Brand new 55g tank about 1.5 mo old. fish are dying

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ahmandi2
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Brand new 55g tank about 1.5 mo old. fish are dying

Post by ahmandi2 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:00 pm

We cycled using 5 rasporas and a couple small aquaplants (that take over lol). Growers~!
We cycled til the whole thing was finished and ready for fishes.
PH is high 8.2
Ammonia is now almost unreadable.
Nitrites area as well.
Nitrates are highest of the LOW bars on the handy colored test kit they provide.
Its 79.4 degrees to 80.2
We got 5 more rasp's after the cycle. drip acclimated them
Got a Betta like I've never seen. I never wanted another one, but I could not ay no to my husband when he gave him to me.
Also got 3 (getting more) otos. They've been very spawny lately!
And 3 African froggies.
ONE yo yo loach and ordered 5 more to pick up today (a four day wait( he schooled with the boras' to feel safe cause the Betta wanted to kill him. Alot.
One of the rasboras had stringy things hanging from his gil area. Small but visible enough. He died.
Just saw that another ras died and the otos have white bits on the side oft their mouth or in their throat. One is VERY visible when watching him eat. Hes' got a ton in there.
So many meds, I don't wanna over medicate, and I may have. Please help. So many reads, and no replies. It cant be that off the wall. Advice is what I need!
Our loach died (no idea why)
Our Betta died.
FOUR rasporas died.
We treated with pima or mela fix for my Betta's fin rot (tiny little pinhole but you know how fast that will kill them). He ended up on the aquarium floor, trying to stay upright but tilting, I hate that crap witha passion but husband "believes" in it.
I netted him and put him up to the surface so at least,, he had access to the air. Put plants all round him to make him feel less vulnerable but it didn't' matter, he died very soon after. When I got him, I saw a small (about 2 pinhead worths?) around his rear right side, right before his tail. And after he died, he looked like he'd eaten a small raspora.....his gullet was all dark.....and i SWEAR i saw an eye looking at me from inside. Perhaps he's constipation killed him from eating a whole fish? NO idea.
I do not overfeed. I skip feeding 2 times a week, one if I'm feeling weak myself :). We use flourish on our plants andha ve since day one.
I vacuum that thing with a brand new suction house 2 times weekly along with water changes and then parameter checks.
ADVICE please. we gave this up for almost a year as we lost so many fish til the very last month or two (Right before we had to move across country). /sigh/
PLEASE help, emma, any experts..I know I have no pics, unless you look at my https://www.facebook.com/ Amanda RIchardson, shows the blank to set up and filled tank. and a few rasporas....blurry!
Please anyone
"I'm not *THAT* kind of hunter"

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DainBramage1991
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Re: Brand new 55g tank about 1.5 mo old. fish are dying

Post by DainBramage1991 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:44 pm

You've got a new tank, you should expect some of your fish to be stressed at first until the biology gets fully established - which can take months. It sounds like you've got a good start, as the critical chemicals (ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate) are being dealt with. Your pH sounds a bit high, but I don't think that is responsible for the mortality rate you are seeing. Adding some driftwood to the tank can help bring the pH down more permanently than chemicals do, and fish love it (especially plecos). Sometimes fighting pH chemically can be just as stressful to the fish as leaving it alone and letting them get used to it.

Make sure that you have good strong mechanical filtration, and good biological filtration as well. Aeration is also very important.

I would guess from your description that you are dealing with a parasite of some sort, and more medication may be the only way to take care of it. If you have any loaches or catfish in the tank, you'll need to reduce the dosages (usually by 1/2) as they are more sensitive to meds than most other fish. Adding some aquarium salt to buffer the water may help the fish also, but keep in mind that it's not a cure-all.

I know you said you were doing water changes, which is excellent, but are you treating the new water with a dechlorinator before putting it in the tank? I've had good luck with Tetra AquaSafe Plus, which is inexpensive and readily available in large bottles (I do A LOT of water changes). Also, make sure that the temperature and pH are the same as the water in the tank, or you can stress the fish. If a dechlorinator isn't an option, many people treat their new water by letting it stand for 24 - 48 hours in an open container, which allows the chlorine to evaporate off naturally. Also, you may want to reduce your water changes to once weekly or even bi-weekly if your nitrate levels stay below 20 ppm. Water changes, while important, do cause a certain amount of stress on the fish and probably should not be overdone. If you can get away with doing water changes (especially while trying to establish or while medicating the tank) a little less frequently for now, you might help your fish to be able to heal. Less stress means stronger immune systems.

I would recommend also waiting a month or two before adding any more fish to the tank, which will give you time to take care of the problems and insure that your fish are healthy. Also be sure to quarantine any new additions to avoid repeating this situation.

Unfortunately, death is often a part of our hobby, especially when dealing with new tanks. I hope you are able to keep the rest of your fish alive and get down the business of enjoying this great and rewarding hobby. Please don't give up, we've all been through the "why can't I keep my fish alive?" phase, sometimes several times over. You aren't alone. :D

Diana
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Re: Brand new 55g tank about 1.5 mo old. fish are dying

Post by Diana » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:55 pm

I copied most of your post. My comments in italics.

We cycled using 5 rasporas and a couple small aquaplants (that take over lol). Growers~! This is terrible. Do the fishless cycle, or buy one of the products that actually has the real nitrifying bacteria. It has only been identified about 15 years ago, so maybe the word is slow to spread. There is NOT NEED to stress, injure or kill fish to cycle the tank.
We cycled til the whole thing was finished and ready for fishes.But ONLY for the population that was used to cycle it. The bacteria population is not going to grow larger without more food. Do the fishless cycle which grows enough bacteria to fully stock the tank, or use the right species of nitrifying bacteria (Nitrospiros) and dose the tank with this with each fish addition. The fish-in cycle forces all the fish to cycle the tank each time you add more fish.
PH is high 8.2 This is way too high for most of the soft water fish. While pH is not the most important test, it still does mean something. There must be a lot of minerals in the water to keep the pH this high. Can you test GH and KH and post these numbers?
Ammonia is now almost unreadable.ALMOST is not good enough. Zero is the only healthy reading for ammonia. Period.
Nitrites area as well. Another ALMOST? Add 1 teaspoon of salt (sodium chloride) per 20 gallons to reduce the amount of nitrite crossing the gills, and read up about Brown Blood Disease. When the reading is zero you can allow the salt level to go down.
Nitrates are highest of the LOW bars on the handy colored test kit they provide. Give us a number. Each test reports something different as 'safe' and so on. Under 10 ppm = Great. 10-20 ppm is acceptable for most fish. Up to 40 ppm is suggested as safe for some fish, but I have not found that to be so. I add KNO3 (a source of nitrates) to feed the plants when the nitrate is <5ppm.
Its 79.4 degrees to 80.2 This is very high temperature. There are certainly some fish that prefer this temperature, but research. Many fish have higher oxygen needs than can be met with this hot water, and should not be kept in this warm a tank.
We got 5 more rasp's after the cycle. drip acclimated them Drip acclimate is a good technique. What were the water parameters in the bag? (store water). You do use a quarantine tank, don't you? Isolates parasites and diseases from the store so you can treat before they go into the main tank. You can make the quarantine tank water match the store water for easiest acclimation.
Got a Betta like I've never seen. I never wanted another one, but I could not ay no to my husband when he gave him to me. Such a nice gift! There are some incredible Bettas out there!
Also got 3 (getting more) otos. They've been very spawny lately! Otos spawning! Wow!
And 3 African froggies. Frogs. My understanding is they are not strong swimmers. Are yours doing OK in this tank? They swim to the top to get air.
ONE yo yo loach and ordered 5 more to pick up today (a four day wait( he schooled with the boras' to feel safe cause the Betta wanted to kill him. Alot.Smart Yoyo! Good that you were watching. Some Bettas can get really aggressive, even to bottom fish. Good you will be getting more Yoyos for their social group. I am not sure that Yoyos are a good choice with smaller fish, though. They can and will eat adult Neon Tetras.
One of the rasboras had stringy things hanging from his gil area. Small but visible enough. He died. Stringy things, look for external parasites and gill parasites. One possibility is Anchor Worm.
Just saw that another ras died and the otos have white bits on the side oft their mouth or in their throat. One is VERY visible when watching him eat. Hes' got a ton in there. I am not sure what the white bits are. Ich? (several in a cluster might look like a white patch, but individually they will sure look like bits of sugar or salt. Flavobacteria columnaris? That is more of a patch, not really bits. There are some other diseases that look more like a clear to white blister. Grows bigger like it is swelling with fluid. I have treated this with Triple Sulfa
So many meds, I don't wanna over medicate,Do not mix meds. Use only meds that are labeled for your fish. Quarantine fish with different problems and treat them each with the appropriate medicine. If the disease or parasites have already spread then you will have to treat all exposed fish. and I may have. Please help. So many reads, and no replies. It cant be that off the wall. Advice is what I need!
Our loach died (no idea why) I am not sure either, were there any symptoms? Was he eating?
Our Betta died. See comment
FOUR rasporas died. Any symptoms? How soon after adding them?
We treated with pima or mela fix for my Betta's DO NOT USE MELAFIX FOR BETTAS. It says so right on the label. fin rot (tiny little pinhole but you know how fast that will kill them). He ended up on the aquarium floor, trying to stay upright but tilting, I hate that crap witha passion but husband "believes" in it. I use Melafix and Pimafix for several problems, but never on Anabantoids.
I netted him and put him up to the surface so at least,, he had access to the air. Put plants all round him to make him feel less vulnerable but it didn't' matter, he died very soon after. These are good things to help him. :-( When I got him, I saw a small (about 2 pinhead worths?) around his rear right side, right before his tail. And after he died, he looked like he'd eaten a small raspora.....his gullet was all dark.....and i SWEAR i saw an eye looking at me from inside. Perhaps he's constipation killed him from eating a whole fish? NO idea. This is not impossible, some fish can open their mouths really wide. I have heard about a Betta eating a Guppy, so I suppose it is possible the Betta could have eaten a Rasbora. Especially if the Rasbora was small/young.
I do not overfeed. I skip feeding 2 times a week, one if I'm feeling weak myself :). We use flourish on our plants andha ve since day one. Flourish is a good product line, and I have not heard of any of them being toxic to fish, and they are also safe for shrimp (which are more sensitive to some things)
I vacuum that thing with a brand new suction house 2 times weekly along with water changes and then parameter checks. Frequent vacuuming is very good, especially if you are medicating the tank. Many medicines act by latching on to organic matter in the tank. If there is a lot of decaying debris the medication might get locked up that way, and not have any left over to deal with the disease organisms.

OK, more comments without italics.
Water changes are good, as long as they are handled right.
If the water company can change the GH and KH of the water this can be stressful to the fish. If the water company does this, then test the tap water before every water change. Always make sure the new water will result in a water change that does not alter the mineral level in the water. Then you can do as large a water change as often as you want.
Use the proper dechlorinator. If the water company uses chlorine (not chloramine) then aging it with plenty of aeration will out gas the chlorine, and you do not need to use dechlor. If you are on untreated well water you do not need a dechlor. But most water companies are using chloramine. This will not out gas so fast. Check the label on the dechlor. You need one that will break the bond of chlorine and ammonia (Chloramine), then lock up the chlorine and ammonia. If the product you use does not specify that it does these things then look into a different product. Prime is the most cost effective product that does these things. Some declor does extra things that you may or may not want. Some will lock up heavy metals. If this is a problem with your water, use the appropriate product. Some have slime coat enhancers. Unless there is a specific reason for using a product like this (such as recent handling, or disease that disrupts the slime coat) I would not use one of these materials. Healthy fish produce just enough slime coat without any enhancers.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

starsplitter7
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Re: Brand new 55g tank about 1.5 mo old. fish are dying

Post by starsplitter7 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:04 pm

Listen to Diana. I think very simply the tank was cycled to the number of fish you had, you added more, lost the cycle, and started over. Highly stressed fish are susceptible to everything, and that's what you saw. It is hard to start from scratch. Do a fishless cycle just like Diana said. If you know any fish keepers in your area, ask for yuck from their filter to start your cycle. We have all gone through this, do not get too discouraged. If you buy a bacteria product for fishless cycle, and it doesn't stink like rotten eggs, it doesn't work. I suppose there might be products that do work, but all the ones I know work, smell. The smell disapates. Do a fishless cycle, when the tank is cycled (0,0, less than 20), then add a couple small fish and wait, . . . do that over a period of a few months. If you can get some filter yuck you can speed that up.

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ahmandi2
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Re: Brand new 55g tank about 1.5 mo old. fish are dying

Post by ahmandi2 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:04 pm

Good news I guess.
Tank is better. PH way down (7.2)! All other parameters spot on. I am having trouble bonding with the loaches. I had dojo's last time. This time I have yoyos. My old dojos were my babies and lay in my hands for pets and food and just to hang out. I do not like the yoyos but WOW they keep that floor clean. So they stay. They do make feeding the frogs a challenge.
A few rainbows. Then 5 Golden Killies. A clan of hatchets. I don't love the tank, the fish are not looking comfy yet, although the 'bows and rasboras are now a permanent school (which is nice, lots of activity with them).
Tried putting floating plants on top for the hatchets but they stay on the bottom so far...but they're just days old.
Current or no for this group? I have a bubbler area; a pretty strong filter, and a current creator in mid tank. I don't know if it's right. The 'bows/boras LOVE the current but others don't seem to like it....who knows....?
Anyway just an update any advice as always appreciated........the tank has cycled finally, and the ph is down. Thanks for the advice that's how I did those things.
one more time though, for me. No more bettas. Ever.
"I'm not *THAT* kind of hunter"

starsplitter7
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Re: Brand new 55g tank about 1.5 mo old. fish are dying

Post by starsplitter7 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:12 pm

Glad things are settlings down. You need more time to bond,a nd you will love oyur fish. I love dojos though. I consider them my puppies.

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ahmandi2
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@Starsplitter

Post by ahmandi2 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:59 am

You're RIGHT!
I think that's the meh factor for me....I miss the "puppies" so much even a year later..... these yoyos seem well....like just another fish. Dojo's all h ave their own personality, as you WELL know. I may even try to to return the yoyos. But losing dojo's to sickness or anything is a heart-breaker and I doubt I'd want to go through that again......maybe it's just going to have to be a nice ol' bristle-nose plec0. To replace the yoyo's....arrgh...but then my 5 algae eaters would starve?
My husband is going away on business for a week and I so don't want to deal with the tank at all. I'm just glad we didn't go with a new 85 Gallon he was looking at. More blah! 55 is enough =/
We are looking at changes already; just have to do them slowly and wisely. Thrive, not survive, which is another reason no dojo's in this tank. Temp too high. I THINK kuhlis can take higher but not sure. They may be the way to go.
Thanks again!
"I'm not *THAT* kind of hunter"

Diana
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Re: Brand new 55g tank about 1.5 mo old. fish are dying

Post by Diana » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:51 am

Do a fishless cycle, when the tank is cycled (0,0, less than 20), then add a couple small fish and wait, . . . do that over a period of a few months
On the contrary, do the fishless cycle that I posted (and is now a sticky) and you will grow enough nitrifying bacteria to fully stock the tank all at once. It was designed to cycle an African Cichlid tank where you over stock all at once, and do not have plants.

If you do the fishless cycle, then add too few fish the bacteria die off to match the fish waste. Adding more fish later then the tank will go though another cycle to grow more bacteria to handle the added fish.

If you want a bottled product make sure it includes Nitrospira species of bacteria.



Glad things are looking better!
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

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