Can’t find fish

UnknownUser

Okay what do you do if you can’t find the body? I don’t want an ammonia spike in the tank, but it’s possible my fish ate it.

Backstory is that it’s a female rasbora (has shown egg laying behaviors) and has always been just unhealthy. She hides often and has always been bullied by two assumed male rasboras. She typically always stayed in one spot in the tank unless chased out of it. Yesterday I noticed her swimming more vertically than usual and it looked like she was struggling. She has been getting increasingly duller in color. I assumed she was on her way out, which is why I believe I am looking for a body. I do not believe she was diseased; just an unhealthy fish.

I have bronze corys a guppy more harlequins honey gouramis and nerite snails. They very possibly could have eaten her, she was always very small and thin.

Do you guys call it a day and consider the fish eaten if you can’t find it? I just don’t want an ammonia spike.
 

jkkgron2

I usually try to find it for maybe 10-15 minutes? If I can’t find it then I try to do a larger water change than usual just to be safe. I lost a cory recently and I think it was sucked up by the filter? Either way I never found it and my fish have all been fine.
 
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UnknownUser

I usually try to find it for maybe 10-15 minutes? If I can’t find it then I try to do a larger water change than usual just to be safe. I lost a cory recently and I think it was sucked up by the filter? Either way I never found it and my fish have all been fine.
Today is water change day. I will make it a large one.
 
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BigManAquatics

Filter is a good place to check for sure. I also tend to check around the outside of the aquarium in case they jumped. Also, if you have cats, see if their breath is extra fishy...
 
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julien0101

I doubt that your other fish would have eaten the rasbora that quickly except if they were starving. I have pond snails that would eat dead bodies but they need 3 to 4 full days to consume a dead cory

Maybe it was stuck under ornaments?
 
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BigManAquatics

I only add the cat part because mine love drinking from the aquarium and sometimes try to go "fishing"
 
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UnknownUser

I’ll check the filter when I do the water change, I assume the body is under a decoration or stuck in a plant but without going so far as to remove and check every single thing I just can NOT find this fish!

I doubt that your other fish would have eaten the rasbora that quickly except if they were starving. I have pond snails that would eat dead bodies but they need 3 to 4 full days to consume a dead cory
She’s 1/3 the size of one of my bronze corys, I’m willing to bet the 4 of them alone could’ve done it
 
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ghostdawg

About a couple of months ago, one of my ember tetras came up missing. I never did find it or any signs of it. I have a sponge on my filter's intake tube so I assume it wasn't sucked in from it. I believe it may have died and the others ate it. I did a large water change to make sure no spikes.
 
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mattgirl

I keep hearing about ammonia spikes if a body isn't found and removed. If a tank is fully cycled I really don't think one little fish decomposing will cause an ammonia spike. The decomposition will happen gradually so I wouldn't expect an ammonia spike in a fully cycled tank. It would be a different story if the missing fish was a big fish but if that was the case it would be easy to find and remove.

I have had fish just disappear over the many years I've been in this hobby. Bodies never found. I have to assume they have been eaten by either other fish or snails. Bones may eventually show up but more often than not no sign of the missing fish is ever found.

I just accept that a fish is missing, probably has been eaten and just carry on.
 
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tnrsmomma

You're probably right about it getting eaten. I'd just do a water change/gravel vac, check the filter for any problematic chunks, and keep an eye on it for a bit. If you have a test kit, it's not too much hassle to check the ammonia a couple times over the next day or two. I imagine every scrap got eaten up though. Gouramis in particular are voracious chow hounds!

The couple times I've lost a small fish, I've never found a body and thankfully never had an ammonia spike either. *knock on wood*

My tanks are heavily planted so even if they didn't eat it, I'd never find it unless it died right out front. I am always a bit paranoid one of the bigger, shy fish or a big snail might die and cause a problem, like the kuhli loaches or the banjo catfish. so far dead snails get eaten fast and the shy guys are all accounted for. I guess that's why we have to be consistent with our maintenance and just cross our fingers for the parts that are out of our control! A diverse clean up crew is worth its weight in gold though. I have amano shrimp, pond and bladder snails, corydoras, kuhli loaches and zebra danios in my main tank. I think their motto is "never leave a scrap uneaten"
 
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UnknownUser

Thanks for all the responses! I just did the wc and swished the HOB media and checked the bottom, no fish in the HOB. I’m like 99% sure she was eaten. Not going to worry about it.
 
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skar

I don't worry about it.. if something goes missing I do nothing diiferent.
 
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Fishkeeping7777

I only add the cat part because mine love drinking from the aquarium and sometimes try to go "fishing"
Pls don’t let them do that
 
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NearMeBettas

My really old wild betta died a few weeks ago. I found her dead in the tank jammed between a rock and the substrate (she was already well decomposed) but was already late for an appointment. Went to take her out that evening and the cories must have ate her well I was gone. Did a 50% wc and everything was good.
I only add the cat part because mine love drinking from the aquarium and sometimes try to go "fishing"
Ya, if you have larger birds like macaws I guess they will manage to get under your lid and snack too.
 
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