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Old 08-07-2009, 03:03 AM   #1
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Sudden fish deaths

55 Gallon planted as of yesterday contained:

6 Odessa Barbs
9 Tiger Barbs (1 green, 2 albino)
6 Gold Barbs
4 Cherry Barbs
2 Bolivian Rams
1 Rubber Lip Pleco
1 Moonlight Gourami
1 Blue Gourami

It bothered me that I only had 4 Cherry Barbs and 6 of all the others, so I went out and picked up 2 more. Got them all acclimated and in the tank, everything went fine. Later on I was watching the tank and everybody was doing great and then I watched one of the Gold Barbs and he went almost totally sideways for a sec. "whoa, that was kinda weird", then he went upside down and I knew something was wrong.

I put him in a breeding trap so that nobody else could bother him while I hoped he would recover, but he was dead within 30 minutes.

I went to bed and wake up today to find my Moonlight Gourami dead. Again, I've had this fish for months, was not acting weird at all, just suddenly dead.

The tank has zero aggression issues, the barbs chase their own kind around a bit once in a while but that's it. Nobody has ever shown any interest AT ALL in the Gouramis, heck nobody even touched the body.

I tested my water to see if anything was wrong:
Am: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 5
pH: ~7.8 but stable, this is what it has always been.

Well, as if somebody were conspiring to mess up my numbers, I now went out to replace the Gold Barb that died to bring the school back up to 6.

I found one, and also found 5 Green Tiger Barbs for a good price (which would also bring that school up to 6). So I bought them too. Drip acclimated them over a period of about an hour. Got them all in, everybody seemed fine, swimming around, schooling.

About 2.5 hours later, one of the Green Barbs is dead. (Whether it was the old one or one of the new ones, I do not know.)

Now I guess this one could be a coincidence, maybe he was just stressed, as I believe the pet store got them in only today. We'll see if I have anymore losses overnight but I just don't understand what's going on.

At this point I suspected that maybe the temp was an issue, as the water did get up to 26.5 today (heater has been unplugged for weeks). But that doesn't explain the Gourami death, as that is on the low end of his preferred climate. In any case I knew the Barbs would prefer it a bit cooler, so I did a ~25% water change and brought the temp down to around 25, hopefully it will stay there.

I just find all 3 of these deaths to be quite odd. Usually I can see a fish acting weird or have some weird condition or coloration, but all 3 of these had no warning signs at all. 2 fish that I've had for quite a while and 1 that was just added. There doesn't seem to be any kind of pattern.


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Old 08-07-2009, 01:07 PM   #2
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I would highly recommend a quarantine tank. Keeps you from losing exsisting fish. After wiping out a school of neons I've always quarantined all my new fish. Inexpensive 10 gal tank setup will save you a lot of headaches.
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Old 08-08-2009, 05:29 PM   #3
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Yesterday there were no new deaths so I thought I was out of the woods, then today I find 2 dead Tiger Barbs and 1 more I'll have to presume dead cause I don't see him anywhere
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Old 08-08-2009, 05:38 PM   #4
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Sorry for your losses. In general I keep any new fish in quarantine for a week before adding them to my tanks. Sometimes, if the fish is bahaving at all strangely I keep them in for another week, or however long it takes to be persauded of their health.

I am curious....did you quarantine the new fish? Also, by chance did you just add the water from the bag that the new fish came in into your aquarium, or did you scoop them out with a net?

Did you do anything else when you added the fish such as rearranging anything of putting your hands in the tank, or anything that would have allowed something to come in contact with the water?

It is possible that something chemical coule have gotten in your water and shocked your fish. If you do not currently have activated carbon in your filter, I would consider putting some in just in case.

How are the rest of the fishies doing today?

I would do some water changes this week to make sure you are diluting whatever is in your water at the moment that might be making your fish sick. It can't hurt
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Old 08-08-2009, 05:49 PM   #5
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Hmmm.... curious. Are you running a HOB or canister? The only possibility that jumps out is that the O2 level may have dropped due to the temp increase. The new fish may have been bad stock or overly stressed and that may account for that loss. I try to make sure that the fish I buy are in the LFS tanks for a week or so before I try them out. I'd also recommend QT, but you need to do it for a month or so to be sure not to introduce anything to your new stock, a week isn't long enough.
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:55 PM   #6
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I suggested a week because if the fish is sick, most places will take it back and give you back your money, or allow you an exchange for another if you return them within 7-14 days. As I said, I will keep them in for however long it takes to be persauded of its health.
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiofcanada View Post
I am curious....did you quarantine the new fish? Also, by chance did you just add the water from the bag that the new fish came in into your aquarium, or did you scoop them out with a net?

How are the rest of the fishies doing today?
No quarantine, I already have 5 tanks

I NEVER add the pet store water to my tank. I always drip acclimate and then net them into the tank.


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Originally Posted by HN1 View Post
Hmmm.... curious. Are you running a HOB or canister? The only possibility that jumps out is that the O2 level may have dropped due to the temp increase. The new fish may have been bad stock or overly stressed and that may account for that loss. I try to make sure that the fish I buy are in the LFS tanks for a week or so before I try them out. I'd also recommend QT, but you need to do it for a month or so to be sure not to introduce anything to your new stock, a week isn't long enough.
HOB filter. The temp increase was quite gradual, and I did lower it back down to 25 C via a 25% water change before these 3 most recent deaths.

Of the 6 deaths, only 1 was a new fish. The others were fish that had been in the tank for at least a month.
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:49 AM   #8
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Assuming they're all dying of the same thing, and the first cherry barb was the first so show obvious symptoms, the two causes of the spinning type fish is swim bladder disease and ammonia poisoning. I suspect ammonia poisoning (as that was how I lost my first fish) and that swim bladder disease is not contaigious (I don't think) and is kind of rare.

Is there somewhere (probably lfs, but preferably another liquid test kit) where you could get another test?
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