Fish Keep dying

fishteken

Help please!!
I’m at a loss, I keep losing fish at the moment. I have lost three guppies and a betta in the last week.

Water parameters:
pH 6.8-7.0
Ammonia & Nitrite - 0
Nitrate: 5ppm

Had the tank since January it’s fully cycled, I have only started having these issues the past couple of weeks.

When checking the fish over there is nothing obvious that would of caused them to die - no injuries, markings or spots etc

I’ve done a near enough 100% water change on Friday. It’s a 200 litre tank with two filters and one heater.

Nothing has been changed or added to the tank that may of caused this issue.

Im down to:
2 guppies
6 X-ray Tetra
4 platys and 4 platy fry
2 plecos
4 Cory doras

Does anyone have any ideas what can be happening?
 

pagoda

Personally I would not have a Betta with Guppies...flowing tails ready to be bitten and possibly a temperature contraindication too

Betta's can be downright thuggish...even the most laid back and docile Betta can and will have an "off" day where everything annoys it and needs to die (think of a moody teenager with chip on shoulder)

I would also say you are borderline over the stock limit too....120 litres with two pleco...assuming they are both BN thats still a little tight on escape and hide space for everyone

Do you have photo's of your aquarium showing planting/ornaments/rocks etc...sightline defenses especially
 

bettafairy

For the tank I think you are a bit overstocked personally, especially with both the plecos. I checked on Aq Adviser and it’s 113% stocked. I think that may have been causing some of your problems. Also I would suggest doing smaller water changes even when something has gone wrong as it can disrupt the existing cycle and can cause fish to go into shock. As for the fish deaths, my guess is that the betta and guppies fought and both ended up losing. I think it would probably take 3 guppies to take down a betta and vise versa. But if there is no physical damage to the fish it could be some kind of internal parasite that is causing your fish to die out. Have you seen any white stringy poop or anything hanging out of your fish before they died?
 

fishteken

Personally I would not have a Betta with Guppies...flowing tails ready to be bitten and possibly a temperature contraindication too

Betta's can be downright thuggish...even the most laid back and docile Betta can and will have an "off" day where everything annoys it and needs to die (think of a moody teenager with chip on shoulder)

I would also say you are borderline over the stock limit too....120 litres with two pleco...assuming they are both BN thats still a little tight on escape and hide space for everyone

Do you have photo's of your aquarium showing planting/ornaments/rocks etc...sightline defenses especially

Hi,

the betta and guppies were together from January and they were getting on great no one bothered each other. The betta was acting very lethargic the night before he past and was lying on the bottom of the tank.

The plecos one is a bristlenose and the other is a green phantom

I have attached a picture of the tank and also the two plecos they seem to be fine being next to each other. They are both still quite small.
For the tank I think you are a bit overstocked personally, especially with both the plecos. I checked on Aq Adviser and it’s 113% stocked. I think that may have been causing some of your problems. Also I would suggest doing smaller water changes even when something has gone wrong as it can disrupt the existing cycle and can cause fish to go into shock. As for the fish deaths, my guess is that the betta and guppies fought and both ended up losing. I think it would probably take 3 guppies to take down a betta and vise versa. But if there is no physical damage to the fish it could be some kind of internal parasite that is causing your fish to die out. Have you seen any white stringy poop or anything hanging out of your fish before they died?

Apologies I got the litres wrong for the tank, it’s a 200 litre tank. I have attached pictures in the other reply.

I don’t think the betta and guppy were relating I lost the betta on the Monday he was lethargic and lying at bottom of the tank Sunday and then I woke up to him passing Monday morning, I lost the guppy on the Tuesday and then this morning is when I woke up to the other guppy.

I will definitely take on the advice though about the water changes and look into another fish tank since I can’t keep the two plecos together. Is my tank still overstocked if it’s a 200 litre?

I haven’t noticed anything strange in terms of their poop etc none of the fish showed any signs of illness apart from the betta being lethargic the night beofre
 

pagoda

Your aquarium is too small for two Pleco, even juvemiles its pushing things.

I do not mean this to be disrespectful but there is no way that flowy, brightly coloured Guppies should be anywhere near a flowy tailed Betta. The Betta can be the most docile, peaceful fish ever...but they are genetically wired to fight, this is why you never put two males together. The mix of Betta and Guppy is a bad one, reason being that a Betta cannot tell that the long flowy tail does not belong to another Betta.....all it sees is an enemy male on its territory.

I have had Betta with other fish for years without so much as a "BOO!" and then the food guarding starts by the Betta or other defensive body language which then turns towards aggression if that "intruder" has not left yet.

Flowy tail with bright colours is a red rag to a bull...they will fight. Maybe the Guppy tried it on or maybe the Betta did but the outcome will always be the exact same....death to the perceived enemy male on the boss male's territory

Looking at your scaping, you have too much clear space and not enough sightline blocking....by sightline blocking I mean plants or structures that fish can hide behind or within and not be seen from one side to another and thus avoid being bullied by a tankmate.

In the wild these fish do not live in immaculately manicured rivers and lakes.....have some manicured areas but leave other areas wild so that the fish have escape routes and hiding ability if things get rough.
 

fishteken

Yeah I will definitely take note of the betta issue, I’m not planning on getting another one anytime soon so when I do get another one I will make sure there is no guppies in tank.

Sorry, I got it wrong it’s a 200litre tank that I have not 120litre - don’t know where I pulled that one.

I was planning on adding more plants, I had a 20cm skull in there but took it out. I could add that back in to give more hiding spots along with more plants hopefully that’s solves the issue
 

GlennO

I don't what the issue is and I don't know about those GP Pleco's but their size and behaviour will tell you if they need to be separated or if you need a bigger tank. Overall the tank is not overstocked.

Might help if you provide more specifics on anything you can think of, someone might notice something unusual. For e.g. what is that substrate? Looks ultra clean for a 6 month old tank. What filters? Temperature? GH? What do you feed them? Any pesticides or anything similar used in the house recently? What symptoms do you notice prior to death?
 

pagoda

So size wise you are OK for the two Pleco for a while but be prepared to move one to another aquarium if your water chemistry goes off the charts...they are messy animals, so keep an eye on that and any behavioural issues tween them too.

Betta's are really better as solo fish. Yes you can keep them with other faster, smaller fish without flowy tails and fins but they can turn without warning. Even females can be bad tempered, so tread carefully on choice of tankmates if you decide to get another one. If at all unsure about what would be the best, then do please ask. Some Betta will live years with other fish, others have a zero tolerance or a short fuse tolerance. They have a body language that is easy to interpret once you know the signs that trouble lies ahead.

Good plan on adding extra planting and some escape ornaments or wood or rocks...adds security and the fish will relax alot more too.
 

fishteken

I don't what the issue is and I don't know about those GP Pleco's but their size and behaviour will tell you if they need to be separated or if you need a bigger tank. Overall the tank is not overstocked.

Might help if you provide more specifics on anything you can think of, someone might notice something unusual. For e.g. what is that substrate? Looks ultra clean for a 6 month old tank. What filters? Temperature? GH? What do you feed them? Any pesticides or anything similar used in the house recently? What symptoms do you notice prior to death?

Thank You! So far they have been great with each other they normally keep to themselves but when they are near each other they don’t bother.

Temperature: 26.5 degrees
Substrate: Gravel
I have an Eheim 200 internal filter and an all pond solutions 1500litre per hour filter. I had an issue back in January where the tank wouldn’t cycle so I was advised to get another filter. That’s when I got the all pond solution one - solved the issue

I’m unsure of the general hardness -I have the api master test kit

the fish are getting fed Aquarian flakes and the betta was getting tetra complete food for all betta.
King fish pellets for the bottom feeds and algae wafers for plecos

they get fed once a day, flakes are always gone within a couple do minutes.
Algae wafer is gone by morning same with pellets

I give the fish blood worm once a week, then the following day I don’t feed them as I was advised the fish should have a day a week without any food.

I also give the plecos either a leaf of spinach or a piece of courgette once a week I put that in overnight and remove in the morning.

no pesticides or anything used in house
 

GlennO

I'm not seeing a problem as yet. I don't know the quality of that food but in any case since all fish have been lost in just this last week the issue is likely to be a more immediate one than a cumulative one. Is an ammonia/nitrite spike possible? Have you cleaned both filter sponges at the same time? There's not a lot of media there and I would say both of those filters would (each) be adequate for about 100 litres or less and an upgrade to a canister or HOBs might be worth considering in the long term.
 

fishteken

I’ve been testing water once a week and since the issue most days and ammonia and nitrite have been at 0 every time.

I did have a drop in PH for a day or so the other week. It has dropped down to 6 in less than 24 hours - could that maybe be an issue?

I will look into filters, thank you
 

GlennO

What caused the pH drop? It's said that rapid changes can affect fish however my pH drops almost 1 point in a few hours every day due to CO2 injection and it's never bothered my fish.
 

fishteken

If I’m honest with you I’m not 100% sure what caused it, my tank normally stays consistently around 6.8/7.0 sometimes 7.2

Oh really I don’t have a co2 injection as all plants etc are fake in the tank.
 

GlennO

Perhaps you have very soft water. Are you on town water? Might be a good idea to obtain a GH/KH test and let us know the results of each.
 

fishteken

Yeah I’m based in Scotland so we are known to have soft water, I would of thought it would of caused an issue before now. I will definitely get a test kit though, is there any you recommend for GH/KH?
 

GlennO

Yeah I’m based in Scotland so we are known to have soft water, I would of thought it would of caused an issue before now. I will definitely get a test kit though, is there any you recommend for GH/KH?

The API one conveniently combines both KH & GH and seems to be accurate enough and not too costly.
 

86 ssinit

Your problem could just be bad stock. Both guppies and bettas are know to come from problem breeding habits. Your ph drop may have cause something too. For now I’d watch your fish and change your water at 50% weekly. When you get the gh/kh test kit test your tap water than let it sit for 24hrs and test again. Do this also for ph. A fluctuating ph could also have killed your fish.
Your filtration is good for now but your green phantom pleco may get up to 10” long and will become a major waste producer and you will need better filtration to keep up with it. Great looking pleco but really needs a big tank 100-200g. So best returned. It’s a shame you weren’t told this by the pet store. They are expensive fish. By me $70. The bushy nose should be fine. But would like a peice of driftwood. Plecos like to chew on it.
 

fishteken

Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it. It’s been so hard trying to get reliable information I feel that the pet stores don’t tell you the truth sometimes. So I went to online family run fish shop and again they said it was fine for a betta and guppies to be together!

I’ve ordered a test kit for the gh/kh so should hopefully be here in a few days.
I have been looking into an external filter but again there has been so much information out there it’s difficult to know what the right one is.

I will definitely be looking to upgrade to a bigger tank in the a year or so. This is our first tank so just trying to get the hang of it before we go any bigger. I have been thinking about if I should return the green phantom though - I will give it more thought tonight.
Your problem could just be bad stock. Both guppies and bettas are know to come from problem breeding habits. Your ph drop may have cause something too. For now I’d watch your fish and change your water at 50% weekly. When you get the gh/kh test kit test your tap water than let it sit for 24hrs and test again. Do this also for ph. A fluctuating ph could also have killed your fish.
Your filtration is good for now but your green phantom pleco may get up to 10” long and will become a major waste producer and you will need better filtration to keep up with it. Great looking pleco but really needs a big tank 100-200g. So best returned. It’s a shame you weren’t told this by the pet store. They are expensive fish. By me $70. The bushy nose should be fine. But would like a peice of driftwood. Plecos like to chew on it.
Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it. It’s been so hard trying to get reliable information I feel that the pet stores don’t tell you the truth sometimes. So I went to online family run fish shop and again they said it was fine for a betta and guppies to be together!

I’ve ordered a test kit for the gh/kh so should hopefully be here in a few days.
I have been looking into an external filter but again there has been so much information out there it’s difficult to know what the right one is.

I will definitely be looking to upgrade to a bigger tank in the a year or so. This is our first tank so just trying to get the hang of it before we go any bigger. I have got a piece of real bogwood in the tank - that’s what the pet store advised us. Would that do the same job as driftwood? I have been thinking about if I should return the green phantom though - I will give it more thought tonight.
 

Sedna

Do you have readings for your nitrates/nitrites?
 

fishteken

Yeah nitrites are 0 and nitrate is between 5 & 10ppm
 

Sedna

Yeah nitrites are 0 and nitrate is between 5 & 10ppm
Okok that's awesome!
When I first started out my issue I ran into was all was fine for months (I also started in Jan/Feb haha) and then suddenly nitrate/nitrite just spiked. Had to get live plants, and remove my pleco entirely. Were your fish all from local pet stores or were they from mom'n'pop style places? 3/7 fish I've gotten from LPS lived, the other 4 immediately died or became ill. For some reason they don't seem to treat the fish as well as they should be treated at LPS in my experience at least.

It could maybe have been an underlying issue with their health from their original source?
 

fishteken

Oh really! I don’t have any live plants in the tank at the moment. I did have issue cycling the tank at first but once we got through the cycle the tank has been quite consistent with its readings apart from the PH drop.

Ah really maybe it is the stock to be honest, I got my betta from a LFS but the guppies were from an online fish store.

Ido eventually want to get another betta but I will definitely not be going to a local fish store Ihave been recommend a betta breeder instead
 

Sedna

Oh really! I don’t have any live plants in the tank at the moment. I did have issue cycling the tank at first but once we got through the cycle the tank has been quite consistent with its readings apart from the PH drop.

Ah really maybe it is the stock to be honest, I got my betta from a LFS but the guppies were from an online fish store.

Ido eventually want to get another betta but I will definitely not be going to a local fish store Ihave been recommend a betta breeder instead
Breeders and mom'n'pop style places are my personal choice for fish, they take better care, and could even tell you about their stock whereas at an LFS they'll not have that kind of information, most don't even really know what they're talking about half the time. One told me her mom doesn't change tank water but once a year, if that. I was shocked... They pretty much run one big circulating system in LFS which means if 1 fish gets sick they have all been exposed. Some places might use 2, or 3 systems but you still run into the trouble of multiple tanks being exposed.
Bettas at LFS look so very generic after you see some at breeders and mom'n'pop style places. They look so different.
 

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