Dying Fish, No Explanation... Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by bluewaterpig, May 22, 2018.

  1. bluewaterpigNew MemberMember

    I’ve been running my new tank for 3 weeks now. At first, I was a TOTAL idiot...I put a few fish in tap water with a filter and they were dead within 48 hours. So I did my research...I’ve added chemicals to combat “new tank syndrome”, to maintain good water conditions, and even something to cure Ick because I was seeing some fish get a white film.

    But now I’m totally out of answers. I took my water to get tested (at PetsMart, mind you, where some teenager who didn’t want to be there did the testing) and they told me my water was fine...


    *We also added a moss ball

    Any ideas?? Some fish are surviving (Platys, which I read are the most durable and easiest to care for) but I’ve lost almost a dozen fish of other types. Now I looked this morning and my Bala Shark doesn’t look too good...and he’s my favorite.

    Any help would be greatly, greatly appreciated.

  2. snowballPLECOValued MemberMember

    Use prime to dechlorinate your water. You HAVE to dechlorinate your water or your fish will continue to die.

  3. fishfanatic15Valued MemberMember

    What size tank is it?
    How many/what kind of fish were/are in it?
    Is it possible for you to buy a test kit to test the water yourself? Pet stores can be iffy and sometimes they only test the water with test strips instead of the liquid test which is much more accurate.
    What chemicals exactly did you add to your water and when?

  4. ColmCValued MemberMember

  5. RtessyFishlore VIPMember

    Do you have pictures of the "white film"? I'm thinking of at least three things other than Ich that it could be. But I agree, often deaths after 48 hours are more likely to be a type of toxin other than ammonia, and chlorine and/or chloramines seems likely
  6. FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    Can you provide more information, what's in the tank and whats the size of the tank?

    Unless you tank is 125g+ I don't think you should be having a bala shark at all. The white filmy stuff is either two things...it's a bacteria or the pH is too low for your shark and it's slime coat is basically melting off.
  7. penguin02Well Known MemberMember

    The fact that you have bala sharks and platies tells me you probably haven't done a ton of research on tank sizes or fish compatibility.... Bala sharks aren't really for beginners because of their future size. I agree with everything stated above; please give us dimensions and your full stocking.
  8. snowballPLECOValued MemberMember

    Bala sharks get over a foot long, unless you have a massive tank or you're going to rehome him you shouldn't have a bala
  9. LunnieticWell Known MemberMember

    When you say you took your water...

    Do you mean the water in the tank or water from your tap?
  10. bluewaterpigNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the replies.

    My tank is 25 gallons.

    I already used Prime to dechlorinate the water. I also used Clarity, Stability, an Ich treatment, and now I’m using Terta EasyBalance.

    When PetsMart tested my water, they used the strips.

    And worst of all...my Bala was found dead this morning.

    The only fish that are surviving are the Platys. I honestly don’t know the type of fish that I’ve lost...all I know is they were the cheaper priced types at PetsMart.

    When my fish die, they all seem to go through the same process. They’re perfectly fine and lively the first day, then they seem to get stationary and hide at the bottom of the tank. I can see that they’re breathing in short pulses instead of steadily. They won’t be swimming consistently either, it’s more like they float, then swim for a second, then float, swim, back and forth.

    I’m including pictures of my tank, the surviving Platys, and my dead Bala. He seems to have an odd color to him...maybe you guys can diagnose the problem based on this. It’s like a brown/gold color on his silver scales. The picture doesn’t capture it well.

    I’ve also tried to capture the white substance on the Platys...some pictures show it. If higher quality pics would make a difference, let me know.

    What do you guys think?? Do my own water test??

    Attached Files:

  11. RtessyFishlore VIPMember

    I'm so sorry for your loss, this absolutely sucks..
    I think you should do your own water tests because I have had PetSmart flat out lie to me. I brought in water (I was fishless cycling), with 4ppm ammonia (very deadly, like incredibly) 2ppm nitrite (also very deadly) and no nitrates. They checked the test, I saw their test come up with these insane levels, and they said my water looked perfect but the pH was a little low. I told them I was going to add shrimp to it (shrimp die at .25 ammonia and/or nitrite) and they said it was a good idea.... I don't shop there. The API freshwater master test kit is ~$22 but is worth every penny as the strips often aren't accurate. Plus the test lasts several years, the strips last a few weeks.
    I see some white spots on the platies and to me it looks a whole lot like columnaris, a bacterial infection best treated with Furan 2 or kanaplex. The gold shimmer you described could be velvet, it may be worth looking into.
  12. LunnieticWell Known MemberMember

    Do you actually have a filter on this tank? I see a bubble stick and an airline tubing but not an actual filter.
  13. FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    Can you provide details of your filter? What kind of filter and what series.
  14. bluewaterpigNew MemberMember

  15. MazeusWell Known MemberMember

    Hi (and welcome BTW).

    What are the dimensions of the tank? It looks very tall and narrow? I'm wondering if there could be some flow/oxygenation issues.
  16. FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    Your filter is the problem. You have a 25g tank but your filter is rated at 20g “max”. You should switch it to a filter that can do about 50g plus. Your tank is just a fraction too big and can’t handle the tank, thus causing problems in the tank.

    You can keep the filter you have and maybe buy yourself a sponge filter to help that might help.

    Also no more Bala Sharks in this tank. Tank is much too small and cramped.
  17. bluewaterpigNew MemberMember

    I was incorrect about the capacity.

    My tank is a hexagonal prism with each side measuring 9” wide and 19” tall. The water level is only 17” tall, so I did the math for a hexagonal prism volume (each panel measuring 9”x17”) and got 15 gallons. Maybe someone can double check that for me...

    The tank is kinda narrow and tall, so maybe there are some flow issues. What can I do to help with that?

    Also, I bought the API Freshwater Master test kit and got the following results...

    pH-6.8-7 (couldn’t tell the exact color)
    Nitrate and Nitrite are both at 0

    Maybe the Ammonia is the problem? I added another capful of Prime, which says it detoxifies ammonia.

    What do you guys think? Im really lost here. I’m assuming a 20 gallon filter is ok for 15 gallons of water? Monitor the ammonia? Add something to make sure everything is flowing correctly?
  18. fishfanatic15Valued MemberMember

    My advice would be to learn about the nitrogen cycle if you haven't already and read up on fish-in cycling. Monitor your parameters, do frequent PWCs and use prime to help your remaining fish survive. If your tank is 15 gallons and you only have a few platys left, you should be okay with your filter.

    If the fish don't get better once it is cycled, look into other diseases they might have. Keep an eye out for any spots or odd discoloration. If you could get higher quality pictures of them the people here could help spot something you miss, but I think your priority should be cycling the tank.

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