Fish in quarantine dying

zwalter38

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Hello all, I’m sure this has been covered in some way in another post however I’m having troubles with new fish in quarantine. So I bought a neon dotty back and a yellow watchman goby, both captive bred, about 4 days ago. I brought them home and set up a quarantine tank as the one I had previously was too small. The quarantine tank is a 10gallon with an aqua clear 50. I added the media and polyfill to the filter along with Microbacter xlm and water from my established display tank. I also added enough sand from my display tank to cover the bottom of the quarantine tank and some pvc elbows as caves/hides. I did this because the fish seem to be stressed a bit and seeing their reflections off the bottom of the tank. I figured with the cycled sand and the xlm it would be good enough for the time being. Anyway, neither of them would eat anything in the quarantine tank, but they both ate well at the store. I would assume it was because the tank was not cycled however, the ammonia never spiked. Tested with Salifert, api, and seachem alert badge none ever showed any signs of ammonia. The nitrate is at 5, and nitrite at 0. So all those levels lead me to believe it doesn’t have anything to do with the water quality. But to be safe I did about a 10-15% water change on the second day. I didn’t add any sort of medication to the water because the lfs ran copper and I couldn’t see anything visibly wrong or wrong in the behavior of the fish. The neon dotty back died within 48 hours and the yellow watchman goby died on the 4th day. I couldn’t see anything wrong with the dotty back, however the goby was entirely red when I found him dead. It didn’t look like ammonia burn to me, and I didn’t have any ammonia present so I’m not sure what that is. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Levels in the quarantine tank
pH- 8
Ammonia-0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 5-10
Temp - 79
Salinity - 1.026

Pic is of the goby dead before removing from the tank
IMG_4406.jpeg
 

Jekyl

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Can you explain your quarantine method as well as acclimation? Usually quarantine tanks do not contain rock as in the picture.
 
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zwalter38

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Can you explain your quarantine method as well as acclimation? Usually quarantine tanks do not contain rock as in the picture.
Sure, so my plan was to just use the quarantine tank almost as a viewing tank for a few weeks to monitor the fish and treat if they showed any signs of disease. The rock and sand in the tank is just from an my established tank to help add beneficial bacterial to the tank. obviously would have to discard them if the tank showed any signs of illness before putting anything else in quarantine. As for Acclimation, I drip acclimated them.
 

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Sure, so my plan was to just use the quarantine tank almost as a viewing tank for a few weeks to monitor the fish and treat if they showed any signs of disease. The rock and sand in the tank is just from an my established tank to help add beneficial bacterial to the tank. obviously would have to discard them if the tank showed any signs of illness before putting anything else in quarantine. As for Acclimation, I drip acclimated them.
Were these fish shipped or purchased from LFS?
 
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zwalter38

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Were these fish shipped or purchased from LFS?
Purchased from lfs, then drove about an hour and a half home. Total time in a bag was probably about 2-3 hours. They did mention getting a shipment in the day before I purchased them but I'm not totally sure if the fish I got were part of that shipment they got.
 

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Purchased from lfs, then drove about an hour and a half home. Total time in a bag was probably about 2-3 hours. They did mention getting a shipment in the day before I purchased them but I'm not totally sure if the fish I got were part of that shipment they got.
My concern here was fish that were shipped should not be drip acclimated.
 
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zwalter38

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My concern here was fish that were shipped should not be drip acclimated.
Yea I understand that, I do my best not to order fish and support my lfs, but I don’t drip fish that I order. The only thing that I can think of that caused the fish to die is stress related. However I don’t know why the goby would have turned completely red when I found him dead.
 

vetteguy53081

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Hello all, I’m sure this has been covered in some way in another post however I’m having troubles with new fish in quarantine. So I bought a neon dotty back and a yellow watchman goby, both captive bred, about 4 days ago. I brought them home and set up a quarantine tank as the one I had previously was too small. The quarantine tank is a 10gallon with an aqua clear 50. I added the media and polyfill to the filter along with Microbacter xlm and water from my established display tank. I also added enough sand from my display tank to cover the bottom of the quarantine tank and some pvc elbows as caves/hides. I did this because the fish seem to be stressed a bit and seeing their reflections off the bottom of the tank. I figured with the cycled sand and the xlm it would be good enough for the time being. Anyway, neither of them would eat anything in the quarantine tank, but they both ate well at the store. I would assume it was because the tank was not cycled however, the ammonia never spiked. Tested with Salifert, api, and seachem alert badge none ever showed any signs of ammonia. The nitrate is at 5, and nitrite at 0. So all those levels lead me to believe it doesn’t have anything to do with the water quality. But to be safe I did about a 10-15% water change on the second day. I didn’t add any sort of medication to the water because the lfs ran copper and I couldn’t see anything visibly wrong or wrong in the behavior of the fish. The neon dotty back died within 48 hours and the yellow watchman goby died on the 4th day. I couldn’t see anything wrong with the dotty back, however the goby was entirely red when I found him dead. It didn’t look like ammonia burn to me, and I didn’t have any ammonia present so I’m not sure what that is. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Levels in the quarantine tank
pH- 8
Ammonia-0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 5-10
Temp - 79
Salinity - 1.026

Pic is of the goby dead before removing from the tank
IMG_4406.jpeg
Although the LFS ran copper, often they do at therapeutic level and you have to assume they have something and QT, even 21 days.
The water appears hazy and questions the accuracy of the test results. In this case, I urge you to verify those readings by taking a water sample to a store that does NOT use Api kits and have them test your ammonia and nitrates and compare readings- then you'll know where your levels truly are at.
Sand may also be an issue as it will potentially add silicates to water and absorb meds going forward.
Ammonia spike is a suspect as is lack of dissoved oxygen
Add an airstone to tank and cover overspray with saran wrap and add coppersafe to start with at treatment level 2.15 and monitor with a Hanna copper test kit and monitor ammonia level in quarantine. After 3-4 weeks , change water and give at least -2 doses of praziPro and you will have blanket treated most common disease issues
 
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zwalter38

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Although the LFS ran copper, often they do at therapeutic level and you have to assume they have something and QT, even 21 days.
The water appears hazy and questions the accuracy of the test results. In this case, I urge you to verify those readings by taking a water sample to a store that does NOT use Api kits and have them test your ammonia and nitrates and compare readings- then you'll know where your levels truly are at.
Sand may also be an issue as it will potentially add silicates to water and absorb meds going forward.
Ammonia spike is a suspect as is lack of dissoved oxygen
Add an airstone to tank and cover overspray with saran wrap and add coppersafe to start with at treatment level 2.15 and monitor with a Hanna copper test kit and monitor ammonia level in quarantine. After 3-4 weeks , change water and give at least -2 doses of praziPro and you will have blanket treated most common disease issues
Thanks for the response. It must be something weird with my camera and the picture. But it does not really appear hazy when not in the camera. Although I do see what you are saying in the picture. The thing that makes the most sense to me is the ammonia, but it just seems strange to me if three different test kits which all got the same results are wrong. They all also fully functioned during the cycle of my display tank monitoring the ammonia spike and drop at the same levels between the three of them. So other then that If im understanding it correctly your saying it could be the amount of dissolved oxygen then killed my two fish?
 

vetteguy53081

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Thanks for the response. It must be something weird with my camera and the picture. But it does not really appear hazy when not in the camera. Although I do see what you are saying in the picture. The thing that makes the most sense to me is the ammonia, but it just seems strange to me if three different test kits which all got the same results are wrong. They all also fully functioned during the cycle of my display tank monitoring the ammonia spike and drop at the same levels between the three of them. So other then that If im understanding it correctly your saying it could be the amount of dissolved oxygen then killed my two fish?
Sudden deya are often disease or oxygen issue.
With the fish dead, can you recall if their mouths were open as below?

1712182440304.png
 
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zwalter38

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Sudden deya are often disease or oxygen issue.
With the fish dead, can you recall if their mouths were open as below?

1712182440304.png
it was definitely not open like that one in the picture. It looked pretty normal, just red and obviously not moving. And the dotty back definitely didn’t have its mouth open either but he wasn’t red or didn’t have any change of color. I couldn’t see any markings on either of them either.
 

kenchilada

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No rock. Keep some filter sponges in your sump and use those to kickstart bio filtration instead of using rock. That way you can medicate when needed. A little sand is ok.
 

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I can’t say I know for sure what the salinity in the bag was. And I do plan on taking the rubble out before I get the next fish.
Call the LFS and ask what they keep their salinity at. You might be surprised it is common for LFS to run low salinity (and/or weak copper, others, etc) in an attempt to suppress disease at the store.

I always match my QT tank to the salinity of the bag water, float to match temp, then dump them in. It is safe to go from high salinity to low, but not the other way around.
 
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zwalter38

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I will be sure to check what their salinity is, any suggestions how to proceed? I don’t want to just have this keep happening. My plan as of right now is get copper power and prozipro. Treat copper first then prozipro. And get a hardy fish to help deal with stress. Also take out the rubble as stated before. Any other suggestions besides the medication, salinity and taking out the rubble?
 

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I do full prophylaxis. Copper and metronidazole, two treatments of praziquantel is the bare minimum. My 250G system has been disease free for 4 years and it’s great! It is a lot of work and expense though.

I suggest finding a comprehensive guide that you find practical from someone you trust rather than piece together random advice. I like the humble.fish guides.

Here is my current quarantine. He eats like a pig.

IMG_7958.jpeg
 
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zwalter38

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I do full prophylaxis. Copper and metronidazole, two treatments of praziquantel is the bare minimum. My 250G system has been disease free for 4 years and it’s great! It is a lot of work and expense though.

I suggest finding a comprehensive guide that you find practical from someone you trust rather than piece together random advice. I like the humble.fish guides.

Here is my current quarantine. He eats like a pig.

IMG_7958.jpeg
He looks great! Yea that makes total sense, I’ll take a look at that guide. I’m just trying to make sense of why these fish died so I can try to prevent it happening again. Like if it was stress I’m not sure what more I could do, but if it was some sort of disease then the medication should help. To me those are the two most logical reasons of death of the two fish.
 

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It’s doubtful your fish died from any disease in just 2 or 4 days. That would likely only be velvet or brook, both of which have visible symptoms.

Surprised no one has mentioned the possibility of a contaminant. Could be anything…air freshener, cleaning solution sprayed near the tank, tank or new filters weren’t washed out well after getting them, stick your hand in the tank with residue on it, etc.

Running carbon would likely eliminate all those. I’d also do a water change which would dilute any potential contaminate and any ammonia in the water.
 

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