Cause of random sudden death?

becksyard(z6 PA)March 19, 2005

Can't figure out if I am doing something very wrong or if it's just "bad" fish.

Started up a 50 gal. community tank 3 months ago. Tank has been cycled for 1 month. I have been gradually adding a few fish every couple of weeks. Right now I have 2 Silver Dollars (1 small/1 large), 2 scissortails, betta, 2 cory cats, 3 baby Mollies (mother died but babies are thriving), Bala shark, hatchetfish, a few other tetras, and a platy.

I have been doing a 10-20% water change every week. I had been adding a small amount of salt (approx. 1 T./5 gallons)for the Mollies but I read the Cory's can't handle it so I may discontinue the salt. I use well water. The tank readings have been fairly constant Ph: 7.5 KH: 5-6 dH GH: 12-13 Ammonia and Nitrite are both good. Temp: 75 F

I tested the well water today and the readings are about the same as the tank.

So, here's the problem. In the past 2 weeks I have lost 2 swordtails and a platy. These had been in the tank for awhile so should have been acclimated. From what I have read, these fish should like my water (fairly hard, high Ph)and it should be the tetras giving me problems. I have lost a few other new fish but I can attribute that to stress. I do have problems with ick every time I add fish and I did treat with Maracide a few weeks ago. Yesterday I used Aquari-Sol instead (it's milder??) and a swordtail was dead overnight. I thought he looked fine a day ago. Do you think it's just the medicine causing problems? If so, what should I use for the ick? I've read about using salt but will it be a problem for the catfish? Or did I just buy some "duds".


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If you use aquarisol - it works best to raise the temps... follow the use as stated on the label. I've used this for ick and it's worked well for me.

Question - when you get new fish, how do you acclimatize them to your tank? I learned to float the bags for about 15-20 minutes... and then add some of the tank water into the bags and let them continue to float (sealed back up)for another 15-30 minutes... depending on the difference in range of ph's (difference between store fish water and my tank water). Then either to net the fish OUT of the bag, or pour the water out carefully and ease the fish out of the bag into the tank... but trying to minimize the amount of bag water into the tank. Putting them right into the tank without this transition can sometimes stress them out... further increasing the probability of stress related issues...

Also you _may_ have bought "duds" in the sense that perhaps the store you're buying your fish are coming with problems... ie - the store isn't great at keeping their fish alive themselves!

Could be lots of things.

I had problems keeping mollies and swords in freshwater tank. They're in a separate tank with higher salt content. Platies do fine in my community freshwater tank. But make sure you have Platies and not mollies! Sometimes I've seen fish stores mislabel fish calling some mollies platies. Go figure!

After all your treatments, do you do water changes as suggested??

I'm sorry about the fish deaths. I get so depressed when I see a floater!! :(

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 7:20AM
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becksyard(z6 PA)

I do float the bag and all that when I bring home new fish. And I have been doing water changes. I'm hoping these were just bad fish that have died and it wasn't anything I did. The pet stores aren't too bad but not the greatest either so I'm not surprised when I lose a new one. But when it's one I have had for a few weeks, I start to wonder. And swordtails and platies are supposed to be the easy-keepers.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 9:42AM
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It may be of interest to measure the Iron in your well water ??

I assume good Nitrites .. Ammonia mean 0 ??

I have used Aquari Sol also for Ich with temps at 86 f for 7 days at least .. when I used it I also purchased a Copper test kit since I understand Copper can be toxic and the levels need to kept at an effective range but not in a toxic range ... the directions on the label are only an estimate since effective dosage depends on your waters kH , gH ... to me it makes no sense to use Copper without a test kit. In treating Ich some references suggest about .25 ppm of Copper.

Also .. the Copper should be removed with water changes after the treatment is over and it is no loger needed in the water. Fish turning pale .. darting about .. hiding in a corner after the application of medication could be a sign of toxicity.

Good Day ...

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 10:04AM
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Have you added anything new like snails? After I introduced a couple of snails a had a huge die off in fish that I had for a year.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 10:40AM
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That's true... I'm remembering one time a while back I introduced some shrimp... then had fish suddenly die off, too. I never correlated a die off with that incident. The shrimp survived, some fish died... Thanks - maybe that was the cause of those fish deaths (which were some gorgeous blue rams... :( )!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 10:45AM
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becksyard(z6 PA)

Now that is something interesting that I have never heard. I did indeed buy 2 gold snails. If I remember correclty, the swords and platy were in the tank before the snails arrived. Probably less than one month ago. Any idea how snails could cause this? Should I get rid of them or is it a once-and-done thing?
I will continue the Aquari-Sol and purchase a Copper test kit. I would like to know that I am giving enough but not too much. It says not to use on snails but they are still going strong. Go figure.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 12:40PM
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Some snails do harbor bacteria and can introduce it to an aquarium. I lost two large orandas due to snails on live plants that i indtroduced to the tank. Although the orandas did eat the snails so it was their own fault. Another point on the copper, if it says don't use it on snails and you did and nothing happened you might not be using enough but i would use the tet kit to be sure.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 12:38AM
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Hi I got new 20 G tank almost 2 months ago , I started with 2 swordtails, they were fine but sudenly female died I intoduced 1 female again, it was ok untill then I tested the water at store the quality they told me was good, then I introduced two female black lyretail and one pair of white balloon mollies. Suddenly i had my female swordtaildied and then I saw the white spot ich sign ons of of the black lyretail and on male swordtail. I am using Aquarisol for 1 week now, on male swordtail the ich has gone 3 days ago but the black female lyretail died and after a day the female ballon moly died even though it wasn't shoing white spots. Can any one suggest why I just lost just the females of swordtail , lyretail and ballon moly during all that? while the male swordtail seems to be surviving. how long should I continue the Aquarisol after the signs are gone, one more thing to add that I also saw 11 fry of swordtail and lyretail 2 weeks ago butthey died one after another even after surviving for 1.5 weeks. what to do?? thanks

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 12:13PM
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In general. mollies are more susceptible to ich than are other tropical fish. Statistically spaking, so are strains and so are new fish being introduced to a new environment. The ich parasite, apparently, is ever present in the water, and in the free swimming stage. A fish that that is stressed out from fluctuating temperatures, change in environment, or the disruption of the "pecking order", is also more susceptible to becoming the host of the parasite. Don't introduce new fish until the issue is resolved. Raise the temp and the aeration until the ich disappears.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 12:46PM
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Thanks. Yeah I did raised temp to 82 F. After 10 days of treatment I stopped it as my male ST was showing signs of lazyness at the bottom. I called my store they said to hold on now don't change water until next week and replace carbon filter. the signs are gone 4 days ago for any ick. So feels good. hope for best. One more thing in mind which is the best affordable plant should I introduce and if I get to see any new frys how to care for them. Thanks

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 9:33AM
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One of the best things you can do, is to buy a 5 - 10 gal. tank and keep it aside for use as a Quarantine tank. A smaller tank, that can fit into your utiity sink is best, as you want to sterilize it with bleach between each use.

Never- EVER introduce new fish into any established tank until they have been quarantined at the VERY LEAST of 2 weeks, 3 is even better, regardless of how healhy the new fish appear to be.

If your main tank is healthy, use at least 50% water from it to set up your Q tank.

When you bring your new fish home, slip them from the bag into a small plastic container and float it in the Q tank, then slowly, add 1 cup of Q tank water to the container. Wait 10 minutes, then, 1 cup out; discard- and 2 in from the Q tank. Repeat for about a half hour, then net the new fish into the Q tank.

They will be acclimated to both the temp and water parameters and if healthy, should do just fine. If not, you will lose only them and not the rest of your fish.

Then, sterilize the net and keep it only for that tank. Nets are a lot cheaper than most fish. I use a 50% bleach solution as a net dip, followed by a super hot rinse. Once it's been soaked in a bleach solution for a few minutes, then literally cooked by the hot water, it simply cannot hold any living aquatic organisims, good or bad.

But generally: a dishpan, bleach and very hot water can and will do more for disease control in your main tank than most medications, because an ounce of prevention still beats a pound of cure anyday.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 12:34PM
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Easy aquatic plants: Water Sprite, "plant bulb", Banana,....

    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 12:32PM
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I've had my aquarium for 6 months. In it we had 5 silver dollars, two monos, two black catfish like cleaners, two narrow snake looking cleaner fish (stayed on the wall) and 2 clown fish. Over the period of a week, 2 silver dollars died; after two weeks, a mono died, and over the past 4 weeks, the catfish cleaners died, were replaced, one died next day, one lasted 3 weeks and died/ We keep the tank clean, and provide maintainance suggested to us by the store we bought the tank and fish at. What can cause these deaths?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 5:21AM
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Just how much salt are you adding?

Salt does not get used up. If you are adding salt when you change water you just add salt for the volume you are changing. Don't add any for evaporation as the salt in the water that evaporated gets left behind and you'll be gradually making a salt water tank for fresh water fish.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 11:46AM
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Had two cory cats for ten years...bought two baby corys four months ago. Have a tank with goramis and a pleco. Changed water because it was cloudy And a little red ... All four corys died...what caused it? STEFANI ODANIEL

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 2:36PM
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