Please help, unexplained fish deaths!

Shan_dashxo

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Hi,
Thank you so much for taking the time to read it, I am very worried about more of my fish dying/my fish suffering or living an unhappy life in their home!
I haven't joined a forum on keeping fish before so I am new to this, hope I include everything needed! I have listed all information below according to what is outlined in the the Start Here With Your Emergency thread.

1. Water parameters (tested this morning when found dead fish)
- Ammonia: 0 mg/l
- Nitrate: 10 mg/l
- Nitrite: 0 mg/l
- PH: 7.2
- Temp: 26°C
- General Hardness: 8°d
- Carbonate Hardness: 6°d
- Chlorine: 0 mg/l

2. A full description of the fishes symptoms
- Noticed on Thursday evening that a couple of the fish had white spot disease, and some others were rubbing themselves against drift wood / ornaments.
- Friday morning went to buy anti white spot treatment as soon as shops opened, bought some aquarium salt too based on professional advice and researching online. Was told to use both together. Did this along with treatment for hair algae after partial water change yesterday.
- Woke this morning to 4 dead fish and all others, except for Pleckos and Catfish, acting very stressed and like they would soon die too (swimming / floating around at the top of the water but still alive, some looking pale, flicking tails).
- Tested the water (results above) then did partial water change again to see if it helped, started to notice improvements in fish almost straight away - Angel had lost its colour before this, but started to get its colour back again after adding some new water.
- Fish that previously shown no sign of white spot disease amongst those that died (no rubbing or spots) so don’t think it was the white spot that killed them.

3. How often you do water changes and how much.
- Usually change the water once every 2-4 weeks, about 25-30% of the water each time.

4. Any chemicals and treatments you add to the water.
- Bio Enhancer (Fluval brand), Weekly, 30ml as indicated on bottle
- Tap Water Conditioner added to new water before adding to tank.
- Anti Hair Algae treatment, 7th March and 19th March, 24ml as indicated on bottle.
- Anti White Spot, 19th March, 20ml as indicated on bottle.
- Aquarium Salt (API branded), 10 tablespoons (1tbsp per 20L / 5 US gallons) as indicated on packaging and online, 19th March.

5. What tank mates are in the tank
- 1 Angel Fish
- 3 Silver Sharks (1 dead)
- 5 Clown Loaches (3 dead)
- 2 small Pleckos
- 3 small Cory catfish

6. Tank size
- 240L / 53 Gallons
- Aware that this tank size is not the recommended size for the fish I have (eg: 5 clown loaches should have a bigger tank). Fine for their current size as they are still very young and small, planning on sizing up when they have grown a little more.

7. Finally Have you recently added any new fish
- No new fish, newest fish were 3 Clown Loaches around a month ago, all been fine until this week.

Sorry the post is so long to read! I tried to include as much helpful information as possible. Thanks for reading and any advice will be greatly appreciated :)
 
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Guyb93

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I’d say your water changes are short but your parameters are good in my opinion I change 50% weekly but that’s for fun lol I didn’t see an issue with your stocking other than maybe your tank was a little small for 5 clown loaches , cause of death .... not sure , how long hve the fish been in the tank ? Have you added any plants or changed the substrate?
 
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Shan_dashxo

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I’d say your water changes are short but your parameters are good in my opinion I change 50% weekly but that’s for fun lol I didn’t see an issue with your stocking other than maybe your tank was a little small for 5 clown loaches , cause of death .... not sure , how long hve the fish been in the tank ? Have you added any plants or changed the substrate?
Thank you for replying! We have changed about 40% of the water a couple times before, and changed probably around 50% of it both today and yesterday, due to the white spot yesterday and deaths today
The tank was first set up about 5 months ago (October 2020), started off with 2 Clown Loaches then introduced three more around a month ago, introduced the Pleckos around the New Year. Haven’t changed the substrate and added new plants on 20th Feb, didn’t quarantine them but they came from a company specialising in Aquarium plants and were told they do not need to be quarantined.
The last two clown loaches left are still behaving out of character and one lays on its side under the driftwood a lot, thought it was dead but then started swimming again... Although I have read on other forums that the clowns do tend to ‘play dead’ anyway so not too sure lol.
 

Guyb93

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Thank you for replying! We have changed about 40% of the water a couple times before, and changed probably around 50% of it both today and yesterday, due to the white spot yesterday and deaths today
The tank was first set up about 5 months ago (October 2020), started off with 2 Clown Loaches then introduced three more around a month ago, introduced the Pleckos around the New Year. Haven’t changed the substrate and added new plants on 20th Feb, didn’t quarantine them but they came from a company specialising in Aquarium plants and were told they do not need to be quarantined.
The last two clown loaches left are still behaving out of character and one lays on its side under the driftwood a lot, thought it was dead but then started swimming again... Although I have read on other forums that the clowns do tend to ‘play dead’ anyway so not too sure lol.
I think clown loaches do well in warmer water but wouldn’t explain the deaths erm it could be a result of the white spot , if it reached the gils can have really bad effects
 
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Shan_dashxo

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I think clown loaches do well in warmer water but wouldn’t explain the deaths erm it could be a result of the white spot , if it reached the gils can have really bad effects
hmmm yeah I would have said most likely cause was white spot too, but just strange that some of the fish who showed no white spots yesterday were dead this morning, but some of the worst affected fish which are covered in white spots are still alive now.. seemed to show worse signs after the water change and treatments but all the dosages were correct
 

Slaphppy7

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What kind of test kit are you using?
What type of water conditioner?

You should use salt OR meds, not both, but the easiest way to kill ich is by raising the tank temp (gradually) to 86F (30C)

@Colin_T, have a look, please
 
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Shan_dashxo

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What kind of test kit are you using?
What type of water conditioner?

You should use salt OR meds, not both, but the easiest way to kill ich is by raising the tank temp (gradually) to 86F (30C)

@Colin_T, have a look, please
Hi thank you for your reply :)
I’m using the AquaCare testing kit for the Ammonium, and the Tetra Test 6in1 strips for the rest.
I was hesitant to use treatment and salt together but even on the packing for the treatment it says do not forget to use salt too to help support fish when being medicated. Also I have started to raise the temperature slowly, increased it by 2°C and will increase again by 2°C after a day or two, which will bring to 30°C
 

Guyb93

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I always treat Ich with elevated temps , but my tank is on the warmer side anyways
 

Colin_T

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- Friday morning went to buy anti white spot treatment as soon as shops opened, bought some aquarium salt too based on professional advice and researching online. Was told to use both together. Did this along with treatment for hair algae after partial water change yesterday.
That's why your fish died.

Never mix chemicals. Never mix medications.

Algicides are poisonous. Fish medications contain poisonous chemicals. Using both at the same time is a death sentence for most fish. Add salt on that and I am surprised anything lives.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week.

Stop using algicides.

Salt does nothing to white spot.

If you want to treat white spot, raise the water temperature to 30C (86F) and keep it there for 2 weeks, or at least 1 week after all the spots have gone.

Increase aeration/ surface turbulence when using medications, salt or heat to maximise the oxygen levels in the water.

If you have algae problems, add more plants, reduce the light, or do more water changes to dilute nutrients.
 
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Shan_dashxo

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That's why your fish died.

Never mix chemicals. Never mix medications.

Algicides are poisonous. Fish medications contain poisonous chemicals. Using both at the same time is a death sentence for most fish. Add salt on that and I am surprised anything lives.

Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week.

Stop using algicides.

Salt does nothing to white spot.

If you want to treat white spot, raise the water temperature to 30C (86F) and keep it there for 2 weeks, or at least 1 week after all the spots have gone.

Increase aeration/ surface turbulence when using medications, salt or heat to maximise the oxygen levels in the water.

If you have algae problems, add more plants, reduce the light, or do more water changes to dilute nutrients.
Hi, thank you for the help! Also sorry, my phone didn’t show your whole response at first so I deleted my original reply as you have already answered the questions I was going to ask.

I was hesitant to use both at once but the packaging for both products said it is fine to use a water treatment alongside a medication, and also read on many forums and was told by the ‘professional’ at my local aquarium centre to use the salt too..

Just to check I have understood, when you said “Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate every day for a week.”, do you mean both 75% WC and gravel clean daily, or 75% WC now then gravel clean daily?

Thank you for the advice, it is really appreciated and will not mix medications or treatments again.
 

Essjay

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was told by the ‘professional’ at my local aquarium centre
The first lesson of fish keeping is never trust anything a shop worker says. There are some good ones but most have been trained only to sell things and know little about fish.

If your tap water is treated with chlorine rather than chloramine, the best water conditioner is API Tap water Conditioner. It contains just two chemicals - one to remove chlorine, the other to bind metals. It does not contain a "stress reducing formula" - it's the herbal extracts in the Aquacare one I don't like - it could be aloe vera which is not good for fish long term.
However, if your water company uses chloramine, you will need a different water conditoner, one that temporarily detoxifies ammonia.
 
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Shan_dashxo

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Hi all, thank you again for all of your advice yesterday.
I’ve been recommended something and wanted to check what you all thought first.

I’ve been told by someone that one method which worked for this person is to remove all the fish from the tank and place them into a secondary tank, and treat them in this hospital tank with heat and salt. The original tank I can then put the temperature right up and put a high dosage of salt to dehydrate the parasitic cists that may be in the tank. Leave them this way for a week, doing water changes every day on the hospital tank with the fish in, and adding the proportionate amount of salt to the tank to make up for lost salt. EG if I change 40% of the tank, do 40% of the salt dosage after changing..

What are your thoughts on this? I have been increasing the temperature gradually in the main tank and it is now almost at 30°C, but my two remaining clown loaches are worrying me, I think they may die soon if nothing is done to help them. My angel fish has also started rubbing himself on the plants and decor, and has faded in colour again, showing signs of also having ich.

I am struggling to work out what is the best method due to the clown loaches being more sensitive to salt. Will adding salt just kill them, or will they be okay as I have seen a lot of people on forums saying their clowns were fine and cured this way.

Thanks again for your help
 

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