Cardinal Tetra's dying off, new RCS dying off, Amano's leaping out of tank...? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Cardinal Tetra's dying off, new RCS dying off, Amano's leaping out of tank...?

In the last few days, I have lost 5 cardinal tetras, 3 RCS (that I know of), and 2 amano shrimp (jumped out of tank).

I have had a school of about 20-25 cardinal tetras for several months, and no issues until now. A couple days ago I added 9 RCS (after 4 hour drip acclimation), and I also dosed some Flourish Excel following the directions of 1 capful per 10G for the initial dose.

Within about 24 hours I had lost 2 RCS and 1 tetra. Within another 24 hours I have lost at least 1 more RCS that I know of, and lost 4 more of my tetras. I went to my LFS and picked up 3 amano shrimp, and put them in they were very active, within 24 hours 2 of them were found dead on the floor next to the tank! (maybe this is unrelated? I've heard they can be escape artists, though I was surprised to see 2/3 escaped so quickly!)

I checked my water parameters again and everything looks good:

Temperature: 73 F
TDS: 160ppm
GH: 6
KH: 4
PH: 7.6-8.0 (hard to read in this range)
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Total Nitrate: ~15ppm (hard to read in this range)


I saw one of the cardinals today, it was floating around with the current of the water from the filter, not able to fight the current, tumbling around, but still alive and occasionally swimming a little bit. Less than 1 hour later he was completely dead on the bottom...

Any ideas as to what could be going on? I don't see any visual sights of issues with the fish...
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bduane View Post
In the last few days, I have lost 5 cardinal tetras, 3 RCS (that I know of), and 2 amano shrimp (jumped out of tank).

I have had a school of about 20-25 cardinal tetras for several months, and no issues until now. A couple days ago I added 9 RCS (after 4 hour drip acclimation), and I also dosed some Flourish Excel following the directions of 1 capful per 10G for the initial dose.

Within about 24 hours I had lost 2 RCS and 1 tetra. Within another 24 hours I have lost at least 1 more RCS that I know of, and lost 4 more of my tetras. I went to my LFS and picked up 3 amano shrimp, and put them in they were very active, within 24 hours 2 of them were found dead on the floor next to the tank! (maybe this is unrelated? I've heard they can be escape artists, though I was surprised to see 2/3 escaped so quickly!)

I checked my water parameters again and everything looks good:

Temperature: 73 F
TDS: 160ppm
GH: 6
KH: 4
PH: 7.6-8.0 (hard to read in this range)
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Total Nitrate: ~15ppm (hard to read in this range)


I saw one of the cardinals today, it was floating around with the current of the water from the filter, not able to fight the current, tumbling around, but still alive and occasionally swimming a little bit. Less than 1 hour later he was completely dead on the bottom...

Any ideas as to what could be going on? I don't see any visual sights of issues with the fish...
Did you just start with the Excel dosing?
Did you find the bodies of the Amanos? They will take trips out of the tank but as far as shrimp go they're pretty much bulletproof.
Cardinals, i would assume are just like neons which can be sensitive to disease and water params. Your params look good, it may be possible you introduced something to the tank.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, was my first time dosing with Excel. I had some kind of green algae growing on my Java moss after I upgraded my light, so I bought some Excel to see if it could help and also help my plants grow.

Yes, found the bodies of the Amanos outside of the tank on the floor (one was half way across the room!).

My shipment of RCS has quite a few dead ones... so I was concerned about some problem with the shrimp, but I think it is somewhat common to lose shrimp in shipping? Is it common for diseased shrimp to infect fish?

I have no experience dealing with aquatic diseases, I've done a little reading and the variety of diseases is quite overwhelming. I can say that I don't see any visual issues on the cardinals.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 08:55 PM
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Yes, was my first time dosing with Excel. I had some kind of green algae growing on my Java moss after I upgraded my light, so I bought some Excel to see if it could help and also help my plants grow.

Yes, found the bodies of the Amanos outside of the tank on the floor (one was half way across the room!).

My shipment of RCS has quite a few dead ones... so I was concerned about some problem with the shrimp, but I think it is somewhat common to lose shrimp in shipping? Is it common for diseased shrimp to infect fish?

I have no experience dealing with aquatic diseases, I've done a little reading and the variety of diseases is quite overwhelming. I can say that I don't see any visual issues on the cardinals.
Ok, well you need to find out how the Amano are crawling out out, they are known to take terrestrial trips. Not sot sure on the RCS, other than there are mixed opinions with them and Excel.

I can tell you that Excel will do you no good in you fight against hair algae. Chances are since upgrading your light, you have too much light. I'd suggest manual removal with a dollar store tooth brush daily until it stops, if it doesn't go away the dim the light somehow.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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The loss of tetras at this point is the most alarming... as the timing is correlated with the Excel dosing and addition of shrimp, and as I understand it a normal dose of Excel shouldn't hurt fish... Should I start being concerned about some disease? Without seeing any visual signs of disease, I'm not sure where to start.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 09:43 PM
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that temperature seems cool for a cardinal tetra,I believe they like more upper 70's.I know very little about shrimp except they like to crawl out and go exploring.

MTS? no,I just need one more tank...
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 10:14 AM
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I personally stopped using excel in my shrimp tank as I found that my shrimp would die off. Now that I stopped using it, i haven't had any shrimp die.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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I keep losing tetras , two more yesterday morning, one more this morning, total of 8 so far in just a few days.

From my research 73F is a little bit on the low end for Cardinal tetras, information sources vary greatly, but some show 73 at the low end of the "preferred" range, others show it lower than the preferred range. In either case, I can't imagine that this could cause them to start dying so quickly when they have been OK for quite some time?

I performed a 30% WC yesterday at the advice of my LFS, who said that they don't recommend doing the large initial dose of Excel as stated on the bottle, and that it might have depleted oxygen, but I haven't seen my tetras gasping at the surface or anything. I also have a lot of surface agitation with a Aquaclear 110 on my 65 gallon, and two air stones.

I don't know what else to check... any ideas?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Still losing one fish each day now. I'm going to keep doing water changes as fast as my RO system will allow. If this is some parasite/disease that doesn't show any visual indications, can I treat for it without knowing what it is?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 09:47 AM
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Is your tank open top or do you have a lid?

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 03-18-2017 at 02:00 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 11:05 PM
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Dead shrimp in a shipment is not normal unless you are talking warmer water shrimp who were left in child weather for way too long.

This doesn't help with Amanos jumping ship, but could the RCS have had a bacterial infection or something similar, and it was passed on to the fish when they snacked on dead ones?

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 03:17 PM
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As it has already been stated dead shrimp are not normal during shipping. Your water is too cold for Cardinals. They are a fairly sensitive fish.

I have dosed excel in low tech shrimp tanks for years and have sold hundreds of shrimp out of said tanks. Excel does not (in my experience) effect neos or amanos.

Has you water parameters always been this way? How long has the tank been set up? Are you dosing ferts? Also poke around your Substrate with a shish cabob stick. Sometimes gasses get trapped. Just some ideas. And sorry if these have already been addressed and I missed it in the other posts.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 11:10 PM
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Ph is a little high for cardinals unless they are tank bred specimens. If you are using co2 you can increase it some and that will lower Ph. The big culprit to me is the Excel and that big WC. The temp is a little low but not enough to kill tetras. Keep a log book on your water chemistry but your readings looked ok other than Ph.
When things are going good in a tank keep your changes small. I did a mistake a few days ago and increased my co2 too much and Ph went from 7.2-6.6 and my Crypts did not like it one bit.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the tips and advice so far.

I thought the issue had passed, as I hadn't had signs of issues for a couple of days, however, it looks like another one is on the way out. Here is a video of the fish, it was vertical at the surface bobbing up and down, now it is kinda drifting around near the bottom. I after several seconds I panned over to the fish that appear healthy (to me), maybe there are some signs/hints here?

https://youtu.be/VRf0Wdt-D-8
EDIT: about an hour later after recording this the fish was dead on the bottom of the tank , this is the 2nd that we've seen before it died and in both cases they died very quickly after we noticed.

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Originally Posted by EDLITE View Post
Ph is a little high for cardinals unless they are tank bred specimens. If you are using co2 you can increase it some and that will lower Ph. The big culprit to me is the Excel and that big WC. The temp is a little low but not enough to kill tetras. Keep a log book on your water chemistry but your readings looked ok other than Ph.
When things are going good in a tank keep your changes small. I did a mistake a few days ago and increased my co2 too much and Ph went from 7.2-6.6 and my Crypts did not like it one bit.
Ph has been high, higher in fact, for most of the Cardinals lives, so I don't think that high ph specifically would be the culprit for a sudden die-off, though it is possible that changing ph could be a culprit. I changed from hard alkaline tap water with high nitrates to remineralized RO water over the course of several weeks with 30% water changes every couple of days. The ph of my remineralized RO water is around 7.6. The tank was stable for about a week with no additional water changes before adding the shrimp and Excel, and the next morning, 4 dead fish. I could of course chalk up the timing of the dead fish and Excel to a coincidence... but for several weeks with these aggressive water changes I didn't notice any signs of stress with the fish until the morning after the shrimp/Excel.

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Originally Posted by zackariah View Post
As it has already been stated dead shrimp are not normal during shipping. Your water is too cold for Cardinals. They are a fairly sensitive fish.

I have dosed excel in low tech shrimp tanks for years and have sold hundreds of shrimp out of said tanks. Excel does not (in my experience) effect neos or amanos.

Has you water parameters always been this way? How long has the tank been set up? Are you dosing ferts? Also poke around your Substrate with a shish cabob stick. Sometimes gasses get trapped. Just some ideas. And sorry if these have already been addressed and I missed it in the other posts.

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See answer above regarding recently changed water parameters. Based on your advice I will increase the temperature of the tank. Tank has been set up with cardinals for about 6 months. I am not dosing ferts. I'll give poking the substrate a try to release gasses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by natemcnutty View Post
Dead shrimp in a shipment is not normal unless you are talking warmer water shrimp who were left in child weather for way too long.

This doesn't help with Amanos jumping ship, but could the RCS have had a bacterial infection or something similar, and it was passed on to the fish when they snacked on dead ones?

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I was also concerned about an infection from the shrimp, however both the seller and my LFS said it would be extremely unusual for an infection like this to have such a quick overnight impact on other inhabitants, if it was an infection they said it would typically be a much slower process to infect and kill the fish, do others agree?


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Originally Posted by Beefy Fish View Post
Is your tank open top or do you have a lid?

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Toxic shock! The everyday chemicals that can kill your fish ? Practical Fishkeeping Magazine

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I have a lid, though there is a 2" gap in the back. I read through the article linked above and I'm racking my brain to think of anything we have been doing different in or around the room the fish are in, I can't think of anything we have a pretty consistent cleaning regime, so I can't imagine anything new that would cause a sudden dramatic issue, but we will be extra cautious considering this going forward.

Thanks again for your help so far!

Last edited by bduane; 03-21-2017 at 11:48 PM. Reason: Added update regarding the quick death after noticing the issue.
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