Quick Help: Rainbows dying! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2009, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quick Help: Rainbows dying!

I could really use some feedback. I have 4 tanks and I keep a variety of other fish including angels, dwarf puffers, otos, various tetras and rasboras, CPD's, an African butterfly, and a pleco. I haven't had problems with any of those fish but I recently started a rainbowfish tank. It's been running about 5 months, fully cycled (I used cherry barbs to cycle).

55 Gallon, heavily planted but with lots of free space along the front. Temp around 28, PH always between 7.4-7.8, GH 6, KH usually between 6-8, injected CO2.

I put in 10 Threadfin rainbows and 6 Turquoise rainbows last week. Within a couple days the threadfins started dying. Then the Turquoise started. When I did a water change I used water with a lower KH thinking the PH might be the problem so it's now KH 6.9 and KH 4. Yes, the ammonia and nitrites have been 0 through all this.

I've been feeding a variety of flake, daphnia, frozen bloodworms (I know too big for the threadfins), and frozen rotiphers.

When I got down to 4 threadfins and 4 turquoise left I moved the threadfins to my CPD tank thinking maybe I was feeding too large of food or they were just not competing well enough with the turquoise. I also let the temp in the turquoise tank drift lower from 78 to under 77, thinking maybe it was too hot for the turquoise.

This morning all threadfins are still OK in the CPD tank, but I lost another turquoise and one of the others is not looking good.

I've tested the water and wracked my brain to figure out why the turquoise are not doing well in their tank. I do have 3 java rice fish in that tank that are doing fine through all this so I don't think there's anything else been introduced that would be poisoning the fish. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!! Suggestions?

65G tall planted community Tank
2 55G, 1 with larger rainbows one with smaller rainbows and CPD's
2 breeding tanks (with CPD and angelfish fry)
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 05:01 AM
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Well, I would not cause anymore changes to the hardness or alkalinity through water changes, but seems like the issue started before that. Very tough to call, everything else sounds normal. 78 to 77 is not going to make a difference, even if it's a flash change which is only really possible during a transfer. Maybe a parasite or bacterial issue? If these are new arrivals then they might simply be succumbing to shipping stresses. Were they quarantined?


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 09:31 AM
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Chop the bloodworms... I keep my rainbows in RO water.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 10:00 AM
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What were the fish acting like before they died (gasping at surface, laying on bottom, etc.)?


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-10-2009, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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my current guess is some sort of bacterial/parasitic issue. I got all 16 fish from THD so it's possible they shared the same problem. I did not see much of the death, just the bodies. However the last turquoise to die was just hovering and clamping fins and I noticed he looked weird on his side towards the tail. Maybe sores. The last 2 of each seem to be stable but I'll have to wait a while before I'm sure enough to add anything else. Weird that the rice fish are doing fine if it is an infection.

Should I treat the tank? I thought generally rainbows weren't so fragile. Thanks for the feedback at least I'm reaffirmed that the temp and chemistry are ok.

65G tall planted community Tank
2 55G, 1 with larger rainbows one with smaller rainbows and CPD's
2 breeding tanks (with CPD and angelfish fry)
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-11-2009, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Now spreading

I have to seemingly healthy threadfins left and moved them to another tank--which was probably a mistake as I just found a dead CPD and have another one sick. He's just hovering down low and the front half of his body looks sort-of white. I've never had any problems but now I'm sorry i didn't quarantine. I only hope I can figure out what this is and treat it before the rest of my CPDs die.

The last 2 turquoise seem to be doing fine besides being nervous. I guess because there's only 2 left they're much more scared of me. The 2 threadfins are the same.

Again, any ideas for how to treat would be appreciated.

65G tall planted community Tank
2 55G, 1 with larger rainbows one with smaller rainbows and CPD's
2 breeding tanks (with CPD and angelfish fry)
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2009, 02:06 PM
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I would treat for 7 days with both MelaFix and PimaFix based on dosage of tank size.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2009, 05:10 PM
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Definitely treat as soon as possible. Rainbows are notorius for bacterial diseases especially mycobacterium (fish tuberculosis.) I have decided that I won't get any more rainbows in my area as they will last for a few months and then slowly waste away and die. This has happened to me every time.

IMO they really need to be quarantined and treated before putting them in a mixed tank. BTW there is no treatment for fish tuberculosis.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2009, 02:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I have no experience with sick fish so it makes me feel much better to have some feedback. I already decided it was probably bacterial so I'm treating one tank with maracyn two and one with furnase. It was what I had in the house. I'll post after the treatment to let you know how it all went.

Can a bacterial infection really spread to new fish and start killing within a day?

I managed to find one CPD soon after death before it turned white or had any bites out of it (snails), so I took some pictures. I had a lot of trouble trying to describe symptoms so maybe you guys can see something in the pictures I can't.

Thanks!!
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65G tall planted community Tank
2 55G, 1 with larger rainbows one with smaller rainbows and CPD's
2 breeding tanks (with CPD and angelfish fry)
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2009, 01:13 AM
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Looks bacterial to me, looks like some septicemia around the ventrals and gut, unless that's the actual coloring of the fish. Septicemia is caused by bacteria that attack the blood vessels and cause hemorrhaging. I would keep up the Maracyn and also do Maracyn 2 at the same time. Either that or just Kanaplex or Kanamycin. I'm unfamiliar with Furnase, so I have no comment on it's effectiveness, but it's description says broad spectrum treatment against bacteria, that's what you want. Don't mix M2 in the Furnase tank though, don't know if that's doable, M1 and M2 are ok together. Kana is wicked good and doesn't need to be mixed with anything.


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