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Old 12-01-2013, 08:35 PM   #1
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Exclamation HELP!! ALL of my fish suddenly died!

I sincerely hope someone can help me figure out what has happened to my tank. I have a 75 gallon with a Fluval 406 canister filter and a Coralife skimmer. Last Sunday (a week ago today), I noticed that all of my fish went VERY suddenly lethargic, staying in one spot near the bottom and not acting normally. They were all fine earlier that same day, eating, grazing on the rocks and their normal happy selves. I immediately knew SOMETHING was wrong, so I ran a full test of the water, suspecting that some parameter was amiss. To my surprise, all tests came back completely normal...SG 1.024, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 5 or less nitrates, pH 8.2, Kh 10, phosphates near zero, calcium 440. But just to try to be safe, I put fresh carbon in the filter, added a couple of bags of Purigen, and changed 10% of the water and went to bed hoping the fish would be OK. But it was not to be...the next morning they looked even worse, so I changed the carbon again, did a 40% water change, checked water chemistry again with the same good results. No improvement by the end of the day, but hoped for the best the next morning. This time, several of the fish had died during the night, and ALL of the rest of them were dead by the end of the day. An examination of the fish showed nothing unusual...with the possible exception of maybe a bit of "mistiness" on a couple of them...

I lost a yellow tang, flame angel, purple firefish goby, a 6 line wrasse, a clown and my beautiful mandarin goby...everything.

Here is the strange thing, however...I have about 50 lbs of live rock, 2 inches of Bahama live sand, a curly anemone, 2 cleaner shrimp, 1 red fire shrimp, an arrow and emerald crab, a sand sifting starfish and some softie corals...ALL of which were unaffected by this disaster...very peculiar to me, because the inverts are usually the first to go when something goes wrong, but they are all alive and thriving here a week later.

On Friday, I visited the LFS with a water sample and hopefully for some advice as to what could possibly have happened in such a short period of time...I even brought the deceased fish with me (I had frozen them for inspection), and the LFS owner could not detect anything at all wrong with the fish OR the water. At this point the tank had been barren of fish for 3 days, so he suggested to try a couple of tough damsels to see if they would get sick and die as well. So they were added to the tank Friday...one died today with the exact same symptoms and I expect the other to be dead by morning.

What could possibly be wrong with my tank? Why would ALL of the fish die and NONE of the corals or inverts? And even scarier, whatever is causing this is still there, but can't be identified?

I PRAY someone can help...please ask any questions that would be pertinent to helping me solve this mystery. I am sick to death and totally depressed over losing all of my fish and no answers as to why
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:41 PM   #2
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I know this may sound amateur, I hear these tragic stories time and time again and all I can think is it has has to be some outside pollution, whether it be a cleaning product, insecticide on a w/c hose or some contaminate in the air. Think outside the box, literally..
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:47 PM   #3
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If the inverts and coral are doing fine, then it was more likely a disease or parasite, but went pretty quick...more likely they were sick for awhile.
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:49 PM   #4
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I know this may sound amateur, I hear these tragic stories time and time again and all I can think is it has has to be some outside pollution, whether it be a cleaning product, insecticide on a w/c hose or some contaminate in the air. Think outside the box, literally..
The LFS guy asked the same question...especially about air fresheners, which I don't use. But what really puzzled him is how the super sensitive inverts could survive whatever is in there and not the fish
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:51 PM   #5
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If the inverts and coral are doing fine, then it was more likely a disease or parasite, but went pretty quick...more likely they were sick for awhile.
I wonder how long I should let the tank be barren of fish before I try again? Or should I treat it with something like Pimafix or Melafix in the meantime?
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:55 PM   #6
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I wish I had an answer for you, best if luck! I hope to hear good news soon
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:59 PM   #7
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I know with Ich it's 6 weeks.
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:02 PM   #8
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I know with Ich it's 6 weeks.
Yes, thank you. But I'm certain it's not Ich...there were no signs of spots on the fish..and these 2 new damsels either...I don't think if it were Ich that it would kill them in less than 2 days anyway, right?
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:05 PM   #9
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I'm not really an expert on illnesses, because I've never had any happen to my fish (knock on wood). But it sounds to me like an internal parasite.
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:10 PM   #10
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It could of been marine velvet. I know it can kill a tank very quickly.
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