My fish suddenly died tonight

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by TikiBird, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. TikiBird

    TikiBird ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ R2R Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    707
    Location:
    Northern CA
    This is long, sorry all. I’m just so upset.

    My two beloved clownfish, Trick and Treat (we got them Halloween 2016), have both died suddenly tonight and I am heartbroken and have absolutely no idea what could have happened.

    Here is all of the info I can think might be relevant. If anyone has any thoughts on what could have caused this, I would very much like to hear.

    Tank: BioCube 29, set up Sept. 2016
    Heater; intank media basket with floss, purigen, and chemipure; MJ1200 pump added a couple of months ago; koralia powerhead added several months ago.
    Inhabitants: two Wyoming white clownfish were the only fish.
    The rest: green star polyps, pagoda cup coral, toadstool leather. Edit to add: clove polyps. One skunk cleaner shrimp. Snails: two nassarius, two cerith, two asteria, two trocchus, random stomatella.
    Random hitchhiker crab I just found this week. Lots of algae. Bryopsis mostly right now.

    Parameters after the clowns were found dead:

    Temp: 78
    Salinity: 1.025
    PH: 8.1
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 20 (this has been higher than I would like for about a month)
    Phosphate: 0
    Calcium: 420
    Dkh: 11

    All other inhabitants seem fine. The corals looked ticked off. But it’s hard to tell because they get sleepy at night and start to close up and they have some algae on them which has been ticking them off (the pagoda cup specifically).

    The clowns have been acting like their usual silly weird selves. The small one just recently discovered (maybe two weeks ago) that he likes snuggling in the toadstool leather so he’s been doing that a lot, which was adorable. He and the larger clown got along well, but she did try to show him who’s boss once in a while. I never saw any contact aggression, even when they did occasionally squabble.

    They’ve been eating well, they’ve been swimming normally, they’ve been totally healthy fish as far as I have observed, until I found them dead. This has honestly come out of nowhere that I can see. They were swimming happily a couple of hours before I went to say goodnight to them and they were dead.

    I haven’t added anything new to the water. I haven’t cleaned up in a while (hence algae) or done a water change this or last week. The filter and heater all seem to be running fine. There were no chemicals/fragrance/sprays in the area at all. No cleaning, no cooking. My little parrot near them seems fine, and my freshwater tank in the same room seems normal.

    The fish showed no signs of injury. The gills looked a bit puffy but they weren’t when I saw them alive so I think that must have just happened to their bodies when they died?

    The only things I can think of at the moment are some sort of electrical current? (But the inverts seem fine.) Or one of the corals released a toxin that somehow only affected the fish. This seems the most likely?

    Edit to add: can algae cause sudden fish death somehow?

    I’m really sad and confused. I loved these fish so much.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
    rkpetersen, Big G and saltyfilmfolks like this.
    Tags:

  2. JoshH

    JoshH Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Messages:
    1,493
    Likes Received:
    1,258
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    I'm so sorry for your loss :( there's nothing one can really say to comfort the loss of our pets, I do akin our fishy friends to cats and dogs and losing them is never easy. I hope that you can find out the mystery to the passing of your clowns.
     
  3. TikiBird

    TikiBird ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ R2R Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    707
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Thank you @JoshH, it is appreciated. I am not looking forward to telling my 9-year-old in the morning. :(
     
    saltyfilmfolks likes this.
  4. JoshH

    JoshH Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Messages:
    1,493
    Likes Received:
    1,258
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Never an easy conversation to have... are you running carbon at all? If not and it is some form of toxin it might help to run some On top of the chemipure and get rid of it. It does seem odd that nothing else seems to be really effected. Possibly an internal parasite of some kind? #reefsquad hopefully someone has some more insight
     
    TikiBird and saltyfilmfolks like this.
  5. Lasse

    Lasse Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,750
    Likes Received:
    3,835
    Location:
    Källarliden 14 D Bohus, Sweden
    It seems like you have a lot of corals and algae. Do you have a skimmer in the tank?

    My thought´s goes in two directions - oxygen depletion or/and hydrogen sulphide formation. The fact that your other inhabitants look good indicate only oxygen depletion. The high NO3 content talks against sulphide hydrogen too.

    Exactly this has happen for me in a Red Sea Max a couple of years ago. It was really filled up with softies and I run it without a skimmer. The corals produce oxygen during daytime (light) but consume oxygen during darkness. If the biomass is enough - a situation of depleted oxygen can happens during night time, especially in systems without a skimmer. Its well known among people running planted freshwater tanks because the same can happen in a heavy planted freshwater tank.

    Sincerely Lasse
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  6. Katrina71

    Katrina71 Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Messages:
    4,895
    Likes Received:
    6,364
    I am so very sorry :( . I'll be watching this thread. I may run across the same issue in the future. Please know I'll be thinking about you this morning and sending you some mom support. That is one of the hardest talks to have. Also, know that you gave them a loving home and sometimes even moms can't fix everything, despite our efforts. Hugs!
     
  7. Jason mack

    Jason mack Monti madness R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Messages:
    2,842
    Likes Received:
    4,764
    Location:
    Holland
    Am so sorry for your loss . I agree with @Lasse ..
     
    Lasse, TikiBird and saltyfilmfolks like this.
  8. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Messages:
    10,622
    Likes Received:
    15,436
    Location:
    Decatur, AL
    Unfortunately, I also agree with Lasse. Skimmers do much more than just skim which is why many people run them with the collection cup off when they don't want to skim.

    Sorry for your loss. :(
     
    Lasse, JoshH, TikiBird and 1 other person like this.
  9. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Messages:
    24,444
    Likes Received:
    24,692
    Location:
    California
    Aww. Sorry Tikki. It’s never easy ime. I’m usually the one most upset in the house.

    I think I’d have to agree with Lasse as well. O2. Not sure how why or what would have changed in the days and weeks to have it happen overnight.
     
  10. Katrina71

    Katrina71 Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Messages:
    4,895
    Likes Received:
    6,364
    I happen to have an extra skimmer. :)
     
    Lasse and TikiBird like this.
  11. TikiBird

    TikiBird ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ R2R Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    707
    Location:
    Northern CA
    @Lasse, thank you. The theory makes sense. I’m sad because I didn’t think I had that many corals. Here’s my most recent FTS from early Nov. It doesn’t include the small rock with clove polyps or the pagoda cup. Those are each about four-five inches. Is this just too many softies for a BC29? Or does the algae release O2 at night also?

    I’m also a bit baffled bc I’m not sure what caused the O2 to plummet so quickly yesterday. I can’t think of anything that was different about yesterday than any other day. Sigh.

    [​IMG]
     
    Lasse likes this.
  12. TikiBird

    TikiBird ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ R2R Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    707
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Thanks @Brew12. I didn’t run a skimmer. Sigh.
     
    Lasse likes this.
  13. TikiBird

    TikiBird ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ R2R Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    707
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Thanks @Jason mack. I appreciate it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
    Lasse likes this.
  14. TikiBird

    TikiBird ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ R2R Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    707
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Thanks, Salty. Yes I think I am more upset than my son. Although he is currently hiding under a blanket so I’m not sure. :(
     
    Lasse and saltyfilmfolks like this.
  15. TikiBird

    TikiBird ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ R2R Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    707
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Thanks, Katrina. I so appreciate it. You’ve been very kind.

    I don’t want to seem overly dramatic, but honestly am not sure I want to keep my tank going right now. I think I need a break.

    I loved my corals and seeing what crazy stuff emerged from my live rock even after a year and a half, but my favorite was my fish. I’m just not sure I want to replace them and keep it going.

    My husband and I have worked so hard on the tank (which I very much liked doing) and to have my fish die suddenly for some cause that is likely my fault that I just missed, is just so discouraging and sad.
     
    jt17, Katrina71, Lasse and 2 others like this.
  16. Lasse

    Lasse Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,750
    Likes Received:
    3,835
    Location:
    Källarliden 14 D Bohus, Sweden
    You do not need to think that´s your fault. Let me say - I have been there too:) When I discover that this problem could happen in a coral tank - I had been aquarist for nearly 40 years :)

    However I do not know for sure that´s is an oxygen question - in my tank you could not seen any stones - it was corals overall. But in your case - the algae contribute to the problem - they also use oxygen during night! If it was an oxygen problem - its probably has been near the limit for a time - but something just tipped over the actual night - maybe a bit more feed than normal, your pumps maybe need a cleaning or something else. This things happens - even if you is very careful.

    If you start the aquarium again (and I think you should) let your streamers or powerhead point at your water surface in order to create "stormy" weather. If you run without a skimmer - strong movement of your water surface is your best help to get in oxygen during nights.

    Sincerely Lasse
     
    Adele, Bunnee911, Brew12 and 2 others like this.
  17. TikiBird

    TikiBird ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ R2R Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    707
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Thank you very much, @Lasse. I really appreciate your insights.
     
    Lasse likes this.
  18. kevyg

    kevyg Active Member Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    76
    Location:
    Laytonville, CA
    Don't do it! You've had a bad breakup in your life and the future always seems like there is no light, but I'm assuming you came out of it. Same concept here, you will pull out of this rut and find life is better for the experience, you learn from failures more than success.
    Something that you have put so much time into and obviously a large amount of love, doesn't deserve being kicked to the curb first time it gets a cold. You have done an amazing job with the tank so far, just keep that maintenance going and you will fall deeper in love with your tank than before this happened. There is a guy on here that had his 330g tank burst on him in his house. He was able to jump back in because of the generosity of a friend who gifted him an all in one because they didn't want to see him loose his fins. Don't loose your fins!
     
    jt17, Lasse and TikiBird like this.
  19. Katrina71

    Katrina71 Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2017
    Messages:
    4,895
    Likes Received:
    6,364
    There are pairs of new babies that deserve to go to a loving home like yours. I think it would be a shame to quit because of a hiccup. It happens. Please take some to think about how much the fin babies bring to your home before you decide anything.
     
  20. TikiBird

    TikiBird ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ R2R Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    707
    Location:
    Northern CA
    Thanks @kevvg and @Katrina71. I will take time to think about it.
     
    kevyg, Katrina71 and Lasse like this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Loading...