I have a 55 gallon tank and the fish seem to be dying off with no signs of illness. My Mollies and Platys, one by one, sit near the heater, breathe heavy, show no sign of illness and then die after a few days. It's really strange.
I see the heavy breathing and think "low O2 levels?" but the rest of the tank is fine.
Now - the only fish added to the tank were my Tetras. I added them about 4 months ago. They were not quarantined (my mistake.) One Tetra turned grey and looked like something out of a Stephen King movie. May have been NTD. This fish was removed and died in a hospital tank. If the other fish had NTD (which is possible) wouldn't they have a similar death awaiting them? There is no color change, eyes are clear; they look healthy even after death.
Tank - 55 gallon
Running - 1 year 6 months
Filter - Eheim 2213 with spray bar
No outside decorations, all store bought.
ammonia - 0
NitIte - 0
Nitrate - 20
PH - 7.5
KH - 7
DH - 4
Water Changes - 25% weekley
Vacuum - Yes
Stocking - 5 Black Mollies, 5 Red Minor Tetras, 5 Platy, 4 Cory
Med's - Won't use meds unless i can figure out a cause.
If anyone has any insight, i'm truley confused and sad to see my tank die off. I've lost 2 Mollies and 1 Platy in 3 days.
The first Tetra could have been moving shock. In addition, the water parameters are probably not ideal for all three species. The temperature seems a little bit high, and Mollies usually like brackish water. Most aquarium fish can live under a range of conditions, but conditions that are not ideal can eventually wear a fish down. Do the Mollies have clamped fins or any signs of a parasite? Since they all seem to be gasping for air, you may want to add an air stone and do an extra partial water change as an extra safety measure.
Thanks for the reposnse. The mollies are not all gasping. Only one and the rest are fine. The water in fresh not brackish. The mollies are in great shape with no sign of illness. One will go up and breathe heavy and after a few days, die. If the water was a problem, wouldn't effect all the fish at the same time?
Just to clarify, all the fish are not dying at the same time. One fish will hide by the heater for a few days and then die. Then, a few days later, another fish will go up and do the same thing. During the time that one fish is hiding, the rest of the tank is very playful and happy. The fish that hides does not have clamped fins or show any sign of illness. There is plenty of surface movement so it is not O2 levels.
Is it possible that one of the fish is picking on the others? When you say playing do you mean chasing? If you have a bully in the tank it may be picking on the smallest/weakest fish causing it to stress out and die. That would explain them hiding by the heater and dying one at a time.
Can you see their gills? There could be something in there, like a parasite or fluke or something.
The warmer the water, the less oxygen there is, so if you lower your water level a little to create more surface agitaion, which creates oxygen in the water.
What kind of test kit are you using?
No, playing is playing. the current is strongest at the top of the tank. The platy's and the mollies swim to the top by the spray bar and let the water swish them to the other side of the tank. They have done this since they were fry. No bully or fin nipping.
I looked at the gills of the platy after she died, it did look slightly pink.
When i turn the temp down, the fish seem lethargic. They seem to like it best around 80. I could certainly try to turn it down to 78 and see what happens.
BTW, my test kit is API liquid. I have a lot of surface agitation, i just now if it's O2.
Good job on the API kit, it's the best IMO.
Are the other fish gills red? And the one that died pink?
the mollie thats hiding now has a pink eye, hard to get a look at the gills. the platy that died had pinkish gills. i'm thinking of trying 1 tblspn salt per gallon.
I thought it was 1 tsp per gallon? Not 100% sure though. Sounds like a good plan to me. Just remember that salt does not exaporate, and you will have to manually take it out so you don't OD your fish.
Good thing i looked at your post. I pulled out the API aquarium salt, confirmed 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons.
Thank you very much for your time and sharing your knowledge.
I will update the post with the salt results.
I just thought of one more thing. Nocturnal fish like common plecos and Chinese algae eaters can cause problems by eating the protective slime coat off sleeping fish. If you have any, they should be housed elsewhere.
Well, the molly died.
Gave her a 30 min salt bath then moved her to the hospital tank. She was showing signs of improvement but when i check in on her the following morning, she died.
The rest of my main tank looks healthy as they're all eating and thier color is great. I checked my numbers again and they're perfect. Ammoina 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 20 (cleaning day is Sat) and PH 7.6. Hopefully whatever was going on in the tank is gone...we'll see.
It sounds like you've solved the problem. Please keep us posted, and join our forum if you like. We're free.
Well, John migh be free, but I am pretty spendy! LOL
My daughter got a 5 gallon fish tank for her birthday the first week in March. We had some trouble getting the water acclamated at first, but through a series of water changes and adding a bubble stone, the water is crystal clear now and is testing well. We have had several of her fish die, just recently a tiger fish that was w/ the original group of fish we first added. The only fish left is an angel fish and a bottom feeder. Within the last week she has had two algae eaters and her tiger fish die, and a zebra striped. A couple of weeks ago she lost her two glo fish w/ in a few days of each other...not sure why the fish keep dying. We did n ot have all those at the same time, replaced a few after they died....used the bag floating in the water for awhile as the transfer method. She lost in the beginning an angel fish and a tiger fish, at that time we attributed it to the cloudy water and struggling to ge the amonia levels correct. The puzzling thing is the angel fish she has now is the original we got when we first added fish to her tank. The tiger fish that just died would stay isolated alot, in a stump or something, until we added the bubble stone. In the last couple of weeks he seemed to be doing much better....being out swimming around and eating. mVery puzzling, just thought I would ask, you seemed to have alot of knowledge about the fish and tanks. Would appreciate any advice.
welcome to the site, well first off my good friend bag in the water isntacclimating them fully just to the temperature. see there are different water parameters from the store and your home so they need to be acclimated to the diff water as well. and another thing is your tank needs to be cycled. Filter light heater airstone all need to be running and weekly water changes need to be done and in a month your parameter levels will go to 0ppm in ammonia nitrate nitrite. well up to 40ppm in nitrates no higher though. your tank is cycling right now and the levels are fluctuating too much for the fish to handle it and its causing alot of stress on the fish thus lowering their immune system and makeing them vulnerable to fungus,disease, and more problems. so acclimation and cycling are very important steps if not done p-roperly your gonna have alot ofdead fish on your hands. i hate to say this bud but the angel will probably not make it through this cycle. they happen to be one of the most sensitive fish in the world. just alittle tap on the glass can out stress them. i would say no more fish till its cycled. do 35% water changes twice a week ang get about half the gunk in the gravel out as well(they make gravel vaccumes,like a syphon) good luck and i hope this helps
I'm having the exact same problem and am totally stumped. Yesterday my pleco, whom I've had in this tank for almost 2 years, died.
Usually, when disease has invaded my tank, you could see the fish starting to look sick. But mine do the same thing as yours. Hang out by the heater for a day or so and then die. The pleco didn't even to that. His death was so sudden, it really took me by surprise. And even after he was dead, his color was still perfect. I've never had a pleco die without having the color fade to almost gray after their death.
All my fish that have died over the last week have been active and eating like normal, right up until they died. I just can't seem to figure out what's causing this.
I'm not new to owning aquariums. I've had them for almost 20 years and never encountered anything like this.
Sometimes, sick fish don't show symptoms before a disease has progressed too far. Since you are an experienced aquarist you probably already know about old tank syndrome and partial water changes.
I suspect aquarium fish are not as well adapted to aquarium life as we'd like to believe. While they don't realize they're being kept in a completely artificial environment, everything about the fish has evolved to cope with a specific wild habitat. Maybe we home aquarists are missing some important details.
My fish keep going to my sword tail who is lying on the bottom and im afraid it will die. My guppies have had 21 babies but 14 have died to and i cant see any illness im worried
What size tank are the fish in and how many do you have?
You may want to get your water tested for Ammonia and Nitrites, either at your local fish store, or by a home test kit. If you get readings of either of those two, then you can bet that's what is causing the die off.
I have a 25 gallon tank, with one black skirt tetra and five red eye tetra. Well established, pretty old tank. We only had the six of them for some time, until last week when we purchased 3 Buenos Aires tetra, two spotted catfish and on the advice of the fish store, and Angel fish. Being told one would be fine.
Everyone was getting along fine for a week. Then the Angel started hanging out by the heater, not eating very much. All of the other fish seemed to be leaving her alone, very playfull, etc… but now… as of this morning her top fin is almost gone, so apparently she is being nipped at because of weakness??, or got it stuck in the stick filter and pulled away (I think she’s being bullied when I’m not looking!). Can we save her before the others stress her to death? Or once they are buggin her to the point of weakness, will she ever come back? The store told us NOT to put two Angels together with other fish, so we just bought the one.
there might be a serial killer in your fish tank
The pet shop is likely giving you bad advice, especially where it concerns the angelfish. When they're healthy, angelfish are very effective predators, and they get large. At the same time, angelfish are sensitive to water quality issues, and they prefer warm, soft water with a neutral pH. They also need to be gradually acclimated to a new aquarium.
Thanks... but we lost it days after I first inquired. the TETRA just stressed it out to death. Even picked at it when it was helplessly laying on the bottom of the tank and still alive. We had to flush it before it died. thank you for all the advice.
THANK YOU. I will do that.
I have yet to see any readings for chlorine on thezr dying fish. Have you checked the chlorine level? Pink or reddish gills is usually from chlorine