Problem for over a year, do I give up?

  • #1
I've been keeping fish for awhile now. My problems started beginning of last year when I decided to set up a new, bigger tank. I bought new fish and so on, quarantined in a separate tank. The store apparently sold me sick fish though and despite a month or two in quarantine whatever it was, got into my main tank. Since then, apparently at random (I can't figure it out), fish will die. Not all together though, it's really only one fish at a time and the rest seem fine. Which seems bizarre to me.

I'm getting really frustrated and I've pretty much given up on the tank (still keeping it clean though). It's been...I'm not sure, 5 months since a last fish died. Then suddenly last week my pleco died (and he'd been through the whole thing from the tank set up before the new one). Now I'm left with 3 tetras that seem to be on the verge of dying at once (which would be a new thing). I've had the tetras since the end of last summer if I remember right.

I have stared and stared at the fish and there doesn't seem to be any obvious symptoms like spots, open sores and so on, except generally the fish get pale towards the end. When the cories died (one by one over a period of time) they'd start resting somewhere more than before, start going pale, acting off and towards the end, twirling as they'd try to swim. The honey gourami was hiding, then going pale, resting on the bottom of the tank, then eventually twirling a bit as well. The guppies I had seemed to bloat some if I remember right (that was right in the beginning of it all), they appeared to have pop eye but that only showed up after they died. The pleco was resting out in the open (which was abnormal) for about a week before the end, I saw him about a day after he'd died (I'm assuming), he had a lighter patch on him and his under side had gone black.

The tetras are pale when I turn the tank light on, one seems to have a hard time staying horizontal. Their gills seem slightly red but I'm not sure if that's because I'm really looking to find some kind of symptom I can work into the puzzle or if it's new. They don't go to the surface for food but do swim around like they're looking for it. I've noticed some flashing but only right after turning the light on and then they stop. The first cories I had were flashing in the beginning but stopped and it was awhile before they died so I'm not positive they died from what was causing the flashing (parasites is what does that from my understanding).

I've treated with Maracyn 1 and 2, Kanamycin, Parasite Clear tabs, Prazipro, Maroxy, and I think something else. I can't seem to fit it all into one category-parasite, bacterial, fungal, so over time I've tried different things (not all at once! over time).

I don't know what to do anymore and think maybe I should just humanely euthanize the tetras. But I really don't want to. Any suggestions to what the problem might be? My pH is in the average range, no ammonia shows, no nitrite, nitrate last I checked was about 10-20 ppm. Temp around 76-78 degrees. If I euthanize the tetras, how do I make the tank safe for new fish? What about my assassin snail and plants?

Please help.
  • #2
I'm sorry to hear you're having such trouble with your fish. I really don't know what could be wrong, hopefully someone will be along soon who can help you out. In the meantime, water changes with Prime couldn't hurt. Clean water goes a long way when fish are sick. Good luck.

  • #3
Have you tried buying fish from different places?

When I first started keeping fish, I bought from one store where they would always die. Even if they looked healthy they would die right away. Don't know what it was about it but there's something about that store... all the fish die from there. It was extremely discouraging. Once I found a new place to buy fish I never had the problem again.

I'm not sure what could be wrong though, it's really strange.
  • #4
Sometimes my tanks go through stages of death....for whatever reason. None that I can figure out. Hang in're not alone!

  • #5
Temp around 76-78 degrees.

Is that what the heater is set at or do you have a reliable thermometer that is registering that temperature?
  • #6
2 degrees shouldn't make a the wild temps aren't always exactly the same...

  • #7
Are you using a dechlorinating product?
  • #8
Right, it shouldn't but if there's a heater malfunction and no thermometer, the water could be much warmer than 78 degrees. I lost some shrimp with a malfunctioning heater that sent the temp to 90.
  • #9
what about the hardness of the water?
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
I haven't tested the hardness, I figured if that was the issue the problem would be more consistent as opposed to going x-amount of time without problem.

I use Prime for every water change. And there's a thermometer, I never see a real fluctuation in the temp on it.

I bought mostly from one store because the tanks there seem well cared for, all the tanks have live plants and driftwood. I tried another store for some of the cories but those didn't fare any better. The only other option here is PetSmart and I don't really trust their fish.
  • #11
As jerI said, you're not alone!

I'd start looking for a trend/pattern around the deaths: (none of the following are accusations, just some thoughts)

- Feeding - did you try anything different around the time of the deaths?
- Water Supply - see if you can find out if your local water authority flushed the lines/changed something
- anything else odd?
- do you live near a farm? airborne pesticides from crop dusting?

I don't know for sure, I'm just guessing, but maybe something changed in the environment

Sorry for the frustrations and losses.
  • #12
prime can only do so much and remember what is safe for human consumption is very loose as we have significantly bigger livers and kidneys to filter out the toxins humans put chlorine and ammonia and fluoride in water and declare it safe now that I think about it I believe my city dopes fluoride perhaps that could be related to some of the issues I have at home.

I would seriously look into what is in your water. Personally I would rather use pure RO water and have to dose minerals into it than use some tap waters...
  • #13
Article about the same thing,
  • #14
I remember reading somewhere about people using air freshening products, such as fabreeze, bbw etc...and losing fish. do you sometimes spray stuff either close to the tank....or somewhere it could get into the water (like a fan blowing it in).
deon junior
  • #15
the exact same thing happened to my little honey gourami but none of my other fish so it is strange!

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