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Old 01-22-2017, 11:46 AM   #1
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Rainbowfish dies within minutes

Hi All!

Decided to sign up for this forum to get some leads regarding my dead Rainbows.
But let me first tell the whole story. I used to have fish for a long time when I lived in Germany. Probably for around 15 years. I gave up the hobby when I moved to the US since I was always renting. Now that I have my own house and more space, i decided to start again. I bought a little tank (36G) and quickly discovered the beauty of Rainbows. I decided to buy five (Bosemani, Turquoise) - well, so I thought. Now that they are older, it turned out that they are Australian Rainbows, so I guess PetSmart did not even know what they selling. But that is not my problem. When I first bought them (first 3, then 2), one of them got quickly sick. They were getting a curved spine and dying quickly. It was always one of the two groups I bought which died. At that time, I thought the aquarium was not cycled properly so I did lots of water changes until it was stable. No problems since. I bought a bigger tank to house more Rainbows since I wanted to give the appropriate space. The cycle is completed since a few weeks and I introduced stepwise fish. On Friday my new 6 Rainbows arrived, in great color, adjusted quickly back to normal, were eating. Swimming around with the previously wrong categorized Rainbows, which I also transfered to the bigger tank. Last night, i was feeding fried Tubifex and I realized one Turquoise Rainbow was not eating, just listless between the other fish. It had good color, was just not paying attention to the food. While I was watching (litterally all within seconds), he developed a curved spine, really bent head, it looked crazy. Still with good color and some darker patches where he started to curve/bent. After 2-3 minutes, the color went away, white with dark patches, not able to swim, completely curved. He did withn 10 minutes. From perfect straight to dead within minutes. And this is kind of how it was with the previous Rainbows as well in the smaller tank. I read a lot about fish TB but I am stunned by this quick and sudden development, it is not a slow progress. All literally while watching the others eat. I attached two pictures I was able to take. Now, that this is happening again, I would really like to know what the deal is. It does not look like a disease to me, more like a "shock". But where the hell does it come from all of the sudden after being in the tank and swimming happily before. Any clues would be great. I love these fish but I never had such an experience before. Usually my fish only died when they got old, I never had a tank disease in my "career".

Here are the stats:
1- Turquoise Rainbowfish (introduced 1 day ago).
2- Amm 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 0, 80F, pH 6.8-7.0 (measured twice)
3- 75G, cycling finished for 3 weeks, stepwise fish introduced
(3 clown loaches, 1 thomasi pleco, 3 "old" Rainbows, 6 newly introduced)
4- Canister filter, 525 gph.
5- 13 fish total, all still pretty young, around 2".
6- Did a 50% WC the day before the new Rainbows arrived. Since they like WC, I usually do 25% every week.
7- Had the fish only for one day, acclimated the standard way with adding stepwise tank water to the bag over an hour.
8- Nothing else was done to the tank.
9- I feed various flakes, veggie stuff, bloodworms, tubifex

Any idea what this could cause so quickly go down is much appreciated.
Michael
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Old 01-22-2017, 12:14 PM   #2
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I see two things here.
1. Nitrates 0. While possible id make sure you are shaking the tube really well. You should have some.
2. Most common cause of bent spines is TB research that.
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Old 01-22-2017, 12:38 PM   #3
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Many disease cause bent spine.
I strongly dis agree with TB.It usually takes weeks to kill the fish right in front of your eyes..Not minutes or days,,
There is one disease that acts FAST and has curved spine I can think of....
Columnaris! Tis the season....
You need to read the links I have provided in this thread..
It really is columnaris season! You have strain 1.
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...er-354099.html
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Old 01-22-2017, 12:40 PM   #4
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Coral is columnaris common in rainbows?
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Old 01-22-2017, 02:40 PM   #5
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I don't think it cares what fish it kills?
I wiped out my 2-4 year old swordtails just like above.
Sometimes not minutes but a day.
You could see who was next!
IMO one of the original rainbows from pet whoever is the carrier that will live with the disease no problem while the disease hits all the weak new fish it can...It is very infectious....Moving at the speed described above this OP will be telling about more deaths before tomorrow IMO?
If not strain 2-3?
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Old 01-22-2017, 02:44 PM   #6
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Definitely possible. Ive dealt with it alot as im a guppy/endler guy. Ironically ive never had bent spine issue. But have had them die within 24hrs
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Old 01-22-2017, 03:07 PM   #7
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We had columnaris do EXACTLY this with our western rainbows when I was a teenager. All 6 died / were euthanized and we started again from scratch with a new filter and after the tank had been cleaned with something my dad wouldn't let anyone anywhere near.

I guess you'll know tomorrow maybe as more fish will die.

We only knew what it was because our local LFS lost a lot of stock to it and we had just bought a new fish from them and not quarantined.

I hope for you it was something else. I don't know how to successfully treat it... Some of the more experienced guys might
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Old 01-22-2017, 07:13 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies and hints.
As I mentioned in my original post, I don't think it is TB either since it goes so quick and you can literally watch the fish die within a couple of minutes.

I am not sure if it just from the shipping, stress or an injury and thus was susceptible to something. I looked into the Columnaris. The only thing which makes me wonder all the time is that they have no signs of anything. No spots, lesions, visible infections, patches. Shouldn't this show up before they die so quickly and be very visible?

In case one of the early Rainbows is the carrier, I assume the only way to get this under control is to have healthy fish? I mean, it seems this is a omnipresent pathogen which only breaks out once the fish is weak. Otherwise their immune system keeps it under control?

There were two fish swimming in the filter stream all the time. One is now very active swimming back and forth in the back, the other still every now and then in the filter stream.
Could the light be too intense/stressful for Rainbows? I have two LED strips. I reduced already one to a lower intensity. Just not sure what else I could do to reduce stress.
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Old 01-22-2017, 07:15 PM   #9
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Stress could have already been done compromising immune system. Lights are rarely an issue for most fish.
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Old 01-22-2017, 07:18 PM   #10
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Ours columnaris deaths were quick and it struck only the gills but you couldn't see visible damage apart from having a really invasive look PM.

As far as stress goes. Mine seem to respond well to turning lights off completely and reducing ambient noise. Good luck
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