Tragedy over the weekend...

Red1313

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Well I'm not really sure how to start this post. I was gone just over 48 hours (Fridday 5pm to Sunday at 6 pm) and I lost 3 of my breeders, possibly a fourth by later tonight and I have no idea why. The Casualties are, my Red HM pair (Blase and Heels) and my Cambo female (Munchkin). At the time of this writing I'm not sure if my dragon boy Draco, will pull through.

I can't figure out what's wrong. When my fish sitter (aka best friend) saw this she freaked. Over the phone it she said she thought that it was the heaters. When I got here tonight the heaters were fine, temps weren't too high. I couldn't test the water in the containers that the three losses were in because the fish had been left in there and that would throw the ammonia readings off. I tested Draco's water (and all three remaining had 100% water changes) but his ammonia was only (maybe) 0.6.

I haven't been able to get ahold of Megan since I've gotten home but hopefully I can find out if she'd done WC's etc. (she had brought the dixie cups I'd forgotten over so I know that she was going to.) The only thing I can think of was originally a bacterial issue (2 of the fish were from the same farm and the 3rd sometimes shared equip. with them since she was planned to be paired with one of them. ) However with Draco sick (and I know I NEVER mixed Draco with anything from Blaze's) The only thing I can think of is the plastic containers. They're plastic sterelite containers but I didn't think that they had anything that would leach out of the plastic....

Just... really not in a good place right now. It's been a long week, with far far too much bad news
 

navyscuba

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That is so sad Red I'm sorry. Some like that happen to one of my friends in the LFS he usually got the angels from a place in GA but he found some lady that got them from south Florida and within a week he lost all the angels on his tanks except the ones from the lady. Come to find out they came from Thailand and were infected with a virus that affected only the ones that were not from Thailand.
 

Furallicah

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I'm sorry to hear Red...Did you wash the containers before you used them? Do think if you did that maybe some of the cleaner staying in the containers?....other then that idk. I don't think a sudden ammonia level of .6 would kill everyone like that so quickly.
 
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Red1313

Red1313

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Thanks guys <HUGS>
Navy, a virus is a possibility but all the fish were in QT so the only thing they were "sharing" was the bath all their containers were in to keep the temps right. And the only Survivors are a female from one breeder and the male from another. The rose tail pair from the Ontario breeder (where Munchkin was from) are both fine as well.

Furallicah, I rinsed the containers prior to putting the kid's in there last wednesday, and they're been getting (100%) WC's every other day since then with the containers being rinsed with clean water each time prior to being re-filled.

Talked to Megan and she and her room-mates came over to do WC's for me Saterday, normal procedure, scoop, dump, rinse, fill, dechlorinate, float, release. Everything went fine, when she came to feed them today 3 of them were gone...

The toxicity angle doesn't seem to work since megan did the WC's.
Maybe Navy has it with the virus angle...
 

rae64

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Oh no! That is terrible news, I am so sorry red.... what could have happened?
 

critter_fritter79

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Oh Red, I am SO sorry! I know from personal experience how devastating it is to lose one of your babies at all, but it is so much worse when you lose so many and have no idea why! Was Drake from the same shipper as any of the ones that have passed already? I am wondering if it is some form of bacterial infection. If he came to the same trans shiper as one of the others, it could be that the bacteria was spread during all the shipping procedures...When mine had the bacterial infection, they didn't show any symptoms until about 8 hours before the end, but my blue boy I got from MM was going downhill fast but within an hour of me adding the erythromycin he perked back up ad is now doing great...If there is anything I can do, just give me a yell!
 

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Red, I am so sorry to hear of your losses, and hope Draco pulls through.

Could there have been a sudden temperature change, such as pouring in water at a very different temperature from the tank water? That's my first guess, since there seemed to be a "problem" with the heater when there apparently wasn't when you got back home.

Next guess: It could have been a cross contamination issue. Some viruses and bacteria can live in a few drops of water, and your kindly, obviously well-meaning, fish sitter (plus her roommates) might have been a bit less than fastidious about washing their hands, not using cups and other equipment between tanks, etc.

How come 100% water changes? What's "float" mean in the routine?

Just guesses, and I certainly hope you find some clues as to what went wrong.

Again, I am sooooo sorry.
 
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Red1313

Red1313

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Thanks guys.

There are no physical symptoms, physically all the kids looked fine. Draco was basically laying on the bottom of the container you nudged it and he'd get up and swim to the surface and look perfectly fine, maybe a little doopy but a few moments later he was back on the bottom of the tank. It's sunday so everything is closed (I just tried making a run to petsmart) I'm going to go and check on him but I don't have much hope...

Critter: All the ThaI kids are from the same transhipper (there's only 1 in Canada) but the three fish from the one breeder had deeply stained water while the 2 fish from the other had water that was nearly clear. I suspect that the transhipper didn't open the bags after he received them but merely checked for deads and kept them warm until he shipped them out to be. The other female was from the Ontario breeder so no contact with the ThaI kids other then being in the same bath as the other two females...

Pam: All the breeders are in QT so each were in a 2.5 gallon plastic container with approximately 2 gallons of water. The 3 males were in 1 "bath" and the 3 females in another. The bath's were larger containers with a water and heater to heat everyone. Since there wasn't any water movement the container's closest to the heater tended to be a bit warmer then the containers at the other end hence Megan's thought that the heaters weren't working. However the thermometer was on the far end from the heater and in both baths had the same reading. Since none of the containers were filtered I was catching each fish in a separate cup, and then placeing the cup in the bath and just dumping the two gallons of water in their container, rinsing it then refilling it. I'd them float the cup in the container while the water equilibriated and clean the next tub. By the time I was done the 2nd tub the first was at the right temperature and even with the cup so the boy was returned to his home.

I just checked Draco and he's still dopey but I don't know what to treat him with. I have a few different meds here but I don't know which to use since there aren't any external symptoms
 

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Sorry to hear that Red. A tough day for you today. Hope you manage to save the Dragon Scale.

Pepetj
Santo Domingo
 

Lucy

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I'm so sorry red
 
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Red1313

Red1313

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Thanks Pepetj, Thanks Lucy

EDIT: I have Erythromycin, Tetracycline, and Triple Sulfa on hand here. I don't think that he's gonna pull through this on his own he's gone down hill even with fresh water...
 

Furallicah

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You could just treat with a general internal medication...if there are no external signs then we have to suspect that maybe the problem is internal. Other then that idk...you said the water was fine other then the .6 ammonia....idk...I'm so sorry I feel helpless. Maybe though the ammonia was higher while you were gone? Is it possible?
 
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Red1313

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I just dosed him with 5mL (1/4 of a packet dissolved in 20mL of water) of Tetracycline (it says it treats both internal and external bacterial infections) I hope it helps
 

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OMG red I'm so very sorry!!!
I know you have been so excited for these guys/gals
big hugs!!
 

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Red, I'm so sorry for your losses and I hope Draco pulls through . Do you have an airstone going in his tank?
 

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Oh Red I am so sorry to be reading this! I haven't been able to get on fishlore all weekend because of computer issues......

The one thing I think you can rule out is the containers....I have used those in my fishroom for years and had no problems.....I agree with you that it is unlikely the transhipper unbagged the fish on his end.....They usually send them in the original bags from the breeder.....

This one has me stumped! With no visible signs of illness it makes me think it may have been a heater issue....What were you feeding them and how much? What did you treat the water with? Water changes are a good thing but it is possible to stress them out with too many once they 1st arrive....

I want you to know my heart bleeds for you right now Red.....I know how excited you were to breed the little guys.....You had done everything right! I wish there was something I could do to make this better.....Just know we are all here for you......

(Hugs) Karen~
 

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Sorry to hear about the loss of your fish. I too had the same thing happen with my ThaI boys. They were fine for 3 days then all at once I lost 3 of the 4.
 

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Sorry for your loss. Did your friends wash their hands really well or wear gloves? Do any of them use hand lotions? Since you weren't gone very long and didn't notice anything before you left, I'm thinking that this could be due to some kind of contamination of the water.
 
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Red1313

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Thanks everyone <HUGS ACCEPTED>

Draco was still with me this morning and is still holding his own now. I think that the Tetracycline did help since he's no longer laying flat on the bottom of his tank but is hanging out on the side mostly upright.

Tana: No none of the container's had airstones though I didn't think that would make a difference with the Betta's being labyrinth fish. None of my other tanks are aerated with anything other then the filters and two of the Ontario kids in a 3 and 5 (gallon) are unfiltered right now but don't seem to be having problems with it.

Karen: <HUGS back> Glad to know about the containers. I thought of the heaters but it didn't make sense to me that in one bath it was the fish in the middle of the tank that passed away and in the other it was the first two and that heater was turned down a bit lower (since it's more oversized then the others and I didn't want to risk cooking the kids). Before I left they were being fed 2x a day, once with frozen blood worms and once with HikarI pellets (not the best I know but the Atison's is on order from the BBC and should be in later this week). Water Changes were done with prime at proper dosing, and the kids didn't seem to be overly stressed by the changes.

Flyrod: <HUGS back to you>

bubble: They weren't showing any symptoms prior to me leaving, the Red Boy was in the process of Constructing a MASSIVE bubble nest and Draco had done the same. And since all 6 had their WC's done at the same time on Saterday it doesn't make "much" sense to me that 2 of the six would continue to show no symptoms if that's what it was...

<HUGS>
Thank you all for your support. It's really nice to know that you guys understand. <hugs>
 
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Red1313

Red1313

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No while I was gone they were just getting the HikarI pellets once a day just to keep it easy for her I didn't think the HikarI pellets would hurt for the weekend and she was feeding them one pellet at a time to make sure that there wasn't any left un-eaten in the containers.

I've never heard of a fish choking on blood worms (though I can see the greedy little porkers doing it) what's the proper technique?
 
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Red1313

Red1313

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Hmm... I'll have to try that (I'v got a couple extra cheese graters around) I've just been thawing them then hand feeding them only a few worms at a time. The pets will eat them from my fingers but the new kids won't so I was using a small wire with a couple draped over it to feed them. They wouldn't leap for it but they'd grab the ends in the water.
 

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Awwwww, I'm so sorry Red! <hugs> I've only had to go through losing a betta once, but that was hard enough. I hope Draco pulls through! I'm glad he's looking a bit better.
 

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