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Old 08-16-2017, 10:17 AM   #1
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Help with dying fish

Over the last week, I've lost 5 fish and I'm sure there's one I'll find when I get home from work.

Chronology:
Wednesday last week, I added 2 seemingly healthy blue rams. One was dead between Thursday night and Friday afternoon. Nitrites tested 10 at the time, a couple hours later I was 0 across the board. Sometime between then and Sunday, I swapped out the junk bio filter in the tetra whisper filters and replaced it with polishing pads and then a day or so later, I re moved carbon in favor of peat. 10% or so water change on Saturday and I scrubbed the algae off my air stone. Other than those things, there was nothing done out of the ordinary.

Sunday night, I found a dead bristlenose and glowlight tetra, water tested fine. Monday night found a dead black neon, and this morning, the other ram and a very faded and distressed black neon that will probably be gone when I get home. Water test last night proved nothing, ammonia, tries and tested we're all 0, pH 7.2, only thing off was my hardness, but I can't for the life of me remember the number. It was normal anyways, we are blessed (cough) with incredibly hard water around here. I plan on doing a large (40-50%) water change tonight.

There's no signs of disease that I can tell, but something is picking my fish off one by one. Here's to hoping someone can give me an idea and I thank you all in advance.
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:51 AM   #2
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To add a bit more, this is a 40 breeder with a tetra whisper ex45 filter, temperature around 79ļ, +-. There were aboutr 20-22 glowlight tetras, 15 black neon, 4 otocinclus, 2 bristlenose, a handful of ghost shrimp, 5 or 6 mystery snails and a few small nerites. Parameters have been stable for the most part, regular water changes of 10-15% weekly. Gravel vac done with water changes. Filter media is not changed on a schedule, but done at about 3-5 weeks (when I feel it's been close to a month and it looks dirty enough.) I dose flourish once a week, envy and propel (aquavitro) twice and excel thrice, all in accordance to the directions. 1 capful of each on the days that I use them, two capfuls of excel with water changes, but I've been doing it that way for several weeks and built up to that amount. The rams and 2 oto cats were floated and added last Wednesday, the new ram was drip acclimated Friday evening and thats the one that passed last night. Nothing seems off limits to whatever is going on in here.
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:58 AM   #3
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Except for the Pleco, the rest of the fatalities are of relatively fragile fish, sensitive to changing water conditions. It sounds like you are knowledgeable about tank maintenance, IMO, only change out the filter pad when its about to decompose. Just rinse it out in used tank water once every two weeks. When you add new media into the filter, if space allows, keep the old pad in with the new for a few days to seed the new pad.The addition of peat was likely a good move for keeping rams and I don't run carbon in my filters either. As for the rams, they might have been infected with intestinal problems from their stay at the LFS, or just fell victim to rapidly changing water conditions. I think the best course of action is wait two or three weeks before replacing any fish. Once a week 25% WC. Don't clean your filter media for a few weeks allowing it to age and grow a new BB bed. When your tank levels out, likely the fish will be fine. Good luck.
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Old 08-16-2017, 11:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V227 View Post
Except for the Pleco, the rest of the fatalities are of relatively fragile fish, sensitive to changing water conditions. It sounds like you are knowledgeable about tank maintenance, IMO, only change out the filter pad when its about to decompose. Just rinse it out in used tank water once every two weeks. When you add new media into the filter, if space allows, keep the old pad in with the new for a few days to seed the new pad.The addition of peat was likely a good move for keeping rams and I don't run carbon in my filters either. As for the rams, they might have been infected with intestinal problems from their stay at the LFS, or just fell victim to rapidly changing water conditions. I think the best course of action is wait two or three weeks before replacing any fish. Once a week 25% WC. Don't clean your filter media for a few weeks allowing it to age and grow a new BB bed. When your tank levels out, likely the fish will be fine. Good luck.
I should add, after the bristlenose and first tetra, I did add carbon back in, maybe that was a bit premature. I will surely start a different media schedule in a few weeks after this (hopefully) settles down.

The tetras don't bother me too much, I mean it sucks losing fish and I've never had an issue like this in several years. But I don't mind the extra room, I'd like some black winged hatchet and a group of pygmy cories in time, but this isn't how I envisioned it happening.

I understand the rams can be difficult to keep, but are fairly hardy if they make it past the first few weeks. I don't plan on anymore fish for now, much like you suggested. I'd like to get this fixed before I worry about replacing fish with more that may die just like the rest. Thanks for your help.
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Old 08-16-2017, 06:32 PM   #5
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Casualty update: I can't count my tetras, they won't stay still, but I can't find a body for the one that looked rough this morning. I do hope he shook it off. (That was before and right after lights turned on though, so he could've just been faded from overnight). I did find an too cat, which is also not surprising. I put 2 in a week ago today and noticed last night that one was looking rather scrawny. Upsetting, nonetheless. I will do 10% water change tonight and will be doing the same any day I lose a fish now until this stops and I'm cutting fertilizers oujt of the equation. I suppose I'll change the variables that I can control.
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