HELP!!!! Fish Keep Dying......

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Chronic

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Hey guys i have a waterbox 20g thats been going on for about 4 months now and my fish seem to keep dying. I've sourced everything from World Wide Corals, from my water to my live rock and filtration. I've taken my water for multiple tests before even adding anything and they said the water was good enough to add fish. The acclimation process i was informed to use was to temperature acclimate the fish before putting them straight in. I've asked if drip acclimation is necessary but i was told no. So for all the fish i have used the same process. The only surviving fish i have right now is 1 lone green chromis that i have believed to beaten the odds and survived. Im getting a little stressed out here from waking up to dead fish only a day or so after putting them in and my LFS keeps telling me my parameters are good. All my coral are doing well, vibrant colors and great response to feeding but i just can't seem to get it right with the fish.

Death Toll Count:
2 - Royal Gramma (the one i most recently purchased died not even 48 hours after purchase),( each added individually)
5 - Green Chromis (they hid in the rock overnight and the next morning they would be floating around or swimming very weird and then die)
> as far as these go i added them in groups of 3 at a time, each with no livestock except snails and crabs.

1 - Anthias ( as far as this one goes i was misinformed on the care regimen of the fish initially)

My most recent royal gramma that i put in this week i monitored severely as i was scared for him to die as well. He seemed fine for the first 36 hours just hiding in the rock and staying out of sight, but breathing normally and showing no signs of sickness. I go to sleep and wake up to find him stuck in a rock not moving or breathing. I gave him a little nudge just to see if there was any reaction and there was nothing. Mind you my lone survivor green chromis is still swimming happily away so im assuming its not the water parameters as he is still alive to this day.

Im just looking for some outside insight as to what could be my issue because i really cannot figure it out. Im trying to not look at as if i just have had bad luck with all the fish i've gotten, but that seems to be the only answer right now due to having one survivor.

As far as the water parameters that i can give you reading on based off of my home test kits:

Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0
Carbonate hardness - 80
Salinity - 1.025
Water Temp - 78 F

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riveradaniel

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Drip acclimation is necessary to stop any potential fish shock. I would 100 percent suggest doing drip acclimation in the future. Your water parameters may be up to par for keeping fish, but the shock is enough to make some fish not survive. Every tank has different water qualities, so even if fish are able to survive in one tank they need to be acclimated to a new one. The shock would also account for why the die so quick. What are your water parameters?
 

Fish Think Pink

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Hey guys i have a waterbox 20g thats been going on for about 4 months now and my fish seem to keep dying. I've sourced everything from World Wide Corals, from my water to my live rock and filtration. I've taken my water for multiple tests before even adding anything and they said the water was good enough to add fish. The acclimation process i was informed to use was to temperature acclimate the fish before putting them straight in. I've asked if drip acclimation is necessary but i was told no. So for all the fish i have used the same process. The only surviving fish i have right now is 1 lone green chromis that i have believed to beaten the odds and survived. Im getting a little stressed out here from waking up to dead fish only a day or so after putting them in and my LFS keeps telling me my parameters are good. All my coral are doing well, vibrant colors and great response to feeding but i just can't seem to get it right with the fish.

Death Toll Count:
2 - Royal Gramma (the one i most recently purchased died not even 48 hours after purchase),( each added individually)
5 - Green Chromis (they hid in the rock overnight and the next morning they would be floating around or swimming very weird and then die)
> as far as these go i added them in groups of 3 at a time, each with no livestock except snails and crabs.

1 - Anthias ( as far as this one goes i was misinformed on the care regimen of the fish initially)

My most recent royal gramma that i put in this week i monitored severely as i was scared for him to die as well. He seemed fine for the first 36 hours just hiding in the rock and staying out of sight, but breathing normally and showing no signs of sickness. I go to sleep and wake up to find him stuck in a rock not moving or breathing. I gave him a little nudge just to see if there was any reaction and there was nothing. Mind you my lone survivor green chromis is still swimming happily away so im assuming its not the water parameters as he is still alive to this day.

Im just looking for some outside insight as to what could be my issue because i really cannot figure it out. Im trying to not look at as if i just have had bad luck with all the fish i've gotten, but that seems to be the only answer right now due to having one survivor.

As far as the water parameters that i can give you reading on based off of my home test kits:

Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0
Carbonate hardness - 80
Salinity - 1.025
Water Temp - 78 F

WIN_20210417_12_14_18_Pro.jpg

SORRY for your losses; that has to be hard but hang in there. What is salinity where fish are coming from? How long were the fish at the store before you bought and moved to your home?

Agree your 1.025 seems fine, but some shops keep their salinity much lower so then drip acclimation or QT tank is needed. If they think you are keeping salinity at same levels they are using, they perhaps would say that. I have a little 5g Petco combo I use as a QT to observe as I raise salinity

World Wide Corals shipped me corals as recently as winter 2020. However maybe right now its time to visit other LFS and not have all your (fish) eggs in one basket...
 
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dedragon

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the only parasite I can see killing this fast is brooklynella. Do the fish look like they have a white, mucous like coating on them, or are breathing heavily most of the time?
 
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Chronic

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Drip acclimation is necessary to stop any potential fish shock. I would 100 percent suggest doing drip acclimation in the future. Your water parameters may be up to par for keeping fish, but the shock is enough to make some fish not survive. Every tank has different water qualities, so even if fish are able to survive in one tank they need to be acclimated to a new one. The shock would also account for why the die so quick. What are your water parameters?
Will take this into account and start from now on. As far as parameters go i will get a full test done on monday but what i listed is what i can read for now.
 

lpsouth1978

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You probably have a parasite in the tank from the lack of quaratine. Fish will just keep dying until you quaratine properly and fallow the tank
I have to STRONGLY disagree with this statement. While it MAY be true that there is a parasite in the tank from lack of QT, it s highly unlikely that all the fish died so quickly from one while showing no signs. The most likely parasite to kill so quickly would be Velvet or brook, but there would be signs of it.

Also, saying that "Fish will just keep dying until you quarantine properly and fallow the tank" is simply wrong! Many, including myself, do not QT and have had very few deaths. My current system has had NO fish deaths with NO QT. All fish are happy, healthy, and fat, including a Tomini tang. Is there a parasite in the tank? Probably. Are all my fish doomed? Not even a little. I have gone down the QT everything road in the past and had a MUCH higher death rate than going without QT. I am not saying that QT should not be done, just that blanket statements like you made are ridiculous.

I would suspect, as others have stated, that the shock from not acclimating properly is much more likely the cause of the deaths in this case.
 

dedragon

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best thing to help with acclimation is to check salinity of the water that the fish was in. If it was bought locally and its salinity pretty close to yours you can usually just float the bag and add half a cup of water at a time until the salinity matches. I always find drip to be a pain because of temperature issues in the bucket. If shipping fish, or dealing with much more sensitive invertebrates then drip to be safe
 
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Chronic

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SORRY for your losses; that has to be hard but hang in there. What is salinity where fish are coming from? How long were the fish at the store before you bought and moved to your home?

Agree your 1.025 seems fine, but some shops keep their salinity much lower so then drip acclimation or QT tank is needed. If they think you are keeping salinity at same levels they are using, they perhaps would say that. I have a little 5g Petco combo I use as a QT to observe as I raise salinity

World Wide Corals shipped me corals as recently as winter 2020. However maybe right now its time to visit other LFS and not have all your (fish) eggs in one basket...
I try to match the parameters of the fish store as close as possible as to not stress the fish out too much. LFS is at 1.025 as well. The length of time the fish have been in the store before being available is unknown to me but i believe they QT all the fish that come in before putting them out for sale due to them telling me a majority of fish come in sick regardless of where you get them. I've also been told not to put the fish water in my DT as its has medicine in it. I've only recently become aware of other LFS in the area so i am keen to explore that option. Im only a car ride away from them so convenience is merely why i did not go anywhere else. I will be looking into purchasing a QT before my next fish addition.
 
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Paul B

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Hello Chronic. Nice to meet you. Of course we really can't tell what is happening to your fish from here but maybe if we have more information. I don't care about your parameters as they seem fine but it is a little odd that you have zero nitrates as you should have some. But that won't kill your fish.

The fact that your corals are doing well negates your parameters because corals are much more susceptible to parameters than fish.

Drip acclimation is fine and many people use it. I don't because I feel the fish being in a smallish container for that time may be worse then the shock, but that is a personal decision for you.

Normally if you don't acclimate at all and the water temp or salinity is to far off, the fish will immediately let you know by either trying to jump out or sink.

What do the fish look like when you find them, besides dead? Do they have their mouth wide open with their gills flaired out? Is parts of their skin missing? Are their eyes cloudy?

Are you sure they are not breathing hard before they die? Are they sucking air from the surface?

Do you have a jewelers loupe of magnifying glass?

I pick them up from the store and put the bag in the top of the tank to temp acclimate

Is this the only acclimation you do?
 
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Chronic

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I have to STRONGLY disagree with this statement. While it MAY be true that there is a parasite in the tank from lack of QT, it s highly unlikely that all the fish died so quickly from one while showing no signs. The most likely parasite to kill so quickly would be Velvet or brook, but there would be signs of it.

Also, saying that "Fish will just keep dying until you quarantine properly and fallow the tank" is simply wrong! Many, including myself, do not QT and have had very few deaths. My current system has had NO fish deaths with NO QT. All fish are happy, healthy, and fat, including a Tomini tang. Is there a parasite in the tank? Probably. Are all my fish doomed? Not even a little. I have gone down the QT everything road in the past and had a MUCH higher death rate than going without QT. I am not saying that QT should not be done, just that blanket statements like you made are ridiculous.

I would suspect, as others have stated, that the shock from not acclimating properly is much more likely the cause of the deaths in this case.
Thanks for the input as i see most people drip acclimating fish but i was trusting in the methods of my LFS as they are so renowned and i am very new to this. Going forth i will try try this as well. thank you.
 

dedragon

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the water might be medicated but that doesnt mean it is a true qt procedure the fish were going through. tried to get that info before too paul, how do these fish actually look before dying, or even when dead? That would help figure out if you are dealing with a parasite or not
 

LordofCinder

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your mistake is adding 3 at a time in a 20 gallon that had no fish previously. Try adding one at a time, wait 2 weeks, then add one more. Your fish will do much better. Do some research about the biofilter ad how it works and how its established, and what process your tank goes through when you add a fish. Your fish will thank you
 

dedragon

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actually completely missed that, were you adding these fish together or one at a time. On a side note respect lordofcinder, prob not many fans of DS here on a reef forum, dedragon is my online username for DS and im currently playing demon souls on ps5, praise the sun!
 
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Chronic

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Hello Chronic. Nice to meet you. Of course we really can't tell what is happening to your fish from here but maybe if we have more information. I don't care about your parameters as they seem fine but it is a little odd that you have zero nitrates as you should have some. But that won't kill your fish.

The fact that your corals are doing well negates your parameters because corals are much more susceptible to parameters than fish.

Drip acclimation is fine and many people use it. I don't because I feel the fish being in a smallish container for that time may be worse then the shock, but that is a personal decision for you.

Normally if you don't acclimate at all and the water temp or salinity is to far off, the fish will immediately let you know by either trying to jump out or sink.

What do the fish look like when you find them, besides dead? Do they have their mouth wide open with their gills flaired out? Is parts of their skin missing? Are their eyes cloudy?

Are you sure they are not breathing hard before they die? Are they sucking air from the surface?

Do you have a jewelers loupe of magnifying glass?



Is this the only acclimation you do?
Nice to meet you as well

The nitrate may be 0-20 based on what the tester i have is showing me.

The Royal gramma did try to jump and then sank to the bottom and found a crevice to hide in right after putting him in. His gills were flaired out when i found him dead.. no cloudiness in the eyes. no missing skin until agitating it after trying to get it unstuck.

Breathing seemed to be normal as i could not see it taking rapid breaths, also looked normal when i seen him move from hole to hole the day it was alive. I also saw it picking up and spitting out dirt from the rock he was hiding under. Seemed he was doing fine.

None of them have went to the surface for air, so im assuming the oxygen levels are good. and i see little air bubbles in the sand which i also heard is a good indicator.

No i do not have one.

and yes this is the acclimation i've been advised to do from my LFS.
 
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Chronic

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your mistake is adding 3 at a time in a 20 gallon that had no fish previously. Try adding one at a time, wait 2 weeks, then add one more. Your fish will do much better. Do some research about the biofilter ad how it works and how its established, and what process your tank goes through when you add a fish. Your fish will thank you
Ok thanks for the insight, i will try this as well.
 
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Chronic

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Going forth i will be getting a full test done at my LFS and re-list the proper parameters. Their test kits are more precise so i will be able to give you guys more accurate readings.

And thanks everyone for the quick responses , im loving the support of the reefing community so far

coming from a background in cars and being involved in those communities its like a breath of fresh air lol
 
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