All My Fish Are Dying! Need Help!

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

  1. Travis Bradbury Valued Member Member

    Long read but might be interesting

    If someone can help me out.. because I am lost. I've never dealt with dying fish like this, but I've been educating myself from the start ready for it.

    This all started afew days ago. 75 gallon tank. Aquaclear 110

    Starting out: 4 big platys, 3 small platys, 4 big guppies.. I've had the guppies and big platys since... September 2017?

    Keep in mind, all my younger/newer fish were not affected at all from what im about to explain.. just the older platys and guppies.

    I noticed 2 dead platys in my tank(1 big 1 small). took them out, look around and seen all my guppies and platys acting weird.
    The dead Big platy looked like nothing was wrong, small platy was injured(white areas, open wound)
    I immediately did a water test,.. ammonia 0.25/0.50. nitrites 0, nitrates 40ish..I then dosed a full tank of prime to help with the ammonia.

    Looking around the tank for an ammonia source, I find a dead fish stuck on my pre-filter hidden inside it(it was a small skinny fish), then removed it. Who knows how long its been there.

    Did a nice big water change, added another full tank dose of prime(this wouldnt be prime burn or whatever its called). The next day(after another death or two) The ammonia was 0, MAYBE a TINNY tinge of green for 0.25.. but REALLY yellow, i just went with 0 because it was probably my eyes screwing with me.

    So from there all the guppies and platys have been dying off one by one. LITERALLY one by one.. 2 never died at the same time(unless it was a injured fish with the dead fish). 3 big guppys dead, 4 big platys dead, 1 small platy dead(injured.. but how?)

    ALL the guppies that died, started to get extremely skinny, then turned extremely black all around the head. one by one youd see them go to top of the tank, barely swimming until they cant, all-while turning black, then die. Then the next guppy would start showing extreme symptoms.. go to top of tank, barely swimming, black head, die, repeat. One by one.

    All the platys that died looked like nothing happened to them(expect the small one with a open wound and white areas.. their not grains of salt(ich), they are white AREAS).

    This morning is where I found my last big platy dead, along with a dead injured neon tetra(white AREAS on it)

    SO what I put together is, the guppies and platys are the oldest in the tank. I think that small ammonia spike from the dead fish caused them to be extremely stressed, and get sick, and because their old their immune system isnt as strong as the unaffected younger newer fish(neon tetras, glo fish, rummynose tetras, my DG, B rams, kuhli loaches, all my shrimp).. which is why the younger fish didn't react to the ammonia.. they were all acting normal.

    How those younger fish died.. the young platy and neon tetra.. both of them looked injured. I think the dying older fish(platy) kinda went crazy and attacked them while dying?(is that a thing?). They both died during the night along with a dead platy(both times), so I cant be sure.. what do you think?
    My DG is fairly new(2 weeks), but I've been watching them like a hawk..I see zero signs of aggression towards anything, fish or shrimp.


    This morning(after taking out the 2 dead fish) all my neon tetras just stayed at the bottom of the tank for awhile after turning on my light.. which is very unusual.. JUST my tetras, I was worried, did a test.. ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 40ish. Figured it was fine and it was just an off day for them, gave them some food, and they all ate.. been fine swimming around since(I feed every 2 days).

    What do you guys think happened with all this? Do you think my theory is correct?

    SO the reason I'm posting this thread.. 5 days ago I got 3 Bolivian rams(1 male, 2 female). They were in the tank when all of this went down. They are not aggressive towards anything aswell. They we're unaffected the entire time, today I noticed one of them turning black, like its entire body.
    He/she also has clamped fins, and seems to just sit at the bottom of the tank. Did some quick reading and I think it might be just stress. But obviously I'm worried due to what I just went through. The other 2 look fine.. not much color like when I first put them in the tank.. but not black.
    I'm also worried because my guppys also died 1 by 1.. turning black 1 at a time.
    What do you guys think? Just stress? Keep it mind ammonia and nitrites are 0(tested this morning)

    Here's 2 pictures of the black ram, then 1 picture of the other two:




    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  2. Makayla6676 New Member Member

    Do you quarantine your new fish before putting them with your other fish?

  3. Travis Bradbury Valued Member Member

    No QT, my LFS is extremely good and QT's every stock they get until they think they are ready to sell. They dose what they need to dose. Once they are healthy enough THEN they sell it. I also look in the tanks for any signs of disease, dead fish, etc, before picking specific fish I want out of the bunch.

    I'm lucky to have a LFS like them.
    The black face on guppys seems like ammonia burn, which is why i think its that dead fish i found that caused a spike. I could be wrong

  4. DaleM Well Known Member Member

    What water testing kit do you have? Fish turning black due to necrosis is one of the symptoms of ammonia/nitrite poisoning
  5. Travis Bradbury Valued Member Member

    I have a API master test kit.
  6. Makayla6676 New Member Member

    That’s most likely what it is and when you add new fish you more bio load so what I would is do a water change every 3-4days until you can get the ammonia back down to 0
  7. Travis Bradbury Valued Member Member

    Ammonia is already 0. I know its alot to read, but I mentioned above that tested this morning.. was 0

    which is why i think my Ram is just stressed.
  8. Jenoli42 Well Known Member Member

    I'm so sorry mate!

    my thoughts were:

    *ammonia or nitrite burns
    *chemical burns... any other metal or substance besides prime? I don't think it's prime because you can dose 5x the recommended in emergencies so...
    *lack of oxygen?

    You ruled out the first one.... mostly. depends on if the death preceeded the spike or was caused by it.

    I doubt that dying fish randomly attacking others is a thing but I totally stand to be corrected ... if it's lack of oxygen then who knows if fish hallucinate.

    bizarre. I may not be the most experienced person who can help but I'll do my best.

    EDIT... others replied before i posted mine & I didn't see
  9. SFGiantsGuy Well Known Member Member

    Could possibly be a hitchiker parasite from the dead fish? Doubt that though knowing the high freqency of fish say your ammonia's at zero, the other folks said, it could be ammonia spikes/fluctuations or ammonia spikes from the prolonged dead carcass...sullen fish at the bottom of the tank with clamped fins, lethargy, darkened bodies usually indicates a water problem... 9 times outta 10 it IS ammonia...optimistically and hopefully it was only just a sharp ammonia spike and will rescind very soon after some Prime and water changes.
  10. Travis Bradbury Valued Member Member

    I couldnt be chemical burns, if it was, why just specific fish and not all of them?

    No other fish showed symptoms but my guppys and platys.. for almost.. All of them are dead now, and my Bolivian is turning dark.
    Ill update you guys in the morning when i wake too see if the bolvivan has pass or is worse. If so theres a pattern of turning black when dying going on here.. ammonia and nitrites 0.
    Will be doing %50+ WC daily to see how things go. Also going to buy plant potts for the rams to hide in if they dont like the spots now.
  11. SFGiantsGuy Well Known Member Member

    Yeah keep us posted...this is kinda bizarre IME...hopefully some more positive results after some water changes...geez...that really sucks...! : (
  12. Travis Bradbury Valued Member Member

    Woke up today and found the Bolivian dead. did a test right away.. ammonia and nitrites 0.. added a picture to show.

    Thankfully no other fish are showing symptoms or starting to turn black. Will continue to do water changes.
    I have no idea why all my fish died. The first few I get.. there was 0.50 ammonia due to the first dead fish caught in my filter. But even when it was 0, fish still died.

  13. Jenoli42 Well Known Member Member

    im so sorry :(

    how many airstones do you have in the tank?
  14. Rtessy Fishlore VIP Member

    Any chance (and this is a kinda crazy theory but it happens every now and again) your tap lines have been flushed/cleaned recently? It could add certain chemicals and heavy metals to the water that are undetectable. As to why only one type died, then your ram, that is odd. Also, I'm very sorry for your loss, it always sucks to lose them. From what I know, guppies are getting weaker and weaker genetics in the trade, which may be a contributor, and Rams are sensitive, but so are neons and glowfish, it really is quite odd. Good luck
  15. Travis Bradbury Valued Member Member

    No airstone in the tank, I have my aquaclear 110 on full for water movement. Been like that since I got my aquarium last year.

    Its possible that my tap lines have been cleaned yes, but I wouldnt have knowledge, the city would have done it.
    I'm in Toronto and the cold weather is just going away, so yea it might be possible.
    But the questions still is, why just specific fish and not the whole tank?

    I'm still thinking the small ammonia spike got the weakfish sick, which is why they died.

    1 guppy survived, no signs of distress the entire time while all the other ones showed signs then died,
    all my big platys died, and a small one(injured). But the 2 other small ones show no sign of distress.
    and now my ram.. while the other two rams show no signs of distress.
  16. Jenoli42 Well Known Member Member

    just a guess mate but perhaps get an airpump & 1 or 2 airstones? something may be going on with your water that's lowering oxygen? usually you see gasping & gulping at surface but the blackness can indicate oxygen in some cases?
  17. Travis Bradbury Valued Member Member

    You are correct that it can cause blackness...well somewhat correct. All dead fish were at the top gasping(except for ram).
    But ammonia poisoning ruins their gills slowly so they cant breathe correctly, which is why my think they were at the top gasping for air.

    Shrimp NEED a well oxygenated tank to survive, I have about 20 shrimp and none of them have died. I will be getting a air pump soon for the summer coming up, but i think its not needed. Im in a cold basement :)
  18. Jenoli42 Well Known Member Member

    yep, we had rainbows that lived through the Mini Cycle Massacre of NY 2017...for about 2 months. the ammonia levels were up to 2ppm despite massive daily water changes and prime (which couldn't help at those levels). they never gasp for breath. the never turned black. they acted like they were eating but then spit out their food and slowly started losing scales from malnutrition... and eventually passed. i'm convinced that was because of ammonia poisoning and weakened immune systems from stress. i strongly suspect their gills were massively damaged but they never showed signs. that could be because we really oxygenate our water. so i understand that fish react differently to the same stressors... was just trying to help you figure out what's happened....

    I don't keep shrimp, so i'll just believe you about their need for oxygen :) if that's the case, then it makes sense to rule that out. good luck
  19. Travis Bradbury Valued Member Member

    Well rams DO turn dark/black when their stressed. I have 3 rams.. I think two paired up and billed the third one.. alot of people are saying thats very common when you have 3 rams, which is why you never have 3(Unless 3 m or 3f). idk why my LFS is selling 3 as a special rate.

    I did see each rams bully him, but just chasing him away really. Thats probably what happened with my ram, with the rest, ammonia poisoning.
  20. MissRuthless Well Known Member Member

    White patches, getting extremely skinny and declining very quickly like that sounds possibly like columnaris to me.