Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 02-20-2017, 02:29 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 79
Fish suddenly dying off

After being away from aquariums for 30+ years, I've had my 65 gallon tank set up for about 2.5 months. Strictly old school, it has natural gravel, hard limestone rocks (from around the Beaver Lake area in NW Arkansas), driftwood bought from an aquarium shop and seasoned for about 12 months, and live plants. I'm using a Bio-wheel filter and a submersible heater. I added liquid bacteria (this was new to me) and let it cycle for about a week. I began with Otocinclus (6), then about a week later added two banded Plecostomus and three Corydoras sterbae. About a week after that, I bought six small (nickel body size) silver angelfish, then a few days later added six blue rams. The rams died off to one blue and one bolivian that had been part of the ram purchase by mistake (both species were in the same tank at the store). I added a trio of marigold swordtails, then a trio of pineapple swords.Everything remained stable with the fish eagerly eating, no shyness, angels growing like weeds, etc. Then about a ten days ago, I six small black angels. They seemed to do well until I then tried to replenish the ram population a few days later Since that time, I've been experiencing a die-off. All but one of the black angels have died, three of my original silvers, and several of the rams. No apparent disease other than one by one ceasing eating, then hiding, then dying. Now all three of my remaining silvers are hiding and not eating. The rest seem to be more shy, but eating well.

Did I get too greedy with my last additions? Could this have knocked the nitrogen cycle out of whack in a tank this size? I've done a couple of partial water changes; have not tested the pH or nitrogen (as I said, old school), but I think I'm going to break down and get the kits to do so.

Obviously I'm not going to add any more fish for a while. I would be grateful for any insights, advice, or information that y'all could give me,

Thanks in advance.
__________________

__________________
Larry Little is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2017, 08:19 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Little View Post
After being away from aquariums for 30+ years, I've had my 65 gallon tank set up for about 2.5 months. Strictly old school, it has natural gravel, hard limestone rocks (from around the Beaver Lake area in NW Arkansas), driftwood bought from an aquarium shop and seasoned for about 12 months, and live plants. I'm using a Bio-wheel filter and a submersible heater. I added liquid bacteria (this was new to me) and let it cycle for about a week. I began with Otocinclus (6), then about a week later added two banded Plecostomus and three Corydoras sterbae. About a week after that, I bought six small (nickel body size) silver angelfish, then a few days later added six blue rams. The rams died off to one blue and one bolivian that had been part of the ram purchase by mistake (both species were in the same tank at the store). I added a trio of marigold swordtails, then a trio of pineapple swords.Everything remained stable with the fish eagerly eating, no shyness, angels growing like weeds, etc. Then about a ten days ago, I six small black angels. They seemed to do well until I then tried to replenish the ram population a few days later Since that time, I've been experiencing a die-off. All but one of the black angels have died, three of my original silvers, and several of the rams. No apparent disease other than one by one ceasing eating, then hiding, then dying. Now all three of my remaining silvers are hiding and not eating. The rest seem to be more shy, but eating well.

Did I get too greedy with my last additions? Could this have knocked the nitrogen cycle out of whack in a tank this size? I've done a couple of partial water changes; have not tested the pH or nitrogen (as I said, old school), but I think I'm going to break down and get the kits to do so.

Obviously I'm not going to add any more fish for a while. I would be grateful for any insights, advice, or information that y'all could give me,

Thanks in advance.
************************************************** ******
Without knowing your water parameters it's difficult to speculate about what might have happened. Your tank was certainly heavily stocked. Had you done any filter maintenance before the die-off? Did you change your feeding regimen at all? Did you get all the fish from the same LFS? Do you have a way of checking the water temperature to ensure the heater is working properly?
__________________

__________________
Yorg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2017, 01:45 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 79
Yes to filter maintenance; twice. Gradually added foods (three flake formulas and frozen brine shrimp/bloodworms); frozen foods twice per week. Fish have all been locally bought, but from different stores. I use a digital probe thermometer (I'm a restaurant inspector so I have an extra thermometer that reads to the tenth of a degree.
__________________
Larry Little is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2017, 08:16 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Little View Post
Yes to filter maintenance; twice. Gradually added foods (three flake formulas and frozen brine shrimp/bloodworms); frozen foods twice per week. Fish have all been locally bought, but from different stores. I use a digital probe thermometer (I'm a restaurant inspector so I have an extra thermometer that reads to the tenth of a degree.
************************************************** ***
Understood. Yes, it's possible that your biofilter overloaded, especially if during filter maintenance you lost some of the beneficial bacteria (that could occur if you replaced or cleaned a large amount of media).

If there are no visible or behavioral signs of disease or injury on the fish, then I would recommend getting a test kit and checking the levels of the nitrogen compounds (ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate) as well as the ph of the water. If you have detectable levels of either ammonia or nitrite, that could be your fishkiller; if your nitrate level is high (>60ppm) then that could be contributing to the problem as well. The water conditioner Prime will help protect your fish from ammonia or nitrite poisoning until your nitrogen cycle is reestablished.

Since your tank is heavily stocked, more frequent water changes and substrate vacuuming might be a good idea, especially if you have high nitrate levels. Also, extra aeration (if you have the means to provide it) is helpful in a heavily stocked tank, too. A small sponge filter would not only provide some more aeration but would also give you some supplemental filtration as well.

I would avoid adding more fish until you get your baseline water parameters and can ensure that your nitrogen cycle is working. If you're at all like me and have a heavy hand with the fish food, you might try cutting back a bit at feeding time if you can while ensuring that everybody gets a bite to eat. Uneaten food in a crowded tank will also put a strain on the nitrifying bacteria.
__________________
Yorg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2017, 08:38 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
coralbandit's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Saratoga,NY
Posts: 6,913
Besides the angels and swords none of those belong in anything but an establioshed aquarium.
They are all sensitive to any swings or even the slightest levels of ammonia or nitrite..
Any water changes? If your filter needed maintenance certainly you have made several water changes? Most change water on a schedule derived from test or that is in excess of what is needed.Many weekly ,while some only maintain filter monthly or less.
__________________
Mr.bandit is my YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcS...zPAhmB9QK0UvMA
http://www.aquabid.com/cgi-bin/aucti...er&Coralbandit
^^These are my weekly sales^^ GOT RAMS ???
coralbandit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2017, 08:54 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
flchamp89's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 2,387
That a lot of bioload. I would be surprised if there wasnt lots movement in parameters.
__________________
flchamp89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2017, 06:47 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 79
Bioload is for me very tricky. It was, even in my professional days as a keeper. The standard "quick and dirty" formula of surface area to calculate inches of fish just about worthless. For example, the calculator site I checked ended up saying I could safely house 52" of "Slender-bodied" fish of 31"of "full bodied"Their examples were of tetras and oscars, which is fine, but how do you quantify the difference in biomass between say, a neon tetra and an angelfish; both are "slender-bodied" but vastly different in their overall biomass. As of today, I have two angelfish (body size - silver dollar), one angelfish (body size - nickel), 8' worth of rams, 9' of bloodfin tetra; 10'' of swordtails, 6" of cory cats, 5" of plecostomus, 6" of otocinclus.

Have done an approximate 30% - 35% water change two weeks ago and again today; lost an angel, but now have rams guarding a nest.

The pH is around 7.5; nitrates are around 80ppm. To say I'm flummoxed would be putting it mildly.
__________________
Larry Little is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2017, 06:51 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
flchamp89's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 2,387
Many use aquavisor. However none are perfect. Best to research each individual species you plan to keep imo.
With that load 50 percent wc probably the least youll get away with. To me it would be easier on you and fish to lessen the fish count. At 30 percent tds is rising and not enough ammonia and trates are being removed. So as time goes on gets worse.
__________________
flchamp89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2017, 06:53 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
coralbandit's Avatar

POTM Champion
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Saratoga,NY
Posts: 6,913
Try this site out. It is conservative but that is best way to start.
http://www.aqadvisor.com/
This is by no means the bible but offers many insights along with recommended maintenance schedule.
__________________
Mr.bandit is my YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcS...zPAhmB9QK0UvMA
http://www.aquabid.com/cgi-bin/aucti...er&Coralbandit
^^These are my weekly sales^^ GOT RAMS ???
coralbandit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2017, 07:29 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 79
Hey all -- Well, I've gone 3 days since the last death. But, Since I did my last water change on Monday, all of my fish in this tank are very skittish and shy. They all go into hiding when I go to feed, even the 3 angels; all are coming out to eat when I back off.

One interesting sidebar; two of my blue rams paired off and laid eggs.
__________________

__________________
Larry Little is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dyi, dying, fish

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Healthy looking fish suddenly dying lgeist Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 4 07-22-2015 11:55 AM
Help? Fish suddenly dying. AlmonyMatt Cichlid Discussion 13 01-13-2014 01:15 AM
Fish dying suddenly - established tank buminbeer2 Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 2 09-03-2012 05:10 PM
Fish Dying Suddenly CleverBs Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 4 09-25-2011 12:53 PM
Fish suddenly dying for no reason? This may be the cause. 7Enigma Freshwater & Brackish - Unhealthy Fish 24 01-10-2006 11:52 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×