7 Green Dwarf Rasbora (kubotai) Dead In 6 Days. Help

  1. Algonquin

    Algonquin Well Known Member Member

    Hi all, I'm hoping someone can come up with some ideas on what might be happening in my tank. I've got a newly cycled 10 gallon tank, added 8 Green Dwarf Rasbora (Kubotai) juveniles on Saturday afternoon, and they've been dying one per day pretty much. this morning there is just one little guy left, and I'm assuming he's not going to last either (although he's outlived the rest, so who knows). They haven't shown any obvious signs of illness, although to be fair, they are super tiny, so it's hard to really get a good look at them. They are a bit less than a centimeter long, although varying in size, but pretty close to that.
    The tank was fishless cycled using pure ammonia, cycle completed about a month ago. As I was waiting for a specific fish to arrive at my lfs, I didn't stock the tank until this past Saturday, and had been feeding it pure ammonia to keep the cycle going. Before these new fishies were put in, I did 3 70% water changes every other day for 3 days leading up to their arrival. When they went in the tank, parameters were (and still are this morning) Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5, using API master test kit.
    So the first fish to go was on Monday night - found him on the gravel about 2 hours after noticing he was separate from the group and hanging around near the bottom at feeding time. So from the time I noticed he wasn't acting like the rest to when he died, probably a few hours. The rest that have died have all gone the same way - swimming away from the main group, then hanging near the bottom, eventually laying on the bottom and then dying.
    I'm using Prime with water changes, have done a couple of pwc on Monday after pulling out the dead one, and on Wednesday as well, only 2 gallons changed. Before they went in the tank, with the last wc, I put a bit of Flourish in for the plants (Water Wisteria, Java Fern, Java Moss, Moneywort) and when I bought the fish I also bought a moss ball and 2 Buce plants (all were in separate tanks in lfs).
    What is killing these fish? I acclimated them properly - floated the bag, tested the Ph (store water was 7.4, my water 7.8) and carefully added a few spoonfuls of tank water to the bag every 5-10 min over an hour. Temp matched at 76 degrees. Haven't added anything else to the water since then other than Prime and a few drops Vitachem.
    Is it possible I just got a 'bad batch' of fish? I know they were tank raised, not wild caught. Were they too young? What could be going wrong here? It seems weird to me that if something was 'bad' in the tank that they wouldn't all die at once.
    Any thoughts, advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm super sad and frustrated, I spent 2 months setting up and fishless cycling this tank and it's all falling apart this week. :(
     
  2. mattgirl

    mattgirl Well Known Member Member

    I am very sorry to hear this. It is very possible that these tiny guys were not healthy to begin with because it sounds like you did everything perfectly. I think I would contact the store you got them from and see if they will be up front with you as to whether or not they lost a lot of them too.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Algonquin

    Algonquin Well Known Member Member

    This was my first experience with this particular LFS, I specifically went there because I can't seem to get these fish anywhere else locally. Unfortunately, their policy is unless it dies in the bag on the way home, they won't guarantee anything. I guess I was taking my chances.
    My thinking (and I know some may not like this) is that I'll pick up a few 'standard' fish locally (like Harlequins or Danios - something cheap and fairly hardy) and put them in the tank... if they all die within a week, I'll assume something is wrong in the tank... if they are ok, I got a bad batch of Dwarfs. (and I don't have to worry about losing my cycle). Does that sound reasonable? I'm also setting up a 20 gal soon (pending how this situation works out) so I can move whatever I end up putting in the 10 if it's not a good fit size wise. Thoughts?
     




  4. mattgirl

    mattgirl Well Known Member Member

    Sounds like a good plan. Danios would be good for a test. I would still call the LFS. Let them know what happened and assure them that you do understand and accept their policy but would like to know if they had a problem with this particular shipment. They may not tell you but it wouldn't hurt to at least ask if only for your own peace of mind.
     
  5. bitseriously

    bitseriously Well Known Member Member

    Hey @Algonquin did these come from SF in scarb? They're the only location I know around here that often has kubotai's. It's a species I've been wanting to find room for for some time. Were they shipped to you, or bought in person?
    The pattern of mortality you describe is something I see more and more, the more and more I read. Roughly 1 death per day, no obvious symptoms, cycled tank, usually new fish in quarantine. I haven't been at this hobby for long enough to have my own multiple experiences with this, but I've had it once, and it was not fun. New fish went into a cycled tank (insta-cycle, due to tranferred media), seemed fine for a period of days (upwards of a week in my case), then suddenly one is dead. Then another. And so on. Personally, I suspect a strain of columnaris, but I'm open to other options.
    One question I have (for the pros) is regarding acclimation: how long do new fish have to survive in a new tank before we can eliminate acclimation or change of environment issues as causing mortality? Eg, if fish die a week after surviving a move to a new tank, could it still be acclimation? Or would we consider stress from acclimation as causing a secondary infection/pathogen? Another way to ask this is: if I don't properly acclimate my new fish, when should I expect to see problems? I'd always assumed the answer would be 'right away'. But now I'm wondering...
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Algonquin

    Algonquin Well Known Member Member

    Thanks Mattgirl, I will let them know what happened with the fish, but I have zero relationship with them as it was my first purchase there, so I have no idea if they'd be honest with me or not.
    Bitseriously, yes it was SF. I went to the store, wanted to see the place, and not spend $ on shipping when it's less than an hour drive for me.
    What I do know about these fish was that they arrived in store on Thursday night, were for sale to the public on Saturday, which is when I went and bought them. So very new arrivals to the store.
    My other concern with this is that if the fish were sick, what happens with my filter media? Is it no good now? I've also got media for my 20 gallon in this filter, I've been getting it seeded so I can set up my 20 whenever I'm ready. Now I'm wondering if it's all out the window...
    Re acclimating, I've read from others on this forum about some fish (especially wild caught) only living a few weeks and then starting to die off - although I would expect the incidents of this would be much higher with wild fish vs. tank raised.
     
  7. snowballPLECO

    snowballPLECO Valued Member Member

    Sounds like they were already weak before you got them, not your fault most likely.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Algonquin

    Algonquin Well Known Member Member

    It's weird - as I mentioned, they were all tiny, but varying sizes. Ate like little green piggies three times a day. Didn't look 'weak' at all. There were 2 in particular that were especially small, and they outlived some of the bigger ones. You would think the younger ones would go first in a case like this.
    So I just checked on my last one, we'll call him Han Solo. He's looking fine, but wondering if it was something he said...
    Gotta laugh or I'll cry :yuck:
     
  9. snowballPLECO

    snowballPLECO Valued Member Member

    Buying fish is a risk, all you gotta do is try your best
     
  10. Kyleena696

    Kyleena696 Valued Member Member

    Slightly off topic but I want to make sure I understand this correctly. Does that statement mean that you remove the fish when you do a water change? If so that could be causing them undue stress which could have led to more deaths than if you had left them in the tank.

    If I'm misunderstanding I apologize and just ignore me :)
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Algonquin

    Algonquin Well Known Member Member

    No worries, I wasn't removing the fish to do a water change. I was referring to the last water change I had done (while the tank was still uninhabited) before adding the fish for the first time.
     
  12. bitseriously

    bitseriously Well Known Member Member

    It really depends.
    IF the problem is bacterial, fungal or viral, then we're always told these pathogens are everywhere. They supposedly exist even in healthy tanks, and they only become a problem if hosts (fish) are stressed. But I don't know how universally true that really is. Parasites are a bit easier to thoroughly eradicate (usually through meds, but also via culls or tear-down). So if you got to a point where your remaining fish were healthy for a month or so, or if you were just coming off a successful filter-friendly medication treatment, I'd say you would be fine to continue using that media.
    I'm the skeptic in the crowd, and I'm totally on the fence regarding whether this is a disease, or environmental conditions. I was in the same store just a couple days ago, and saw the kubotais. They looked pretty robust, but yes, very very small. I presume that at that size they must have been tank-bred, so I'd be reluctant to apply any wild-caught argument here. But a quick call to the store can sort out the source/origin.
    Anyone want to weigh in on my prior question about acclimation?
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Algonquin

    Algonquin Well Known Member Member

    Yes, they confirmed to me that these were tank raised. They looked robust and were very active in the store and when I got them home as well... and generally stayed like that (especially at feeding time). Then one would just separate from the group and start hanging out at the bottom... and within hours was dead -- while the others still remained active.
    I'm wondering if because they are so young, first travelling to and acclimating in the fish store tank, then 2 days later, acclimating to my tank... maybe just too much change for them.
    Han Solo is still swimming around the tank now, I just checked on him.
     
  14. mattgirl

    mattgirl Well Known Member Member

    That is usually my first thought when folks start losing fish shortly after getting them home. These little guys go through so much in such a short period of time.

    Netted, bagged up, shipped and treated who knows how rough, dumped into a net and then dumped in the tanks at the store. Then we come along and buy them so they are again netted, bagged up and then endure the trip to our house. Most of us take great care to acclimate them but then we dump them into a net and put them in our tanks. That is a lot of stress that is bound to cause a lot of distress.

    This could very well be why you lost so many of your little guys. Hopefully the last one is a bit stronger and may very well make it. It is also possible that you could get more at the same store and if they are from the same shipment these came in on they may have calmed down from the original shipping conditions and might survive now that they have had a chance to calm down.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Algonquin

    Algonquin Well Known Member Member

    Agree totally. They sure go thru a lot.
    If the 'last Jedi' here pulls thru, he's gonna need some friends. I'm not sure about buying them again from the same place, waiting to see how the owner handles this.

    Here a a pic of the one I took out this morning. No idea if there's any signs of disease? He's just over 1 cm. 20180518_153631.jpg
     
  16. bitseriously

    bitseriously Well Known Member Member

    I think if the owner is honest with you (or, at least if you think he’s being honest with you) that’s about as much as you can expect in this situation.
    I agree with what @mattgirl said about ‘double acclimating’; first arriving from the original source to the store, then relatively quickly being moved to your tank. Example: I bought a couple of small gbr from that store, they went straight into my main tank and were breeding within a week or so. That was two months ago and they continue to be hungry, happy, and growing (as far as I can tell). Conversely, I lost eight cories from the same store, but I bought them shortly after they arrived at the store via international air freight. They survived the trip to my tank well enough, and made it through the first few days with no apparent problems, but over the course of 7 to 20 days I lost them all. Sound familiar?
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Algonquin

    Algonquin Well Known Member Member

    So a little update... Han Solo lives on! I didnt think he would survive the night, so I went and got some zebra Danios and put them in. So far so good, although the little dwarf Rasbora is hiding a lot.
    Got in touch with the LFS and they said a few of their stock had died this week, but not many and that they still had quite a few left. He also offered to replace half of them if I wanted to come back and get more but, as you can imagine, I'm hesitant to do that. For now I'm just going to keep an eye on the tank and see how it goes over the next few days. He suggested that they just didn't acclimate well, and he didn't mention any known illness at his end. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on this--seems pretty likely so far that this is an acclaimation issue combined with the young age of the fish.
     
  18. finnipper59

    finnipper59 Well Known Member Member

    Acclamation can be variable. Too much pH change would put them in shock immediately, so would large temperature changes. Improper lighting might cause some to hide seeking shade, but that wouldn't kill them. Usually a fish will be acclimated within 24 hours. I have 2 angelfish out of my 5 that paired up and would even go through the spawning behavior but not actually lay eggs. I figured it was because the other 3 angels. So I put them in their own cycled tank. Not only would they not spawn, the wouldn't eat for 3 days. So I put them back in the community tank and they were fine again. I bought them as juveniles and raised them in that tank. The other tank was fine, but to them, it wasn't the home they knew.
    The most a fish can handle in pH change is 0.2 in a 24 hour period, but at the same time, if a fish doesn't die within a few hours of pH shock, it usually recovers. Don't get upset with me for asking this question, but where did you buy your ammonia and does it say pure ammonia or clear ammonia. If it says clear on the front, check the back where it says ingredients. Does it only say ammonia or does it say surfactants too?
     
  19. DrFish53

    DrFish53 New Member Member

    Ok something to explore, what is your tank temperature and pH? Then compare that to what this species prefers. If it differs by quite alot this could be your issue. A softwater sensitive fish would have a hard time in a hardware tank and vice versa, especially if in a fry stage
     
  20. Freshwater-Freshman

    Freshwater-Freshman Valued Member Member

    The picture of the dead one you posted looks a lot like my skinnier and weaker ones, my LFS gets them at varying ages, and out of the 29 I've bought I've lost 8 because they are sensitive to travel and there were some who hadn't eaten in who knows how long. They just were too weak. My older ones are much larger and round bodied than the one above, so I'm sure this batch might've just been too fragile and wherever they were before wasn't feeding enough. I hope that you can get it all sorted out because they are really lovely fish, but I do expect to always lose some, they are sensitive little fellas