15 Gallon Tank FIVE sundadanio axelrodi dead in the past 4 weeks.

Tharoufizon

As the title says, I have had 5 of my 10 sundadanio axelrodi (blue rasbora) die in the past 4 weeks, and I can't seem to figure out why. Upon inspection they seem physically normal, with the exception of being dead.

At least one of the blues swam around upside down for a while the night before being found dead. The one that died last night hung around at the bottom of the tank all day until I found it dead mid-floating. One of the remaining blues is now moving along the surface, seemingly gulping air, and will occasionally barrel roll, but right itself. The rest of the blues act normal. One (admittedly very old) platy has been flashing, but otherwise the platies and pandas act normal.

I feed a mixture of flake, mini granules, and BugBites bottom feeder. 30% water change every weekend. The tank is decently planted (2 large java fern, one ambitious anubias, and a little squid-looking thing I forgot the name of), with one corner of sand and the rest gravel substrate.

Tank: 60 litre NanoCube, Dennerle XXL corner filter, Hepo submersible heater
Ammonia: 0, Nitrite: 0, Nitrate: 0, Temp: 24c, PH: 6.5
Stock: 5 Blue rasbora (originally 10), 5 Platies, 6 Panda Cories, 5 Amano, 4 RCS
 

MacZ

I take it you didn't quarantine?

Otherwise the symptoms are too unspecific, sorry. Only thing I can tell: Platies make bad tankmates for all these smaller rasbora species. They may stress them additionally to the stress of transport and acclimation period.
When such numbers of losses occur in the beginning there are two options what might have taken advantage of the stressed state of the fish. Either they brought a pathogen with them or they react negatively to one that's already in the tank. Most often opportunistic bacteria your old fish are used to jump in and kill off stressed new arrivals in a short time.

Stress reduction, dimmed lights, floating plants, live food (bbs preferrably), higher frequency of large volume waterchanges for a week or two followed by 50% weekly henceforth... this can make the rest resistant. Otherwise no chance of knowing what's going on with the info you gave.

Maybe look at the emergency template and add the missing info and a picture of the tank, might shed more light on this.
 

Thunder_o_b

Welcome to Fishlore.

How long has this aquarium been running? I am not sure a corner filter is sufficient for your needs.

With 0,0,0 water readings I am skeptical on your aquarium being cycled. Are you using strips or a liquid test kit to get these readings?

The information I have found says the Blues need a pH of 7.2-7.8 at 6.5 you are way off from their needs.

Also at a pH that low the ammonia is turning into ammonium which is harder for the bacteria to convert.
 

John58ford

Barrel roll is possibly telling, do they have hump backs/shouldering? Have you noticed the a area around the dorsal looking swollen or pale? Maybe that area even ripping off when you try to pull the dead out of the tank?

If you haven't kept this species before, could you post a picture of the one that's barrel rolling? Maybe others would notice the subtle differences that may help diagnose.
lues need a pH of 7.2-7.8 at 6.5
I'm not sure this is correct, I believe most micro rasbora are low pH blackwater candidates. I am wrong sometimes too, what was your source for higher than neutral pH?
 

MacZ

The information I have found says the Blues need a pH of 7.2-7.8 at 6.5 you are way off from their needs.
I'd rather say platies need 7.5-8.2, but for the Sundadanio 6.5 is probably even too high, considering they come from peat swamps in Indonesia.

Also at a pH that low the ammonia is turning into ammonium which is harder for the bacteria to convert.
Not really. If a tank runs at that pH for a while different bacteria than the usual do the cycle, and those convert Ammonium just as efficient, often even directly to Nitrate without the Nitrite stage.
But at pH below 6.8 it is Ammonium and that's not in the least as toxic as Ammonia.
 

Tharoufizon

I take it you didn't quarantine?

Otherwise the symptoms are too unspecific, sorry. Only thing I can tell: Platies make bad tankmates for all these smaller rasbora species. They may stress them additionally to the stress of transport and acclimation period.
Wenn such numbers of losses occur in the beginning there are two options what might have taken advantage of the stressed state of the fish. Either they brought a pathogen with them or they react negatively to one that's already in the tank. Most often opportunistic bacteria your old fish are used to jump in and kill off stressed new arrivals in a short time.

Stress reduction, dimmed lights, floating plants, live food (bbs preferrably), higher frequency of large volume waterchanges for a week or two followed by 50% weekly henceforth... this can make the rest resistant. Otherwise no chance of knowing what's going on with the info you gave.

Maybe look at the emergency template and add the missing info and a picture of the tank, might shed more light on this.

I did QT for two weeks initially, and the axelrodi rasbora have been in the tank for three months now.

Interesting point on the platies. Generally, my platies swim mid and hang out amongst the plants, while the axelrodi tend to chill in the open space at the top of the tank. The platies and axelrodi generally ignore each other. The axelrodi shoal up when I need to do work in the tank, but generally are quite relaxed and loosely grouped, so I don't feel like they are super stressed, but I could be wrong.

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank? 60l
How long has the tank been running? 3 years
Does it have a filter? yes, Dennerle Corner Filter XXL
Does it have a heater? Yes, 50w submersible
What is the water temperature? 24c
What is the entire stocking of this tank? 5 Platies, 6 panda cories, 5 axelrodi rasbora, 4 RCS, 5 Amano, 2 Nerite

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? Weekly
How much of the water do you change? 30%
What do you use to treat your water? 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? Test strips
What are your parameters?
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 6.5

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Once a day
How much do you feed your fish? As much as they'll eat in about 3 minutes
What brand of food do you feed your fish? BugBites Bottom Feeder, Tetra Prima Mini Granules, Aquarian Flakes, live daphnia once in a while
Do you feed frozen? No
Do you feed freeze-dried foods? No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 3 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 4 weeks
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? Axelrodi swim upside down, then die within 24 hours
Have you started any treatment for the illness? No, just more frequent water changes
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Swimming upside down, otherwise normal

Welcome to Fishlore.

How long has this aquarium been running? I am not sure a corner filter is sufficient for your needs.

With 0,0,0 water readings I am skeptical on your aquarium being cycled. Are you using strips or a liquid test kit to get these readings?

The information I have found says the Blues need a pH of 7.2-7.8 at 6.5 you are way off from their needs.

Also at a pH that low the ammonia is turning into ammonium which is harder for the bacteria to convert.

Thanks for the welcome!

Aquarium has been running for 3 years. Cycled it way back in 2018, haven't had any issues since. My platies are a mix of the original inhabitants and new tank-born babies, just three years later, pandas and blues added 3 months ago, after two-week QT.

What might be wrong with using the Dennerle Corner Filter? With a flow rate of up to 390l/h and the size of the filter medium, I can't see why it wouldn't be enough.

I am using test strips currently because my LFS hasn't restocked liquid test kits in a while, I will look into getting a liquid one online. With what I have available at the moment, my readings are in fact 0,0,0. Could that be because all nitrates are being used by the plants?

As John58ford said, Blue axelrodi rasbora actually prefer soft acidic water, 4.0-6.5. So if anything I am on the high end for them, low end for the rest of the stock.
I'd rather say platies need 7.5-8.2, but for the Sundadanio 6.5 is probably even too high, considering they come from peat swamps in Indonesia.


Not really. If a tank runs at that pH for a while different bacteria than the usual do the cycle, and those convert Ammonium just as efficient, often even directly to Nitrate without the Nitrite stage.
But at pH below 6.8 it is Ammonium and that's not in the least as toxic as Ammonia.
The pH is low for platies generally, yes, but these platies were born in these water parameters and have lived their entire lives in them.


Barrel roll is possibly telling, do they have hump backs/shouldering? Have you noticed the a area around the dorsal looking swollen or pale? Maybe that area even ripping off when you try to pull the dead out of the tank?

If you haven't kept this species before, could you post a picture of the one that's barrel rolling? Maybe others would notice the subtle differences that may help diagnose.

I'm not sure this is correct, I believe most micro rasbora are low pH blackwater candidates. I am wrong sometimes too, what was your source for higher than neutral pH?
No humped backs, not pale. They look completely normal, just dead. Here they are, sorry about the bad image quality, they're quick little dudes.

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I think that my water pH just isn't right for the axelrodi. I should have done more research myself, as I think my LFS guy didn't know what he was talking about. He said that they were hardy and would adapt to the higher pH, but from what I have now read it seems axlerodi are actually quite sensitive and difficult to keep.
 

MacZ

I did QT for two weeks initially, and the axelrodi rasbora have been in the tank for three months now.
That's very important info! I would presume a problem with your "native" bacteria in your tank, not anything that came with them. Two weeks can be too short for some things though, but these should have

What might be wrong with using the Dennerle Corner Filter? With a flow rate of up to 390l/h and the size of the filter medium, I can't see why it wouldn't be enough.
Nothing wrong, it's basically a Hamburg Mattenfilter, which is one of the most stable types of filter out there.

So if anything I am on the high end for them, low end for the rest of the stock.
Agree.

Could that be because all nitrates are being used by the plants?
Unlikely, unless they are absolutely enormous specimens. Your choice of plants is rather slow consumers. That's my biggest concern here, as i have to tell you, only that few plants are not goin to cut it, when it comes to using up waste products.

I am using test strips currently
That means you have the readings for KH and GH aswell, right? Mind posting them?

Also, still, a picture of the tank may help, too.
 

Tharoufizon

That's very important info! I would presume a problem with your "native" bacteria in your tank, not anything that came with them. Two weeks can be too short for some things though, but these should have


Nothing wrong, it's basically a Hamburg Mattenfilter, which is one of the most stable types of filter out there.


Agree.


Unlikely, unless they are absolutely enormous specimens. Your choice of plants is rather slow consumers. That's my biggest concern here, as i have to tell you, only that few plants are not goin to cut it, when it comes to using up waste products.


That means you have the readings for KH and GH aswell, right? Mind posting them?

Also, still, a picture of the tank may help, too.
Thanks so much for your help so far.

dGH: 5
KH: 10 mg/L (This is what the strip says instead of degrees)

There should be pictures on my previous reply.
 

MacZ

There should be pictures on my previous reply.
Didn't see that. Wouldn't load.

Looks ok, but really lacks plants. Maybe replace the fake ones with real ones at some point.

dGH: 5
KH: 10 mg/L (This is what the strip says instead of degrees)
What strips are you using, this is highly unusual.
 

Tharoufizon

Didn't see that. Wouldn't load.

Looks ok, but really lacks plants. Maybe replace the fake ones with real ones at some point.


What strips are you using, this is highly unusual.
They're cheap ones that my LFS had in stock while waiting for more liquid kits. Brand name is Zoomified.
 

MacZ

They're cheap ones that my LFS had in stock while waiting for more liquid kits.
Hm... ok. I was hoping for more info, so I could check how reliable they are. Strips don't have to be bad, neither do the cheap ones have to be.
 

Tharoufizon

Hm... ok. I was hoping for more info, so I could check how reliable they are. Strips don't have to be bad, neither do the cheap ones have to be.
The bottle itself isn't branded. Found them online though, brand name is Zoomified. Looks like they're made by a Chinese company.
 

MacZ

Meh, ok, generic strips are hard to evaluate. Looking forward to the final results.
 

Tharoufizon

Quick update: Just finished work and the blue that was barrel-rolling is now dead as well. As with the others he physically looks normal, no bloating, paleness, or shouldering.
 

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