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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 250 gallon freshwater tank. It has been properly cycled for around 5 months now, with the ammonia and nitrite levels reading 0 and the nitrate levels at 20. I recently tried adding bala sharks to the tank but they all die within 24 hours. I also tried adding clown loaches, but they all died within 24 hours also. The same thing happens with any plecos or tiger barbs that I add to the tank. The other fish new and old are all fine, it just seems to be with these specific species. The water is around 76 degrees and there is no chlorine in the water, and my pH is 7.5. I did discover that I had copper in the tap water that I was using, but have since removed that from my aquarium water after adding water conditioner to remove it and testing for copper. These fish species are still dying and I'm running out of theories as to why. I was hoping someone could help answer this problem that I have been having.
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How are you acclimating the fish to your tanks? Drip acclimation is best.

Are you buying these fish from the same pet store every time? Were they quarantined in the petstore before you purchased them, or were they brand new deliveries? Maybe the water conditions at your fishstore are totally different?

As an aside, I've heard numerous accounts of bala sharks dying immediately after transfer to a new tank due to inadequate acclimation. The plecos and tiger barbs should be a lot hardier though....
 

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What are the symptoms before they die? Knowing this would potentially help to narrow down the search far more than asking you to list all kinds of details.

-Philosophos
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I do drip acclimate all of my fish, and yeah I've found drip acclimating to work the best too. I've tried buying these fish from a few different pet stores with all of them dying within 24 hours. The Bala Sharks huddle near the bottom of the tank for a while, but then begin to swim around the middle of the tank like normal. I don't really notice any signs of stress or illness with any of these fish, their behavior seems to be normal, the same goes for their coloration. I've also heard bala sharks being a finicky species when it comes to acclimating them to a new tank, but I've always thought these other species to be somewhat hardier species. I've actually owned all of them years ago (besides the balas) and had no problems with them. Could it be my pH level? It's at 7.5, which isn't too high, but I really can't think of anything else that it could be.
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I very much doubt it's the pH, especially with the fish you've listed.

No symptoms makes things difficult. This would be the part where you list all of the things you add to your tank, your substrate, your maintenance routines, etc.

Unless by some chance you've got compressed CO2; I'd look to that if you're getting death without symptoms.

-Philosophos
 

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How long do you drip acclimate?

And are you QT fish yourself before adding them to the main tank?

It's got to be some sort of water parameter issue, if these fish are coming from different stores...

Have you verified your water param readings with other tests or at an LSF?

CO2 is a good possiblity if you've got pressurized on this tank; it can take fish a while to adjust to higher CO2 levels.

If nothing else works, you might try dropping CO2 on the tank for a week or two while acclimating new fish.
 

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No luck with Bala Sharks either

We have a 55 gallon tank that has been stable enough for over 2 years that we have many tetras that have lived in it that long. Unfortunately, we are having no luck whatsoever with Bala sharks. Temperature is at 80 degrees. pH is steady, never reading higher than 7.0 or below 6.6. So I spend a fortune trying to keep the school at 6. Exact same situation. They seem fine. Within 24 hours they hover on the bottom of the tank, and then quickly death and I'm running back to the pet store to keep the remaining balas from stressing out for lack of a large enough school. A few days of this an I'm stressed out.

So it sounds like balas need longer acclimation time than other fish. I will try a slower drip acclimation.
 
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