ornaments as a precaution. Only things in the tank with the fish now is the air stone/bubbler and gravel. I think she will try and post pictures soon and can fill in more info that I have left out.

Also her two comets, Winnie and Lloyd, are in their own tank and are doing just fine.

Edited by Martha
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I'm thinking the sudden die off could be due to the high nitrates in the tank? I would immediately take the surviving fish out and do a good gravel vacuum. There could be some pockets of anerobic bacteria making toxic gases in there. Does she know how many gallons per hour her filter puts out? :( I am so sorry for the losses.

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Yep, the nitrates are sky high and are deadly at this point. Plus the ammonia needs to be brought down to zero as well. Keeping the nitrates and ammonia down with large water changes will be your first step. Hoping things turn around quickly! ;)

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thanks Dennis for stopping by! I'm not sure how often the w/c are but I know she has done a couple fairly recently. She vacuums the gravel with every w/c. She just said that Rowans eyes have white dot in the middle of both eyes.

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Im so sorry :( Poor Ashley, it is devastating losing one fish let alone several at once.

Just 5 more key questions.

1. Is there or was there at any point a sulfur/rotten egg type smell to the water?

2. Just Rowan --one fish left- now?

3. How deep is/was the gravel and was it left alone or popped occasionally or deep vac'd?

4. Are the fish/is the fish that is remaining eating? Bottom sitting?

5. Did the fish that died swell up/pinecone or have red blotches/other symptoms before passing?

I think these are questions that need answers and relate to the build up of gases and bacteria that can go with higher nitrates.

The deadliness of high nitrates is connected to gravel, tank content, how much there is and the gravel cleaning or popping or vacuuming schedule.

The organic load/bacterial count in the water can be worse than the nitrates..depending. They are separate worries.

The back to back water changes surely helped. Salt at 0.1% was a good move. Ornaments out- good. You have done all the right things, now we need updates. Pop eye is not something that disappears over night it takes some time to correct.

I wonder if filter fail happened.

I agree another filter would really help circulate up and out residue baddies while we get to the bottom of this!

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Hi guys :) Thanks for the replies.

I should have clarified, all of the test results were pre-w/c. I had a flooding emergency and the tap and post-w/c testing had to be put off.

Imo,

1: There was a slight suphur smell a few weeks ago but it went away with a water change.

2: Rowan and Mamby are the only ones left :(

3: The gravel is MAX a half inch deep in some spots, but less that that in other areas. I move the gravel every w/c and it gets a thorough cleaning once a month.

4: They look terrible but their dorsals are up and they're perky (weird). Mamby is swimming around like his/her normal self other than looking like crap. Rowan is kinda hovering near the filter output where the water is still. She always flips over after a water change. I honestly don't know why she does this, but she has done it ever since she was a little teeny fish. Their last meal was bloodworms and they ate those like normal (about 3 days ago) and haven't been fed since. I live in a basement and the tanks are down here. Since it gets pretty cool, I cut back on the feeding to every few days.

5: Bjorn and Stardew were sudden deaths. I think that Stardew's growths may have been part of his death. They were starting to look nasty even though he looked fine. The one on his back had a spot that was purplish, like it was bruised and it had a few spots that looked.... 'veiney'. Pamby's breathing had slowed a little, but other than that he was pretty normal.

My Rena has never stopped on me (except when the power goes out). I don't have a spare filter either.

Thanks Martha for posting this for me :heart

Edited by Ashley
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I think the sulfuric smell was coming from the gravel and being that it was only thoroughly cleaned once a month. The gravel usualyl needs to be cleaned thoroughly at every water change. What kinds of ornaments were in there? Were they hollow?

Do you know your pH levels in the tap and tank? Also the temperature? Fluctuating temperatures might have stressed them out more.

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I agree Haruka.

Just to explain this, the anaerobic bacs living deep under the gravel breathe/respirate gases like nitrates, sulfate, and carbon dioxide. These are the gases that collect under all (deeper than 2cm) gravel. Anaerobic bacteria lack the enzyme to convert oxygen into a viable form so hate the higher level, oxygenated places. So, when we disturb the gravel these gases that they are using are released back into the aquarium. This is one possibility for gravel disturbance followed by sudden floaty fish or popeye for example.

The other is worse, it sometimes happens that their supply of these gases is used up. At this time you will smell a rotten egg smell in the tank which is the sulfate reduction process- a sort of decomposition or fermentation of the bacteria. There can even be a sprinkling of black dust visible at this point.

I think the latter is what happened and it is a killer.

The good news is even though your two remaining fish LOOK bad, the damage is done and they will now be healing in clean water with 0.1% salt protecting their slime coat from invading bacteria.

I would hold tight, keep the water good and if you poss can try to keep the temp stable.

HUGS to you, this is so upsetting !!!!! I know you have had plumbing probs and flooding an' all, no fun with fish tanks! :wacko::heart

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Thank you everyone :( Since Rowan is left, I'm going to take Rowan out and put her in the 29. I rediscovered an AquaClear in my storage when I had the plumbing issue. I'll take some bbs from the stock tank's filter and put in the AquaClear to help get the cycle started. I have a friend who will be coming to buy the 55 and stand in a few weeks anyways so I'll make sure to sanitize it for her once Rowan is moved.

I fed Rowan earlier and other than still being upside down, she ate like a champ.

I'll keep the 29 barebottom for now with only the bubbler and I'll check the params daily.

I still can't believe this :(

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I agree with Martha. The XP3 in the 29 gallon should be good. So long as Rowan has a place she can say out of the current if it gets too much for her.

I'm so sorry to hear about your losses. :cry

Keep us updated on Rowan.

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I don't want to put the xp3 on the 29 in case there is a hidden bug that I don't know about right now and I'm worried that it would transfer to the smaller tank. She's been moved, AquaClear seeded and tank salted.

I bought some Maracyn-Oxy because it looks like she has some kind of a fungus-y growth on her fins where they were torn. I haven't added it yet, I want to wait on some feedback first.

She's doing better since I moved her. She's moving around a little more, still upside down though.

I have someone interested in the 55 so I'm running some pp water through it for a few hours to start sanitizing/disinfecting it.

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