Fishes keeps dying but invertebrates are fine

nayanjyoti2012

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I am a beginner from India. I have a 10 gallons aquarium with two small starfish, one slug. Whenever I add fishes, one or two, they keep dying after about 5 days since adding. I'm not sure why they keep dying as I feel my bio media, rocks and sand lil ceramic blocks should be fine. But still the fishes keeps dying after 4-5 days of adding. I'm going pretty much hopeless and clueless as to why this is happening so looking for help from the community. Thanks
 

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I am a beginner from India. I have a 10 gallons aquarium with two small starfish, one slug. Whenever I add fishes, one or two, they keep dying after about 5 days since adding. I'm not sure why they keep dying as I feel my bio media, rocks and sand lil ceramic blocks should be fine. But still the fishes keeps dying after 4-5 days of adding. I'm going pretty much hopeless and clueless as to why this is happening so looking for help from the community. Thanks
How is old is the tank? Parameters?
 
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nayanjyoti2012

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Tank is about a month old. As per parameters, i don't have a ammonia test kit as it's pretty expensive for my place. Salinity is about 1.025-1.026. PH is 8.2
 

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Welcome to Reef2Reef and sorry for your troubles!

Can you add any pics of the tank setup?

What equipment do you have with tank? (Wavemakers, pumps, heater/chiller, etc.)

As mentioned above, do you know what your tank's parameters are?

Did you cycle the tank?

Have you considered that disease (or possibly the method of capture used to catch them) may be killing the fish?

What fish have you tried adding?

Edit: Good catch below, how are you acclimating the fish?
 
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nayanjyoti2012

nayanjyoti2012

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Tank is about a month old. As per parameters, i don't have a ammonia test kit as it's pretty expensive for my place. Salinity is about 1.025-1.026. PH is 8.2
Also, my tank is a FOWLR system. I've added 8 band butterfly fish, it died after 5 days, while developing white spots ick at around 3 days. Another time, two blennies died at 6th day without any signs of ick. So I'm confused why they died in different ways.
 

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Also, my tank is a FOWLR system. I've added 8 band butterfly fish, it died after 5 days, while developing white spots ick at around 3 days. Another time, two blennies died at 6th day without any signs of ick. So I'm confused why they died in different ways.
How long after the butterfly fish died did you wait before adding the blennies?
 
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nayanjyoti2012

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Welcome to Reef2Reef and sorry for your troubles!

Can you add any pics of the tank setup?

What equipment do you have with tank? (Wavemakers, pumps, heater/chiller, etc.)

As mentioned above, do you know what your tank's parameters are?

Did you cycle the tank?

Have you considered that disease (or possibly the method of capture used to catch them) may be killing the fish?

What fish have you tried adding?

Edit: Good catch below, how are you acclimating the fish?
It's a small 10 gallon setup hence I'm using a powerful hang on back filter with carbon and ceramic media with foam for filter and water circulation and surface agitation. I've a heater too. Yes i did a cycle of my tank and also add beneficial bacteria, although not a branded and reliable ones as in India, we're very limited to quality products.
 

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nayanjyoti2012

nayanjyoti2012

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When you get new fish check the salinity in the water it came in. make sure you slowly match that and temperature before introducing them. Can you take a sample to a local fish store and have check your parameters, Ammonia
Salinity is around 1.028 from my LFS. Yes I'm thinking to test my water for Ammonia. Although I'm very much in confusion as to why my system not able to process ammonia from fishes but invertebrates are always fine. Even after doing a 90% water change, the fishes are dying after 5 days interval. I'm not adding any food to spike ammonia further. So very much clueless and dispirited
 

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how is your surface agitation for gas exchange? Inverts generally require less oxygen, so if you have not enough surface agitation for oxygenation, this could be a factor.
 
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nayanjyoti2012

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how is your surface agitation for gas exchange? Inverts generally require less oxygen, so if you have not enough surface agitation for oxygenation, this could be a factor.
Surface agitation is pretty fine. Fishes are not showing any signs of less oxygen by swimming on top. Except for the 4th day or so, they start swimming on top, which I feel they get weaker due to unknown reason
 
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nayanjyoti2012

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It's a small 10 gallon setup hence I'm using a powerful hang on back filter with carbon and ceramic media with foam for filter and water circulation and surface agitation. I've a heater too. Yes i did a cycle of my tank and also add beneficial bacteria, although not a branded and reliable ones as in India, we're very limited to quality products.
In this video posted I hope the agitation looks good.
 

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in my opinion you seem to be in a bit of a rush - I'd add one fish at a time. One month is not enough time for a mature biofilter to form, and you must allow the biofilter to grow with each fish addition before you add more. How did you cycle the tank, exactly? In the video you sent, respiration seems to be labored, which does make me suspect lack of oxygen still. I personally would add another small powerhead angled towards the surface for more agitation. I'll share a short video of my display so you see what I mean by agitation. You have to keep in mind the surface area of your tank is quite small compared to the volume of the tank, so more agitation would help.
 
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nayanjyoti2012

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in my opinion you seem to be in a bit of a rush - I'd add one fish at a time. One month is not enough time for a mature biofilter to form, and you must allow the biofilter to grow with each fish addition before you add more. How did you cycle the tank, exactly? In the video you sent, respiration seems to be labored, which does make me suspect lack of oxygen still. I personally would add another small powerhead angled towards the surface for more agitation. I'll share a short video of my display so you see what I mean by agitation. You have to keep in mind the surface area of your tank is quite small compared to the volume of the tank, so more agitation would help.
Yeah I totally agree as I became overconfident as to thinking I can add fishes and do sufficient water change to negate any ammonia spike. Seems like I was mistaken as even with more water change, the fishes kept dying. I added fishes in gaps of a week but not more than 3 fishes.


I've cycled the tank my mostly phantom feeding and when I started my tank a month ago, a porcelain crab has also been there. But yeah mostly phantom feeding and adding beneficial bacteria promoter chemical(which I am not very sure).


I was just hoping a month time, the biofilter is established as inverts never died and also diatoms started appearing.
 

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First I did a 50% water change and then a week later I added two blennies. Also, I didn't not more than one pellet per day so as to not spike any ammonia.
So, if these deaths are disease related (such as if the butterfly or blennies died from ich or velvet - velvet would be my personal guess in this case, but I'm definitely not a disease expert), then waiting just one week means the disease is probably still in the tank and may be infecting any other fish you add.

To be safe, you'd want to wait at least 45 days with the tank at 81F (~27.2C); 60-76 days is typically recommended to be safe; waiting this long ensures that the disease has died out in the tank and can't infect new fish.

That said, if you're struggling with disease (which maybe one of the #fishmedic can tell us if you are), then you'd probably want to figure out a way to quarantine and treat any new fish so they don't just die from disease and re-infect your tank.

Some people are able to keep diseased fish alive by keeping them healthy and not stressed, but I don't know how well those methods work against velvet, and I don't think you'd be able to keep a butterfly from being too stressed when it's in a 10 gallon tank regardless - blennies maybe, but not a butterflyfish.

So, personally, I'd assume this is disease-related, I'd set up a cheap quarantine tank if you can get a hold of some fish meds, and I'd pick some small fish to keep.
 
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nayanjyoti2012

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Yeah I totally agree as I became overconfident as to thinking I can add fishes and do sufficient water change to negate any ammonia spike. Seems like I was mistaken as even with more water change, the fishes kept dying. I added fishes in gaps of a week but not more than 3 fishes.


I've cycled the tank my mostly phantom feeding and when I started my tank a month ago, a porcelain crab has also been there. But yeah mostly phantom feeding and adding beneficial bacteria promoter chemical(which I am not very sure).


I was just hoping a month time, the biofilter is established as inverts never died and also diatoms started appearing.
I'll surely add more surface agitation by using a small powerhead.
 

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What did the respiration rate of the fish look like? Any odd behavior?
You usually won’t see any spots with velvet, just swimming into flow and rapid breathing before death.
 
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nayanjyoti2012

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So, if these deaths are disease related (such as if the butterfly or blennies died from ich or velvet - velvet would be my personal guess in this case, but I'm definitely not a disease expert), then waiting just one week means the disease is probably still in the tank and may be infecting any other fish you add.

To be safe, you'd want to wait at least 45 days with the tank at 81F (~27.2C); 60-76 days is typically recommended to be safe; waiting this long ensures that the disease has died out in the tank and can't infect new fish.

That said, if you're struggling with disease (which maybe one of the #fishmedic can tell us if you are), then you'd probably want to figure out a way to quarantine and treat any new fish so they don't just die from disease and re-infect your tank.

Some people are able to keep diseased fish alive by keeping them healthy and not stressed, but I don't know how well those methods work against velvet, and I don't think you'd be able to keep a butterfly from being too stressed when it's in a 10 gallon tank regardless - blennies maybe, but not a butterflyfish.

So, personally, I'd assume this is disease-related, I'd set up a cheap quarantine tank if you can get a hold of some fish meds, and I'd pick some small fish to keep.
Disease could be the reason but I've seen the white spot only on 8 band butterfly, rest other butterfly viz the pakistani and the blennies didn't have any white spot but died altogether.
 

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