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Fish Suddenly Dying? Please Help!


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#1 moses123

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 09:06 PM

Apologies for the long post bust please read. Gonna get straight into it. Please help. Usual pH 7.6, 24C, Ammonia/Nitrite 0. Pisces Iron Sand substrate with some dino dung tabs. Initial inhabitants:
Celestial Pearl Danios x20
Cory Barbatus x5
Cory Black Venezuela x10
Royal Whiptails x5
Red whiptails x11
Hillstream loaches x8
Cardinal Tetras x20
Albino congo tetras x10
Emperor tetras x10
Betta fish x2
Threadfin rainbow fish x10
Apisto agasizzi x1
Apisto viejeta x2
Apisto cacatuoides x1
Apisto agasizzi x1
Albino longfin bn x1

On the 14th December, I noticed a white spot on one of my congos so after work went to the LFS and explained the situation and was given a product called ''White Spot Clear'' and to raise temp to 28C. Same night did a 40% water change and added 6mL to my ~180L tank (normal dose is 10mL per 100L).

Morning of 15th December found all my black corys covered in what appeared to be excess slime. And about 5 cardinal tetras missing. Same day after work went to the same LFS and explained the situation again and brought a water sample. Dude tested it out and no problems. Said ''White Spot Clear'' was probably reacting with something they can't test for so gave me tri sulfa tablets instead at a discount. Went home, found most of the slime on the corys cleared up and 3 more dead cardinals, 40% water change and added activated carbon to the filter. Let it run till the next morning.

On the morning of 16th December, removed activated carbon, 30% water change and dissolved 4 tri sulfa tablets in a bucket with aquarium water before adding to tank. 1 cardinal tetras went missing. No dramas. Also noticed that the ''White Spot Clear'' was expired in 2015.

Woke up 17th December and found one cory barbatus dead. Removed. In the afternoon found one emperor tetra dead. Removed. Later in the evening fish started dropping. Found 2 dead hillstream loaches, another dead barbatus (I think another one is about to die as well), one dead red whiptail and my apisto viejita red neck lying on his side with eyes really wide open. Not bulging but wide eyed. Tested my ammonia and came back at 0 with pH 7.6. Can't test for anything else. There may be some more fatalities but its hard to tell with all the wood and plants in tank.

Someone please help, what the hell's going on. I fly out on Monday, my brother knows how to feed and water change, not how to treat for sick fish. I don't want to come back with a wiped out tank. Please help. It will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading.

Edited by moses123, 17 December 2016 - 09:47 PM.


#2 bigjohnnofish

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 11:53 PM

slime on fish can indicate presence of chlorine in your water.... need to ask the question - what water conditioner are you using ??? 

 

white spot treatments can wipe out beneficial bacteria - so i would be keeping closer eye on ammonia levels... how old and what type of ammonia test kit do you have ???

 

your keeping a nice selection of fish there... be worth a few bucks..... worth investing in good test kits and have some treatments on hand.... with whitespot the earlier you catch it -> the better your chances of fish surviving.... catch it too late may as well pour the entire tank contents into your garden for fertilizer.....

 

just keep close eye on your fish for a while - may get secondary infections due to the stress your fish are under....



#3 extend

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 11:54 PM

I would say that a 40% water change after every treatment is not always going to be a helpful thing for the fish.  I would say treat and wait to do a water change as this can stress the fish even more.  Treat but don't do a water change until a few days after the treatment.



#4 moses123

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 08:27 AM

Hey John, I'm using Safe by Seachem. I have an API ammonia test kit but I'm unsure of how old it is. Will take a sample when the LFS opens. I noticed white spot very early if it even is that? I've noticed the original white spot on my congo tetra still there in the exact same spot. It hasn't dropped after 5 or so days? And 3 other cardinal tetras have it in the same spot as well, all on their adipose? fin and no where else and not on any other fish.

Attached File  whitespot.jpg   104.18KB   8 downloads

 

Also, if it is the chlorine in the water, how come only the black corys reacted and not any other fish, not even the barbatus? Here are some photos after using white spot clear, sorry for bad quality. This has all cleared up though except on one cory where it slightly remains.

Attached File  cory 1.jpg   203.67KB   8 downloads

Attached File  cory 2.jpg   87.04KB   8 downloads

Attached File  cory 3.jpg   71.91KB   8 downloads

 

Here is the wide eyed apisto which later died that night.

Attached File  apisto.jpg   180KB   8 downloads

Attached File  apisto 2.jpg   280.98KB   8 downloads

 

I also noticed some red near the fin of a barbatus? I've seen my males fight each other, is this just a wound or something else?
Attached File  barbatus.jpg   254.44KB   8 downloads

Attached File  barbatus 2.jpg   114.73KB   8 downloads

 

Hey extended, you're probably right but at the time I freaked out and wanted whatever was in the water, out. Tomorrow morning is next treatment day with tri sulfa. 


Also update, woke up this morning and found another hillstream loach completely white and dead and couldn't find my apisto viejita anywhere so I assume she's gone too.



#5 malawiman85

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 10:27 AM

I don't see evidence of white spot at all. I'm looking on my phone but I suspect it's something else. What's your filtration like? You do have a pretty heavy load for a 180.
Water change schedule, etc?

#6 Stormfyre

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 10:52 AM

Nitrite levels after tablets? 

 

What is recommended dosage of tri-sulfate tabs? 

 

Double check temperature. yes turning up temp help WS cycle faster but it may be a touch too high and your thermometer may not be correct even though unlikely.

 

With all your water changes and the tri-sulfur it could be bacteria failing. While tri-sulfur is bacterastatic there is reports of rapid decline in filter after using it. I assume that is why they dont mention water changes before/during  on most packaging.



#7 Ageofaquariums

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 10:55 AM

Chemical burn, or an external bacterial infection would be what I would lean towards after seeing the pictures. That bugger columnaris would be the pictures I'd google to compare to your fish. Rots out fishes gills :(



#8 moses123

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 02:17 PM

@storm not sure on nitrite, but trisulfa is 1tab per 40litres. I used 4. Temperature was always around 27-28. I check about 20times a day. I have lowered it to 26C.

Went to the LFS to get water tested. Ammonia was at 0.5. Also showed the guy some pics and reckons its actually flukes so you're probably right malawi man. After a bit of research it does look like flukes as most fish that have died, faded in colour and seemed to be struggling for air. I also noticed a little white string hanging off my congo tetra's fin but it's gone now.

@aoa I dont think and I really hope it isnt columnaris

To everyone else, what should be the next step?
Thank you

Edit: Also I have a aqua one nautilis 800lph filter and running 2 sponge filters in the tank with a decent air pump.

Edited by moses123, 18 December 2016 - 07:17 PM.


#9 malawiman85

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 03:10 PM

Struggling for air could be a heap of things... From the pics i'm surprised anyone could say its flukes... Mind if I ask who your expert is?

I don't think it is flukes... Flukes wont knock so many fish off in such a short space of time... If your fish have been flashing (Rubbing their sides against the substrate, tank or decor) for a fair while then yes it might be flukes but other wise, nope, probably not.

My bet is the issue is water chemistry.



#10 Hood

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 03:25 PM

If ammonia is at 0.5 now, I bet your bacteria has been effected by the treatment.
This is gonna continue to give you problems from this issue now. I'd be inclined to stop treating. As now your creating new problems. Time to accept the losses do a basic change with water that had been treated with prime and left to sit for an hour or so before going into your tank. And then just wait it out for a few days before a another basic change. Give it a week to a week and a half of just doing the basics of keeping a good tank and I bet it will correct itself. This is of course just my opinion if it were me. As I know from my own experience we often cause more problems/kill our fish with kindness so to speak. I hope this helps as losing fish sucks, but sometimes unfortunately it's part of the game. And as long as you learn something from it, then it wasn't a complete waste.


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#11 moses123

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 07:10 PM

Today I got back home and found one emperor tetra, one black cory, one barbatus, two cardinals and one red whiptail dead. I'm so confused, if it's water paramaters why did the red whip die? So far two have died and they were both 7-8cm. I have 3x 3cm red whips that are still alive.

@mm I've never seen my fish flashing but if it is water chemsitry why are the big fish dying first? 2 large red whips down and the 3 babies still alive. I lost my largest apisto at about 6cm while I have a 3cm apisto still alive.

@hood ever since I added medication everything started dropping but is it really that. Also can 0.5 ammonia really wipe out that many fish in so little time? I'm thinking of doing a simple water change and letting it go for a bit but I fly out tomorrow night and wont be back for 2 months.

#12 malawiman85

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 07:33 PM

The .5 might have been 2.5 a couple hours before hand. Spikes dont last long. Sometimes you never see an increase at all... It can happen that quick. Big fish obviously use more oxygen and if their gills have been cooked the damage may have been more critical to them...



#13 Bombshocked

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 07:49 PM

id say you called white spot on a fish that had nothing wrong with it and then destroyed your filter bacteria with the 2 types of meds in quick sucession,

 

in my oppinion that tank is overstocked to hell unless you do a crazy WC regime, but even with a crazy schedule (50% every second day) id imagine all these fish would be jostling and fighting for bottom space

 

Apisto agasizzi x1
Apisto viejeta x2
Apisto cacatuoides x1
Apisto agasizzi x1
Albino longfin bn x1

Royal Whiptails x5
Red whiptails x11

Cory Barbatus x5
Cory Black Venezuela x10

thats 37 caves

===========================================================================

Post from other thread,

last time i had white spot i just put tank to 30-32c no meds or salt worked a treat

 

edit:all the meds probably killed your filter bacteria

 

quote

It has been found that Ich does not infect new fish at 29.4°C/85°F (Johnson, 1976), stops reproducing at 30°C/86°F (Dr. Nick St. Erne, DVM, pers. comm.), and dies at 32°C/89.5°F (Meyer, 1984), [1]

 

http://www.aquahobby...cles/e_ich2.php

 

re:edit:

add alot of air if your tanks this hot 2-3 big air stones


Edited by Bombshocked, 18 December 2016 - 07:54 PM.


#14 Stormfyre

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 08:53 PM

As i mentioned earlier you did 3 large water changes daily and the tri-sulfate tabs.. my bet is bacteria in filter is dead.



#15 moses123

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 09:35 PM

I will be taking hoods advice and do a basic water change of 20% but out of curiousity why let it sit for an hour after conditioning?

General concensus is bacteria is dead and that's probably true. I have a spare tank running with some fish in it with a sponge filter. After the water change I will squeeze the sponge water onto the sponge filters in my tank and stop medicating.

@bomb my tank base is 120x50cm with 40cm height (technically 240L but water isnt filled to top as well as wood, rocks and substrate taking up volume). The whiptails dont need much space as they dont move much and the barbatus were probably the only concern but now there's only 2 left (hopefully it'll stay that way). Also only 1 of each apisto left. 8 black corys, 8 red whips (5x 8cm and 3x 3cm) and surprisingly still 5 royals (6cm ea).

#16 Hood

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 10:34 PM

I like to allow the prime to do it's thing. I have a 200 liter tub I age my water in out back which is constantly aerated (with a sponge filter) till needed. When I fill it, I treat it with prime and then it sits there bubbling away till needed. Often days. But sometimes I'm in a rush or need more water than my pre-prepared tub. So I'll water change into watering cans. Then I know exactly how much I need to put back. I will fill my replacement watering cans; treat with prime then leave them with an air stone in for about an hour or so just to let the prime go through the process of converting the chlorine and then locking up the resultant ammonia. That is my understanding of how it works. And in my experience nothing is instant despite the marketing. ;) As always, the more you can remove the stress on your fish the better, especially when dealing with fish that could be in a fragile state from having already gone through an ordeal such as this. But again this is just what I would do. You are free to proceed as you would like. :) Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Hood, 19 December 2016 - 05:37 AM.


#17 bigjohnnofish

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 12:09 AM

prime and (safe) are very fast acting water conditioners..... both are good for 24-48 hours to bind up ammonia , nitrite and even nitrate (in high levels).... the bond starts to break down after 24 hours... it breaks down slowly and not all at once -so your bacteria/filtration will start to consume ammonia,nitrite slowly as its being released back into your tank... 

 

ok armed with this information lets use some common sense instead of stabbing around in the dark with information from people that may not be totally correct and helpfull....

 

with todays modern water conditioners you can do much larger water changes then whats been previously accepted in the hobby many years ago....

 

i have recently wormed a few tanks with levamisole - had a couple unexplained fry deaths and narrowed it down to something parasitic.... maybe it was a worm or maybe it wasnt i'll never really know for sure....  anyway bacteria quite often gets knocked about with levamisole.... so i treat monday night after a 50% water change and turn lights off for 24 hours... then following day 50% water change and each day there after....  i test for ammonia each day also.... the bacteria took a hit and became apparent wed night... but with 50% water changes daily it keeps ammonia level down.... and i also add more prime... basically double dosed so the 50% of water that wasnt changed has enough prime to bond any free ammonia likely to cause damage to your fish for 24-48 hours.... your bacteria will recover and in my case it will have a bit more resistant to future levamisole treatments...  and no fish deaths due to ammonia exposure... some fish are extra sensitive to ammonia and will suffer before others even look to be worried about rising ammonia level.... 

bacteria can bounce back surprisingly quick using prime daily.... or squeeze some bacteria out of another tanks filter to add to speed things up.... 

 

i agree with raising temp to 30-32 degrees and adding extra airstones during this period of higher temps....

 

as to what exactly is the root cause of your problem im unsure.... but smashing in various treatments with harm your beneficial bacteria... sometimes the treatment is worse then the initial problem....  

 

my advice is simple 50% water change every day and double dose with prime/safe until your beneficial bacteria multiply enough to keep your ammonia level from rising....  

 

 



#18 moses123

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 10:45 AM

Well I'm currently not in the country so my sister's in charge of the tank. I'll try and advise her as best as possible but let's hope when I return the tank isnt wiped. Thanks for everyones help and input. Really appreciated.

#19 sandgroper

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 08:53 AM

Classic tank crash syndrome, your tank has to recycle. For quick relief add porous rocks from a mature tank and a mature filter or expect high losses.



#20 Ageofaquariums

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 10:46 AM

Well worth looking into getting some magnified shots of the fish, even at x65 flukes are very obvious on fish. We use a x65 clip on for a smart phone to ID flukes in the shop here. Makes it easy to then snap a photo or video of them. Meds are expensive, and side effects can be brutal....  so you really want to make that ID.

 

Heres some vid we took for a customer using one. Getting a picture or video, means that even if our ID is shakey, there is the option to post on other forums and get more input from specialists on the particular nasty.

 






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