Fish from LFS always die - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-09-2019, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Fish from LFS always die

So we have a LFS here that is very nice. They seem to have very good water quality, healthy looking fish, and as far as I can see, few losses in there tanks. Over time, I have bought fish from them over the least year and virtually every time I do, the fish seem to die over a week's period for no apparent reason. I do not have this issue if I purchsse from online (like ebay) or if I purchase from stores like petco or petsmart. Does anyone know why this may be happening to fish I buy from this LFS? I have no water quality issues at all. I believe they use RO water however I do not, but I'm not sure how that would lead to this big of an issue.

I just bought 8 cardinals last week and 6 died. I thougt maybe my tank ran too cool one night when a window was left open, so I bought three more a week later and heated the tank more. All three died within 24 hours, the two that survived last week are still looking great...
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-09-2019, 07:26 PM
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So we have a LFS here that is very nice. They seem to have very good water quality, healthy looking fish, and as far as I can see, few losses in there tanks. Over time, I have bought fish from them over the least year and virtually every time I do, the fish seem to die over a week's period for no apparent reason. I do not have this issue if I purchsse from online (like ebay) or if I purchase from stores like petco or petsmart. Does anyone know why this may be happening to fish I buy from this LFS? I have no water quality issues at all. I believe they use RO water however I do not, but I'm not sure how that would lead to this big of an issue.

I just bought 8 cardinals last week and 6 died. I thougt maybe my tank ran too cool one night when a window was left open, so I bought three more a week later and heated the tank more. All three died within 24 hours, the two that survived last week are still looking great...
If you are having better luck with fish from your local Petco/Petsmart or Ebay just buy from them.

There is little here to determine exactly what the issues are from the LFS to your tank. But, I would not buy anymore stock from them as their stock does not do well in your tank.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-09-2019, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Are there any common reasons for this though? It's kind of just maddening to not know why it's happening. It's unfortunate becsuse I'd like to support the local business and they do get an interesting assortment of fish in.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-09-2019, 08:04 PM
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Are there any common reasons for this though? It's kind of just maddening to not know why it's happening. It's unfortunate becsuse I'd like to support the local business and they do get an interesting assortment of fish in.
Assuming no issues of water quality in your tank: the issues will fall into acclimation issues or pathogens.

Acclimation issues: ammonia exposure in bag during transport/acclimation, pH/hardness or temperature shock. Search "acclimation issues in aquarium fish," to get a more thorough description of each of these issues and how to prevent them.

Pathogens: columnaris - the single biggest culprit where no symptoms are visible. ( One of four variants can kill without symptoms within from 24 hours of introduction to a few days. Of course, there is also Ich, but you would see indications of this on fish.


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-09-2019, 09:57 PM
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The RO water may be causing the aforementioned acclimation issues. Having vastly different water parameters shouldn't matter much if you are doing a drip acclimation with hardy species. But there is always the unspoken luck aspect. Sometimes you have to stick with what works even if it goes against the common opinion. I have had great big box store fish luck and see no reason to stop! Maybe photos of the deceased would assist, but I would suggest taking your business to somewhere more fruitful as well.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-10-2019, 07:29 AM
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I never bought fish online as I had tons of LFS when I first started, and where I live now, I don't have as many (as many have closed) but I do have some of the best you could ask for, I image some of the best in the country for planted tanks. One very bad piece of advice I heard way too much is that if you buy local, you will have more success if you buy in your area, especially if you have the same water, as you will have the same parameters. I didn't know as a beginner that all the LFS in my area used RO water. My local Petsmart, in particular, worked out way better for me. Have no idea of they used RO water, but it worked, even though the fish were often not nearly as healthy at purchase.

A few things I learned. Many of my LFS were selling fish basically the second they hit the tank. Over time, I realized that they were sold out of most things within a week, but often in 2-3 days. They probably had not fully acclimated to that water, then had to go through another to my tank. I also found one LFS ended up being my go to. It was right by my house, and right next to work, so I find myself buying there almost 100% of the time. I just switched to their RO water at the beginning of my stocking until I was done. That alone helped so much. This should work well enough if you are using more than one store, but they both use RO water, but not all RO water is equal, having the same water they use helped a lot. Having smaller tanks, it was pretty easy to 20 gallons (two trips for me), then 10 gallons for water changes.

I have not kept fish in awhile, just getting back into planted tanks, but even after a 3 year hiatus, I often didn't stock my tanks, just scaped them, and by the time I wanted to add fish, I also wanted to rescape so it has been awhile. I actually found I was much more successful with just doing a short temperature acclimation in the bag, and just dump them in. I wouldn't dump the water into my tank, instead, into a bucket with a net to catch them, but I personally had better luck. To me, doing drip acclimation, it seemed harsh, but many people said it worked better for them, and it did for me.

Acclimation has always been the hardest part of fish keeping for me. If they survive the ride home, adding to the tank, and 3 days, they typically lived a long live. I have tried all types of processes but that works best for me. When I first started, I did this and had a much higher survival rate, then I thought I was doing myself a favor by drip acclimation but not getting good results.

-Matt

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