loss of rasbora maculatus
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:41 PM   #1
bluestems
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loss of rasbora maculatus


Over the past few days, I've mysteriously lost quite a few of my spotted rasboras (B. maculatus). From 11, I have just one left today.

Water parameters are good, but there is a new algae, I think staghorn unfortunately, and the other inhabitants are doing fine. Other inhabitants include 4 adult amanos and a couple of bee shrimps, and 3 danio erythromicrons. Tank is a 7g planted nano with an Eheim 2210 filter and lilys, with inline heater maintaining a temp of 72F.

It began a few days ago when I found four rasboras dried up outside of the tank, by the outlet filter. I gathered they had accidentally launched out of the tank as they liked to school together and these four were all together in a small pile as if they had launched at the same time, one after the other.

I made sure the lid was on after this point. Then, I lost three two days later. Couldn't find them outside the tank, but I did find one inside that looked like he recently died. This brought me down to four.

Today, there is just one. No signs of where the other two are.

I'm confused... if it's water parameters then why are the amanos and bee shrimp, or danios not affected? I fed the shrimp some steamed zucchini twice this week outside their normal food, but again they are fine so not sure how it would have affected the rasboras.

Ideas on what could be wrong?
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:04 AM   #2
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So, while seating at my desk, one of the amano shrimp launched herself out of the tank! I went to find her, under the desk, and saw one of the missing rasboras. I was able to scoop her up and put in her back in. She's clinging to one of the floaters. The lid in back on!

I had just completed a partial water change about an hour earlier. Other than dechlor, I don't treat the water. Not sure what the problem might be, but the water does smell "fishy" coming out of the faucet for the past week or so.

I picked up some bottled RO water at the store, and will do another partial water change. Maybe even 40%.

Is there anything I need to do/add to the RO for the shrimp?
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:39 AM   #3
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If livestock are trying to escape your tank that is a solid clue your water quality is off. What are your parameters? I would also test what is coming out of your tap.

I hope the RO helps your survivors, but if it were me I woold want to figure out the cause.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:07 AM   #4
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Unfortunately, I'm out of test strips. Will be picking up some tomorrow.

I believe what may have happened was that I've been disturbing the aquasoil trying to manually remove this new algae (a mix of brush algae on the rocks, and staghorn, I think, on the plants.) Especially in the dwarf hair grass, the algae has grown rampant over this week. I knew this might cause an ammonia spike, but I was also doing a good partial water change at the time and the shrimp were not showing signs of stress until later... but could explain the loss of the rasboras?

To make matters worse, I increased the co2 today as it is recommended for battling these algae types. When the fish and shrimp began to swim towards the top, I turned it down and added an airstone.

It was just prior to the fish going to the top that the big shrimp had gone kamikaze. Now I also just read that there can be co2 spikes during water changes. So, I'm guessing that is the issue with my ms. amano. She and the other shrimp seem to be ok now.

I will test the tap tomorrow as well to rule out any issues with that, but until then I have 5g of RO water that I can use for partial water changes.

Does anyone know if I need to add anything to the RO for the shrimp? (eg. calcium?)
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:14 AM   #5
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It doesn't sound like you have a strong fluorescent light close to the surface of your tank but for what it's worth you need to know that even grounded fluorescents create an electromagnetic field that often is very strong. It throws off measuring devices (TDS, pH meters) and if you have a small cut on your finger and put your hand in the tank you feel a weak stinging.

I used to import dwarf rasboras and I got to say the things are pretty much bulletproof unless they come poisoned by their own waste in the shipping bags. So whatever is killing them is a pretty serious issue.

First reaction should be to add activated carbon to the filter. But activated carbon itself is a funky thing. Believe it or not it releases invisible particles of itself that actually bother certain kinds of fish and shrimp. Still - I'd add the carbon if your tap water is funky. The water company often does crazy things to the tap water but you think you are doing something wrong to your tank.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:26 AM   #6
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wow, didn't know that about florescent lights. I'm using the Aquasky LED light fixture, suspending at about 14" above the water level. It's been up for about two months now, so I didn't think it was a cause.

I'm really baffled by the death of my rassys too as I've heard they are pretty bullet proof. The seven that were left after the initial 4 were found outside the tank seemed just fine, look fine. Ditto with the three that were left, and now with the lone last survivor. He's trying to school with the danios. It's so sad... hope he hangs in there until I can get this issue resolved and add some of his mates back in.

It does seem very odd to me too that only the rasboras are being impacted by the issue (I'm positive the shrimp were only impacted by the increase in co2 today). The danios are doing fine through it all, as are the shrimp now that the co2 is off and the airstone is running.

I have purigen in the canister filter. I'm planning to open up the canister and do a cleaning tomorrow. Will see if it needs a recharge at that time.
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