Fish Death Post Fallow Period

Discussion in 'Fish Disease Treatment and Diagnosis' started by Tidalwave, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. Tidalwave

    Tidalwave Active Member

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    Hello again.

    Yesterday, I finally added my first fish (Copperband Butterfly) back to my DT after finishing an 85 day fallow period post an undiagnosed fish loss back in May (Tank was fishless since May 30 ((123 days - Food added to tank every couple days to feed beneficial bacteria)), but there was still a tank with fish within 10 feet until July 7 ((July 7 - September 30 = 85 days)), and today she died.

    History of the CBB:
    Acquired CBB 8/10
    TTM/PraziPro 8/10 - 8/22
    Observation 8/22 - 9/18
    Second TTM 9/18 - 9/30 (Just to be extra sure that there were no problems with the previous TTM).

    CBB never had problems eating throughout QT period, acted healthy and active, never displayed any symptoms of a disease. But on 9/30 she was transferred to my 180 DT, and on 10/1 (today) she was dead (shortly after I noticed her breathing heavily/laying on the bottom of the tank -- same symptom of previous fish that was lost in the DT over 4 months ago). First thought was that the flow was too much for her overnight, so upon seeing her breathing heavy I turned off the powerheads to give her a rest, but she still died shortly after.

    I'm at a complete loss.
    Water parameters: pH 8.1, Ammonia - 0, Nitrite - 0, Nitrate - 0.
    First fish in the tank in over 123 days, no fish tank within 10 feet of DT, all QT tanks have dedicated equipment to prevent cross contamination, no signs of disease while in QT, but still died after not even a day in the DT.

    IMG_3436.JPG IMG_3437.JPG IMG_3439.JPG


    Marks/gray scales on the top of the fish appeared after she died. Yesterday when she was added to the tank she was clear of any visual abnormalities.


    My understanding was that after leaving the DT fallow for at least 76 days, I would have starved out the parasites responsible for Ich/Velvet and a host of other diseases that could have possibly lead to my previous fish loss.
    I maintain a very strict QT process to prevent any possibility of cross contamination, because I did not want to experience such a loss again, but yet I am reliving the same experience after doing what I understood to be the right course of action.

    I'm not sure where to go next. Any insight would be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2017
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  2. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Partner Member 2018

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    Were there any differences in SG & temp between QT and DT? Any new corals/inverts added to the DT recently?

    In the second pic, his gill looks inflamed. I would double check ammonia readings in both DT and QT.
     
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  3. Tidalwave

    Tidalwave Active Member

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    Thank you for your reply.

    SG in the QT was around 1.020 and 1.018 in the DT (water was mixed while acclimating to DT and CBB was floated in a bag to adjust to temp difference).

    Nothing added to the DT during the 85 day period (besides food for the beneficial bacteria).

    Ammonia reading 0 via the API test kit.
     
  4. TerraFerma

    TerraFerma Well-Known Member

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    Can you share some more info/history about your two respective systems?
     
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  5. Tidalwave

    Tidalwave Active Member

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    Here's my current ammonia reading on the DT.

    IMG_3440.JPG
     
  6. Tidalwave

    Tidalwave Active Member

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    DT - 180 gallon. Fishless from 5/30 - 9/30 (Saltwater tank within 10 feet with fish, that tank's fish removed 7/7, so I restarted my countdown on fallow days from 7/7 - 9/30). Nothing added to tank during this time period (besides food to keep beneficial bacterial alive). Currently tank only has one small rose tip bubble anemone (Added April 10), and a couple snails (Added in May).

    CBB's QT system ( > 10 feet away from any saltwater tank) was comprised of 10 gallon tanks for TTM (I have 8 backup 10 gallon tanks so that I can allow them to be fully sterilized between uses) and a 20 gallon tank for the observation period.

    In the 10 gallon tank, I kept it simple with one Tetra heater (I have around 10 of these heaters for the same reason -- allow enough time to sterilize between transfers) and one airstone (Airstone/tubing discarded after each transfer).

    Sterilization process for tanks - Air dry, then bleach and let dry, then rinse with water and allow to completely dry, and then tank is sent to the "back of the line" as "ready" tanks (this allows for at least a few days of sitting as completely dry before use again).
    For heaters/nets/lids - Bleach bath for at least a day, then placed in a "Prime de-chlorinator"/water bath to remove bleach, then allowed to air dry completely for a few days before considered "ready" for the next use.

    For the 20 gallon tank, I had one tetra heater and two powerheads for circulation/gas exchange. I preformed large water changes on this tank every few days to prevent any buildup of toxins.
     
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  7. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Partner Member 2018

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    @Tidalwave It sounds like you did everything by the book. Is it possible the CBB had a brush with the BTA? My gut tells me this death is not disease-related. However, I do understand your frustration here.
     
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  8. bellasdad0911

    bellasdad0911 Well-Known Member

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    Check for stray voltage. A overnight death like that is probably not parameter related. How is all the corals polyp extension?
     
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  9. Tidalwave

    Tidalwave Active Member

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    @Humblefish That is a definite possibility. Would such an encounter result in death? :(
    If so, is the BTA not a recommended coral to keep with fish? I would hate to lose anymore fish due a killer polyp. :O
     
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  10. Tidalwave

    Tidalwave Active Member

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    Stray voltage is also a possibility. I think I'll invest in a grounding probe to be certain that is not an issue. Do you guys recommend any particular grounding probe?
     
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  11. Big G

    Big G Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Sorry for your loss. Some tell me that CBBs are know for sudden unexplained deaths. And that it is rare for one to live reasonably long in an aquarium.
     
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  12. Tidalwave

    Tidalwave Active Member

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    It is definitely a hard loss :(. She was so beautiful and doing so well with accepting food. I just hope I can learn something from this loss as to prevent another fish from dying :(.
     
  13. Big G

    Big G Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Lots of stories on the net about similar occurrences. Lots of uncertainty about why this happens with the CBB. Knowledge is good; experience makes us wish we had more.
     
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  14. SoreninKL

    SoreninKL Well-Known Member

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    +1

    can you rule out that the fish was caught with cyanide, did you notice white stringy poo which would lead to internal parasite?
     
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  15. Tidalwave

    Tidalwave Active Member

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    I am not certain as to the collection technique for my CBB. :( I bought this one off of Diver's Den on Liveaquaria.
    No white stringy poop during the time I had him (8/10 - 10/1).
     
  16. SoreninKL

    SoreninKL Well-Known Member

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    I understand, perhaps not even Liveaquaria can rule out this practice:(
     
  17. Don Lidtke

    Don Lidtke Some Old Guy R2R Supporter Partner Member 2018

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    I picked up the Vertex Titanium Grounding Pole from BRS for $15.00.
     
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  18. Tidalwave

    Tidalwave Active Member

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    Thanks Don Lidtke! I'll check that one out! :)
     
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  19. Humblefish

    Humblefish Dr. Fish Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Partner Member 2018

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    Most fish can survive a brush with a BTA, but perhaps not a sensitive one such as a CBB. I lost a Moorish Idol one time that got stung by a bubble tip anemone.


    I would first test the water for stray voltage using a voltmeter.
     
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  20. TerraFerma

    TerraFerma Well-Known Member

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    Only the smallest of healthy fish would have issues with a BTA. Also its unlikely your CBB would have made a beeline of death right into the BTA upon re-introduction to your 180G tank :)

    Let us know what the voltmeter says!
     
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