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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I fishlessly cycled my twenty gallon riparium tank by adding some media from my two cycled betta tanks and a handful of gravel from each. I then added 3 white cloud minnows, 2 males and a female. They were very active and swam together. A week later, no ammonia spike and some nitrates, so I thought it was safe to add another 3.
The next day, one of the original fish gets its mouth stuck open somehow (lockjaw) and gets lethargic until it dies in a few hours. Later in the evening, one of the male minnows skin around the dorsal turned gray and then the whole back turned white (not fungus, just white in color) and it too died, only 4 hours after it first showed.

This morning, one of the remaining four minnows has vanished, and I fear it may have died hidden away under something. Of the last three, only one is active. The others swim in place near the bottom and only join the other briefly before settling down again. They eat but only a little bit and only if it falls near them.

There was and still is not any ammonia or nitrite present in the tank. I do not know for sure my water hardness but being Lake Michigan water it is probably close to ph 7.5 or so, based on what I hear our water is like. The temperature is about 70 degrees. What is going on with my fish? I was hoping eventually for a nice shoal of ten or so of these guys eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I just found one of the remaining 3 dead on the bottom with bloody gills. Last remaining male and female active and appear healthy. What's going on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I found the missing-in-action minnow now too hiding under a rock. Her gills were red also and her face was falling apart and hanging off in pieces. I put her to sleep. What could possibly be wrong with these fish?
 

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It sounds like some kind of infection. I'm not sure exactly what, but definitely look at diseases as water quality does not sound like it was an issue.
 

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Red gills sounds like ammonia poisoning.

Have you done any water change if you have any left?

When you fishless cycle, how long was it? Even if you take bacteria from an existing tank, they need to feed to grow if not htey will die off.
 

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Hidden Walrus,

We all need to understand the environment as responsible hobbyists inorder to a fish healthy and happy. Describing how your fish survived, suffered and ultimately passed is insufficient information for anyone to provide assistance on.

Ammonia
Nitrates
Nitrides
Temperature
PH
GH
KH

Describing how they were acclimated into the tank may prove helpful
 

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It sounds like classic columnaris to me - the patch around the dorsal fin is the giveaway. I had it wipe out 80% of a stocked 55g tank within days about two years ago. The only thing that stopped it for me was Kanaplex, but there are other meds used for it. Google columnaris and also search for it here on TPT - you will find tons of info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The tank never had a real cycle, I added three minnows the same time i added the filter bacteria and never had any ammonia spike. The tanks has a big peace lily, two syngoniums, heartleaf philodendron and pothos. I think the plants in the tank provided the cushion while the bacteria grew and prevented a mini-cycle. But i am getting nitrates so I know it is working and its not just the plants.

The first minnows were floated in the tank to equalize temp and released after a half hour. The pet shop shouldn't be any different in water conditions than me since we both have the same city water.

Since the first minnow died I've been doing 25% changes every evening, just as a precaution, adding appropriate conditioners.

I do not know anything but Ph (tested it, 7.5), temp (70 degrees F), no ammonia, no nitrate, nitrates 5.
 

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columnaris.. Hands down, all signs that the fish showed are signs of it. Its a fast killer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
It is columnaris :(. The last two minnows are still doing fine, but one of my bettas entire face has turned white in the last hour and he is laying on his side on the bottom. I had swapped a java fern into his tank from the minnows tank before they started to die off. I dropped in a fungus clear fizz tab, as its all I've got, but I know its hopeless.
 

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you should start over. Clean out the tank and bleach sterilize hardware and let dry completely. Throw away everything else.

Give time to properly cycle a tank and don't buy fish from the same store. Seems like it's a breeding ground for disease. Look at the fish closely before you buy like look for parasites and white patches.

We've all been through it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Do I really have to scrub down the tank, or will leaving it fallow for a month kill off the bug?

But even then, there are still two healthy-looking white clouds in there. Is their death inevitable or is there a chance they will survive? If they do, are they forever vectors that will spread the disease to any new fish added later?

And this pet shop is the best I've ever seen. Hundreds of flawless, aquascaped, all planted and clean tanks each on individual filtration systems. Never a dead or sick fish in sight. Store has no "petshop" smell and the employees are very knowledgeable. The fish weren't sick until I brought them home. They are extremely popular around here and the only other shops anywhere nearby are the awful chain stores. I don't know why they suddenly caught this.
 

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When I had the columnaris outbreak, all that survived was about half my celebes rainbow school (9 fish lived). I put them in a 29g tank by themselves & tore down the 55 that crashed. I was afraid to add any other fish to the celebes, wondering if they could be carriers. Approx. 10 months later I finally added other fish to their tank (I was tearing down a 40B and had to move the inhabitants). Much to my relief, no one has ever gotten sick in that tank in that time - and I hope I didn't just jinx it. I have yet to set the 55 back up, but I am this winter. I never bleached it, it's just been drained & dry for 1.5 years. I will still clean it with diluted bleach to feel safe. Me = worry wort. I also ditched all the substrate, rocks, and dw in the sick tank.
 

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rr
Do I really have to scrub down the tank, or will leaving it fallow for a month kill off the bug?

But even then, there are still two healthy-looking white clouds in there. Is their death inevitable or is there a chance they will survive? If they do, are they forever vectors that will spread the disease to any new fish added later?

And this pet shop is the best I've ever seen. Hundreds of flawless, aquascaped, all planted and clean tanks each on individual filtration systems. Never a dead or sick fish in sight. Store has no "petshop" smell and the employees are very knowledgeable. The fish weren't sick until I brought them home. They are extremely popular around here and the only other shops anywhere nearby are the awful chain stores. I don't know why they suddenly caught this.
It sounds like something you Introduced into the tank recently. Just because you don't see any dead fish in the tanks when you go to the lfs doesn't mean it's disease free.
I'm also from the area and I don't know of a lfs that has ,
" Hundreds of flawless,aquascaped, all planted and clean tanks each on individual filtration systems"
Could you tell me the name of the "extremely popular" lfs ?
Unless its the one on us30 and Taft. It's seems that one has been having a problem with anchor worm lately.
 
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