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Old 03-31-2008, 12:01 PM   #1
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Entire Tank is Dying...help

About 10 months ago, my husband and I set up a freshwater aquarium with Orandas. The tank has been healthy and thriving until about a month ago. I woke up one morning and suddenly found one dead. I was shocked becuase he showed NO SIGNS of being sick or ill. A week or two later, one by one, they have been dying. The start becoming disoriented and being running into plants and things in the tank. They will then reamain in the same spot at the bottom of the tank where their breathing becomes very labored and heavy. They will still eat in this state,their appetite never slows. By the next day, they appear very weak and die. I have not introduced any new fish in at least 6 months and I do a 25% change of water each month. Does anybody know what can be killing the Orandas and can it be fixed? I took a water sample to PetSmart and they said everything was ok. I only have one Oranda left (knock on wood he is VERY healthy)...help!!
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:09 PM   #2
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There hasn't been any changes at all to the tank except water changes in over 6months? How many have died, all the same kind of fish? How many fish in what size tank? Have you tested your tank for Nitrates, Ammonia, PH

Sometimes the source water can be a problem testing the source and the tank water will help determine the problem, Also I would suggest maybe a 20% water change every 2weeks verses monthly

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Old 03-31-2008, 12:21 PM   #3
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Thanks for the welcome!! There have been no changes except for the water. So far, a total of 5 has died within the past month. They were all Orandas. I believe it is a 25G tank. I only have one Oranda left plus one Otocinclus (I had 2 but one of those mysteriously died as well). I have raised the water temp from 75 to about 80 degrees over the past week. As far as the source water, it comes out of my tap and I then de-clorinate it..nothing else. Like I said, the tank has been fine for 10 months. I am beginning to wonder if something was wrong with the fish when I bought them.
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:22 PM   #4
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...and it's not like they are all dying at once. It seems that as soon as one died, another one starts to show the symptoms of being sick.
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:40 PM   #5
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I was reading a little on Oranda's since I was unfamiliar with them, they can be a pretty big fish over time for a 25g I would not suggest more than 2,(world record golfish is a 15" Oranda) They are prone to have swim bladder problems and this could be what you are seing, someone else will have to chime in on that one. I would start by buying some tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, PH usually you can get a complete API freshwater kit for fairly cheap, buy the liquid kind not the strips. After you test your parameters post them on the site and we can help to determine your problem. Elevated ammonia,nitrates could be a problem. When did you take your sample to Petsmart? when you say the fish are acting disoriented and running into plants it makes me wonder if its a swim-bladder problem
here is some info on it
index

If your goldfish have white spots on them it could be ICH do you see anything like that on your fish.
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Old 03-31-2008, 03:14 PM   #6
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I agree, a 25g is only big enough for maybe 1 or 2. Really, I wouldn't keep more than 1 in that size tank since they are so messy. Your monthly water changes weren't near enough either. With the amount of fish you had in the tank, you should have been doing every other day water changes. These fish need alot of gallons of water because they are dirty fish (poop alot) and because they get so large. A pond would be ideal for a group of them, but having a 50g tank would be ok for about 3-4 of the fancy type Goldies. Even with that size tank, you want to do atleast 1 weekly water change of about 30-40%. And have alot of filtration.

My guess on why they have recently started dying is that they were growing and finally the amount of waste they produce was enough to harm them. I'd guess that you had some ammonia and/or nitrItes in the water and that petsmart didn't tell you this. Either that or you had super elevated nitrAtes from all the waste.

Keep your lone Goldie in the 25g and don't add anymore. Do weekly water changes of about 30%. If you want more, I suggest getting a larger tank. A good rule (not the best though) is 20g for the 1st goldfish and every additional goldie should get 10 more gallons, meaning that in a 30g tank, you'd be ok with 2.
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:21 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice. The Orandas in my tank aren't full grown, they are still babies and are <2 inches in length. I guess I should have specified. As far as clairity is concerned, I had 2 algae eaters and the water looks really clear and doesn't seem to be dirty. I vacuum the rocks fairly often as well. I do know that the fish do not have ICK. I am familiar with it and I know what it looks like. As far as nitrates and etc., I will have to go to the store and buy a test kit. I will keep you posted. Thanks all!
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klj_current View Post
Thanks for the advice. I vacuum the rocks fairly often as well.
With messy eaters like goldfish, Oscars etc.. a lot of people have no substrate and go bare bottom Waste and debri gets trapped in the rocks and will elevate the toxin levels in your tank. When you vacuum its easy to stir it up and release the waste. Its not as appealing to go bare bottom but prevents a problem. If it was me I would just sprinkle a small amount of rocks on the tank bottom for looks to help cover the glass just not enough for waste to be trapped.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:37 PM   #9
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Good idea. I got a test kit. Here are my levels:

pH: 7.2
ammonia: 1.0 ppm
nitrate: 5.0 ppm
nitrite: 0 ppm

I am new at this but by reading the instructions that came with the test kit, I think these numbers confirm your theory of trapped waste and bad gasses. Is that right? In the future, I will definitely check my water once a week. This was really helpful.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:44 PM   #10
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Wow you must have bought a test kit right after you read the post. Good job
Never trust advice from Petsmart always trust the friendly folks here at AA, its saved me a lot of headache for sure. The Ammonia is what you should be concerned about Nitrate is not at a harmfull level you only should be concerned if its above 20ppm The ammonia turns to Nitrite and then nitrate from the bacteria colonies that live on the surface area's of your tank that digest it. My guess is that The tank being so new and having such as huge Bio-load of waste that the little baby bacteria could not keep up with the waste. It takes time for the Bacteria to mature. Thats what your tank need now is time, Keep up with the weekly water changes and testing and don't add anything new to the tank until you ask about it on this site and you should be fine.
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