Sudden Deaths in New Tank (FIVE so Far)

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Big_Chubbz created the topic: Sudden Deaths in New Tank (FIVE so Far)

I just spent 47 days cycling my tank without fish . Before I put anything in the tank, I established a bacterial colony that can neutralize 4ppm of ammonia in less than 18 hours. Prior to stocking I did a final water check that confirmed 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates. On day 49 I stocked the tank around 1800:

5 Clown Loaches (about 1.5")
3 Green GloTetras (2")
3 Orange GloTetras (1.5")
3 Purple GloTetras (1")
3 Green GloDanios (1")
3 Purple GloDanios (1")
(All purchased from Aquarium Adventure)

On day 49 I fed .25tsp of sinking pellets at 2300. Lights out at 0200.

On the morning of day 50, lights on at 1000. I found dead: 1 Orange GT, 1 Purple GT. Water tested 0-0-0. By 1300 1 Green GD was dead against the filter intake. All remaining stock fed .25tsp at 1100. Stopped by PetCo to purchase 3 Glo TigerBarbs and 3 Red GloDanios. Also some new food (slow-sinking granules instead of the sinking pellets). Acclimated the new stock to the tank by floating their baggies for 60 minutes before netting them into the tank (the same procedure I used for initial stocking). 3 Barbs schooling together and frolicking all around the tank. Nicknamed them the Three Amigos. Fed all stock .25tsp of new food at 2300. Lights out at 0200.

On day 51, lights on at 1000, and water tested 0-0-0. All Danios schooling together. Pretty cool, but my wife noticed one of the red ones (from PetCo) was missing. We closely observed the tank for about 10 minutes before we finally saw him floating by. His corpse must have been lodged in one of the Heidi Holes. Netted him out immediately (as I did with all the other victims as soon as I saw them) and fed the rest .25tsp of the slow sinking food at 1100. Went back to Aquarium Adventure in the late afternoon to exchange the corpses for new stock. Returned home with 1 Orange GT, 1 Purple GT, 1 Red GD, and 1 Green GD. Released them into the tank (same procedure as above) around 1830. When releasing the new stock, I again noticed the Three Amigos schooling around the tank. These guys are inseparable. Occasionally one or two of the clown loaches will run with them too. Very similar size and color.

Around 2000, I noticed one of the Three Amigos floating by (not sure if it was amigo uno, dos, or tres)!! This was about an hour ago. I've netted him out and am trying to figure out WTF is going on here. Water temperature has been constant at 77, and pH has been checked daily since day 49 and remains at 7.5. I'm running a MARINELAND® Penguin 350B Power Filter on a 48"x24"x13" 65 gallon tank.

I closely examined the victims and noticed nothing unusual on their bodies. I don't have an expert eye, however, so if anyone might suggest something for me to look for, we might solve this mystery. The barb is the only one left for me to go back and reexamine. The rest are in the trash at Aquarium Adventure.

Any ideas?
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DRACO replied the topic: Sudden Deaths in New Tank (FIVE so Far)

ouch.. that is sad... but that is the problem with those very small fish...
they could easily succumb to any slight problem..

hope you can keep the rest alive ... good luck
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Rocksor replied the topic: Sudden Deaths in New Tank (FIVE so Far)

How did you acclimatized the fish? How long did you acclimatize them for?
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Big_Chubbz replied the topic: Sudden Deaths in New Tank (FIVE so Far)

I let them float in their bags in my tank for an hour before using a net to remove them from the bags and release them into the tank.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Sudden Deaths in New Tank (FIVE so Far)

There would be a wide variance between store water and your tank. Floating in bags doesnt give fish a chance to regulate themselves to your tank water. You need a drip acclimation, where you put the fish in a separate container like a cooler or rubbermaid tub. You put the fish and their store water in, and SLOWLY over the course of several hours add some of your tank water. Keep temps relatively stable, you can run an airstone for O2 if you have one. Your fish have died from osmotic shock. The store should have made you aware of this procedure.


I may not be the Boss, but I'm ALWAYS right!
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Rocksor replied the topic: Sudden Deaths in New Tank (FIVE so Far)

A quality LFS should give you store credit for fish that die within 24 hours. Be prepared to bring a sample of your tank water for testing for verifying that you have good tank water, and make sure they test with a liquid test.
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Big_Chubbz replied the topic: Sudden Deaths in New Tank (FIVE so Far)

A quality LFS should give you store credit for fish that die within 24 hours. Be prepared to bring a sample of your tank water for testing for verifying that you have good tank water, and make sure they test with a liquid test.


Aquarium Adventure has a 48 hour exchange policy. They did a straight exchange on the 2 Danios and 2 Tetras. Luckily all the CLs survived, because I am outside of the return policy on those now. I did take a water sample when I returned the dead fish, but they didn't bother to test it. They took my word for it that I had tested the water that morning and chalked it up to "bad luck". Even after 4 out of 20 fish dying, no one mentioned osmotic shock or recommended that I more carefully acclimate the fish.

PetCo has a 30 day policy, so I'm taking the dead barb and a water sample to them this afternoon and will be coming home with 3 new barbs. This will give me a total of 5 barbs. Hopefully they'll be happier in a slightly larger school (5 instead of 3).

You need a drip acclimation, where you put the fish in a separate container like a cooler or rubbermaid tub. You put the fish and their store water in, and SLOWLY over the course of several hours add some of your tank water.


Thanks for the advice. I'm going to try to pick up one of those plastic containers that hang on the tank when I go to the store. If I hung that INSIDE the tank (to keep temperature similar), how much of my tank water should I add and how often to properly drip acclimate? One cup an hour for three hours before netting them in?

Thanks again.
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Rocksor replied the topic: Sudden Deaths in New Tank (FIVE so Far)

About 1 tablespoon every 10-15 minutes for a container that small. You want to be able to work you way up to adding the twice the amount of water in the container, which means you will have to dump out some of the water in the container, two or 3 times during this process.

A TDS meter can help you determine how far away the total dissolved solid level the fish store water is from your water. As you mix your water into the bagged water, the amount of dissolved solids will get closer to each other. This is why drip acclimatization is used.
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Big_Chubbz replied the topic: Sudden Deaths in New Tank (FIVE so Far)

Rocksor wrote: About 1 tablespoon every 10-15 minutes for a container that small. You want to be able to work you way up to adding the twice the amount of water in the container, which means you will have to dump out some of the water in the container, two or 3 times during this process.

A TDS meter can help you determine how far away the total dissolved solid level the fish store water is from your water. As you mix your water into the bagged water, the amount of dissolved solids will get closer to each other. This is why drip acclimatization is used.


Thanks for the reply. I floated the bag at 1800. It has approximately 500mL of store water in it. So far, I have added 15mL at 1815 and 15mL (1 tablespoon) at 1830. Do I understand correctly that I can't add the fish to the tank until I have added 1000mL? At this rate of 60mL/hour, this method will take 17 hours.
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DRACO replied the topic: Sudden Deaths in New Tank (FIVE so Far)

there are so many ways to acclimatize fish via dripping. and you don't have to wait that long... all you need is a big bucket and small bucket. put the fish in a small bucket that is placed on top of the big bucket.. using small hose, allow the water from the tank to drip into the small bucket wherein overflowing water will drop at the big bucket... it is up to you how much over-spilling water had to before you stop the process and release the fish into the main tank.
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