4 Dead Cardinals In Qt - Why?!?!? Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Jenoli42, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    Hi team,

    I'm still at work and my partner and kids just contacted me after school. We put 9 cardinal tetra into our cycled 21L QT 3 days ago. I tested their ammonia & nitrite daily...until this morning (of course).

    My family found 4 dead cardinals with 2 others who didn't look happy. They removed the dead ones, rang me, and i talked them through putting in the right amount of prime and stability.

    Then i talked them through how to do the parameter tests.

    temp 26*C
    ammonia .2 - .25 max
    nitrite 0ppm
    nitrate "looks like 5ppm but at worst could be 10ppm" is what my 11 yo said. she said "there's no red at all, just orange."

    But 4 dead fish at the same time on the same day tells me it's very likely to either be:

    * water quality/temp
    * food?

    no signs of other illness except a few looked a bit "chubby" to me since we got them.

    this morning i fed them a tiny bit of good quality flakes and a few broken off pieces of the JBL Novotab stick-on-the tank fish food (they haven't figured out how to eat it off the tank, so i broke off maybe 1/5 of a tab to add to the tank to feed them).

    it *could* be that there was a slight ammonia spike that killed the first one and then that killed the others? i dosed with prime the day before yesterday but maybe?

    or, something else killed them and the ammonia is because of the dead fish in the tank all day?

    tbh, i noticed at least 6 or 7 swimming this morning for feeding but i didn't try to count all 9 so one could have been dead overnight. my family said there was only 1 that looked pale and like it had been dead for half a day or more, the others looked like they had just died and my family wasn't convinced they were dead at first...until they didn't move with the net and well, you know the look.

    i always rinse my hands very well in rainwater before putting them in the tank to do anything, including feeding.

    but, this IS the same QT where we've had mysterious unexplained sterbai deaths.

    other theory is that having 9 tiny cardinals in a 21L QT stressed them out? it was only for their QT period, and their DT is 165L...

    i'm heading home shortly...any ideas? :(

    @AJBrown ... i'm so distressed!
  2. LunnieticWell Known MemberMember

    I am not sure if the same thing runs true about cardinals as it does neon tetras...but the neon tetras quality has gone down severely due to over breeding and inbreeding in the population? Thats the only idea I can think of that fits.

  3. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    i've been told the same is *not* true, which is partly why we opted for the cardinals. that, and they are higher temperature tolerant...

    :( we were just getting to enjoy them & their awesome colours! i hope the others are still alive when i get home. i'm heading there now. thank you for replying mate! i feel horrid because they were alive and well in the LFS for a while so i feel like it's something about our tank or something we did/didn't do. and i thought we were doing so well! *sobs quietly*

  4. Kyleena696Valued MemberMember

    I recently got a small school of cardinals (seven) and had two of them die a few days afterwards as well. My parameters were also fine and I assumed it was just moving stress or weak stock. Hopefully the rest of yours do well!

    What does DT stand for?

  5. LunnieticWell Known MemberMember

    Qt stands for quarinteen. Like its just a tank to watch for signs of disease when first obtaining the fish.

    I've had the luck with guppies. Right now instead of MTS I have METS. (Multi empty tank sydrome). Im scared to death of getting my ebas because of my luck with guppies and cherry barbs.

    We will get there. Hopefully someone else will chime in and be like, "oh its this".
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2018
  6. AquaticJFishlore VIPMember

    We don’t even order in Cardinals or Neons at my store because of the high death rate! We only get them if someone asks for them.
  7. FishMichValued MemberMember

    Oh I’m sorry!!! We had to put two of our neons down because of neon tetra disease. I was hoping that cardinals would be a healthier breed for our next tank. It doesn’t sound like it’s anything you’ve done or missed. Sounds like they just might not have been a healthy batch.
  8. Kyleena696Valued MemberMember

    Yes, I know that QT stands for quarantine. I was asking what DT stands for. I'm assuming its the tank that the fish go to once they have passed their quarantine period, but I've never heard the term DT before.
  9. LunnieticWell Known MemberMember

    Oh. Dream tank. Its in the OP's profile picture. Its what she calls her main tank.
  10. Kyleena696Valued MemberMember

    Ahh, gotcha. I've heard the phrase just not the abbreviation before then :)
  11. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    I'm sorry for your losses :(

    QT= quarantine tank
    DT= destination tank (after QT period finishes)

    thank you for sharing your story. .. maybe it was stress for both our sets of fish?

    oooooooohhhh... DT = dream tank! that's waaay better than destination tank! yoink. using. :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2018
  12. Kyleena696Valued MemberMember

    I'm sorry for yours as well.
    Hopefully it was just stress. I've got my fingers crossed the rest of yours make it through their quarantine!
  13. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    is it even possible for the food to be a culprit? look 2 of them look slightly *black*?

    warning: gruesome photos my family sent.

    I think our QT is cursed...
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  14. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    UPDATE (sorry for double post, mods)

    saw 3/5 this morning before heading off for my fight. no dead bodies that I could see.

    I'm not convinced it's a disease because they were fine at the lfs & within 3 days 4 died over 12-20 hours max.

    unless others can look at the photo & see something we can't, we're left guessing that it's stress... or a cursed QT.
  15. FishMichValued MemberMember

    It is odd for sure. I am by no means an expert, perhaps being moved to a 5.5 gallon tank caused stress? It just seems so drastic for so many of them to die so quick. Hope someone can help you figure it out
  16. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    UPDATE: another dead yesterday. 4/9 left. :( no idea why they're dying...
  17. trash.binh91Valued MemberMember

    sorry for your loss, i wish you could force them to live
  18. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    thanks... I feel like it must be something about our QT rather than a sudden disease outbreak.....UNLESS the stress of bringing them home & acclimating them to the very similar parameters of our QT was enough to stress them & compromise their immune systems to allow a disease that was already there to swiftly kill them.

    maybe it's the QT size? maybe it's the noise or vibrations of the airpump?

    the reason I'm keeping this thread alive is we want a relatively big (12-14) nano schooling species for this tank & it's going to be high collateral damage if we only have 3/9 live through quarantine... because I can only see 3 this morning. . :(
  19. CraniumRexWell Known MemberMember

    I’m watching this thread and totally get your frustration and sadness.

    I just lost a number of guppies over the course of several weeks. Established tank, parameters all fine. Guppies aren’t cardinals of course, but to lose so many fish is very discouraging and doesn’t seem to get easier.

    You may not discover what happened. I understand that underlying conditions can be provoked by stress and stress can simply be going into a new environment. Could it have been the wee ammonia spike? Maybe. Hard to accept the not knowing why so you can learn what to do better next time, this I know. Hang in there and rooting for the ones you have left.

    Best I can suggest is leave the lights off if you haven’t already and let them settle.
  20. Jenoli42Well Known MemberMember

    thank you so much for your kindness & sympathy. sigh. I just wanna know so I can fix what's wrong!

    we have 2 QTs & limited electrical outlets so the lights for both aren't even plugged in... one doesn't even have lights in the lid lolz. the only light they get is from indirect sunlight through windows or when we turn room lights on to make dinner. we always turn room lights off by 11pm & use flashlights to get anything from the kitchen lolz :)

    I'm not convinced we had an ammonia spike in the first place given the previous bio load our 2 filters in the QT supported BUT if we did, then we treated with prime within 12 hours & it would be at safe levels when the next death happened?

    anyway thank you again. I'm at a loss. I know fish can just die but half of the school within 50 hours? feels like that's likely to be something we've done wrong or missed....

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