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Hippoherder

Fish Dying

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I had a 10 gallon aquaponic setup...very mature-lots of plants inside and a few outside. It had 7 lampeyes and a couple of ember tertas. I upgraded to a 55 gallon. I dumped the water from the 10 and all of the plants in addition to hitting it with more nitrifying bacteria and MTS. I added aquarium sand and 2 filters (one rated for a 55gallon and the other for a 30 gallon). Fast forward 2-3 weeks and I start adding a few fish - 3 cories (young) 2 small khuli loaches. I anchor some plants to aquarium rocks purchased from a pet store (they came in a bag with some rubber bands). Another week or so goes by and I added 3 platys from Big Als....then the whole tank started to take a turn. Fish start dying and showing signs of NTS....but not all. The cories and ember tetras are fine- eating, swimming, acting normally. The platies, a loach and the lampeyes start to fail.

The water was checked with a test kit and by the store. Its fine...I think.

PH 7.6 (on my test kit...Big Als had 7.2 but they used a strip not drops).

Ammonia 0

Nitrite 0

Nitrates about 10

I was told by the pet store that the rocks and rubber bands were fine.

BUT if you go into Big Als, none of the tanks look healthy. Many fish acting like the fish in my tank...

Any thoughts? There are no signs of disease (spotting, ich...)

The water seems fine. I've been doing small water changes (5 gallons at a time). I have no clue other than to think there is something toxic in Big Als water... but its only effecting certain species. T

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Buying diseased fish is a sure way of losing all of your fish.... If they don't look good at the store, you probably should expect them to survive long.

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Return the bodies as Big AL's may stand behind their fish. Worth a try! Take a credit and wait for some nice fish to come in. Can't give a lot of insight into why the fish are dying without pictures of the fish. In the future raise the temp (what was the temp?) and add 1 tablespoon of picklingsalt/gallon of water. The live plants should be okay with this amount.

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How were the most recent fish acclimated to the tank? Personally, I've never had issues with Big Al's fish or Pisces fish, but I take my time using drip acclimation. I put the new fish into a gallon jug with the LFS water, and run a drip line from my tank to the jug at a rate of 2-3 drops per second until the jug is 50% or 75% full (usually takes an hour or two). It's definitely overkill, but I haven't had any issues with NTS. I've heard that if you want to be even more careful, you can introduce the fish in the dark.

Edited by sm1ke

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The fish looked fine on the day of purchase, I did test my water and have it tested. The water is fine from a cycling standpoint. NTS shouldn't have been the issue. The fish were behaving like it was but no showing any obvious outer signs of disease that I could recognize. I did take the fish back to big Al's and the salesperson said this has been a big problem for them lately. They've had a lot of die-off lately and have been getting (or what I was told) bad stock from the supplier as there have been big die offs shortly after getting new stock. *shrug*

They gave me a credit for the fish, but that doesn't help replace my breeding population of lampeyes or the other fish.

The ranges between 76 F and 77 F.

I'm just going to break down the tank, clean it, and get rid of the plants, substrate, and replace the filtration on it. Without knowing what the issue is, I just have to start over I guess.

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Could bamboo be a problem? I didn't know that.

I had 6 bamboo in the filtration reservoir under the 10 gallon. They went immediately from the 10 gallon into the 55 with much of the water from the 10 gallon. So theyve been immersed in an aquarium for a little over 8 months now. It did well in the 10 gallon.

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This is the reason one should always quarantine fish before adding them to your main tank. May take a little room but in the long run it is better to treat them if needed in a smaller tank then spend major money on meds for a large tank. I learned my lesson the hard way and now quarantine all fish no matter the source for up to 6 weeks- sometimes even longer but that is usually overkill. You can observe them better then in a large tank and can spot problems early.

I just bought 15 ember tetras in early July from Big Als but in Edmonton. None have died and they will stay in their quarantine for a while yet as they are young. I have found that liverbearers tend to get sick fairly easily and they are not long lifed fish to begin with. Worms, ich, stress ... can make them drop like flies. I once lost all my black guppies in one tank as it had ich- they got stressed and even with meds and heat treatments they all died. The ember tetras and cories with them didn't even get a spot,

Good luck with your tank. may it get better soon. :)

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Could bamboo be a problem? I didn't know that.

I had 6 bamboo in the filtration reservoir under the 10 gallon. They went immediately from the 10 gallon into the 55 with much of the water from the 10 gallon. So theyve been immersed in an aquarium for a little over 8 months now. It did well in the 10 gallon.

Check this youtube out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tqy9jBDGsk0

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How were the most recent fish acclimated to the tank? Personally, I've never had issues with Big Al's fish or Pisces fish, but I take my time using drip acclimation. I put the new fish into a gallon jug with the LFS water, and run a drip line from my tank to the jug at a rate of 2-3 drops per second until the jug is 50% or 75% full (usually takes an hour or two). It's definitely overkill, but I haven't had any issues with NTS. I've heard that if you want to be even more careful, you can introduce the fish in the dark.

I must add my 2 cents to this discourse by saying that the drip acclimation method in Calgary/Edmonton municipal water is a very bad idea. When you add the alkaline water to the bag with fish you cause any of the "not as toxic" Ammonium (NH4+) in the water to be rapidly converted to super toxic Ammonia (NH3), and thus doing a great disservice to your new fish. When the pH increases, and thus the concentration of ammonia increases, you start burning gills and poisoning the already stressed (and in this case) diseased fish. My recommendation is to temperature acclimate fish, and transfer them via a net to their Quarantine Tank. In the context of Albertan water chemistry the dogmatic idea behind the drip method is not grounded in chemistry or biology. There are exceptions of course, especially if you have a nice RO-Di system, but this is not the norm.

Also: You need to QT new fish. Unless you like playing a good game of Russian roulette.

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What about adding a little bit of Prime to your fish baggie when you add some aquarium water? (or adding Ammonia lock)

I don't know if adding water treatment before or after transport makes a difference, but Gold Aquariums always adds Aquaplus to "de-stress" the fish. I added Prime to my angel bag after a 1.5 hr trip before adding aquarium water to bind any toxic waste. I have also heard adding methylene blue/salt will help the fish take in more O2. I've seen Concept Aquariums purposefully have blue-tinge to their water?

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I just wanted to say that I have had problems with my tank ever since I bought my last batch of fish from Big Al's a few months ago and my whole tank has pretty much died off. Even after quarantine after purchasing, I had no signs of disease and everything was fine. What ever is happening, even killed off my pleco suddenly last night, and those guys are pretty hardy. I am almost suspecting something is up with Edmonton's water quality as I have problems in the past but usually in spring. I am going to do water testing tomorrow and also test the raw tap water...kinda bummed about my fish though, you grow attached over the years..but these things do happen. *sigh* (PS, I usually have had no problems with Big Al's stock)

Edited by SailfinMolly

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