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Help!! Dead fish in quarantine tank

Discussion in 'General (Hobby Related)' started by Mike, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. Mike

    88
    Urbandale, IA
    Ratings:
    +5 / 0 / -0
    Had a Gobi in our QT tank die. Had a weird spot on him. Any ideas what this is?

    Nitrate and notriye levels are both off the chart. We have been doing 40% water changes every other day and that doesn't seem to make a difference. Not sure what else to try to keep them down?


    20170730_185026.jpg
     
  2. Waterrat41 Addicted Reefer GIRS Member

    170
    Des moines
    Ratings:
    +90 / 0 / -0
    To cover the bases, have you by chance tested the water you are using for water changes to see if it is the source?
     
  3. Actuary Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    567
    Adel, IA
    Ratings:
    +101 / 1 / -0
    I assume that's nitrite levels? If so that's probably your killer.. how about ammonia levels? Can you provide some more info regarding the QT setup? What kind of filtration is running, powerheads, bubblers, etc? Did you dose anything and was he behaving odd (gasping at the surface, flashing, etc)?
     
  4. Barrett GIRS Member

    62
    Urbandale
    Ratings:
    +33 / 0 / -0
    Looks like a bacterial infection if any of the other fish have spots similar you could perform a 90 min Acriflavine bath followed by 14 days of metroplex, kanaplex and furan-2 and feed vitamin enriched foods.
     
  5. Barrett GIRS Member

    62
    Urbandale
    Ratings:
    +33 / 0 / -0
    For the nitrites and nirates you should do as close to a 100% water change as you can, then clean leftover food with a airline everyday.
     
  6. DangerJ Well-Known ReefKeeper Board of Directors Leadership Team GIRS Member

    527
    Des Moines
    Ratings:
    +190 / 4 / -0
    Hey Mike, are you guys still getting your fish from the same source?
     
  7. danmgray Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    307
    Sioux City, IA
    Ratings:
    +27 / 0 / -0
    Nitrite and ammonia, especially, are toxic and can do their damage quicly, so watch them closely when you QT. By the time we put a fish in quarantine there is a good chance it has been quite stressed so they are way more susceptable to disease and infections. I don't know what the spot is on your goby, but it looks to be near the gills. I would personally read up on ammonia toxicity and bacteria/parasites that could infect the gills.

    As far as keeping Ammonia and Nitrite levels down, you've already gotten some good suggestions--water changes, vaccuming leftover food/poop with an airline, checking your source water. I would add: don't overfeed and don't don't overload your QT tank with too many inhabitants (please forgive me if this doesn't apply to your situation).
     
  8. Bud Loves Bacon Website Team Board of Directors Leadership Team GIRS Member

    West Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +1,470 / 14 / -0
    Nitrite is especially toxic in Freshwater, but it is essentially not even something you need to bother ever testing for in saltwater because the chlorides outcompete it for the same uptake mechanisms. I robbed that from RHF to make myself sound super smarty pants smart, but you can read the whole article here: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-06/rhf/index.php

    You'll note in that article that someone kept some clownfish in a tank with 330ppm of Nitrite and they lived for days...

    Ammonia, on the other hand, is bad. That's what I would test for

    Nitrate - fish can live in elevated levels of nitrate if they are adapted to it. I tested one tank where I had to dilute the sample 50:1 to be able to get the reading into a discernible range on the API Nitrate kit, and that was between 20 and 40 ppm (after dilution, which means the tank was over 1000ppm Nitrate, and the fish were perfectly fine). Now, take a fish in pristine water and put them into a tank with 150 ppm Nitrate, and that's a death sentence.

    ^ this is more likely
     
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  9. Bud Loves Bacon Website Team Board of Directors Leadership Team GIRS Member

    West Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +1,470 / 14 / -0
    You should see a linear change in Nitrate levels before and after a PWC. So if you have 50ppm Nitrate before a 40% PWC, is should be 30ppm afterwards.

    If it's not, check your test kit expiration date, or verify you are running the test properly (you have to follow the API directions to the letter).

    What test kit are you using?

    What is your water source? RODI, store bought, premixed, etc?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Mike

    88
    Urbandale, IA
    Ratings:
    +5 / 0 / -0
    Ok guys - sorry for the long delay in responding, but wow - great helpful advice! This is such a great forum!!

    Ok so let me start answering these questions here....

    First, I am using RODI water that I have verified is showing at 0 TDS.

    We have two separate 40 gallon quarantine tanks setup. The goby was our first casualty in either tank. In the first tank, we have:
    • One 6" purple tang
    • One 3" coral beauty angelfish
    • One (dead) 4" Diamondback Goby (obviously not in the tank anymore)
    That is the tank that the nitrate/nitrite levels appear to be going crazy on.

    The second 40 gallon tank has three 2-3" clownfish. It hasn't had fish in it for as long. The clownfish used to be in the other tank until about 2-3 weeks ago when we split up the fish to try to balance the load per tank.

    It should also be noted that I will have 5 more fish coming on Friday:
    • Three Blue Reef Chromis
    • One orange-back fairy wrasse
    • One Diamondback Goby (to replace the one that died)
    I am not entirely sure how I am planning on splitting them up amongst the two tanks yet.

    As far as filtration, I have an air line going into both tanks, and I have a sponge filter running in both tanks. I believe this is the one. And there is a single powerhead in each tank as well for water movement. They are pretty small powerheads but I figured they were better than nothing!

    The reason that I am doing QT in the first place is I had 4 fish die in my display tank and the thought was there was a parasite infection happening. So I removed all the fish to QT them and treated them all with copper. We are about 7 weeks into this process with 5 to go. And as I said, this was our first casualty. But my poor wife is busting her butt to do these 40% water changes every other day and she is not really enjoying it right now!

    I was asked about our ammonia levels. Our tests are showing those are pretty close to 0. And the pH was also tested and is showing 8.2. We are using the Red Sea test kit, and was purchased from Amazon just three months ago.

    Now one of our QT tanks is showing much lower levels of nitrite and nitrate levels (the newer tank with the clowns). We were playing with the idea of taking about 75% of that water and putting it in the older tank and filling the newer tank with a fresh batch of saltwater.

    The tanks are bare-bottom with nothing else in them except large PVC pieces for hiding. I do have some rubble rock that I could put in there that has been in my display tank's sump? We didn't do that at first because it could absorb the copper, but since we are done doing that, perhaps that would also help?

    Oh, also DangerD asked about where I get my fish from. Most come from Live Aquaria as I like the warranty. However the Goby did come from Iowa Pets. We had it for probably 5+ months with no problems.

    I think I answered everybody's questions. Any additional thoughts?

    If anybody in the west side of Des Moines is dying to take a look to offer any insights, we always enjoy the input! :)

    Thanks again everybody!
     
  11. Barrett GIRS Member

    62
    Urbandale
    Ratings:
    +33 / 0 / -0
    Do you still have copper in the water? If so it will throw off tests especially ammonia. Get a few ammonia alert badges one for each tank and make sure when you read them you have a bright white light shinning above or at them.
     
  12. Mike

    88
    Urbandale, IA
    Ratings:
    +5 / 0 / -0
    I don't think there should be any copper in there anymore. We have been doing 40% water changes for about 4 weeks (every other day) since we completed the copper treatment. So if there is any copper in there it should be very small amounts.
     
  13. Actuary Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    567
    Adel, IA
    Ratings:
    +101 / 1 / -0
    A couple of things to be careful with...
    • Many wrasses don't do well with copper or chloroquine phosphate, so hopefully you're no longer treating with it.
    • Do you know if this type of fairy wrasse is a sand sleeper? If so, he won't appreciate the bare bottom. You can add a "sandbox" if this is the case... just some sand inside of a Tupperware container (use new sand that hasn't been in your display and don't add it back to the display when you're done with it).
    • Don't add rock rubble or sand from your display if you suspect that your display had a parasite or you could start the issue all over again in your QT.
     
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  14. Barrett GIRS Member

    62
    Urbandale
    Ratings:
    +33 / 0 / -0
    What parasite did you suspect in your DT? Where there any symptoms from the fish that died like flashing scratching on the rocks or sand, lose of appetite, white stringy poop?
     
  15. Bud Loves Bacon Website Team Board of Directors Leadership Team GIRS Member

    West Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +1,470 / 14 / -0
    Yup that's 14 water changes, so 0.60 ^ 14 (to the 14th power) is 0.000783 or .07% of whatever copper would have been in there at the start of the water changes...My guess is, all gone.

    @Mike@Mike which tank are you planning on putting the new fish into?

    in a 40 Breeder, you might want just this guy in there by himself and the angel in with the clowns. Having the tang + angel + goby might have created a bit of stress that just took it's toll over time

    after that long, I would rule out the source as a possible cause.
     
  16. Barrett GIRS Member

    62
    Urbandale
    Ratings:
    +33 / 0 / -0
    How long were they in therapeutic levels of copper? What kind of copper did you use and what test kit? Did you make sure your water for the water changes was at therapeutic levels before you performed water change and qt never dipped below therapeutic levels?
     
  17. Bud Loves Bacon Website Team Board of Directors Leadership Team GIRS Member

    West Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +1,470 / 14 / -0
    I forgot to add...what is your Nitrate in the tank with the Nitrate problem?
     
  18. Mike

    88
    Urbandale, IA
    Ratings:
    +5 / 0 / -0
    We noticed a bit of the scratching and also what appeared to be a velvet outbreak. We took pictures of the fish to Seascapes and they thought it was some kind of parasite and they recommended the copper treatment for ich, velvet and any parasites, as well as the qt for 12 weeks. Since we lost like 5 fish we thought it best to try all of the above.

    Actuary - I didn't know that about the wrasses so good to know. We have been done with the copper for a while so I think we are ok there. We had sand in a bowl for the goby and will probably leave it in there in case the wrasse wants it. And good call on the rubble rock. I will nix that idea.
     
  19. Mike

    88
    Urbandale, IA
    Ratings:
    +5 / 0 / -0
    Bud -

    The nitrate and nitrite are both very high in the problematic quarantine tank. Both turned red almost immediately using the Red Sea test kits and are too high to measure using that kit.

    Grrrrr
     
  20. Bud Loves Bacon Website Team Board of Directors Leadership Team GIRS Member

    West Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +1,470 / 14 / -0
    @Mike@Mike, your Nitrate in the bottom QT tank is between 20-40ppm according to my API kit, probably right in the middle of that so call it 30ppm. I wouldn't say that sets off alarm bells.

    @xroads@xroads maybe you can help, check the pic in the OP for us!

    Mike said the goby had a sort of lump where that dark spot is. QT tank was holding 3x clowns, the goby, the angel, and the purple tang (which is more like 4" diameter I think) until recently when the clowns were moved to a 2nd tank (a few weeks ago?)

    The QT tank in question had readable ammonia for several weeks (4 I think?) and is on week 7 of being setup.

    Copper treatment then water changes for the last 4 weeks, running a sponge filter and a small HOB with that carbon filled filter bags

    Mike did I get that all correct?
     

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