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I bought a new batch of 6 German Blue Rams and 14 Otos last week and have them in an established quarantine tank. I have lost 3 of the Rams (and 5 Otos early on) am very perplexed by the symptoms that I'm seeing rapidly impact them. I am hoping someone might have some insight.

The fish will look normal one day and 12-ish hours later they turn dark, abdomens appear to puff up, and then they die. One of them also (now) has bulging eyes after looking normal last night. I have been thinking this could be parasitic, except for the eye bulging now. Their poop seems fine but its hard to tell since they are small fish and the poop is thin. I have attached an image of one of the dead fish, one of the ones declining, and two of the okay (so far) fish.

The quarantine tank has been cycled for 3+ months, and I use water from my 200G planted tank which has had no illness for >15 years. I do 25+% water changes daily to vacuum out the uneaten foot and any poop.

Quarantine Tank parameters (25G)
pH 6.8
KH 120 ppm
GH 150 ppm
Ammonia & Nitrite 0
Nitrate < 20 ppm (the scale of my test kit is 0/20/40/60/etc.)
 

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I agree this came in with them. They are all eating fine up until they take the quick turn one by one. Each one has taken a similar rapid turn. I wondered at first if the Rams were fighting, as there were more males than females. That might explain the rapidly swollen eye, but that doesn’t explain the bloat or death. This is totally perplexing.

I just took the step (3 hrs ago) of sequestering the latest declining one and treating him with API General Cure just in case this is parasitic and the red eye the result of others picking on him. He’s still alive...

Ram with red eye is now dead. The remaining 2 Rams appear fine now and are eating. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.
 
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