Loosing Ca 1 Fish Per Day

PadThai

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Tank

What is the water volume of the tank? 75 gal
How long has the tank been running? 1 months
Does it have a filter? yes (an EheI'm 2217) and I'm running an air pump as well now
Does it have a heater? no
What is the water temperature? 84F
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)

12 Xray / pristella tetras (have colored up since I got them)
45 Ember tetras
3 Pea puffers
30-ish Red cherry shrimp (breeding quite well)
4 Black bee shrimp
3 amano shrimp
12 salt and pepper cories
10 threadfin rainbows (7 males and 3 females, females are hard to come by)
18 platinum rummy nose tetras
1 red tail shark
2 otos


Maintenance
How often do you change the water? 1 x week
How much of the water do you change? 3 gal per week
What do you use to treat your water? Dechlorinator
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? No

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? yes
What do you use to test the water? Tetra NO2 and NO3 liquid test kits
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia:
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 12.5 mg/l
pH:

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? twice a day
How much do you feed your fish? two cubes of either frozen blood worms in the evening (with a pinch of micro pellets for the cories) and a few pinches of flakes or micro pellets in the morning
What brand of food do you feed your fish? A mix of Tetramin, Tetra rubin, HikarI Micro Pellets. The frozen food is seagull for the bloodworms and sunshine for the brine shrimp.
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? Frozen blood worms and frozen brine shrimp

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 1 month
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 1 week
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
Have you started any treatment for the illness? No
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? Nothing Ive noticed, everything seems normal until I suddenly notice a single fish that is either very sick or dying.

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)

I'm loosing fish at a rate of ca 1 per day for a week now. So far Ive lost a Betta, 3 Ember Tetras, 2 rummies, 2 pristellas and three habrosious cories.

I did notice a few spots of Ich the other day, but none today (temp is high).

Some of the tetras still seem in the evening like they have just been fed. Othervise, there are no visible symptoms, as far as I can tell (even for the dying ones). As a whole, the tank is eating well. The shrimp are doing fine.

Sick fish just seem lethargic and tilt a bit upwards until they give up and start to float.

The tank is heavily planted.

I would greatly appreciate your advice.
 
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PadThai

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Ok just found one of the rainbows. He is now in the net, which is suspended in the tank. It is almost paralysed, breathing heavily. Seems quite slim, otherwise normal.
 

PascalKrypt

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I would get a test or get someone with a test to take a look at your ammonia. At that high a temperature (and with unknown PH which could also be high) even a little can be very damaging. You say you cycled the tank before putting fish in, but you also say the tank has been running a month and the fish have been in there a month - did you check to see if your tank was actually properly cycled at the time, since you don't have an ammonia test? And did you perhaps add all of those fish in one go? That would definitely cause trouble like what you are seeing right now. Get an ammonia check asap.

Also your water change amounts to less than 5%. If your cycle was not perfectly capable of coping with the fish, the toxins would only have been building in the past weeks.
 
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PadThai

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Thanks. It's been running for 1.5 months. The filter had been running for two weeks longer than that with a few fish and was seeded with bacteria. I used starter bacteria when I filled the tank initially. I have never detected any nitrite. The fish were added in ca 4 batches with 1 too 2 weeks intervals inbetween.

But there hasnt been any gaping for air at the surface. The shrimp are also doing fine, so I was assuming that the cycle should be ok.

I did however add purigen to the filter two weeks ago, to remove tannins. That is when this all started. Could that have thrown things off?
 

PascalKrypt

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PadThai said:
I used starter bacteria when I filled the tank initially. I have never detected any nitrite.
A cycling aquarium should have had at least some nitrite in it at some point, otherwise a cycle never materialised in your tank.

The shrimp being fine hints mostly at the fact that your water parameters are stable (as in, the culprit is unlikely to be PH/GH/TDS swings) and that there is no chemical leakage. Not necessarily that there is no issue with the quality. But anyway instead of guessing it is easiest to just get a liquid test done! The vast majority of the time when new members make posts like this here the reason is that their cycle is nonexistent or is insufficient to handle their bioload. You will help this discussion attract more serious attention if you can show for certain that the standard toxins are not in your water.

Even if you allow a week in between, you added 110+ fish in the span of four weeks to a previously (nearly) empty tank, with practically no water changes. Even in four batches that is still more than 25 fish at a time. You do have a very decent water volume so maybe it is possible - I certainly have never tried it - but it would not surprise me if it were too much after all.

How big is your redtail btw, is it possible that it is harassing the smaller fish?
 

coralbandit

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What is the point in changing 3 gallons a week in a 75 gallon and how did you arrive at that amount ? you have 100 fish plus shrimp you say you feed twice daily ..
Most with normally stocked tanks change 50% meaning 35gallons for your sized tank .
That and you are heavily if not over and improperly stocked ..You should be expecting issues IMO ..
You need to change water weekly if not more often with your stocking .
 
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PadThai

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coralbandit said:
What is the point in changing 3 gallons a week in a 75 gallon and how did you arrive at that amount ?
.
I decided to change as much water weekly as not to exceed 50 mg/l of nitrate. I have never reached that much and the tank has leveled off at 12.5 to 25 mg/l (I have lots of plants), I therefore changed 3 gal per week just to do the bare minimum.

coralbandit said:
That and you are heavily if not over and improperly stocked ..You should be expecting issues IMO ..
You need to change water weekly if not more often with your stocking .
The tank is at close to 100% stocking as per aquarium adivisor. Most of these fish are nano fish that were bought as juveniles. Care to elaborate on how it is improperly stocked?
 
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PadThai

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PascalKrypt said:
A cycling aquarium should have had at least some nitrite in it at some point, otherwise a cycle never materialised in your tank.
The filter was already cycled. I had measurable nitrates when it was being cycled, but never since I set up this tank.

PascalKrypt said:
The shrimp being fine hints mostly at the fact that your water parameters are stable (as in, the culprit is unlikely to be PH/GH/TDS swings) and that there is no chemical leakage. Not necessarily that there is no issue with the quality. But anyway instead of guessing it is easiest to just get a liquid test done! The vast majority of the time when new members make posts like this here the reason is that their cycle is nonexistent or is insufficient to handle their bioload. You will help this discussion attract more serious attention if you can show for certain that the standard toxins are not in your water.
I measure both nitrite and nitrates with the tetra liquid test kits. I'm missing an ammonia test kit though.

f4hbiv.jpg


PascalKrypt said:
Even if you allow a week in between, you added 110+ fish in the span of four weeks to a previously (nearly) empty tank, with practically no water changes. Even in four batches that is still more than 25 fish at a time. You do have a very decent water volume so maybe it is possible - I certainly have never tried it - but it would not surprise me if it were too much after all.
I thought it would be safe since, especially the embers are so tiny. I also used bacteria when I cycled the filter and when I initially filled the tank. I had measurable nitrites while the filter was being cycled, but since I filled this tank, the nitrites have not been measurable. The nitrate has been fluctuating between 12.5 mg/l and 25 mg/l, the plants are growing quite well.

PascalKrypt said:
How big is your redtail btw, is it possible that it is harassing the smaller fish?
About 2 or 3 inches, he just minds his own.
 

PascalKrypt

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PadThai said:
I measure both nitrite and nitrates with the tetra liquid test kits. I'm missing an ammonia test kit though.
The ammonia test is essential in this case though, having no nitrite does not prove that your cycle is capable of keeping up with your new bioload - ammonia is the first part of the cycle that waste has to go through and thus the first toxic thing to rise in level in your aquarium and cause trouble in this scenario. Get a separate ammonia test

PadThai said:
I thought it would be safe since, especially the embers are so tiny. I also used bacteria when I cycled the filter and when I initially filled the tank. I had measurable nitrites while the filter was being cycled, but since I filled this tank, the nitrites have not been measurable. The nitrate has been fluctuating between 12.5 mg/l and 25 mg/l, the plants are growing quite well.
Though tiny it is still 40 of them, a huge school, they will still create a lot of waste along with the 30-odd other tetras, the 15 something cories you had before they started dying, 10+ rainbows, not to mention the messy creatures that are pea puffers and a rainbow shark. Each one singly won't create much waste in 75 gallons but all put together... Let me put it this way. You have 75 gallons. You have a little over 100 fish in there. This means each fish has about 0.75 gallons of water to foul. That is incredibly little, even for the smaller fish. Coupled with the fact you don't do water changes, your water is probably not clean.
Do you have a picture of your tank? What kind of filter do you have and how heavily planted is the tank?
 
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PadThai

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Thanks for the reply. I have an EheI'm 2217. Here are a few pictures:
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PascalKrypt

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I will congratulate you on a very nice looking tank, actually. Great scaping.
This does not qualify as 'heavily planted' though, not even 'moderately planted' in my book. There is definitely not enough plant growth to filter all the nitrates created by that stocking from the water. If your nitrates are nonetheless not rising (much) without water changes, it only further strengthens my impression that your cycle is not keeping up with your bioload and most waste is accumulating as ammonia in your water.

Edit; I ended up inputting your stocking in the aqadvisor tool, it gives a stocking level of 110% (which is not actually all that much or by itself a problem). BUT. it recommends 40-50% weekly water changes to go with that stocking.
I also get a wall of warning for potential aggression problems... (assuming that the deceased betta was a male). So in case your water quality does turn out to be fine, stress because your fish do not match well could also be creating issues. I'm assuming given how nicely set-up your is, that you have made sure PH and temp are appropriate for the stocking that you have (low PH, high temp)?
  • Warning: Dwarf Puffer is too aggressive to co-exist with X-Ray Tetra.
  • Warning: X-Ray Tetra will likely to fin nip Threadfin RainbowFish.
  • Warning: X-Ray Tetra will likely to fin nip Betta [Male].
  • Warning: Red Tailed Black Shark is too aggressive to co-exist with Ember Tetra.
  • Warning: Dwarf Puffer is too aggressive to co-exist with Ember Tetra.
  • Warning: Red Tailed Black Shark is too aggressive to co-exist with Rummynose Tetra.
  • Warning: Dwarf Puffer is too aggressive to co-exist with Rummynose Tetra.
  • Warning: Red Tailed Black Shark is too aggressive to co-exist with Dainty Cory.
  • Warning: Dwarf Puffer is too aggressive to co-exist with Dainty Cory.
  • Note: Red Tailed Black Shark may jump - lids are recommended.
  • Warning: Ember Tetra may become food for Red Tailed Black Shark.
  • Warning: Dwarf Puffer may become food for Red Tailed Black Shark.
  • Warning: Dwarf Puffer will likely to fin nip Threadfin RainbowFish.
  • Warning: Dwarf Puffer will likely to fin nip Betta [Male].
  • Warning: Red Tailed Black Shark is too aggressive to co-exist with Threadfin RainbowFish.
  • Warning: Dwarf Puffer is too aggressive to co-exist with Threadfin RainbowFish.
  • Note: Betta [Male] may jump - lids are recommended. They can become stressful under presence of too many shoaling species. Try to keep under 1 shoal if the tank is small. Individual bettas may exhibit varying degrees of aggression and care should be taken that exceptionally aggressive/territorial fish be separated from a community before any damage may occur.
  • Warning: Betta [Male] is not recommended to be with X-Ray Tetra - further research is highly recommended.
  • Warning: Betta [Male] is not recommended to be with Dainty Cory - further research is highly recommended.
  • Warning: Betta [Male] is not recommended to be with Red Tailed Black Shark - further research is highly recommended.
  • Warning: Dwarf Puffer is too aggressive to co-exist with Betta [Male].
  • Warning: Betta [Male] is not recommended to be with Dwarf Puffer - further research is highly recommended.
  • Warning: Betta [Male] will likely to fin nip Threadfin RainbowFish.
  • Warning: Betta [Male] is not recommended to be with Threadfin RainbowFish - further research is highly recommended.
 

coralbandit

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Your tank looks nice !
In appropriately stocked would be fish that like 82-86 [rummies ] and fish that like 76-78 [tetras ] .
But I don't think that is your problem ..There is more to clean water then nitrates ...
You need to change more water ,by now surely any and all trace elements [things we never measure for and may not even know about ] have been exhausted or severely depleted .
If any things like growth inhibiting hormones and other excretions from fish are piling up ?? We got no test so can't tell ?
If you were IMO changing enough water I would have no clue but as it stands ,I think I have a pretty good idea why fish are dying ?
 

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PadThai said:
I decided to change as much water weekly as not to exceed 50 mg/l of nitrate. I have never reached that much and the tank has leveled off at 12.5 to 25 mg/l (I have lots of plants), I therefore changed 3 gal per week just to do the bare minimum.


The tank is at close to 100% stocking as per aquarium adivisor. Most of these fish are nano fish that were bought as juveniles. Care to elaborate on how it is improperly stocked?
Would I be correct saying your plants aren't grown enough to affect any nitrates with the amount of fish you have in the tank?
 
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PadThai

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coralbandit said:
Your tank looks nice !
In appropriately stocked would be fish that like 82-86 [rummies ] and fish that like 76-78 [tetras ] .
But I don't think that is your problem ..There is more to clean water then nitrates ...
You need to change more water ,by now surely any and all trace elements [things we never measure for and may not even know about ] have been exhausted or severely depleted .
If any things like growth inhibiting hormones and other excretions from fish are piling up ?? We got no test so can't tell ?
If you were IMO changing enough water I would have no clue but as it stands ,I think I have a pretty good idea why fish are dying ?
Thanks. I added another dose of bacteria two nights ago and the water cleared up a lot and no fish have been lost since then. So you were right about the cycle! I also changed a lot of water.

Several of the fish are however still quite boated (especially the embers and the pristellas) I tried feeding peas, I guess I should try a dewormer if things don't improve?
 

coralbandit

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NICE !
If water supply is not a problem then regular water changes will be the best and easiest thing you can do ..
Hopefully everyone recovers and gets back into shape ..Clean water and possibly peas will surely help them with that ..
Glad things are looking a little better already !
 

PascalKrypt

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If you are having problems with bloat, cut back on the bloodworms. Do not feed them more than once or twice a week, they are quite notorious for causing blockage and obesity in fish and lack necessary vitamins, minerals and other trace elements if they make up most if not all of your fishes' diet. If you don't do this already, it can also help to thaw frozen food properly before feeding to your fish so it is more easily digestible.
 

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