Spotted Blue Eyed Rainbowfish Mistake

MeisEpic

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A couple of years ago I decided to buy some Spotted Blue Eyed Rainbowfish in my ten gallons heavily planted aquarium. I went to my LFS and I bought either 7 or 10 of them. I quarantined them for a month and then put them in my 10 gal. (I lost two in the beginning. One jumped out of the tank through this tiny sliver in the lid and the other died a few hours after being put into the quarantine tank).

One of them decided to always hide and hand in the back. Then there was a really dominant one that was always pushing the other ones around. They only hanged in one spot of the aquarium and slowly started to die. I was concerned because they were dying so I moved them back into the quarantine tank after I cleaned it and they slowly died from there. I spent over $40 on them and ever since I have been scared of getting new fish, especially ones that school or shoal. I have stuck with bettas since then.

What did I do wrong and what should I have done differently? It was really disappointing because I did so much research and I was so excited to own them, and I had them for not even two months.

I used AqAdvisor for the stocking.
 

candiedragon

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Hello and welcome to Fish Lore.

I am so sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, it is part of the hobby especially when you try new things.

It could have been any number of reasons, and it maybe difficult to rule things out since it was 2 years ago. I can pitch some possibilities:
  • Wild-caught specimens can come from some pretty acidic waters with a pH as low as 4.5. They may have been sensitive to the drastic differences.
  • Perhaps, if they were indeed wild caught, they were collected by use of unethical methods which weakened their system, coupled with the stress of transit.
  • If they were wild-caught, regardless, it is a good idea to quarantine because they could have had parasites. Which could be another factor to consider why you had such a loss. If you didnt pre-emptively treat them during the quarantine phase, it's possible that, with stress, any potential parasite was able to take hold of their host.
  • Perhaps there was just enough pH difference between quarantine and display tanks to cause them to die off from stress. Certain factors can cause a slight change in pH within the tank environment. Anything that releases acids can contribute to lower pH, such as driftwood, almond leaves, peat, and decaying matter. Anything that releases minerals into the water can contribute to higher pH, such as certain stones and even certain substrate. Being that you had a heavily planted tank, I'd guess you had a plant substrate like say eco complete that does raise pH. Not acclimating them properly could have send them into shock.
  • Were the tanks properly cycled?
  • Were they acclimated to the display tank from quarantine? Were the parameters monitored to make sure they were similar before transferring fish?
  • Were they able to eat? Have they accepted whatever you were feeding them as food?
Tl;dr improper acclimation between all processes, uncycled tank, stress, wild collection method, shipping, parasites/disease, food was not accepted by them.

Those are the main things I could think of.
 
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MeisEpic

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My tank had been cycled and running for almost four years.
I drip acclimated them from their bag into the quarantine and then later into the display tank.
They were eating the food I fed them.
I pre-treated them in quarantine.
I have no idea why I said a couple years. It was barely a year ago.
I asked the fish store and they were not wild caught.
My ph was 7.0 so that might have been it.
 

candiedragon

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Do you remember what the parameters were like in both tanks? How you had both tanks setup? Different lights? Other tankmates?
 
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MeisEpic

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Different lights yes. Shrimp tankmates only. The quarantine tank was bare with a single ceramic hiding thing. The other tank had driftwood and tons of plants. The parameters of both were ph of 6.6-7, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, and nitrates 5.
 

candiedragon

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Do you know how old they were? I just realized they have an extremely short lifespan of about 18 months.

Otherwise, I'm pretty baffled. If something was out of order, I'd imagine the shrimp would be wiped out before anything.
 
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MeisEpic

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They were wild caught so I have no idea how old they were. I don't think that they were that old though. Besides, the whole group dying off because of old age doesn't make sense to me. If one or two of them were old that would make sense but an entire group?
 

candiedragon

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At this point, I dont think you did anything wrong. It looks like you thoroughly researched and made proper preparations to house these fish. Unfortunately, it's part of the hobby to suffer loss and be our quite a bit of money. Yet we move forward and try again just for the sake of the rewarding display.

It could have just been the stress of yet another move. Maybe the lights were too bright. Maybe next time you could keep the lights off for a day or two when you move them in.

I watched a video from Rachel O'Leary, a species spotlight for this fish, and she indicated that they're pretty hearty. She did however stress how short-lived they are.
 
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MeisEpic

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I will try that if I ever get them again and with other fish in the future.
I was aware of their short life span, and I hoped to breed them so I could keep the offspring when the parents died.
 

candiedragon

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Best of luck if ever you try again. It sometimes happen, even to some veteran keepers here. Unexplained wipe outs when everything appeared to be in order. But these days there are so many unknown variables, like how many places these fish been to before they ended up in your tanks, even down to genetics and their adaptability. Which is why many people will encourage you to go straight through a breeder for some of the more sensitive types of fish like German blue rams for example.
 
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MeisEpic

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I will look at a breeder in the future! Thanks so much. I feel really encouraged.
 
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