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Old 01-27-2011, 01:10 PM   #1
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New tank, lots of deaths...?

I'm wondering if anyone has any insight as to what the heck is going on here... I'm not really new to fishkeeping, but am a bit baffled as I've never encountered this particular problem before.

I have a fairly new 10 gallon set up, and am encountering far too many deaths. On Boxing Day I added 6 guppies and 10 red cherry shrimp to the tank (after cycling) and a couple of live plants - some Baby Tears and a Marble Queen. Everything was going smoothly. Within a few days, one of the females looked about ready to pop, so I placed her in a seperate birthing trap and found 40+ babies the following morning.

Over the next 3 days, I found a dead adult every day (including the mother of the fry), and then the fry started dying in large numbers too. I was finding 5 or 6 bodies every day...

Initially I wondered if perhaps the mother had something wrong that was passed on to the babies and could maybe explain the multiple deaths.

I put it down to bad luck, kept up on the water changes, and things seem to have stabilized. Granted, I only have 2 surviving fry, but haven't lost any more fish for over a week now.

Assuming it was bad luck and that I was now in the clear, I added 3 more females on Tuesday evening, bringing my total to 2 males and 4 females. Everthing was great and everyone looked happy when they were introduced. I floated the new girls for half an hour, released them into the tank, turned the lights off and left them to settle overnight.

Yesterday morning I noticed two of the females had white pectorals. No fuzz, no growths - their fins looked almost cloudy, for lack of a better word. I gave them a cube of frozen bloodworm, which was polished off in about 30 seconds, turned their light off and left them for the day. When I got home last night, the "white" was worse. Their pectorals (and only pectorals) look split and ragged, and one female in particular isn't using them at all now. She's only using her tail to get about. One of the males now also appears to have white lips (not fuzzy at all) and seems a bit quiet, and he was absolutely thriving before these girls were added.

I'm wondering if something came in with the new additions, but I have no idea what. Either that or there was an underlying problem which was triggered with the new additions. I really don't want to lose these fish. Small as it may be, I really love my aquarium.

I use the 5-in-1 test strips to monitor the water, and everything appears to be ideal. I have an air stone in the tank, and it's running at a steady 79 degrees. I do a 10% water change every Wednesday and Sunday, and do a 50% water change every other Sunday.

Whatever this is isn't affecting the shrimp, which is what's got me confused. From what I've been able to find through Google searches, any major water problems should be affecting the shrimp.

Any ideas? I'm considering getting some Maracyn on my way home from work, but don't want to medicate if there's another solution. I have kept guppies in the past, and have never encountered this before. Please help!
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:22 PM   #2
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Before posting about unhealthy fish, read this!
Answer these Qs to ensure we have as much information as possible about your ailing fish and its environment:

1~What type of fish is afflicted? In addition, please describe what is wrong with the fish to the best of your ability (i.e. cotton like growth, bloated, etc.).
2~What are your tank parameters (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, temp, pH)? Please give exact values.
3~ How large is the tank? How long has the tank been set up?
4~What type of filtration are you using? Please give the name and number (i.e. Fluval 304) and amount of gph if known.
5~How many fish are in the tank? What kinds of fish are they and what are their current sizes?
6~When is the last time you did a water change and vacuum the gravel? How often do you do this? How much water do you remove at a time?
7~How long have you had the fish? If the fish is new, how did you acclimate it/them?
8~Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.?
9~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently?
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:24 PM   #3
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How long was the tank setup prior to boxing day? Was it cycled?

For a 10 gallon - even a fully cycled one - adding 6 fish all at once is a sudden and massive change. The filters will have not had a hope of catching up. The Cherry Shrimps are quite sensitive to problems, they were dead the instant they hit your water because of that. They're probably just lucky that the guppies have died and lessened the bioload for them...

You can only fit maybe 4 adult guppies in a 10 gallon and have sufficient filtration anyway in my opinion.
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:25 PM   #4
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Could be a bad shipment of guppies or a bad breeder. Remove all the current guppies from your tank and do a good water change. Wait a day or two and add some more guppies from another store and see how that does.
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:46 PM   #5
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Shrimp normally are very sensitive to water conditions and SeverumGuy is correct, you could have gotten a batch of unhealthy guppies....However I would really recommend you get a liquid water test kit. I have both test strips and a liquid (API) test kit and I can tell you that the ammonia test strips seem very unreliable to me. Since any amount of ammonia/nitrites over .25ppm can stress your fish, it's really important to know exactly what is going on with your water parameters.
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