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Sudden die off, hang on, long post

AlysonS74

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Please help! I have two 54 gallon freshwater tanks that I am really struggling with. Have had the tanks for a month, added new fish to both tanks a week ago.

Tank one: 7 guppies, 2 silver dollars, 1 betta, 1 pleco
PH 7.0
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0

Tank two: 3 goldfish originally, added 5 bala sharks, 1 pleco
PH 7.4
Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrates 0

Tank one, day 3. The guppies were fine the first 3 days, then suddenly all but 1 died in a 10 hour period. I tested the water, PH had dropped to 6.0, I added a regulator to raise it, meanwhile dropped the remaining female into the other tank in desperation. Day 4, noticed ich on silver dollars. Pleco, who had seemed fine the night before was dead. Treated for 3 days, noticed improvement, 25% water change on 3rd day of treatment. Betta seems unaffected, silver dollars may be improving.

Tank 2: Goldfish were introduced the week after tank setup. They were extremely healthy for the week before adding new fish. Day 2 after introducing new fish, pleco is dead. Day 4 noticed ich on goldfish. Bala sharks seem fine. Treated for 3 days. On 4th day after starting treatment but before treating that day, biggest bala shark was dead. Did 25% water change and treated again. This morning 2 more sharks dead and apparently another one committed suicide because I caught my puppy eating it.

So now out of 20 fish in 2 separate tanks, I have 8 left. The water tests consistent and the ich seems to be improving on the fish affected by it. I have kept aquariums since I was 6 years old and I have never had anything like this happen.

Suggestions?
 

Jan Cavalieri

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They may be dying from different causes - for example - making a massive PH change (from 6-7) might have been too much if you did it in one day but I've never had a fish die from that. I've just been told (and read) not to do it.

Maybe it's not ICH - I believe there is a broad spectrum antibiotic you can purchase without a RX - you might try that. Also - a 25% water change doesn't really change much of anything - you're leaving 75% of the disease in the tank. I would try to do a 75% or even total water change with something this serious. (obviously put the fish in a bucket of tank water with an air stone if you do a total water change.)

Sorry this is happening - this is quite a loss!
 
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AlysonS74

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At this point I'm thinking a total water change. I'm 99% sure the white spots are ich, I've seen it plenty of times before. Not saying there isn't something else infecting them too.
I brought the PH up over the course of 2 days, I've always heard to do it slow. Maybe even that was too fast, but I don't think it's the problem, since the PH in the other tank has stayed spot on 7.4 since set up and those fish are dying too.

I'm really thinking I brought something home with the new fish. They were all purchased at the same place and at the same time.
 

Colin_T

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Hi and welcome to the forum :)

Did you cycle the aquariums before adding fish?
Cycling an aquarium is where you add a source of ammonia and allow beneficial filter bacteria to develop over time, and these good bacteria keep the ammonia and nitrite at 0. It normally takes about 4-6 weeks to cycle an aquarium.

When did you test the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels?
Theoretically, if you lose a heap of fish at the same time, there should be an ammonia reading.

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Any chance of some pictures of the fish?
If the pictures are too big for the website, set the camera's resolution to its lowest setting and take some more. The lower resolution will make the images smaller and they should fit on this website. Check the pictures on your pc and find a couple that are clear and show the problem, and post them here. Make sure you turn the camera's resolution back up after you have taken the pics otherwise all your pictures will be small.

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What are you treating them with?
 
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AlysonS74

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I used tap water treated with Prime at set up. I added API Quick start at original setup of both tanks, as well as added filter media to both filters from an established tank. The 3 original goldfish were added a few days after set up. One fish in tank one, two in the second tank. I have tested water at least every other day since original start up. A couple of days after adding goldfish I got low ammonia readings, but since then every time I've tested I've gotten a reading of 0.

Currently to treat ich I have water temp at 82°, carbon removed from the filter and I am treating with Kordon Rapid Cure.

And my guppy, who was perfectly fine an hour ago just died.
 
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AlysonS74

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20191012_152059.jpg

The ich is very obvious on this little guy still. This is what both silver dollars look like in tank one. The Betta is unaffected and active.
 
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AlysonS74

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20191012_151839.jpg


The white spots are mostly gone from the goldfish, which is an improvement from this morning. However, when I went to take pictures of them, I found this. The red is definitely not normal.

Meanwhile, my last bala died. I pulled the goldfish back to their original, tiny 2 gallon that I brought them home in, in a last ditch effort to save them. I am completely redoing tank 2. As in emptying it out, scrubbing everything and starting over from the ground up.
 
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AlysonS74

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I've had the goldfish for about 3-4 months and never had an issue. Could this be something that was in the new tank? Maybe I didn't clean everything good enough before setup? Or would it be something brought in by the new fish? What is the best way to treat it or are these guys doomed?

I've kept fish for 30 years and never seen a bacterial infection. Guess I'm learning this one the hard way.
 

Colin_T

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It was probably brought in with the new fish. Guppies regularly carry bacterial and protozoan infections.

You can try adding salt but it might be too late for that fish.
You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), sea salt or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 2 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water.

If you only have livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), goldfish or rainbowfish in the tank you can double that dose rate, so you would add 4 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria but the higher dose rate will affect some plants. The lower dose rate will not affect plants.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

You can use salt and whitespot medication together.

If the salt doesn't work you will need a broad spectrum medication or anti-biotic. Anti-biotics should be used as a last resort.
 

Lunar Jetman

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I note that no one has made any comment yet on the types of fish you’re keeping.

IMHO you have incompatible fish/imbalances across both thanks.

Tank one - I’m presuming this is a female Betta as I wouldn’t keep a male in with Guppies. I’ve heard of a few examples where the Betta eventually mistakes the male Guppies as fellow Male Bettas and carnage ensues.

Also, Silver Dollars are a shoaling fish that should be kept in a minimum group of 5. They also can grow 5-6 inches in size so really need a bigger tank, minimum of 75 gallons, preferably bigger.

Tank two - Goldfish are cold water fish and shouldn’t really be kept with tropical fish who prefer warmer water than that of the Goldfish.

Bala sharks can get quite large, up to 12 inches so really need a much larger tank to swim about in. I’d say at least double what you have, if not more. They may currently be ok but they will get bigger soon enough.

Because of the incompatibilities you have, it’s possible that the fish are stressed which can bring on illness so I would strongly suggest you look at your stock and provide adjust appropriately.

I also think it’s possible neither tank is cycled properly since you should see something in the way of Nitrates.
 
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