Lost Fish

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Offline Mark359

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Lost Fish
« on: January 11, 2017, 01:26:42 PM »
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Hi,
I have having a few issues with my tank and I am looking for advice…
A bit of background first:
I got my first tropical tank about a year ago (a Fluval Roma 90) and went through a full fish less cycle then stocked with approximately the following:
  • 10 male guppies
  • 3 endler guppies
  • 6 galaxy raspbora
  • 3 honey gourami
  • 6 Amano shrimp


From stocking to now I have been doing weekly water changes and have never noticed anything off with any of the levels when testing..

I had a few fish die in the first couple of weeks but then all seemed ok for a month or so until I lost all the galaxies over the period of a few weeks. Each one slowly started to look bent and eventually died. I had been testing all the water throughout and never had any issues and chatted with a few people who suggested that they may have been a dodgy batch of fish and to not worry.

Over the next 6 months or so I slowly lost all of the guppies except 1 (and I do mean lost, I only ever found the remains of 1 or 2).

I restocked at somepoint to get to the following level about a month ago:
  • 4 guppies (2 original)
  • 1 endler guppy
  • 3 honey gourami (2 original 1 replacement)
  • 5/6 Amano shrimp (can’t tell if they are all there but there is at least 5)
  • 3 peppery corys
  • 3 glowlight danios
  • 5 oto’s
Since over the last dew weeks I have now lost some more (again lost as it I have never found bodies), I am down to2 guppies, 2 corys and2 glowlights (but have issue with 1, explained below) and 4 otos.
All of my water is still fine  according to the testing kits, so I am unsure why I keep losing fish. What I don’t know however if this is just part and parcel of the game (that some die and you need to replace), or if I have something wrong in the tank.

I realise my community isn’t very balanced at the moment and ideally I should get some more glowlights and corys, but I am hesitant to add more without knowing why the old are dieing.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Regarding the glowlight danios, I searched the whole tank last night and I was unable to see one of them, but finally spotted him this morning. He does not look well to me though and appears to be being picked on by the other much larger one. I have attached a video of this (sorry about the focus jumping in and out).

Thanks for reading all of this and any input you can give

Picture of tank
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Video of glowlight Danios

https://www.youtube.com/embed/uolPT-y7Jf4

Mark
 

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Glowlight Danio (1) - Otocinclus (3) - Platy (6) - Rummy Nose Tetra (6) - Sterbas Cory (2) - Honey Gourami (3) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline Sue

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Re: Lost Fish
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2017, 03:03:27 PM »
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First of all, have you looked on the floor round the tank? I recently found a dried up fish on the floor. But if you have a dog or cat, any jumpers might be inside the other pet.
All fish will eat dead fish. With yours being small, it won't take long to reduce a dead fish to a skeleton. Have you ever found anything like fish bones when you clean the tank?

Do you know how hard your water is? The info should be somewhere on your water supplier's website, but it could be in one of half a dozen units so if you do find it we need the unit as well.
The reason I ask is that you have hard water fish (guppies, endlers, galaxy rasboras) and soft water fish (gouramis, cories) though some fish are OK in both (glowlight danios)

Galaxy rasboras are all commercially bred so I wouldn't be surprised to find a less than perfect batch as some breeders use any fish regardless of health to breed from. The same applies to guppies which are very inbred nowadays, weakening the strains. If you have soft water, these fish would not be happy and if they were not the strongest of fish they would succumb to the water outside their hardness range that much quicker.

I agree with you re the glowlight danio - it does not look well. It looks quite emaciated. This is usually due to some internal problem, which could be bacteria, viruses, protozoans or worms. The first three are impossible to diagnose outside a vet's lab, but have you ever seen anything protruding from the anus of any fish when they stop swimming for a moment?


One comment about your stock - both cories and danios like to be in shoals of at least 6. Having fewer of them will make them stressed  and stress means a fish is more likely to become sick.
Are the cories peppered cories or salt and pepper cories?




Offline Mark359

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Re: Lost Fish
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2017, 08:40:42 PM »
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Thanks for the reply Sue,

The tank is fully covered so there is no chance any could have escaped that way. I have spent a lot of time looking within the tank, there is a chance that they could be hidden in the real plants, but I'm sure they would have turned up during a clean out. I guess the others are just eating the whole lot!

I tested my tap water back in March last year (when I was setting up the tank), it gave me the following:
-200 GH
-110 KH
- 7.6 PH
- 0.25 ppm Ammonia
- 0 ppm nitrite
- 40 ppm nitrate

I seem to recall this was called moderately hard. I checked with a friend nearby who has gouramis and corys and they have got on great so I thought that would be ok.

That particular glowlight has always been much smaller than the other one, he seems to be very active tonight though. I have never seen anything protruding, just a long string of waste at times which drops off eventually.

It is peppered cories I have, I started with 3 but have 2 now. They seem really happy, but are very rarely swimming together. I have no problem getting some more of them though, I just don't want to add fish for them to die straight away.
I wasn't aware of the minimum number of glowlights until I checked this site the other day, but now that I know that I am planning to get more, I just didn't want to add them until I know what's going on with the others!



Fish Community Creator Tanks
Glowlight Danio (1) - Otocinclus (3) - Platy (6) - Rummy Nose Tetra (6) - Sterbas Cory (2) - Honey Gourami (3) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline fcmf

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Re: Lost Fish
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2017, 08:57:13 PM »
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Hi Mark  :wave:

As you've thought yourself, it seems to me as though something is going on here rather than it just being part and parcel of fishkeeping - seriouslyfish.com would be worth checking out to see what the life expectancies are for each of your fish in among the fish profiles there but they ought to be living longer than this.

Just a couple of additional thoughts:
* is there any possibility that the fish could be getting stuck inside the filter bracket containing the filter, either before/after death? Some filters can be cleaned without needing to take them off the filter bracket and so you may not have moved it for some time. [Last summer, I had a fatality that way - it never occurred to me that they could have got squeezed into that tiny space, and a search around it without detaching the filter from the bracket and the bracket from the tank wall didn't show anything untoward.]
* a tank hood may have some tiny holes where the cables enter or the lid may have places where the fish jump and somehow get stuck - it might be worth taking various parts apart to see whether there are any remnants of bodies.

You mention a reading of 0.25 ammonia when the tank was being set up. Have your water readings always been 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite, or is there a possibility that there may have been low levels such as 0.25 of one or the other? If so, any amount of ammonia or nitrite is toxic and so it's possible that the prolonged effect of that may have taken its toll.

Hope those additional thoughts might help.

Offline MarquisMirage

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Re: Lost Fish
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2017, 11:58:15 PM »
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200 GH (assuming it's a ppm reading) is low for a livebearer like a guppy.  I wonder what your water hardness is in dH as Sue says.  I think your water hardness may be lower than you initially thought.  I would love to keep guppies but my water is too soft.

40 ppm nitrate is right on the edge of what's tolerable for fish. If that's the amount in your tap water it will only increase in your tank.  A much healthier level will be around 20 ppm or below.  High nitrate levels leave your fish prone to all kinds of illness.  Have you been using RO water?  What are your current water test results compared to March?

Sadly I think you may have had multiple issues rather than just one but you're on the road to fixing them.  :)

Offline Richard W

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Re: Lost Fish
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2017, 07:45:37 AM »
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I'm not convinced this is about water chemistry which I think is much over emphasised, fish are far more tolerant of hardness etc than they are given credit for in these days when they are all tank bred. It seems more likely that some of your fish had a disease when you started and that it's spread to others. I wouldn't add any new fish until the others stop dying, then leave it for a while longer. Then do some large water changes before you add more fish and try to get nitrate levels down to the same as the tap water.

Offline Mark359

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Re: Lost Fish
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2017, 11:03:42 PM »
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Thanks so much for all the replies.

@fcmf I always take the filter off the stand when I am doing a water change as loads of waste builds up around it so I make sure I clean it off. Also although there is a small hole in the lid I find it highly unlikely that a fish would ever get through it, let alone multiple fish. It is a way above the water level and off to the side a little. Thanks for the advice though.

I have never seen any ammonia or nitrite from tests on my actual tank water (once the fishless cycle was complete obviously)

@marquismirage : I have lent my water hardness test kit to someone, but I will test both the tap water and tank when I get it back in the next week and report back. According to the Severn Trent website (my local water supplier), my water should be "moderately hard".  I find the nitrate reading very hard to judge, there seems to be so little difference between all the options on the scale that I could well be more like 20 than 40 I suppose. I was under the impression that the live plants in my tank however would help to lower this level for me? I have never used any RO water in the tank.

@Richard W I am also not 100% convinced on the chemistry either as I have had many people tell me they have purchased tanks and chucked whatever fish they liked the best all in from day 1 and never had any issues. I want to make sure though that if there is anything I can do I am doing it properly. I will hold off getting any replacement fish until I have a few months with no deaths :)

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Glowlight Danio (1) - Otocinclus (3) - Platy (6) - Rummy Nose Tetra (6) - Sterbas Cory (2) - Honey Gourami (3) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Online Littlefish

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Re: Lost Fish
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2017, 05:41:57 PM »
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@Mark359 my tap water also has a nitrate reading of 40ppm. I have planted tanks and find that my nitrate readings don't go up over the period of a week. For those tanks with a lot of floating plants the colour of the nitrate test is often less red than the 40ppm reading, but not enough for it to be 20ppm.  :)

Offline Mark359

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Re: Lost Fish
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2017, 01:16:47 PM »
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Another fish gone  :(

The glowlight seems to have perked up a little in last few days, a few days ago one of my honey gouramis started acting funny however.
They were spending a lot of time at the top of the tank which was pretty unusual, this was the only thing I noticed though. 2 days later I have found it dead in the tank with no obvious signs of what happened (not obvious to me anyway). I think I need a good clear 2 months with no deaths then start to restock

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Fish Community Creator Tanks
Glowlight Danio (1) - Otocinclus (3) - Platy (6) - Rummy Nose Tetra (6) - Sterbas Cory (2) - Honey Gourami (3) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline fcmf

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Re: Lost Fish
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2017, 07:44:27 PM »
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Very sorry to read about this. I agree with you about having at least a couple of months without fatalities before re-stocking.

Hopefully someone familiar with gouramis, and dead ones, will be able to point out if they see anything untoward from your pics. [I had wondered about finrot when viewing the tail on my mobile phone but not when viewing it on the computer - it may just be the way the caudal/tail fin has clamped.] Was the dark marking always there / is that normal for the fish or did that set in post-mortem?

Offline Mark359

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Re: Lost Fish
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2017, 08:34:32 PM »
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Thanks for the reply @fcmf. The fins on this gourami were always darker than the rest of the body so I don't think it's that. Hopefully someone else can give an indication

Fish Community Creator Tanks
Glowlight Danio (1) - Otocinclus (3) - Platy (6) - Rummy Nose Tetra (6) - Sterbas Cory (2) - Honey Gourami (3) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Online Littlefish

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Re: Lost Fish
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2017, 08:43:56 PM »
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Sorry to hear about your loss.
Unfortunately I dont have any experience with these fish, so can't offer any explanations.

Offline Sue

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Re: Lost Fish
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2017, 07:48:42 PM »
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I have come to the conclusion that there are a lot of iffy honey gouramis out there. The yellow ones I've had never lasted as long as the natural coloured forms. I do wonder if it is the result of inbreeding and, being the most common colour in shops, bad breeding practices to keep up with demand.

You could maybe think about thick lipped gouramis instead.

Offline Matt

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Re: Lost Fish
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2017, 08:52:19 PM »
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I must admit mine didn't last long either... which would fit with sues theory, especially as they were a pets at home purchase...

Offline adenann

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Re: Lost Fish
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2017, 11:31:41 PM »
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Hello @Mark359  :wave:

The photos in your post look exactly like the ones I posted in a thread "The Emergency Room >Unexpected Demise" not long ago.

The tail clamping that @fcmf mentioned is identical.  I think it's just how they are when dead and out of the water. Also, I have a couple of other Gourami with various black markings, typically in the throat area.  I think that's just the way they are.  One was so marked that I went back to MA to talk to them and check out their, then, current stock.  They said it's the way they are (well they wouldn't say there was a problem would they), but the current stock had several similarly marked fish.  Because of the relevance to me, I always take a look at Yellow Honeys whenever visiting a LFS.  All of them have a few with these kind of markings.

The other 2 I've got are completely without any black markings and. if anything, are a lighter colour than the other two.  I think the marked one's are males and the paler ones, with a feint orange strip along the body, are females.

I've lost 2 out of 6 I bought mid-November, but neither were "sick", apart from the fact they were both dead of course.  One got a bit too curious about the pump housing and got stuck in it and the other decided to do a bit of sunbathing on top of some décor, under the tank lamps.

As I mentioned, mine came from MA Scottsdale's so there's no connection with P@H.

Offline Matt

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Re: Lost Fish
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2017, 07:40:43 AM »
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I think the marked one's are males and the paler ones, with a feint orange strip along the body, are females.

I think that's right adenann.

Also thinking back to mine, they passed in similar ways, funny behaviour then death only a couple of days later.  I would watch the others very closely as, though I don't know what I would do/medicate for, they don't seem to give much warning... possibly to prevent predation in the wild.

Offline Sue

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Re: Lost Fish
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2017, 10:50:02 AM »
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Natural coloured male honey gouramis all have a black throat. It is their colouring. Yellow honeys were bred from natural coloured ones by selective breeding and the genetics for the black throat are still there to some degree. The amount of black throat that appears on male yellow honey gouramis is quite variable, but some black on the throat is normal.
Similarly, almost all natural coloured females have a brown stripe along their sides. Yellow females often show this stripe but it is not nearly as pronounced as in natural coloured females. And females never have any black on their throats unless they are sick.

Offline Mark359

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Re: Lost Fish
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2017, 12:25:12 PM »
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Thanks for all the replies RE the gourami, the others I have are about 6 months older and are dark orange rather than yellow. They seem really healthy at the moment but I will keep an I on them.


@Sue, I got my water hardness testing kit back yesterday and did at test on the tank water which came out at GH = 160 mg/l (ppm) and KH = 100 mg/l (ppm). This seems to be defined as moderately hard, which looks pretty compatible with the fish I have remaining.


Fish Community Creator Tanks
Glowlight Danio (1) - Otocinclus (3) - Platy (6) - Rummy Nose Tetra (6) - Sterbas Cory (2) - Honey Gourami (3) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


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