Roseline Sharks dying within hours of introduction

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish and Invertebrates' started by gschra11, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. gschra11New MemberMember

    Howdy, folks.

    It's been a long time since I last posted... my setup has been going for almost three full years with very few problems. (I suppose I'm well overdue for photos...)

    I have a 55 gallon freshwater planted tank with primarily rainbow fish. My stock includes:
    1. 4 Turquoise Rainbows (2 male, 2 female)
    2. 4 Boesemani Rainbows (All male; two were "oops-es")
    3. 2 Madagascar Rainbows (Paired)
    4. 2 New Guinea Reds (Paired)
    5. 2 Kribensis (Paired)
    6. An Otocinclus
    7. A Nerite Snail

    Once upon a time, I had a golden angelfish in that setup as well. Sadly, goldie died on me recently after two years. I decided to replace her with a Roseline shark at the recommendation of my LFS. His gorgeous rainbow tank included two.

    Well, the first one I attempted to put in to my tank was virtually DOA. After floating, adding my tank water in to the bag and then emptying the bag in to a fish net, discarding the bag water and introducing the fish to my tank, the roseline shark immediately went belly-up. I mean... seconds.

    I went back to the LFS who asked for a water sample. As expected within a three-year old tank, I had no ammonia or nitrites and nitrates were simply off the chart. (They have been for years... it's an overstocked, planted tank)

    He chalked it up to just a bad fish and replaced it with another one.

    I brought him home and attempted to be more careful about the introduction procedure... I added the water from my tank to the bag more slowly, over the course of hours, not minutes. The fish stayed in the bag for about 4 hours as I did this and looked plenty healthy. I then added him to the tank in the same fashion, catching the fish in the net and discarding bag water, and then added him in to my tank inside of my breeder tank to make sure that the other fish wouldn't get close and attempt to pick on him.

    Well, this guy lasted for a few hours, but is currently belly-up on the bottom of my breeder tank. He's still "breathing" and occasionally will jump up and swim around upright for a few seconds, but always ends up on his back at the bottom of the breeder. Like I said, the other fish can't even get to him.

    Any immediate thoughts on what might be going on? I don't feel like there is any disease or trauma here... If there was disease, I would have seen it in the fish in the bag, but they go belly-up upon introduction. I suppose I could have put him in to shock or injured him when moving from the bag in to the breeder, but I try to always be as gentle as possible and don't think I did anything that would have caused harm.

    What am I missing?
  2. Phishphin

    PhishphinWell Known MemberMember

    By nitrates off the charts I'm assuming you mean non-existent and not crazy high. :)

    What temperature do you keep your tank. I notice that your current stock requires a variety of temperatures. In my humble opinion, you may also be overstocked. You are 100% certain that your nitrates are not elevated?

    Here are the recommended temperatures
    => 75.2 - 86F: Turquoise Rainbowfish
    => 77 - 86F: Boesemans Rainbowfish
    => 68 - 75.2F: Madagascar Rainbowfish
    => 69.8 - 80.6F: New Guinea Rainbowfish
    => 75.2 - 80.6F: Kribensis
    => 68 - 82.4F: Oto
    => 60.8 - 86F: Nerite Snail
    => 64.4 - 77F: Redline (Roseline) Shark

    It probably has nothing to do with the initial temperature, and it sounds like you diligently introduced the newcomer. Either that is not a very good LFS to purchase from or something is being missed with the water chemistry, imho.
  3. OP

    gschra11New MemberMember

    No, I mean crazy high. Yes, I'm overstocked but I get away with it because Aqueon's 55 filter is good up to 90 gallons. (Or so they advertise)

    I have a lot of plants, too, which love the nitrates. There are also a lot of water changes.

    Tank temperature hovers +/- 1° at 79.5°F.

  4. Phishphin

    PhishphinWell Known MemberMember

    Hmmm, well crazy high nitrates will unfortunately kill a new fish with relative ease. Your filter will not remove the nitrates either, no matter how powerful. The beneficial bacteria that lives inside is only converting the ammonia to nitrites, then the nitrites to nitrates. The plants will absorb some, but definitely not the majority.

    What does your partial water change schedule look like?
  5. Marie1

    Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    If you are over stocked with high nitrates, you're not getting away with anything. You can over stock a tank if you do frequent large frequent water changes. Having a heavily planted tank helps too, but only if the plants keep up with the nitrates. What exactly are your nitrates? Being from Kansas, have you checked your tap? The Midwest is notorious for having nitrates in the tap water. A large filter will not remove nitrates. Only water changes.

    Besides all of that, roseline sharks are schooling fish. And expensive. I would take the one you have back, if it is still alive, and work on your nitrate problem.
  6. OP

    gschra11New MemberMember

    Tap Water Nitrates: 0 ppm
    Tank Nitrates: 80 ppm

    Water Change Schedule: 50% every month
  7. Marie1

    Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    I'd start changing 50% every week. And I don't think you are overstocked. It's pretty heavy, but if you start changing the water more often, you should be fine.Not that you weren't fine until you tried the new fish. And to be honest, I don't think 80ppm is totally unheard of. Not the best, but as slowly as you acclimated, I'm not convinced that's the problem.
  8. OP

    gschra11New MemberMember

    What do you think your goal would be in terms of nitrate PPM? I've intentionally kept it higher because of the plants and have added fish in the past without issue. (An otocinclus went in this past weekend as well without issue. He's happy as a clam.)
  9. Marie1

    Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    I think everyone goes by the 20ppm and under. I don't check mine. I just change 50% every week. That's what seems to work for me. I haven't tested my water for years. Maybe I should :p

    I do this in all my tanks. Planted ones included. But, I use the EI dosing in them, and changing 50% a week is what is recommend when doing that.
  10. hampalong

    hampalongWell Known MemberMember

    Your Otocinclus isn't happy. They are shoaling fish which need the company of their own kind. Roseline sharks also need to be in a shoal, as has been said.

    How long did you mix them for, and how different was the water in the bag to the water in your tank? If it is very different (pH, hardness) you need to mix slowly, sometimes very slowly.

    Aquatic plants grow in trace levels of nitrates. That's all they need. You don't normally get measurable nitrate readings in rivers and lakes.
    Roseline sharks don't tolerate high nitrates well, and IMO nitrate shock could have been the cause.

    Personally, if a shop tried to sell me one Oto or one Roseline shark, I would very quickly find another shop.
  11. Thai Aquarium ownerWell Known MemberMember

    +1 Hampalong.
    Denison Barbs need a large tank with a flow to simulate river flows.
    The water conditions for these fish has to be absolutely pristine, and they need a school of at least 6 fish
  12. OP

    gschra11New MemberMember

    Noting the above and obviously having the experience of not being able to keep a Roseline alive, even with adaption lasting well over 4 hours, I opted for a Rainbow shark instead. He's very happy.

    Thanks for all feedback.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice