60 Gallon Tank Emergency- almost total fish die-off

lightco

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Aquarium Details  
Do you know of and understand the Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle?
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Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 60 Gallons
How long has the tank been running? November, 2020
Does it have a filter? yes
Does it have a heater? yes
What is the water temperature? 80 F
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) I only have two guppies left. 5 weeks ago I had, in addition to the guppies: 2 platies, 2 Cory Cats, 2 mollys, 1 dwarf gurami

Maintenance

How often do you change the water? Twice a week for the last month
How much of the water do you change? 50%
What do you use to treat your water? API stress guard at first, now Seachem Prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? substrate

*Parameters - Very Important

Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? yes
What do you use to test the water? API Master Test Kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0.0
Nitrite: 0.0
Nitrate: 0.0
pH: 8.2 (my local tap water comes out this way and the local fish stores use it successfully- they do not recommend trying to adjust it down)

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Once/day
How much do you feed your fish? They consume it within a minute
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Fluval Fly Flakes and Fluval Algae flakes
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? no

Illness & Symptoms

How long have you had this fish? I’ve had all of my fish for about 6 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? About a 5 weeks ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? They become lethargic and lie on the bottom, don’t eat and eventually die


Have you started any treatment for the illness? Water changes, daily Seachem Prime, Seachem Stability for the last 4 days
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? N/A
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? See above

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
(Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)

Just FYI- I'm a newbie. I’ve been lurking for a long time but this is my first post. I have a 60 gallon tropical freshwater tank. I cycled the tank completely before adding fish which I did in January. Everything went well until a very small fish got sucked onto the intake of the hang on back filter and died. I looked at solutions to the problem and ended up adding a sponge to the filter intake. This was the start of my problems. A pretty serious life event occurred unexpectedly and I didn’t maintain the tank for over three weeks (other than daily feedings). The sponge on the filter's intake became clogged and the filter was barely running at a trickle for almost a month. I understand that my neglect caused this but I'm now I am in need of some advice.

I lost a couple of fish about a month ago and did a water test- it read 0.25 ammonia. No nitrites, nitrates, and normal PH. So I did a 50% water change and this temporarily reduced the ammonia to almost zero. But it came back up and so over the last month, I’ve been doing 1-2 50% water changes every week. Over the last several weeks, I continued to get trace readings of ammonia (0.25 ppm). I’ve also been adding Seachem Prime to the tank daily to neutralize the ammonia.. Fish continued to die. The water changes did not seem to be helping. I started Seachem Stability 4 days ago. Since I started that, I am not getting any ammonia readings. In fact, everything is zero (ammonia, nitrites & nitrates), and yet I have more deaths. I lost my most energetic/seemingly healthy fish yesterday- a molly. I lost another strong molly today and I’m down to two guppies. One of the guppies seems to be slowing down and just sits motionless on the bottom unless I disturb it. This has been common for most of the fish deaths. The other guppy is swimming around normally. The fish do not appear to have any sort of disease or fungus. They’re just lethargic. The molly that died yesterday however was laying on its side and sort of propelling itself along a bit and rolling around. Sort of looked like videos I’ve seen of fish with choline poisoning. But I always add conditioner to all of the tap water that I put into the tank and I match the temperature.

So I have no idea what to do- I thought that a new cycle had started. But there’s no more ammonia now and still these fish are dying. Also, there have never been any nitrites since this crisis started- just small ammonia readings. I called a fish store yesterday and was told that I should stop the water changes- that I was removing the bacteria from the tank by vacuuming the gravel. They recommended that I add a sponge filter which I will do. I have been vacuuming the gravel but I’ve never messed with the filter media in the HOB.

Can anyone think of a solution to this mystery? I’m quite certain that I’m going to lose my remaining fish and, when I do, I’m not sure if I should just start another cycle with pure ammonia or completely empty the tank. I'm worried that this is more than just a cycle and that there may be some disease. To be honest, I don’t have the energy or time to empty and disinfect a 60 gallon aquarium as some have suggested. Any other ideas?
 

Cherryshrimp420

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900
Location
Canada
Aquarium Details  
Gender
Male
Experience
More than 10 years
Do you know of and understand the Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle?
Yes
Aquarium Size
75 Gal
Fish, Plants, Inverts, etc.
Cherry Shrimp!
Template:

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 60 Gallons
How long has the tank been running? November, 2020
Does it have a filter? yes
Does it have a heater? yes
What is the water temperature? 80 F
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) I only have two guppies left. 5 weeks ago I had, in addition to the guppies: 2 platies, 2 Cory Cats, 2 mollys, 1 dwarf gurami

Maintenance

How often do you change the water? Twice a week for the last month
How much of the water do you change? 50%
What do you use to treat your water? API stress guard at first, now Seachem Prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? substrate

*Parameters - Very Important

Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? yes
What do you use to test the water? API Master Test Kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0.0
Nitrite: 0.0
Nitrate: 0.0
pH: 8.2 (my local tap water comes out this way and the local fish stores use it successfully- they do not recommend trying to adjust it down)

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Once/day
How much do you feed your fish? They consume it within a minute
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Fluval Fly Flakes and Fluval Algae flakes
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? no

Illness & Symptoms

How long have you had this fish? I’ve had all of my fish for about 6 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? About a 5 weeks ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? They become lethargic and lie on the bottom, don’t eat and eventually die


Have you started any treatment for the illness? Water changes, daily Seachem Prime, Seachem Stability for the last 4 days
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? N/A
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? See above

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
(Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)

Just FYI- I'm a newbie. I’ve been lurking for a long time but this is my first post. I have a 60 gallon tropical freshwater tank. I cycled the tank completely before adding fish which I did in January. Everything went well until a very small fish got sucked onto the intake of the hang on back filter and died. I looked at solutions to the problem and ended up adding a sponge to the filter intake. This was the start of my problems. A pretty serious life event occurred unexpectedly and I didn’t maintain the tank for over three weeks (other than daily feedings). The sponge on the filter's intake became clogged and the filter was barely running at a trickle for almost a month. I understand that my neglect caused this but I'm now I am in need of some advice.

I lost a couple of fish about a month ago and did a water test- it read 0.25 ammonia. No nitrites, nitrates, and normal PH. So I did a 50% water change and this temporarily reduced the ammonia to almost zero. But it came back up and so over the last month, I’ve been doing 1-2 50% water changes every week. Over the last several weeks, I continued to get trace readings of ammonia (0.25 ppm). I’ve also been adding Seachem Prime to the tank daily to neutralize the ammonia.. Fish continued to die. The water changes did not seem to be helping. I started Seachem Stability 4 days ago. Since I started that, I am not getting any ammonia readings. In fact, everything is zero (ammonia, nitrites & nitrates), and yet I have more deaths. I lost my most energetic/seemingly healthy fish yesterday- a molly. I lost another strong molly today and I’m down to two guppies. One of the guppies seems to be slowing down and just sits motionless on the bottom unless I disturb it. This has been common for most of the fish deaths. The other guppy is swimming around normally. The fish do not appear to have any sort of disease or fungus. They’re just lethargic. The molly that died yesterday however was laying on its side and sort of propelling itself along a bit and rolling around. Sort of looked like videos I’ve seen of fish with choline poisoning. But I always add conditioner to all of the tap water that I put into the tank and I match the temperature.

So I have no idea what to do- I thought that a new cycle had started. But there’s no more ammonia now and still these fish are dying. Also, there have never been any nitrites since this crisis started- just small ammonia readings. I called a fish store yesterday and was told that I should stop the water changes- that I was removing the bacteria from the tank by vacuuming the gravel. They recommended that I add a sponge filter which I will do. I have been vacuuming the gravel but I’ve never messed with the filter media in the HOB.

Can anyone think of a solution to this mystery? I’m quite certain that I’m going to lose my remaining fish and, when I do, I’m not sure if I should just start another cycle with pure ammonia or completely empty the tank. I'm worried that this is more than just a cycle and that there may be some disease. To be honest, I don’t have the energy or time to empty and disinfect a 60 gallon aquarium as some have suggested. Any other ideas?

Seems like a typical tank crash... If maintenance was on hold for a month then feeding needed to be reduced as well. Maybe feeding once a week at most.

For now, just stop feeding and let the tank continue to cycle and process the ammonia. If you have local water reports on your tap water that would be great too. If your pH dropped then sudden water changes can also be dangerous as it increases ammonia toxicity.
 

mtshami

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Messages
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Aquarium Details  
Do you know of and understand the Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle?
Yes
You could also have had columnaris bacteria. The whole ammonia issue would be secondary. U Yi oubfish died in a matter of hours , right?
 
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