Fish are dying all of a sudden

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Gunzer

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I've had a long run with no loss of fish. Parameters always Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates between 10 & 20. Weekly water changes (25%) with gravel vac.

A brown algae has shown up for the first time in this tank's existence about 3 or 4 weeks ago. Parameters remained un changed all along. I lost 1 of my 5 cherry barbs that had been doing great for months. Lost a pepper cory cat, this really hurt, that had been doing fine for months. Lost my female guppy that I've had for 5 months suddenly died as well....

Today I purchased 4 "Ottos" to dispatch this brown algae. I introduce my water into the bag every ten minutes for an hour before placing the new fish into my tank. This evening, 3 out of the four are history... What's going on???

My temp is 78 - 79 degrees and my PH is consistently between 7.4 and 7.8. WHAT IS GOING ON? What else should I test for.

Thanks,

Gunzer
 

Kunsthure

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I'm sorry for the losses! My guess is that the otos weren't acclimated long enough. They can be pretty fragile and I've read that people recommend drip acclimating them over several hours.

What test kit are you using?

-Lisa
 

Jake the Fish

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You could try and remove the algae by yourself but this could stress the fish. Keep doing daily or weekly water changes. Wait until someone that has had lots of experience comes by and helps.

Good Luck and sorry about your losses,
Jake
 

catsma_97504

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Welcome to Fishlore Gunzer. Sorry to hear of your losses.

How much algae is in your tank? Often when brown algae gets started it can quickly take over. More times than not, algae corrects the issue with the water parameters that cause it. This type of algae is most likely caused by having silicates or high nitrates in the tank.

Do you know if your API test kit is still valid? If you post the lot numbers we can determine this.

Other common reasons for brown algae is inadequate lighting. What type of lighting are you using? How long are the lights on?

Do you have an airstone in your tank? Another common reason for brown algae is not enough oxygen in the water column. Do your fish appear to be gasping for air? Are they hovering at near the top?

Since you have a smaller tank, otos are a good choice to help with brown algae. As already mentioned, they need to be slowly acclimated and should be placed in a tank that has been aged 3-6 months. Your tank runs 78+ (profile indicates 80) which is on the high end of their range, so this may have been a factor.

When you acclimated the new fish, did you float the bag in the water and then add some of your tank water every 10 minutes? New fish have to be acclimated to both the temperature and pH of your tank.
 
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Gunzer

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I can not imagine my tank not getting enough light. This brown algae only exists where there are no shadows. I have a large cave fixture that I remove when cleaning the gravel. It is shaded underneath this fixture with plenty of room for fish to swim in and out of. When I remove the cave, there is a nice big clean "foot print" where the cave sits that is free of brown algae.

I do not suspect my API master test kit has gone bad because I use it regularly and my readings have always been conistent. I will however report back with the lot numbers.

This tank had been set up almost 6 months ago. I've read that the brown algae will go away on its own. Is there any truth to that? What else can I do?

Thank you all for weighing in. I an desparate for a solution.

Gunzer
 

jerilovesfrogs

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I have tanks less than 6 months old, and I have some of that brown algae too. what really helps mine are nerite snails. I took 2 out of my 20g, put it in the 10g, and the algae is all but gone. and snails are easy to take care of...you do have to actually "feed" them though too. but they are a lot easier than otos. are nerite snails an option?
 

Butterfly

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Gunzar I don't think I've had the opportunity to welcome you so to FishLore.
Sorry for your losses. Did any of them have any marks, sores or torn fins? Did all of them go through the cycle ?

Brown algae is the same as diatoms and is common in tanks up to a year old and usually goes away on it's own. It can be cleaned off with your hand then do a water change and a gravel vacuum.

Even with good acclimation Otos are frequently really fragile. The way their harvested(they are still wild caught), shipped and kept afterwards affects how well they do in our tanks.
carol
 

laradavidson

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You have algae outbreak, dear! Algae are really pestering and you can't do something that make them completely removed and prevent them from coming back. if only you had a good aquarium management, you would not experienced such loss. but don't whine coz algae are really annoying.


You should also take note of the factors that lead to such death to prevent this problem in the future. If your tank is placed near windows or hot places, you should relocate the tank to a place that does not receive too much direct and indirect light. The lights in the tank should not stay for more than ten hours. Also, make sure that the tank is fully vacuumed and scrubbed. You should also clear the water to remove the existing algae.



There have been so many out there so worry no more.
 

BeavisMom62

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natural algae cures are usually better than adding more chemicals to the tank. Either cleaning by hand or as somone mentioned, nerite snails are a good option. I've had trouble with otos myself. I've read that if they survive past the 4 to 6 week mark, they should make it. I finally had some live that long but while doing a gravel vac, the little buggers didn't scoot away when I was moving some gravel and unbeknowst to me, I buried the poor things!
I hate unexplained deaths. Ive had that happen in what I thought were perfect, successful tanks. Like yours - parameters consistently spot on, healthy looking fish, then one day for no reason I could figure out, one by one, they start dying. Frustrating and challenging to say the least.
 

tyspot1000

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are cardinals as sensitive as ottos? do u have to acclimate them for several hours like ottos if so I'm probably not going to get them
 

Meenu

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Ty, cardinals can be very sensitive. I posted in another thread for you, but I acclimated for 2 hours and still lost 2 of my 5. Neons and cardinals can be senstive. If you're okay with them getting eaten, personally I would go with the neons. I have both in my tank, and they look very similar. But the neons are much cheaper.
 

ranga97

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Could be a different phosphate, as there are more than just a,n&n.
 
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