Mass Fish Death Happening Now Emergency

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by Jocelyn Adelman, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Jocelyn AdelmanFishlore VIPMember

    I have a 40b guppy tank, started 10/16, no new fish since early November. 2 ac 70s, sunsun 304b, plus a sponge (sponge is for hospital if I needed it, have never took it out to use).
    Heavily planted. Six oto cats, 1 bristlenose, numerous guppies, rcs, nerites.
    This am I found 8 dead guppies. Tested water ph 7.6, kH 6, ammonia nitrites 0, nitrates 30.
    Did not dose ferts or excel yesterday (meant to wc yesterday but didn't get to it) or today.
    No new fish. No new decor. No new plants. Removed some plants last week. Topped off two gallons water Monday am.
    Do 50% change every week, use prime.
    8 found this am at lights on, tested water, dosed prime x2 for volume of tank. Came back after taking kids to school to 7 more dead.
    Immediately did 65% change, more dying, current count is 27.
    Dosed tank w neutral regulator (also dechlorinates) during wc in case prime wasn't working..., pulled some out and placed in bucket w/ totally new prime bottle, not helping...
    Please help!!!!!!!
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  2. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    The nitrates seem high for a heavily planted tank that gets a 50% water change weekly. I would suggest testing the nitrate level coming out of your tap. Sometimes there are fluctuations in nitrates in municipal tap water that can be detrimental to fish.
  3. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    Yikes! Is there any chance that someone sprayed an air freshener, or cleaning product near the tank? This is very strange. Sounds like you already moved them to a bucket with fresh, primed water... can you do 100% change on the tank while they are out? There has got to be something in your water that you cant test for :(

    Also, any signs on the dead fish that might give us clues? Inflamed gills? Cloudy eyes? Bloated? Anything like that?
  4. leftswerveWell Known MemberMember

    If it's not the tap or foreign matter added to your tank, could the substrate have gone septic on you? Gas pockets?
  5. PunkinWell Known MemberMember

    How often do you dose ferts? I have heard another member on the forum whose nitrates skyrocketed because of a lot of fert use. Other than that, I have no experience with ferts as I do not have live plants. So sorry this is happening.
  6. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    Good point! Did you happen to clean the substrate 'better' or differently than normal recently?
  7. AvalancheDaveWell Known MemberMember

    Are they breathing rapidly? I would increase aeration to maximum regardless.

    No mention of Equlibrium dechlorinating on Seachem's website. All it's going to do is increase gH. If you added too much too quickly it might increase stress on the fish.

    When was the last time you dosed Excel?

    Has the tank temperature gone up?

    Nitrates at 30 ppm is pretty good. My vet recommended <150 ppm NO3- and there are studies where fish tolerated hundreds or thousands of ppm nitrate.
  8. PunkinWell Known MemberMember

    Really? Do you have another thread about this? I find it to be an interesting topic, something to learn more about.
  9. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah, sounds like something's poisoning them.

    Did the substrate get tossed around a lot when you removed plants last week?

    I have a suspicion it has to do with the plant removal.
  10. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    "Nitrates at 30 ppm is pretty good. My vet recommended <150 ppm NO3- and there are studies where fish tolerated hundreds or thousands of ppm nitrate."

    What? This needs more context because it sounds counter to what most experienced hobbyists have experienced with high nitrates in their tanks.

    For some fish, long exposure to 30ppm nitrates can lead to health problems. This is not likely what happened in this case as the fish appear to have been exposed to a sudden stress or exposure in water.
  11. Sarcasm IncludedWell Known MemberMember

    Fish can tolerate nitrates in the hundreds, not so sure about thousands. The issue isn't poisoning but rather the conditions are idea for bacterial growth and the fish are quickly overcome with disease. If the fish is slowly acclimated to the increase in nitrates, it will be fine till bacterial infection kills it.
    This is either a rapid strain of bacterial like the fast strain of columnaris or a rapid change in TDS. Prime is not medicine and should not be used in an attempt to treat unknown problems. Overdosing it depletes oxygen from the tank and water change would serve better even when you have ammonia buildup instead of trying to neutralize.
  12. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    Not sure a 30 ppm Nitrate is enough to cause higher chances of bacterial infections. I have 10ppm at the tap and struggle to stay under 20-30 lol. Given the rapid and huge die offs here I am still betting there is something, some chemical, introduced to the tank accidentally that we cant test for.
  13. Jocelyn AdelmanFishlore VIPMember

    No inflamed or red gills, no marks or fuzz, look totally healthy.
    @Discusluv my nitrates are about 40 from tap, varies from time to time tank usually goes bet 10 to 20. Also my sun sun is due to be cleaned this week. (Last was 5 weeks ago)
    @Bizarro252 I wish... don't use anything aerosol in house (super sensitive to chemicals). Last cleaning or room was thirsday, a vacuum and wipe down w water on table.
    Don't think it was a gas pocket but possible... haven't done anything unusual while maintaining... vac where I usually do... pulled out some plants but by clipping...
    @avalanche Dave whoops... meant neutral regulator (sorry usually only use alkaline buffer, mistyped). Had an unopened bottle of neutral regulator and used it after the kept dying after wc. Last dose excel Monday (usually dose daily, didn't yesterday as was going to do wc... skip excel and ferts on wc days, also didn't dose today)

    I agree something is going on, wonder if my prime wasn't working and the top off Monday hurt them... or if the plant removal it's been a week.... but why start dying today???!?!?
    Did another 50% wc, current count up to 31 :(
    I'm besides myself right now.
    Interestingly enough the bristlenose, oto cats, shrimp are all totally unaffected...
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  14. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    That 20-30 ppm nitrate level may be a problem for your young discus. Optimally, should keep it under 10 ppm for discus.
  15. Sarcasm IncludedWell Known MemberMember

    I agree that 30ppm isn't much at all to be concerned about. If you suspect chemical contamination than the best course would be several significant water changes.
    Even if the Prime wasn't dechlorinating the water, a small top off wouldn't kill the guppies. If you think there is a problem with the Prime, just shake it vigorously to make sure the salts are dissolved but there is no expiration to the ingredients. This is quite a mystery I am afraid, I would just do several large water changes over the course of the day.

    Yes and my hillstream fish would never tolerate those levels either, but these are guppies.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2017
  16. Bizarro252Well Known MemberMember

    100% agree.

    Good to know. *wink wink* ;)
  17. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    Your right... I sometimes forget there are other fish in the world beside my own. :)
  18. Jocelyn AdelmanFishlore VIPMember

    It's crazy now that I think about it... why are my oto cats and cherry shrimp totally unaffected???? Have at least 60 shrimp in there (at least) and not one dead! Otocinclus and bn happily cleaning glass and plants...
    Is there some weird guppy thing I am missing?????
  19. NanologistWell Known MemberMember

    This is quite a mystery... no offense, but I'd be questioning my kids or partner. lol

    Wouldn't blame them but I'd be trying to rule out any possibility of contaminants getting in the tank somehow. This is just odd to say the least.
  20. Jocelyn AdelmanFishlore VIPMember

    Ha! My hubby was just home and I did ask!!! :)
    I was out all day yesterday w three yr old, them when home she was in her hook on counter chair while I cooked...them to the table and then to bed. My seven yr old was out til dinner time. Both to bed at same time, no one really unattended. Only unaccounted for time is when my older one came downstairs this am, I was out getting mail... he was on iPad when I came in.
    Trust me been driving myself crazy to think of how... they both have fish in their rooms as well, so relatively trustworthy when it comes to tanks.

    If it matters I currently have 9 planted tanks... all others are completely fine.