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Old 04-06-2004, 02:18 AM   #1
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Lost 5 fish since last Wednesday!!

I am not sure what is going on here.
Tank: 29 gal, no detectable nitrites or ammonia (nitrate test is MIA), tank has been running for months (we switched around numerous tanks a month ago and then two weeks ago switched substrate and fish from two tanks, which included the 29 gal).
Fish: down to two female Mollies and 3 Celebes Rainbows (had 3 Mollies and 5 Celebes plus two replacements)

Last Wed morning, I saw that two Celebes had died overnight. We pulled them out, checked the bodies (fine) and checked the levels (fine). That evening, we went to the LFS and asked if he was having a problem with the Rainbows. Nope! The fish were replaced for free and I thought perhaps I hadn't fed them enough, since they were not wild about flake food. The next morning, everyone ate brine shrimp and I left for the weekend. On Sunday when I returned in the afternoon, I saw another Rainbow had died (body and water levels were fine). Before bed last night (around midnight), I checked the tank to find another dead one!!
This is getting annoying.
This evening, I noticed the water was murky, like a haze. It may have been this way for a while (a week or so). None of my other tanks look this way. My fiancé and I discussed pulling the filter (Fluval) and rinsing the media and water changing tomorrow (since it was 10 pm). Then I noticed a dead Molly. Again, no detectable ammonia or nitrite and the body looked fine. We did a 1/3 water change and pulled the filter. There is very little growing on the ceramic media, more bacteria was on the sponge. I thought that was odd since that Fluval had been on that tank since it housed our community fish back in January. The other odd/coincidental thing is the dead fish are all found in the same area of the tank.

Any idea as to what is wrong with my tank? All other tanks are fine, no losses and no cloudiness (including the tank I swapped fish and substrate two weeks ago).
BTW--this is supposed to be my brackish tank and there is some salt in there, but not much since I am waiting on the bumble bee gobies and wanted to acclimatize them all together, since all these fish were bought FW.
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Old 04-06-2004, 07:28 AM   #2
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Don't have any definite answers, but a few questions:

Is there anything else you add to the 29 gal tank that you don't add to the other tanks, besides salt, that would contaminate the tank?

The other tank isn't cloudy? Perhaps due to the substrate change a bacterial bloom is starting again and the tank needs to cycle...but you said the NH3 and NO2 were fine...so this may not be it.

It sounds like a contaminant to me, either in cleaning or the reset of the tank, or in something that was added.

HTH!
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Old 04-06-2004, 01:09 PM   #3
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Hmmm, I'm not sure. The pH is 7.6/7.8 and all fish are alive this morning. After moving the fish and substrate, I added a large decoration made for aquariums and rinsed it well. A week later, I bought fake plants and added them, after rinsing well. After vacuuming the gravel last night, very little came out of it (makes sense, there are so few fish). I double-checked all my tanks this morning and none are cloudy, with the exception of the 29 gal (although, it is clearer since the water change).
The tank is located in the kitchen, on the wall furthest from the cooking area. Although when it had a sand substrate with the brichardi and shellies, it was clear.
I have not cleaned it with anything. I may have to blame the cats for this
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Old 04-06-2004, 10:38 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear about the loss of your fish. Wish I could help you with this problem, but I am not sure.
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Old 04-06-2004, 11:15 PM   #5
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The mystery and unexplainable diseases/deaths are always the most frustrating.

I wish I could help, but I can't offer up any suggestions other than what I would do in the same situation (partial water change every 12-24 hours, religiously monitor water parameters, QT any suspect fish)
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Old 04-07-2004, 02:34 PM   #6
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The fish are not looking ill--that's my biggest problem!! We lost another one last night. I will be QTing the fish, or putting them in my very stable community tank and putting in the ugly tetras from the comm tank into the 29 gal to re-cycle it, or whatever. The tetras are stronger fish and I will see what happens. I don't understand my readings--undectectable everytime!! I'm not using strips, so I trust the readings, for now I'm disheartened that my canister filter media isn't FULL of bacteria. This is a PITA!!
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Old 04-07-2004, 03:02 PM   #7
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Sorry to hear about these problems, Menagerie. Sorry I really can't add much to what has already been said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Menagerie
I may have to blame the cats for this
That's right - blame the cat! Any chance the cats knocked something into the tank or worse - sprayed anything into it?

I would have the lfs check the water params to rule out any problems with your test kit.
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Old 04-07-2004, 05:11 PM   #8
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All the cats are female and would have a hard time carrying anything over to the tank to knock into it
I will be bringing a water sample to the LFS to get it tested for everything he's got a test for!
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Old 04-08-2004, 01:12 AM   #9
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Okay, water husbandry has been cleared by my trusted LFS guy (yes, trusted ). I even got full credit for my dead fish. As for now, the two Mollies and two Celebes are in QT and my four full-bodied tetras and convict cichlid are in the 29 gal until it straightens out. After that, I think I will put in kribs. I give up on the BW tank--no one has been able to get me bumble bee gobies, I never really wanted to own Mollies and the Celebes were bought because they could live in a brackish tank and were way cuter than the Mollies (yes, a lot of you love your Mollies, but after owning them for a month, they still have not grown on me). The Mollies and Celebes will live out their lives in the 50 gal community tank.
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Old 04-17-2004, 08:23 PM   #10
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sorry for your frustration, the worst part is no visible clue, you gave me some advice on a internal parasite and not mixing meds. it was heeded and results are slow but steady, i have on one occasion purchased a new ornament that LUCKILY while rinsing found it had been glued not with good stuff magnifying glass may help good luck
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Old 04-17-2004, 09:42 PM   #11
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Update:
One Celebes remained alive and I gave it back to the LFS.
The Mollies are living with my community fish in the 50 gal.
Currently in the 29 gal tank there are 4 rounder bodied tetras and the juvie convict cichlid. No deaths since putting them in there 10 days ago.
I do believe I found a clue!! The plug for the outlet strip (which has the heater, fluval and lights plugged in) seems to like to come out of the wall. And I can blame the cats!! Squirrel, our rambunctious 3 year old and permanent indoor kitty, gets pretty wild with the catnip toys and is THE MOST UNGRACEFUL CAT!! She likes to run around the kitchen, where the tank is. Now, I just double-check the plug to make sure it's in the wall everyday
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Old 04-17-2004, 11:40 PM   #12
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I'd still be leery if I were you...

Though you have a loose outlet (we are replacing ours like that one by one) that is too easy an answer and doesn't explain how you could miss a temp drop. You would have noticed a temp drop of any health hazard when you were taking all the important readings looking for answers. And the filter going silent more than just a few moments (or are fluvals nice and quiet?). A wee few seconds, even a hour, can't do much harm.

If your house is like mine and all standing water bodies drop to a nice frosty 50 within a few hours if there are no source of heat it can be a pain, but I get 1-2 hour brown outs on a bi-weekly basis. Only the major blackouts cause probs. Watch that tank for anything suspicious...
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Old 04-18-2004, 12:32 PM   #13
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Just a thought,Is it possible that something in the tank could be leaking voltage into the water column?I had a bad heater once that was leaking about 30 volts AC.The only reason I checked was that I had strange deaths same as you.I heard that salt tanks can be notorious for this hence the need for the ground probe.After I replaced the heater,no more deaths and the remaining fish even acted differently.Something to check for anyway.
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Old 04-18-2004, 09:55 PM   #14
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How eerie.. deja vuI just lost my favorite fish and some baby snails today with a heater that was leaking.. when I took it out to feel it for warmth it was full of water!

I was devastated..this fish, a half giant marble plakat female with a full half moon tail with great branching. To me she was My Alvilda, one of my favorites. She was such a gentle gentile lady and my daughter was even going to breed her this week
She was moved to that tank to recover from somehow tearing out one of her ventral find a few weeks ago. I was keeping super water quality to heal her fast and some antibiotic. maybe I knocked the heater against something during a water change...
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Old 04-18-2004, 11:47 PM   #15
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Well, the temp never seems to go cold and if the heater were broken, I would have expected to lose the tetras and convict. It's still a mystery I guess. ~OR~ I just can't keep Celebes
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