Looks Like My Goby Choked Itself To Death (warning: Dead Fish Pictures) Question

Discussion in 'Gobies' started by ManSkirtBrew, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. ManSkirtBrew

    ManSkirtBrewNew MemberMember

    I put this little guy in my 29 gallon tank at work two days ago. I hadn't seen him, but I saw some poofs of sand coming from under my rock, so he seemed fine.

    Today I came in and he was upside down on the bottom. A customer said they saw the fish eat something on the bottom and looked like he was dying.

    Minutes later it was indeed dead.

    Is this a normal thing that happens? I have live sand substrate and it does have some small shells in it. Is that incompatible with gobies?

    Pictures linked below.

    Attached Files:

  2. NC122606

    NC122606Well Known MemberMember

    @Feohw might know.
  3. Feohw

    FeohwWell Known MemberMember

    I've never experienced this with my gobies. Though admittedly mine are freshwater gobies. Even so the reason I have my gobies is because of my love of the saltwater kind. Gobies are one of the few saltwater fish I've looked into and really considered getting.

    I've definitely heard people mentioning that gobies can choke. Others say it shouldn't happen at all. But what I gathered is that it isn't a very common thing to happen. I've often heard that a fine grain sand is best but even with some shells in there most people I've heard from are fine.

    It's a pity as he was stunning. Sorry for the loss. If some saltwater people can give a better answer I'd love to hear, I'm still looking to eventually get some of these guys!
  4. coralbandit

    coralbanditFishlore VIPMember

    I would look at water parameters before believing the fish choked ..
    It sifts the substrate for its life so choking sounds like a stretch IMO.
  5. OP

    ManSkirtBrewNew MemberMember

    I don't disagree, but a customer literally saw it eat something then go into distress. I watched him struggling, and it did look like he was trying to get something through his gills and was dead minutes after. His eyes are all bloodshot, too, which suggests choking to me.

    But I'm not going to rule anything out, so here's the whole history. See if anything jumps out at you:

    The tank is pretty new. It was setup June 11. Finished fishless cycle June 25--I used live sand and some bio media in the HOB from an established SW tank, so it went pretty fast.

    Put in two Picasso clownfish, an emerald crab, and a fire shrimp.

    June 27 added a pseudochromis and a Fisher's angel.

    Next week, July 4, 25% water change. After wc, salinity was 1.022, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 5ppm.

    July 11 added the goby. He burrowed under the rocks and I didn't see him again. Water parameters were same as above.

    Today is July 15:

    Ammonia is slightly elevated. What's that look like, 0.25-0.50ppm? Should that be enough to kill a fish in two days?

    GH is the weird one here. I got to 100 drops and it still hadn't changed color. I had to stop because the tube was full :/ I did it twice to make sure I wasn't screwing it up.

    KH came in at 12 drops, 215ppm

    pH is 7.9.

    Did a test strip, just to double check.

    Temp is at 78F. Other 4 fish seem perfectly happy and energetic, and are eating as normal.

    I have noticed a slight cloudiness to the water after he went in and a bit of brown algae on the sand (which was what prompted me to get the goby). I initially thought the cloudiness was him kicking up the sand, but it has remained.

  6. coralbandit

    coralbanditFishlore VIPMember

    GH test are not used in marine keeping at all.
    They are even more useless in salt then FW so skipped completely ..
    KH and calcium are the test for marine .The ammonia may have done him in .There is a much smaller gap for error in marine then FW and stock often arrives to stores in rough shape .
    Most times you have cloudy water it is due to bacterial imbalance and will show some ammonia until the bacteria and cycle catch up and even out .
    I would look to get pH back up to 8-8.2 with marine buffers or water changes ..
  7. OP

    ManSkirtBrewNew MemberMember

    Well today I learned! Thank you.

    The water is definitely clearing up on its own. I'm due for a 2-week water change on Thursday, and in the mean time I'll look into buffers.