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Featured Fish Dying

Discussion in 'Help and Advice' started by afeltham, May 12, 2018.

  1. afeltham

    afeltham Registered

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    Hello,

    I'm at a loss. I'm still relatively new to this and so not really sure what is going on! My tank is about 9 months old, generally been good although did go through a period a while back where my corals started to look really bad. Am through that now and thought i was doing well but in the last few weeks i've lost 4 fish. I've checked all the things i think i should be checking and aside from Nitrate being 12ppm ( which i didn't think was too bad ) i can't spot what could be wrong.

    Rather than be told what to do, as i'm learning i'd love to hear peoples thought process about what could be going on so that if it happens again i'll know what / why / how.

    So, what would you be looking for? What would you test first? What would you be looking out for?

    I have a 200L tank - 2 clown fish, 2 fire shrimps, 3 turbo snails, 3 narcissus snails and 4 yellow tail chromis, 1 chalk goby.

    Help!
     
  2. jim_fitz

    jim_fitz Admin Staff Member

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    nitrate of 12 for fish is not a problem at all

    so things i would consider
    what type of fish died
    what is there natural life span
    had i added anything new recently
    anything obvious on the corpses
    any chance a predator could havesneaked in on some live rock
    is the temperature ok (probably if everything else looks ok)
    where they eating ok
    how long have you had them
     
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  3. penzo

    penzo Registered

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    If your losing fish,the first thing I'd be checking is ammonia and nitrite.
     
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  4. afeltham

    afeltham Registered

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    Great, thanks for these replies... especially quickly.

    @penzo - thanks for the comments about ammonia and nitrate, i actually haven't checked those for a little while so thats a good reminder. As it happens though, both are near zero.

    I like all the thoughts from @jim_fitz too! Its just odd thought because there doesn't seem to be any correlation. The fish that have gone to a watery grave include a butterfly, a chalk goby, a peppermint shrimp, and a couple of firefish and a royal gramma. Of those, the butterfly is the only one i've actually seen a corpse for but nothing unusual i could spot on it. the rest have vanished! The goby had been in the tank ages, as had the peppermint shrimp. firefish and gramma the most recent additions. I sport of wasn't surprised about the gramma - it was very shy and hid in the rocks a lot. It always came out to feed but wasn't out for long.

    Temperature controlled with appropriate controller although only in terms of warming, not cooling. Noticed once during recent heat wave the alarm was indicating it was too warm but apart from that all normal.

    All seem to be eating well and tank started in August so can't be that old.

    I was about to say "no new rock" but you've made me realise about a month ago added a small bit of live rock to move some coral on to. It was an offcut from the rock i'd used to make the tank originally. Treated and been in a sealed container since.
     
  5. biffobear50

    biffobear50 Registered

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    Depending on the timescale of the deaths . Ammonia spikes from the dead fish could be contributing to other deaths , especially the butterfly if the body was there long .
    Think butterflys can be hard to keep and gobies don't have a long lifespan . Sand sifting gobies sometimes are in a tank without enough food to sustain them .
    Just a few maybes to think about .
     
  6. jim_fitz

    jim_fitz Admin Staff Member

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    ive had a couple of wipe outs with healthy fish dead in 3 hours
    quite devastating really
    and never found out why
     
  7. trumpet30

    trumpet30 Registered

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    I have also found that in an established ta k sand sifting gobies don't always find enough food and are sometimes timid not to eat when the rest of the fish do. They get thin and then die.

    Have you checked your salinity. Just a thought. Check the atu is working so the salinity doesn't peak and trough.

    Sent from my T1-A21w using Tapatalk
     
  8. afeltham

    afeltham Registered

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    Another day, another fish. :( Getting quite worrying really as now down to 6 fish and 2 goby's - the latter of which seem to be not that visible as much these days.

    All i can tell is that the sand / glass seems to be getting much dirtier much quicker, and that the PH seems to drop on a weekly basis. All the rest of the levels as far as my kits will tell me seem fine. I really don't know what to do!

    Am i feeding them enough? I tend to find that they are all still asleep in the morning so don't tend to put much in then. Should i change the lighting schedule to wake them up earlier?
     
  9. mgb2010

    mgb2010 Registered

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    Could you upload a photo of the tank?
    1) How much water flow do you have? Is there plenty of surface movement?
    2) what additives are you using?
    3) what quarantining did you do with your fish?
    4) what are you feeding and how often?
    5) with just blue lights on, any sign of parasites on the fish? Ich?
    6) are the fish behaving normally? Any flashing, rapid breathing, hanging around at surface or bottom?
    7) how often are you doing water changes? How much and what with?
    8) what is your salinity?
    9) any signs of aggression from the yellow tail chromis?
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  10. afeltham

    afeltham Registered

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    Hi, Photos attached.
    To answer the questions..

    1) I * think * there is enough flow. I have the two outlets from the main pump as well as a Vortech MP40 which is turning things over. I have to move the sand back into place quite a bit so its clearly getting to lots of places.
    2) Additives.... urm, i'm not. I'm still new to this... should i be?
    3) Wasn't a chance to do any quarantining! The fish basically disappeared.
    4) I have a feeling i'm not feeding them enough. I've been using flakes with occasional frozen food but not trying to do frozen once a day. Was conscious before of overfeeding and so if anything i put less in.
    5) Nothing i can see with just blue.
    6) Fish had been fine really. That was the odd thing...
    7) replacing about 25L ( ~10% ) every 3 weeks.
    8) Salinity all fine... probably 34 at the moment, and double checked the measurements of the device.
    9) As it happens, one of the bigger yellow tail chromis is a bit nasty to some of the others but not seen him bite etc...

    So, the only other thing i've noticed is that i've now lost a bunch of other clean up crew. I'm now down to just one turbo snail and one narcissus snail. I don't know when they disappeared. No chalk goby's any more. :(

    How do i know when its a good point to put things back in? Measurements being double checked this morning.

    Thanks @mgb2010
     

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  11. jim_fitz

    jim_fitz Admin Staff Member

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    Food should be gone within 5 minutes
    Possible that a predator got in with live rock
    Try a red light about an hour after lights off to see if anything has crawled out
     
  12. afeltham

    afeltham Registered

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    Should i do anything about the slightly nasty yellow tail chromis? If so, how?
     
  13. jim_fitz

    jim_fitz Admin Staff Member

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    can you isolate it at all ?
     
  14. afeltham

    afeltham Registered

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    Catching it is going to be fun but yes, in theory I have a quarantine tank I can put it in if I caught it. What would I do if I could isolate it?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. jim_fitz

    jim_fitz Admin Staff Member

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    then you could see if the rest of the tank settles down ok
     
  16. afeltham

    afeltham Registered

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    What do you mean by "settles down" ? How long would i leave it there for? Really appreciate the support / input. Thank you.
     
  17. jim_fitz

    jim_fitz Admin Staff Member

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    if its harassing other fish they will be stressed
    would take a couple of days at least before they start to return to normal
    another thing to try would be brineshrimp with garlic
    lots of people seem to have success with that
     
  18. doug_amanda

    doug_amanda Admin Staff Member

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    Looking at the pictures of the tank and particularly the diatoms on the sand, (unusual for a nine month old tank) it looks like you may have gone through another cycle, possibly something has died as has been mentioned and kicked it off, What test kit have you been using to measure ammonia and nitrite.
    I would start to do a 10% water change each week instead of three weekly, at least for a few weeks to help buffer up ph by not letting kh fluctuate to much, (ammonia is less deadly with higher ph)
     
  19. afeltham

    afeltham Registered

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    The diatoms on the sand / glass I’m having an issue with at the moment. I had associated it with losing 2 out of 3 of my snails and both chalk gobys. I figured there was just nothing cleaning up.

    Point taken about the test kits. Was using a “salifert” test kit for ammonia and nitrite, nyos for phosphate and nitrate and Red Sea reef for Ca, KH and Mg. have just ordered a Red Sea for ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, alkalinity, pH. Will be interesting to see what results it’ll give.

    As always, thanks for the input everyone.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. afeltham

    afeltham Registered

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    A quick update - new testing kits arrived in the post yesterday and confirmed that things seem normal. pH 8.2, Ammonia 0, Nitrite, 0. In some ways i was hoping that something was off as it'll give me a clue as to what is going on, but unfortunately not. I'm still none the wiser really.

    Still not able to get cleaner sand either. The diatoms ( brown stuff anyway ) is still ther eon a regular basis and come back within hours / overnight of cleaning it. Not sure if thats from too much light, or now over feeding as i'm paranoid about underfeeding and killing them all!

    ( I have a radion XR30 G3, comes on at 9, off at 8 and max 60% intensity ).
     
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