Need help! Fish are dying but inverts are fine

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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That is a good plan for tank cleaning but has zero pct chance of impacting fish health whatsoever


params aren’t your issue, see stickies in the disease forum. ICP testing is a fad, I’ll never need it to keep any corals we want. Expect to get a reading of high tin levels, it means nothing. Each water change resets the chemistry paid to test

only fallow and quarantine should be the focus



if you really want to excel, make pet store food 10% of your feed and do 90% food preps from the seafood aisle like Paul B does: now that’s effort most won’t do. Feed live black worms


99% of aquarists will not do that effort, it will help your fish if you do/read Paul B’s posts on fish gut health immunity.


focusing on water testing won't help
 
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That is a good plan for tank cleaning but has zero pct chance of impacting fish health whatsoever


params aren’t your issue, see stickies in the disease forum. ICP testing is a fad, I’ll never need it to keep any corals we want. Expect to get a reading of high tin levels, it means nothing. Each water change resets the chemistry paid to test

only fallow and quarantine should be the focus



if you really want to excel, make pet store food 10% of your feed and do 90% food preps from the seafood aisle like Paul B does: now that’s effort most won’t do. Feed live black worms


99% of aquarists will not do that effort, it will help your fish if you do/read Paul B’s posts on fish gut health immunity.


focusing on water testing won't help
PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS AS COMBATIVE OR I KNOW BETTER. THIS IS ME EXPLAINING MY THOUGHT PROCESS AND EXPLAINING WHAT MY UNDERSTANDINGS ARE AND ACTIONS AS A RESULT OF THOSE UNDERSTANDINGS. IF I CANT UNDERSTAND THE FLAWS IN MY LOGIC I DONT LEARN. I VALUE YOUR FEEDBACK SO PLEASE CONTINUE TO PROVIDE IT AND TELL ME WHERE I AM WRONG...I AM THE FNG HERE. :)

I guess where my thought process is, I have 0 fish, there are 2 cleaner shrimp, 2 astrea snails, and an Emrald crab...but as soon as I acclimate, fish died...fast...
1) to Jay's point it could be acclimation, so there for the next go around, regardless, I will ensure a slow more better acclimation technique to make sure I dont go to quick.
a- what if its not? what if I acclimate for salinity in a QT tank and go through that whole process text book and when I introduce them to my tank water again their dead? At that point im out alot of time and I killed more fish. so my thought is what else can we prove is not the issue or do to assure as best as possible that when fish go in they have the greatest chance of success.

2) I only have a return pump shooting water across the top...and although it is providing movement of water an idea I/we(LFS) had is gas/toxins building up in the substrate. enter powerhead. Something that I imagine I would need regardless at somepoint when I get into corals.

3) ICP water test...like I meantioned whats $13 at this point.... I figure if their 44 point inspection reveals nothing. thats 44 things I dont have to worry about and 44 things that I can feel I did my due diligence on verifying. Maybe, then I dont do the drasitc water changes maybe just stick to 10%. if the 44 point inspection does reveal something maybe Ill have a bit more evidence to identify a smoking gun

4) loved the biosecurity article- I have a few points on that
a- I think it is an awesome best practice and things to be aware of. I am 100% going to try and align my practices to this going forward but how can I implement this now with 0 fish or is there any value delivered by doing the full extent now? I feel like I have nothing to secure. If there is disease or parasites do I need to wait until the life cycle of anything plausible has been eliminated? I dont know I am trying to get more data on what I have to get as close to that 100% confidence of moving the fish in. If I QT for 2 weeks 2 months whatever and I introduce them back to my water and they die I am not further along other than a lot of wasted time.
b- Food prep is an interesting idea and something ill concider moving forward at my current point but is it worth it where I am to get off the ground?....or am I adding additional unknown variable. I am currently (was) feeding with frozen reef frenzy and then Nori (brand name escapes me at the moment)
c- Stickies....they should have a life cycle right? we waited a week since the last fish had died to reintroduce believing that the majority of things would nearly double their expected lifecycle (ie. flukes has a 3 day lifecycle from what I read) therefor it shouldnt be an issue.....the 2 clowns that were introduced has symptoms in their specimen container (leads me back to either a. osmotic shock like jay suggested. or b. another toxin in the water hence the 44pt water test)
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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I don't think it at all, this is a great thread.
you are enduring the exact same challenges and choice sets as every coming cycler in 2023 will face and folks that represent the top element in fish disease are present. there is never any harm in water testing a given water table for sure, and if it's not to the exclusions of known disease preps then all supplemental assessment and cleaning moves won't harm a reef that's for sure...we make big long threads on reef tank deep cleans/I enjoy seeing them shine up any time. really good thread for sure.

one thing we can't leave out of the discussion of ideal arrangement: some element of cured live rock vs all white dry starts.

having cured live rock as an inclusion in your scape can help your desired goals much better than an all white rock setup.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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hey can you post a full tank pic, that macro view of the things in a tank is always crucial in my opinion, for big-picture scope view of things and changes if any.
 
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Sorry for the glare!
 

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hey excellent. thats tons of surface area and hiding places, very good.
When we had fish....It made my heart happy watching them swim in an out of the caves and passages. The cave on the right was where the cleaner shrimp setup show and the fish would come in and dock for their cleaning...absolutely amazing IMO
 
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ICP test came back...any suggestions?or conclusions?
 

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Jay Hemdal

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ICP test came back...any suggestions?or conclusions?
Did they give you the natural seawater levels for comparison? I don’t have them memorized, so I can’t tell you how far out of range you are.
For some reason bromine or iodine often show high on ICP tests. I suspect they are actually reading iodide and bromide, and those aren’t as reactive as iodine and bromine are. I don’t know about toxicity of cobalt, but zinc is toxic at high enough levels. However, from your first post, the fish are dying but the invertebrates are fine, so that rules out zinc as a toxin.
Jay
 
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Did they give you the natural seawater levels for comparison? I don’t have them memorized, so I can’t tell you how far out of range you are.
For some reason bromine or iodine often show high on ICP tests. I suspect they are actually reading iodide and bromide, and those aren’t as reactive as iodine and bromine are. I don’t know about toxicity of cobalt, but zinc is toxic at high enough levels. However, from your first post, the fish are dying but the invertebrates are fine, so that rules out zinc as a toxin.
Jay
 

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Jay Hemdal

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Sorry - those screenshots won't help me, I can't see where your test results are, but you can compare them yourself.....

Jay
 
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I hope this is better, on all accounts these elements are low. is that indicative of a "new" tank. Is the lack of any of these lethal and requiring of action on my behalf?

additionally I have added the gyre xf350 which has cleaned up a the tank a ton....as soon as I turned it on (10%) it kicked up a ton of debris and algea that had been on the rocks...now after running for a week the rock and sand look pretty clean comparitively....not sure if this could have caused a lethal situation but an additional data point I think worth sharing.

(from the left Gyre [email protected] 10% and from the right is my return pump Simplicity 2100DC at 40%)

ElementBromineElementIodine
MeasureppmMeasureppb
My Result15.35My Result0.29
Optimum result65Optimum result50
Low Limit50Low Limit30
High Limit140High Limit120
ElementCobaltElementNickel
MeasureppbMeasureppb
My Result0.2My Result0.74
Optimum result2Optimum result5
Low Limit1Low Limit1
High Limit4High Limit20
ElementIronElementZinc
MeasureppbMeasureppb
My Result5.01My Result2.52
Optimum result20Optimum result20
Low Limit10Low Limit10
High Limit40High Limit25
 
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Jay Hemdal

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I hope this is better, on all accounts these elements are low. is that indicative of a "new" tank. Is the lack of any of these lethal and requiring of action on my behalf?

additionally I have added the gyre xf350 which has cleaned up a the tank a ton....as soon as I turned it on (10%) it kicked up a ton of debris and algea that had been on the rocks...now after running for a week the rock and sand look pretty clean comparitively....not sure if this could have caused a lethal situation but an additional data point I think worth sharing.

(from the left Gyre [email protected] 10% and from the right is my return pump Simplicity 2100DC at 40%)

ElementBromineElementIodine
MeasureppmMeasureppb
My Result15.35My Result0.29
Optimum result65Optimum result50
Low Limit50Low Limit30
High Limit140High Limit120
ElementCobaltElementNickel
MeasureppbMeasureppb
My Result0.2My Result0.74
Optimum result2Optimum result5
Low Limit1Low Limit1
High Limit4High Limit20
ElementIronElementZinc
MeasureppbMeasureppb
My Result5.01My Result2.52
Optimum result20Optimum result20
Low Limit10Low Limit10
High Limit40High Limit25
Oh - those are all low? that’s a completely different issue! A low reading for these will not acutely harm the fish, much of what they need comes from their food. None of these elements have strong biological need except for iodine, and a lack of that just induced goiter in fish over the long term.
Jay
 
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Another data point and most likely the smoking gun....I sure hope it's the smoking gun but I want your thoughts.

Evidently a basic item that I overlooked in the building and creation of my tank was a grounding probe.

Today after a lengthy conversation at the LFS we felt confident we addressed any and all variables and were ready to send another canary (a single clown) in the coal mine. Well acclimation process was a "manual" drip 1.5oz/5min and it went well fish seemed to have 0 symptoms of anything...added him to the tank and he was doing fine for a while (2 hours or so) and then he seemed to be getting over run by the current....sent some videos to the LFS we decided pulling him and bringing him in was the best bet...after her observation she was commenting on how it seemed his back half was paralyzed and he couldn't move it and then she asked if I had a grounding probe....nope hadn't heard of it...***!

$15 amazon will have one here tomorrow

Here's what I don't get...multimeter from the ground to the water is testing at ~54v that seems crazy high to me for having my hand in there and not feeling it...I unplugged everything one at a time and watched the voltage drop....return pump -20v....heater -10v....etc

Additionally I bypassed the neptune thinking maybe that was the cause but no luck.

I agree that if you have one device popping breakers or has an obvious open contact/wire replace it....but this is everything; everything has some voltage leak into the system....will the ground probe solve this? Is it normal to have everything leak some voltage?

Super angry it might be a simple solution...but a plausible answer is nice
 
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Additionally, a few assumptions were made.

At the time of the mass die off it could have been disease/parasite/oxygen/electricity

Disease/parasite- the tank was treated with prozipro and sat for 7days before another attempt at fish (this should rule out most things, not all, but most)

Oxygen- this seems to be more and more of a culprit...considering the 1st canaries were having issues in the specimen container (which electricity wouldn't affect) they only showed symptoms towards the end of acclimation ie. When enough of the oxygenated LFS water had been replaced with non oxygenated...we added a gyre xf350 and at 10% kicked up a ton of debris from the rocks and sand....after running for a week it looked nearly new comparatively. This giving us evidence there wasn't enough circulation and therefore not enough oxygenation.

Electricity- well my previous post from a few minutes ago explains that. So please share your thoughts on my direction.
 
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Another data point and most likely the smoking gun....I sure hope it's the smoking gun but I want your thoughts.

Evidently a basic item that I overlooked in the building and creation of my tank was a grounding probe.

Today after a lengthy conversation at the LFS we felt confident we addressed any and all variables and were ready to send another canary (a single clown) in the coal mine. Well acclimation process was a "manual" drip 1.5oz/5min and it went well fish seemed to have 0 symptoms of anything...added him to the tank and he was doing fine for a while (2 hours or so) and then he seemed to be getting over run by the current....sent some videos to the LFS we decided pulling him and bringing him in was the best bet...after her observation she was commenting on how it seemed his back half was paralyzed and he couldn't move it and then she asked if I had a grounding probe....nope hadn't heard of it...***!

$15 amazon will have one here tomorrow

Here's what I don't get...multimeter from the ground to the water is testing at ~54v that seems crazy high to me for having my hand in there and not feeling it...I unplugged everything one at a time and watched the voltage drop....return pump -20v....heater -10v....etc

Additionally I bypassed the neptune thinking maybe that was the cause but no luck.

I agree that if you have one device popping breakers or has an obvious open contact/wire replace it....but this is everything; everything has some voltage leak into the system....will the ground probe solve this? Is it normal to have everything leak some voltage?

Super angry it might be a simple solution...but a plausible answer is nice

So - this issue comes up all of the time. Early on, stray voltage was blamed for head and lateral line erosion. Lots of grounding probes were sold, no benefit was seen, and studies proved that isn't an issue. However, stray voltage was easily measured in tanks and would go away when you added a ground, so the product seemed to work and they stayed in the market. More lately, stray voltage got blamed for any unknown fish death.

The trouble is, there are two types of "stray voltage". The first is what almost everyone sees - induced voltage due to some electrical component in the tank (often a pump). This does NOT harm the fish - the fish are not grounded so there is no electrical potential (current flow). Still, people didn't want to let go of the idea - the premise then shifted to the idea that this stray voltage causes some chronic, unidentified issues. That's also false.

The second issue is when there is an actual electrical fault in the tank, and current is going to ground. If you have a GFCI on your system, that will clamp down on it and stop the process. In tanks without a GFCI, current will still flow and this can be very dangerous to people. It also can cause changes in the seawater through electrolysis - I've always wondered if it turns sulfates into sulfides for example. This has *rarely* killed fish.

I still worry that there is an acclimation issue here. I searched through my files and found an article I had written on acclimation. I will post it to the library here later today, but here is an excerpt about drip acclimation:

Drip Acclimation
Setting up a line siphoning water from the main tank to an acclimation container is a common practice at many aquarium wholesale companies. These “acclimation tables” can assimilate huge numbers of fish into quarantine systems, dealing with high ammonia levels and other issues in assembly line fashion. Some home aquarists have attempted to emulate this in their home, but there are issues that must be addressed. First of all, the name “drip acclimation” is a misnomer. It should be termed “flow acclimation”, as the rate must be faster than a drip. If one were to set up a drip line at one drop of water per second (as many home aquarists have assumed would be an appropriate rate) it would take FIFTY hours to equilibrate the difference in water parameters between one liter of shipping water and the receiving tank to within 90% of each other! Obviously, the flow rate must be faster than that. A flow of one milliliter per second would result in one liter of shipping water reaching 90% equilibration in 2 1/2 hours
Aquarists must monitor the changing water chemistry values in the acclimation container throughout the process, and adjust the flow rate accordingly. One trick is to place a few drops of methylene blue liquid per gallon of water in the acclimation container. Not only does this have some antibiotic affect, and can help with oxygen transfer, as new water flows into the acclimation container, the aquarist can judge the amount of mixing by the dilution of the blue color over time.
Just as with regular acclimation methods, as the water quality values between the aquarium and the container get closer, the rate of change slows down, unless you increase the water mixing rate.
Flow acclimation systems may require adjunct aeration and heating to maintain better water quality in the acclimation container during the longer acclimation time. It also helps to use rectangular acclimation containers as the volume can be measured using a ruler (length in inches * width * depth of water / 231= gallons).


Jay
 
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Hey All

I finally get to post with my first follow up. I plan to do so at least once more in a month or two for anyone lese that comes upon this post and want to know what happened.

Since my last post I added the grounding rod and did a ton of research on this. It appears that there is nothing conclusive on weather the voltage from the different devices have an affect on the fish or not but here was what went thought my mind with my knowledge of electricity.
- you can have voltage and no amprage but you cant have amprage and no voltage
- amprage kills
-electricity, like water pressure will always try to equilize
- ie. if you put your hand on a tesla coil and fire it up you dont feel anything but if you touch it after its going you get shocked...even though its low or no amprage its high voltage and you feel that.

*hypothesis the fishes bodies are low voltage and there is too much of a differenetial for them to become acclimated to and they were dieing. this could have been brought on by a hardware failure. (see below)

*at the very worst case it was a $15 variable eliminator and in this hobby with a 150g tank....really I cant get hung up on $15

Next: potential toxin in the water.
as you read on a previous post I had my water sent in for a water analysis that didnt reveal anything suspicious....a few things that were low but were expected for new tank. I figured at this point water changes cant hurt and if something somehow got into the tank it will hopefully delute it enough to no longer be harmful.
I changed 40g every week for 3 weeks totalling a 120g replacement...I wanted to do 50g/ week but I dont have the resources to reliably mix more that 40g

I also out a bag of 144g of carbon in the sump...again I figured it wouldnt hurt.

Next: Hardware failure. while doing the water changes I tired to use the apex app to turn on and off my pump and powerhead.....but it didnt work....the slider would go but the device wouldnt turn off....also i noticed that the app is no longer displaying charts of historic temp/ph/orp nothing....called neptune and they are replacing my base unit due to a hardware issue. Is it plausible this hardware issue caused a sudden voltage leak? or something that could have killed the fish? I dont know and I doubt there is anything that would get them to admit it was their product. regardless they are replacing it

December 26th...moment of truth? kind of....at least time for another conaray, and again a single oscilarus clown. I acclimated him the same way as mentioned before ~1.5oz/5min (Jay see your note below) and then let him free in my DP with my shrimp, snails, and emerald crab who are all doing fine. Now, approaching 48hrs everyone is doing great. He ate last night and seems to be loving his new home. I will continue to monitor for another 2 weeks and then add a second clown. and then progress with the tank and hopefully put this behind me.



For @Jay Hemdal Thank you for all of your support through this process. I greatly appreciate your insight, experience and sharing of that to me. My gut this whole time couldnt settle with it being an acclimation issue because it was the process i followed up until this point with the other fish an no one ever had an issue. I talked with 3 LFS's and my procedure seemed to be longer and more controlled than what they do for their service accounts. So I am sorry for being stubborn.
 

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