Fish apocalypse aftermath - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 05:18 AM Thread Starter
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Fish apocalypse aftermath

So, I fishless cycled my first tank in years, a 125. I decided to use some practice stock while saving up some cash for a full stock of Victorians. I used feeder "rosy minnows", a few goldfish, 2 plecos, ect. All have been pretty healthy and happy for about 6 weeks. I decided to introduce two silver tip sharkcats and within 48 hours all were stricken with some sort of fast acting illness and every last fish died.

I have gotten plenty of sound advice from another forum of what could have happened and what to do. completely tear down, bleach, scrub everything and completely start my cycle again from scratch, no problem.

Here's my question. Is it necessary to trash all of my organics? I have had more than one person tell me that all the plant life should be trashed. I have spent almost 6 months collecting enough java moss to construct a 6 ft long, 20 inch moss wall background. It is all installed and just started to creep out of the mesh. Enough said about why I don't want to chunk it unless absolutely necessary.

I also got some experienced advice to leave the tank fishless for a few weeks and any trace of disease or bacteria would vanish due to lack of a host and then try a few tetras and watch and observe, saving the moss wall.

Opinions? Learned lesson of importance of quarantine and I will raise the standard on my practice fish.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 05:32 AM
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I'm faaaaaaaar from a fish disease expert, but there is no way my first step would be destroying your setup. No way.

Please let smarter folks than I chime in before deciding on a course of action.

If it was my tank (I would come ask for advice here, lol) I would think a few 100% water changes without dechlorination would get the job done. Maybe raise the tanks temp to 90 for a bit as well. Sorry I can't help much.

This might be worth reading until someone smarter comes along.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 01:43 PM
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Honestly, I wouldn't trash the tank. Unless the tank is infested with algae. I would do a few 60-80% water for the first week. Then fish less cycle for a few weeks. After that restock with a few fish. I would stay away from feeder gold fish as they tend to have diseases. What was the disease?

The key to this hobby is patient. Even though we like to make haste decisions and see instant results.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 01:52 PM
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Definitely don't trash your tank. Keep it fish free for a few weeks, do some large water changes, and whatever disease is there should go away. It might be a good idea to crank your water temperature up to 86 degrees or so because that will kill any ich that might be present, which is a common disease. It needs to stay 86 degrees for about 7-10 days to fully kill it.

I think you learned your lesson here - don't put feeder fish in your tank. The disease most likely was not caused by the sharkcats - it was probably already in the feeder fish - and the stress of adding new fish to the tank made all the fish get ill and die. Fish are very fragile and sensitive, although, when they are healthy they can fight off most diseases on their own. When they are stressed from fish store handling, travel, and being in a new tank, they are much more susceptible to disease.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 01:54 PM
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I had a similar issue in my 75g tank. I had what I suspected to be columnaris that took out 20+ fish in my tank. All I did was run carbon in the tank (I had medicated it for a few days when the fish were still in there) and did several 90% water changes within the first couple days. I ran the tank for a few weeks empty and continued with the water changes and fed it ammonia. I finally got the nerve to add some fish and when I problems. I am lightly stocked with 10 tetras and some crayfish in a 75g tank but no issues as far as reoccurring illness.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 02:41 PM
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My advice would be to get a UV filter and run it.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 02:49 PM
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I would run the tank fishless for three weeks to a month.
no need to raise temperature for ICH and most pathogen's won't survive more than a couple week's without a host fish or fishes to infect.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome information guys, I appreciate it.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 04:26 PM
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If it was ich he would know it, and it will die off soon anyways. I don't think you can call it a "fishless" cycle when you put fish in it.....
Any of which could carry disease especially being feeder fish. Or do you mean you cycled it and then put the feeders in there? Are you 100% sure it was cycled?If its bacteria it could hang around for god knows how long. Worms don't kill that fast. Id guess bacteria or water parameter issues and would do some regular water changes for a while. And I would also keep the moss. UV light would be nice....kind of expensive though lol

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2011, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I completed a fishless cycle in about 4-5 weeks back in August and then introduced the "practice" fish. I carelessly added a few additional fish every now and then without quarantine (lesson learned) As far as I can tell, I had no visible ich.
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