Cause Of Rainbow Shark Death? Also Worried About Pleco

dazeychain

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I have some sad news. We came down today and our rainbow shark was swimming very weakly, really mostly floating and deteriorated very fast after that and passed away this morning when I was trying to set up a hospital tank. First of all, all the water readings are still good 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, the nitrates are 40 but it is almost time to change the water. The pH has stayed right around 7.4 or so. All the other fish are fine except I haven't seen the pleco today and khe did not eat his food last night (used the vac and sucked it up already).

I just set this tank up about 10 days ago, and it already came with the fish. As I said in my previous post, the circumstances of the delivery were not ideal, but I thought it was clear sailing by now.

Does anyone have an idea of what could have killed the rainbow shark and should I try and chase the pleco out of his house so I can check on him? It is possible they fought and the shark lost? I know he chases the bala sharks that also came with the tank but they never mess with him back, they just swim away.

How long does it take uneaten food to cause an ammonia spike? I mean, the ammonia level is fine right now, but could it have been a different situation overnight?
 

NavyChief20

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dazeychain said:
I have some sad news. We came down today and our rainbow shark was swimming very weakly, really mostly floating and deteriorated very fast after that and passed away this morning when I was trying to set up a hospital tank. First of all, all the water readings are still good 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, the nitrates are 40 but it is almost time to change the water. The pH has stayed right around 7.4 or so. All the other fish are fine except I haven't seen the pleco today and khe did not eat his food last night (used the vac and sucked it up already).

I just set this tank up about 10 days ago, and it already came with the fish. As I said in my previous post, the circumstances of the delivery were not ideal, but I thought it was clear sailing by now.

Does anyone have an idea of what could have killed the rainbow shark and should I try and chase the pleco out of his house so I can check on him? It is possible they fought and the shark lost? I know he chases the bala sharks that also came with the tank but they never mess with him back, they just swim away.

How long does it take uneaten food to cause an ammonia spike? I mean, the ammonia level is fine right now, but could it have been a different situation overnight?
An ammonia spike rapidly would have to be from a dead fish or a TON of food or poo. Since your ammonia is nil it's not from that. pH transients have to be pretty drastic to kill quickly. If the pleco was chasing him around incessantly then it could cause stress and result in death. I've had it happen in my Amazon tanks.

Side note, you have bala's? How big is your tank?
 
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dazeychain

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Yep, I posted the details in a different post, but short version, picked up a used 55 gallon tank that already had 1x pleco (already about inches) 2x bala sharks (about3-4 inches already) , the rainbow shark, and about 10 platys.

I dropped an API algae eater tablet last night that went uneaten and i vacuumed it up this morning. I feed the other fish omegs one super color flakes and tubifex worms.

I'm going to buy a new test kit in a few. I had been using the one that came with the tank but I bought a fresh seachem ammonia alert when i set the tank up. All the readings *look* fine but now I feel like I *might* see a hint of green in the yellow on the seachem ammonia alert.
 

NavyChief20

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dazeychain said:
Yep, I posted the details in a different post, but short version, picked up a used 55 gallon tank that already had 1x pleco (already about inches) 2x bala sharks (about3-4 inches already) , the rainbow shark, and about 10 platys.

I dropped an API algae eater tablet last night that went uneaten and i vacuumed it up this morning. I feed the other fish omegs one super color flakes and tubifex worms.

I'm going to buy a new test kit in a few. I had been using the one that came with the tank but I bought a fresh seachem ammonia alert when i set the tank up. All the readings *look* fine but now I feel like I *might* see a hint of green in the yellow on the seachem ammonia alert.
Stocking wise that's not bad. However you need to plan ahead on those Balas. Balas get really big. They are peaceful to a fault but they get some serious size on them.
 
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dazeychain

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Yep. I am worried about that. I didn't really get a choice, but from what I can gather 55 gallons is going to be woefully insufficient for the sharks and pleco when they are grown. I asked at my fish store by my house and the girl took my # and said she would ask the owner. She said there are a ton of plecos out there that people don't know what to do with, but sometimes people are looking for balas that are already getting bigger.
 

NavyChief20

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yeah i have a list of my top 10 fish that should be restricted sells at fish stores. People freak out when their common pleco is all of a sudden 10+"
 
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dazeychain

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NavyChief20 said:
yeah i have a list of my top 10 fish that should be restricted sells at fish stores. People freak out when their common pleco is all of a sudden 10+"
Yeah... I guess for now all I can do is continue to monitor the water. I picked up some ammonia test strips because I didn't trust the other kit, and it still shows 0.
Anything else I can check for? The pleco is still hiding but all the other fish are completely normal.
 

NavyChief20

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what did the rainbow look like as he was getting weak? You have good water specs after 10 days or you used media from another tank to rapid cycle? Get a master test kit, they are pretty good. Plecos hide ALOT. Mine are a challenge to find at times.
 
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dazeychain

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NavyChief20 said:
what did the rainbow look like as he was getting weak? You have good water specs after 10 days or you used media from another tank to rapid cycle? Get a master test kit, they are pretty good. Plecos hide ALOT. Mine are a challenge to find at times.
So, the previous owner had taken everything out and cleaned / scrubbed the tank and filter housing. All the gravel was in a bucket, the fish were in another bucket of tank water, and the old dirty filter inserts were in a ziplock bag full of tank water. I put 60lbs of eco complete in when I got home, put 3 mesh bags of old gravel in the tank, put the old filters back in and put all the old water from the gravel into tank. I also put a bottle of biological starter stuff.
I've been testing the water every day and it has been fine. I didn't buy the kit I have now, the old owner threw it in but after the rainbow shark died I got a little paranoid that maybe it was no good.
The rainbow shark didn't like other fishes swimming near his cave but the pleco hangs there. He was perfectly fine the night before, which is exactly why we are so freaked out today.
 

NavyChief20

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well sounds like you did everything right. Im not a fan of the bio starter stuff but some people like it. gravel only holds so much BB, but the old filters are a nice bonus. realistically you should be cycled. the rainbow may have just gotten scared/stressed. it does happen. I had some red devil cichlids that were getting chased by my peacocks and they shock died from being chased.
 
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dazeychain

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Almost all my platys have died and the bala sharks just hang out by the plants, and the pleco isn't eating. I asked at the fish store by my house and he said they flush the pipes every spring here with extra chlorine and I may not have treated my water with enough conditioner. Basically after the first water change after they started flushing it killed my rainbow shark, and since I had been doing partial water changes every day since he died, I have basically been poisoning my fish. I am going to order a chlorine test kit and in the mean time he got me some ro water that he already balanced with minerals and he said not to change the water with tap water until I can teat for chlorine. I'm worried that the rest of the fish won't survive this.
 

TexasDomer

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You should always treat your tap water with a dechlorinator before putting it into the tank. You don't need a chlorine test, just dechlorinate all water. Seachem Prime is a good one that is also cheap.
 
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dazeychain

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TexasDomer said:
You should always treat your tap water with a dechlorinator before putting it into the tank. You don't need a chlorine test, just dechlorinate all water. Seachem Prime is a good one that is also cheap.
I did, but I think I undertreated it, just following the bottle instructions. Evidently put county water authority flushes the pipes by using higher concentrations of chlorine in the spring. I had been testing my water since it was set up and everything had been good until after that water change. The guy at the shop doesn't know how long it takes to flush the pipes and doesn't use regular tap water.
 
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